Today was our fifth day in Beijing and we continue to have beautiful weather. The most interesting thing we did today for me was visit a Chinese Wal-Mart. Because I am a marketing major I have learned about Wal-Mart in many of my classes and how they have had to adapt their image in different countries. From my observations I was able to identify a few key differences. The first thing I noticed was the different products that are sold, for instance, the Chinese Wal-Mart sold a much wider variety of food products. They had produce, a Deli, and other food departments typically not found in their American counterpart. Also, this Wal-Mart was two floors which is a difference. Customers still shopped using carts however when they wanted to change floors there was a slanted moving walk-way which was shopping cart accessible. The Third thing that I noticed was that these Wal-Marts are much cleaner, friendlier, and have wider aisle. The clutter in the Beijing was nowhere close to the clutter found in many American Wal-Marts. I also was told that the main customers of Wal-Mart are different between the two countries. In America Wal-Mart customers typically are on the lower end of the income spectrum. Wal-Mart shoppers shop there because it is all they can afford and do not typically shop at other large retail stores like Target. In China it is the middle class who are the primary shoppers and go there for convenience. One final difference between the two are the physical locations of the two stores. In American Wal-Mart is typically all by itself, away from other retailers and large urban areas. The Beijing Wal-Mart was smack dab in the middle of city.
There were also many similarities between the two countries stores. Both emphasis low prices and have the smiley face as a mascot. They promote rolling back prices as well. Also both stores have similar layouts related to floor plans and lighting.