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Professors Michael D. Kimbrough of Harvard Business School, Michael Faulkender of Washington University, Nicole Thorne Jenkins of
Vanderbilt University, and Research Associate Rachel Gordon, Global Research Group, prepared this case. HBS cases are developed solely as the
basis for class discussion. Cases are not intended to serve as endorsements, sources of primary data, or illustrations of effective or ineffective
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MICHAEL D. KIMBROUGH
NICOLE THORNE JENKINS
Walmart’s Use of Interest Rate Swaps
The now-familiar story of Walmart’s emergence as a global behemoth began with the opening of
the first Walmart store by Sam Walton in 1962 in Rogers, Arkansas. Walmart’s success was due to a
disciplined adherence to the strategy of purchasing high volumes directly from manufacturers
combined with pioneering investments in information technology that allowed it to effectively
manage its supply chain and distribution networks. This strategy, when combined with Walton’s
lasting legacy of frugality and efficiency, allowed the company to sell at “every day low prices” to
Walmart’s Growth Ambitions at the Turn of the Century
Although Walmart closed the twentieth century as the United States’ largest generator of sales
and the world’s...
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