Advice from Sam Walton; Founder of Wal-Mart; the Inside Story of Americas Richest Man


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9- hairy cell leukemia
21 – avoid cussing: Sam wouldn’t run around around with anybody that said a cuss word.
24- delivered excess milk: he milked the family cow and bottled and delivered the excess milk.
35. JC Penney motivation: JC Penney said “boys you know we don’t make a dime out of the merchandise we sell, we only make our profit out of the paper and string we save!”

“Tom, I wish I was able to get work out of people like JC Penney did,” said Sam Walton. “He could always get a lot of work out of people.”

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43. Unfriendly to non Mormons: in Salt Lake City, Utah. “I’ve heard Helen talk about how unfriendly they are if you are not a Mormon,”

48. Common as anybody: and that’s the greatest compliment the country folks can pay you.

49. Ben Franklin store donations: contributions to public subscriptions for worthy civic causes frequently were listed on page one of the Newport newspapers, and the Ben Franklin store was always down for from $1.00 to $100.

71. Charter planes: in Newport he promptly sought out one of the Jackson County farmers who had been in the Air Force in WW2 and now had their own small planes. For a reasonable fee, he chartered a pilot to take him to Bentonville. The eight-hour road trip shrank to a 90 minute flight. This gave Sam the answer he was looking for. Without this magic carpet, his Wal-Mart phenomenon never would have seen the light of day.

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80. Hula hoop craze: when the Hula Hoop craze swept the country in the late fifties, they were hard to come by for small merchants. Sam Walton was not to be denied, however. He decided it was a rather simple plaything; anybody who dealt in small plastic pipe could manufacture Hula Hoops. In Siloam Springs, he found a small company that produced plastic pipe. He got in touch with Jim Dodson, whose variety store there he had unsuccessfully tried to buy in 1950. They were on good terms and both needed Hula Hoops. Sam proposed they go in together and make their own.

It was a brilliant idea, said Jim Dodson. “We bought all the plastic pipe, and Sam came over and helped. We set up a regular assembly lines. Cut the pipe in 9-foot lengths, join the ends with a plug, and staple it, and you had a round Hula Hoop. They only sold for about a dollar but they were so popular you couldn’t keep em in stock.

84. Sales high for small towns: we were doing an amazing amount of business in a 13,000-square foot store, which is totally out of character for a town of 2,000 people.

90. Tells other people of bad XP: he’ll never tell you he was displeased; he goes and tells everybody else.

102. Decide on Walmart name: “Well Sam, “he said, at last, “you’ve had me buying the letters to go up on our Ben Franklin stores and I know how much they cost and how much they cost to repair, and how much to light. Its expensive to put that many words in a name.

“As Scotch as I am, I’d keep our Walton name… Listen, I’ve got one idea.” Bob Bogle took his pen and wrote below the boss’s list: Wal-Mart. “I’d make it just like this; that keeps the Walton name and adds a place to shop.”
Sam glanced at it briefly, grunted, and stuck the list back in his pocket.

104. Ran out of shirts: “Use common sense,” interrupted Sam Walton. “Don’t ever run out of shirts and things you need. What I meant was when you’re long on inventory, don’t load up with useless odds and ends.”

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113 Sam didn’t hire anyone without his wife present

114. Stores looked different: at that time discounting was in its infancy,” Jim Henry said in our interview. “The looks of the stores and some of the types of merchandise in the beginning, quite honestly, were not up to what they very quickly became.

115. Sam promoted imagination: when a store manager showed imagination and aptitude, Sam promptly tried to make room for him on the executive staff in the general office.

126. SAMs profit equation: and you’d better know what your cost to sell was. You did that by taking your total sales for the week and your week’s payroll. Divide your total sales into the payroll to get your payroll percentage. He always wanted to know that.”

127. Modular program: we were starting a modular program trying to get our basic items in certain spots on the shelf.

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148 Sam gambled a lot: looking on, Walmarts David Glass observed: we’ll never get him to do something like that again.” And Glass was right. Sam still makes all kinds of outrageous bets-all extravagantly publicized in the Walmart World and calculated to keep high spirits buzzing among the troops. But the stakes are very ordinary-betting Glass a steak dinner, or somebody else a $1 can of peanuts. Sam Walton henceforth is allergic to grass skirts or making a total fool of himself in public.

152. Admin costs 2%: Walmart boast that their total administrative costs amount to 2 % of revenue! far below industry norms.

153. Sam buys clothes from Walmart: “My shoes cost more than everything Sam Walton is wearing today, I’ll bet you.”

154. Hillary Clinton refuses to comment: I tried to get the views of Hillary Clinton, as the sole woman on he Walmart board, on this issue but she did not respond.

165. Ayr Way stores

178. Walmart Air Force

180. SAMs kids think he can relate to people.

200. How to make Interferon.

209. Walmart turns inventory 4 times per year.

230. 500 job applications on file: Walton told employees in a special meeting that if they voted in favor of the union, he would take away their profit-sharing program. Walton also reminded them that he had 500 job application on file.

234. Profit sharing began in 1972

243. Deal with charities: because of his emergence as Americans richest man, Sam was expectably hounded for gifts to “worthy causes.” To deal with these requests, he established the Walton Foundation, which would recieve and pass on all applications for money.

251 businesses ignore advice: “Before Walmart I could tell people, you need to improve your customer relations or you need to improve your pricing, or you need to do this, that, or the other. And they yawned and disregarded what I said. “Now I can point out that this is the way that Walmart has got to where they are, and their eyes light up and it means something to them. Its interesting that it takes something like this to get people’s attention.”

270. Action oriented doers

294. Dumping slow sellers: “Sam and his people look for new items that customers are wanting. They add them, in quantity. Whereas Sears, Montgomery Wards, Penneys, Kmart -they try to eliminate slow items to improve their turnover.

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