时间: 2019年12月09日 18:08

That was the start of a lot of the practices and philosophies that still prevail at Wal-Mart today. I wasalways looking for offbeat suppliers or sources. I started driving over to Tennessee to some fellows Ifound who would give me special buys at prices way below what Ben Franklin was charging me. One Iremember was Wright Merchandising Co. inunion City, which would sell to small businesses like mine atgood wholesale prices. I'd work in the store all day, then take off around closing and drive that windyroad over to theMississippi Riverferry atCottonwood Point,Missouri, and then intoTennesseewith an oldhomemade trailer hitched to my car. I'd stuff that car and trailer with whatever I could get good dealsonusually on softlines: ladies' panties and nylons, men's shirts and I'd bring them back, price them low,and just blow that stuff out the store. Most people don't enjoy stealing, even the ones who will do it if given the opportunity. And most associates don't want to think that they're working alongside anyone who does enjoy stealing. So under a planlike this, where you're directly rewarded for honesty, there's a real incentive to keep from ignoring anycustomers who might want to walk off with something, or, worse, to allow any of your fellow associatesto fall into that trap. Everybody working in that store becomes a partner in trying to stop shrinkage, andwhen they succeed, theyalong with the company in which they already hold stockshare in the reward. One way I've approached this is by sticking to the same formula I used back when we had about fivestores. In those days, I tried to operate on a 2 percent general office expense structure. In other words, 2percent of sales should have been enough to carry our buying office, our general office expense, mysalary, Bud's salaryand after we started adding district managers or any other officerstheir salaries too. I always wanted to be the best retailer in the world, not necessarily the biggest. In fact, as I said in thatarticle thirty something years ago, I've always been a little bit afraid that big might get in the way of doinga good job. Of course, being this big has some real advantages. Until we reached a billion dollars, a lot ofsuppliers and vendors just ignored us way out here in the Arkansas outback. For years, some supplierswouldn't even call on us. Now, of course, we're too big to ignore. But being big also poses dangers. Ithas ruined many a fine companyincluding some giant retailerswho started out strong and got bloated orout of touch or were slow to react to the needs of their customers. We applaud associates who have created particularly successful displays, or who have won one of ourVPI (Volume Producing Item) contests, and we honor them. The point is that we're not there to honorour shareholders as much as we are to let them meet the folks who are responsible for the amazingreturns on their investments year after year. "And that's what we did, and what Wal-Mart still does. We would tell the vendors, 'Don't leave in anyroom for a kickback because we don't do that here. And we don't want your advertising program oryour delivery program. Our truck will pick it up at your warehouse. Now what is your best price' And ifthey told me it's a dollar, I would say, 'Fine, I'll consider it, but I'm going to go to your competitor, and ifhe says 90 cents, he's going to get the business. So make sure a dollar is your best price.' If that's beinghard-nosed, then we ought to be as hard-nosed as we can be. You have to be fair and upfront andhonest, but you have to drive your bargain because you're dealing for millions and millions of customerswho expect the best price they can get. If you buy that thing for $1.25, you've just bought somebodyelse's inefficiency. 免费久久狼人香蕉网_噜噜噜院视_久久大香蕉 For the most part up where we werein the small towns of northwest Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma,and Kansasyou didn't see much of the mall construction and fast food neon that you saw everywhereelse. McDonald's didn't go into the small towns, and neither did Kmart. You saw the small-towncommercial centers start to sort of shrivel up. A lot of our customer base had moved on, and the oneswho remained behind weren't stupid consumers. If they had something big to buysay a ridinglawnmowerthey wouldn't hesitate to drive fifty miles to get it if they thought they could save $100. Notonly that, but with the introduction of TV and new postwar car models, being modern had become a bigthing. Everybody wanted to feel up-to-date, and if they knew Kroger or somebody had a big newgrocery store in Tulsa or somewhere they'd drive in there to shop it. When they saw that the prices werelower and the selection was better, they would go back again and again, until somebody brought asupermarket to their town. Another point missed by Margo Alexander and others was that a very fortunate thing happened to us onthe competitive front: Kmart was developing its own problems. Toward the end of 1976, they hadpurchased more than two hundred store locations left over from the defunct Grant's chain, and they hadtheir hands full trying to make that work. Not only that, they seemed to have a management philosophy atthe time of avoiding all change, something that never works in this business. I'm sure that worrying aboutWal-Mart fell way down on their priority list, and I occasionally think back to how lucky we were not tohave had to face Harry Cunninghamor Kmart's current management teamduring that period. � � Of course I needed somebody to run my new store, and I didn't have much money, so I did something Iwould do for the rest of my run in the retail business without any shame or embarrassment whatsoever: