The modern concept of marketing and marketing strategies, which are the topics of the remainder of this paper, are generally attributed to Ralph Cordiner, chairman of General Electric in the 1950s (Petriv, 1997). When he was describing GE's business philosophy in the company's 1952 annual report he referred to an advanced concept of marketing, formulated by the Marketing Services Division. This attribution gave credence to the concept of marketing playing a key element in the production cycle, thereby integrating marketing into each phase of the business (Petrov, 1997, 26).
In 1972, McNamara further delineated the marketing concept as being a philosophy of business management based on a company-wide acceptance of the need for customer and profit orientation. This concept clearly implanted the importance of consumer relationships into the marketing literature. In his view, it was the primary objective of every business to satisfy customers at a profit within the limitations imposed by legal and ethical customs (Petrov, 1997, 26).
Petrov then points out that the marketing concept has always been synonymous with having a client orientation and to implement this philosophy, an organization must remain close to its customers in the long term as well as in the short run.
Most marketing strategists and theorists around the world agree that the Wal-Mart chain of super discount stores is a phenomenon of retail marketing unequaled in any decade, or in a