Rank in General Merchandisers: 1 (Previous rank: 5*)
Overall score: 7.29
Why it's admiredIn a horrible year for stocks, Wal-Mart managed to be the Dow's best performer, rising 18% in 2008. Revered for its lean supply chain and operations, the world's largest retailer's low costs resonate with customers now more than ever. There's a new gloss from the company's environmental initiatives, but critics remain, especially on labor issues: The company recently spent $255 million to settle lawsuits over employee wages. But CEO Mike Duke, who recently took over from Lee Scott, is expected to continue international expansion and keep Wal-Mart outperforming its competitors. --Lawrence Delevingne
Address: 702 S.W. Eighth St.
Bentonville, AR 72716
Industry: General Merchandisers
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