Asda parent Wal-Mart has been named the third annual Global Innovator Award World Honoree.
The US awards recognise excellence in housewares retailing around the world.
Wal-Mart was selected on the basis of its superior global logistics and operations and highly-efficient inventory management. The company will be presented with the award in Chicago during this month’s 2008 International Home + Housewares Show, organised by the International Housewares Association
The IHA says that with more than 6,000 stores worldwide, Wal-Mart has not only succeeded in combining the best of two worlds – technology and world-class retailing – it has also remained true to its mission of saving people money.
Pairing a unique store density with an expertly-formulated stocking system is the strategy behind Wal-Mart’s winning logistics programme that allows for such low prices, says the IHA. The company focuses on building new locations close to existing stores to reduce shipping and delivery costs, thus facilitating restocking logistics.
The company keeps in-store inventory low and relies on frequent restocking from its distribution centres, which are typically within 250 miles from the stores they service.
Wal-Mart realised that by becoming a more sustainable company, it could further reduce operating costs. It aims to achieve a 20% energy reduction by 2012 for existing stores, and 25 to 30% for stores built after 2009. It also has targets for reducing greenhouse gases and for making transport more fuel-efficient.