I’ve just read the blog about Walmart. In 2012 I’ve spent one semester in the United States and I was really impressed by Walmart and their expanded range of products. Today I was wondering why this retail giant is not represented in Germany…

Walmart dominates a big part of the whole US market.  After the list of “Fortune Global 500” Walmart is the second successful company of the world based on the turnover.  In 2012 the store sales reached $443.9 billion. (Compare:
Why should this company not also be successful in a European country? So in 1997 Walmart tried to enter the German market by starting with 21 branches all over the country. But after diverse changes in the top management and high losses Walmart had to leave Germany in 2006 again. But why did they fail? The short story of Walmart in Germany is marked by crises and cultural misunderstandings. First of all the German buyers didn’t like the American philosophy of selling, they felt bothered by reception guy at the entrances of the stores and also the employees didn’t like the daily rituals, so called “appeals” at work. Moreover the American company could not reach the German market conditions. (Compare:

Walmart Germany

“Clearly, the failed experiment was a severe blow to the company’s pocketbook and pride. And while no one can predict where a company as aggressive and acquisitive as Walmart will turn up next, presumably, they will pick up the slack by opening a store in Libya.” (


  1. I´ve found the article very interesting, I’ve been wondering the same question why Walmart doesn´t exist in countries as German, France and Spain?? But I think the cultural misunderstandings are key factors for the failure, there are many examples of companies that merge and doesn´t work such as the famous merge of the equals , Daimler Benz was thinking for be the largest industrial merge ever and was a disaster. That’s why I really enjoy sharing our experiences with our partners of different countries, I love to know about their culture and traditions and I hope it works for future business.

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