18 July 2009

Worlds 8 biggest employers

World's 8 biggest employers

World's 8 biggest employers

At a time when the economic crisis is forcing companies to reduce costs and cut jobs, retail giant Wal-Mart has emerged as the biggest employer in the world with a whopping 2.1 million people working for it last year, according to the Fortune magazine.

The Fortune Global 500 list ranks Wal-Mart Stores as the top company in terms of employee strength at the end of 2008.

In this slide show, we take you through world's 7 biggest companies as ranked by Fortune. Read on:

Wal-Mart: 2.1 million employees

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc runs a chain of department stores across the globe.

Founded by Sam Walton in Rogers, Arkansas in 1962, Wal-mart is the largest grocery retailer in the United States. It also owns and operates the North American company, Sam's Club.

Wal-Mart operates in Mexico as Walmex, in the United Kingdom as Asda, and in Japan as Seiyu. It has wholly owned operations in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, and Puerto Rico.

Wal-Mart's operations can be fragmented into three divisions: Wal-Mart Stores US, Sam's Club, and Wal-Mart International.

The company does business in nine different retail formats: supercenters, food and drugs, general merchandise stores, bodegas (small markets), cash and carry stores, membership warehouse clubs, apparel stores, soft discount stores and restaurants.

"In 2008, Wal-Mart racked up $30 billion in additional sales -- the equivalent of adding the annual sales of a Fortune 75 company. That growth was fueled by double-digit sales increases at international stores (US sales only grew six per cent). Wal-Mart China alone added 28 stores over the year," says the magazine about Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart's 2009 prospects remain promising as shoppers battered by the recession shop for value, it added. The retailer has seen 7.2 per cent increase in profit at $405,607 in 2008 as compared to the previous year.

Wal-Mart's operations have often come under the scanner for its huge foreign product sourcing, low employee health insurance enrollment, resistance to union representation, alleged sexism etc.

Image: A Wal-Mart store in Toronto.
Photographs: Mike Cassese/Reuters

SOurce: Rediff.com

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