There is a real turn of events occurring over the 1950s while Sam was developing his business. He used to owe his success to his hard work and big discount stores. But anybody can work hard and give big discounts. A lot of his success came from perfect timing in power structures.
The Mafias controlled much of the markets in the early 1900s. They were into underground activities and the ones who made enough money could expand into legitimate businesses, such as retail. Many of them agreed on protected territories between the families. One Mafia family would stay out of the other families business.
Fortunately, for Sam Walton, he was in the South and able to stay out of the territorial business developed by Mafias. He developed a strong franchise in the south that kept slowly growing over time as he expanded into several businesses that supported Walmart.
With the Federal Government crackdowns on racketeering, the Mafias were losing power and control around the country. They had to give in to the pressure by the Feds or risk going to jail. The Feds put a lot of of focus and effort into dismantling the Mafias.
Fortunately, for Walton, he was not getting pressure by the Feds, and could continue to expand his business effortlessly. He exploded on to the scene with his success, thanks in part to the Federal Government paving the way for his kind of business. The Mafia had their run and it was over. It didn’t take long for a new kind of king in business to emerge.
You could track a chart that shows the decline of the Mafia and the rise of Walmart. The main threat that Walton faced from organizations was the Unions. But the. Mafia hated most of the Unions as well. I believe the Unions were in place before the Mafias began in the late 1890s.
Organized business started with Unions, then the Mafias took control, then franchises gained traction. It was all a series of events that led to where we are today. Is today’s modern business really the perfection from countless years of deals? I’m not sure about that. Business changes, it doesn’t necessarily get better for everyone, but it changes over time.
I’m just saying that Sam Walton can have us believe that hard work made him a millionaire, but I doubt that was all. He needed the competition to fold in his wake to be able to dot the landscape of the country. He got that advantage as the Mafias were being broken up and the Unions were losing power. Enough said.