Why Walmart Failed in Germany

Blog on why Walmart failed in Germany.

The Tim Channel

Walmart, the most successful retail operation in the US, failed to make even a dent in the largest and most vibrant European economy (Germany) after losing a billion dollars in the process of bungling their German market experiment with so much failure it is now the stuff of local urban legend..  Let’s examine the reasons.

Cultural Hubris

“The problem was the company’s business philosophy, which had always worked so well,” wrote Frankfurt’s Börsenzeitung in what pretty much amounted to an obituary. “It’s people-centered – but that doesn’t actually work when the people aren’t American.

The company gave the job of masterminding Wal-Mart Germany to an American who didn’t speak a word of German.

The Germans weren’t fond of the Walmart practice of hiring old people to accost greet them at the door, nor were the German workers impressed with morning warm-up sessions (“Higher Profits Uber Alles! — Can I get…

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