The Great Wal(-Mart) of Dining?

In the June 2003 issue of Fast Company, Jim Collins explored Wal-Mart’s growth strategy and what other business leaders can learn from the big-box retailer. It’s an interesting parallel read to Constance Hays’ article about Kroger Co. in today’s New York Times. That supermarket chain’s strategy? “Be what Wal-Mart is not.”

According to the piece, Kroger’s strategy is to be the anti-Wal-Mart, offering luxury foods, solid customer service, and an upscale setting. It’s an attempt to sidestep the scale challenge. If you can’t grow as big as Wal-Mart, what can you do that Wal-Mart can’t? The writer distinguishes between a class audience and a mass audience.

Other grocers are getting into the game, as well. In response, Wal-Mart’s starting to take back some of their tactics. One Wal-Mart started to stock organic eggs because a Central Market across the street regularly sold out of them.

What else can we learn from Wal-Mart? What can Wal-Mart learn from you?

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