鈥楧ec. 21. "As for in-store computers, you'd have to give Shewmaker the credit for that. Not many of us gavein-store computers much thought. But Shewmaker studied all that stuff, and we would run with whateverhe talked Sam into putting in the stores. It seems like we tried to better ourselves with some new gadgetevery year. That was the beginning of what turned into Wal-Mart's communications system, I guess. Butmost of us were too busy in the stores to even think about where it was all leading."As we moved along in the seventies, we had very definitely become an effective retail entity, and we hadset the stage for the even more phenomenal growth that was going to follow. It's amazing that ourcompetitors didn't catch on to us quicker and try harder to stop us. Whenever we put a Wal-Mart storeinto a town, customers would just flock to us from the variety stores. It didn't take those stores long tofigure out that if they were going to stay in business against this thing Wal-Mart had created, they weregoing to have to go into it themselves. And most of them did eventually convert to discounting. Kuhn'sBig K became a discount chain. Sterling launched its Magic Mart discount chain. And Duckwall wentinto discounting. "I think it is a shame that a lot of those fathers and mothers who have children involved in things likeathletic programs can't be there to support them because they have to go to the Saturday morningmeeting. I don't blame people at all for complaining about them."As a merchant, I've always tried to stay fairly neutral publicly on controversial political issues, eventhough I obviously have opinions, but Helen is one who's going to answer bluntly about what she believesin if questioned. Really, she's a bit of a feminist, I think, not unlike my mother. And I guess we've caught alittle heat from time to time. Some of her causes aren't all that popular with some of these fairly extremegroups. But I'll tell you this: she doesn't ask me what she should think, and I'd be the last person on earthto try to tell her. We had one really ugly fight in our marriageearly onover what kind of car to buy. Iwas a Chevy man, and she was from a Ford family. Nobody won that one, but we both learned howstubborn we could be, and we haven't gotten into anything like that since. We have been happy together,but we've stayed independent to pursue our own interests as well. "There's a difference between being tough and being obnoxious. But every buyer has to be tough. That'sthe job. I always told the buyers: 'You're not negotiating for Wal-Mart, you're negotiating for yourcustomer. And your customer deserves the best price you can get. Don't ever feel sorry for a vendor. Heknows what he can sell for, and we want his bottom price.' As well as all that worked out for everyoneand it really didI won't pretend there wasn't tensionsurrounding that period in our history. This is a highly competitive business, and an even more competitivecompany. It naturally attracts a lot of ambitious people, sometimes with egos to match. Ever since mypeewee football days, I've believed almost any kind of competition is great. I expect our folks tocompete with one another and as I have said, what I hate is to see a rivalry become a personal thing,where the folks don't support one another. It so happened that on the other side of our store, also onFront Street, was a JC Penney. We didn'tcompete much, and I was friendly with the manager. So one day this dapper supervisor fromNew Yorknamed Blake came to town to audit that store and got to chatting with the manager. 黄色网址大全 In addition to the fieldwork, of course, we have computer printouts at the meetings which tell us what'sselling and what's not. But the really valuable intelligence that surfaces in these sessions is what everybodyhas brought back from the stores. If they're doing their jobs right, they'll know why things are or aren'tselling, and what we ought to be thinking about selling next, or dropping from our assortment. If they'vebeen to that Panama City Beach store and seen a suntan cream display that's blowing the stuff out thedoor, they can share that with the other regionals for their beach stores. Or if they've been to a big storein the Rio Grande Valley and found out that we're getting beat by a competitor on ladies' dressesbecause their assortment is more suited to the particular tastes of that area, we can start fixing it. Whenthat meeting is over, every one of those regionals should be on the phone to the district managers, whoshould be passing the word along to the store managers, who'll get the department managers to act on itright away. "Let me tell you how Wal-Mart came to have people greeters. Back in 1980, Mr. Walton and I wentinto a Wal-Mart in Crowley, Louisiana. The first thing we saw as we opened the door was this oldergentleman standing there. The man didn't know me, and he didn't see Sam, but he said, Hi! How are yaGlad you're here. If there's anything I can tell you about our store, just let me know.' Modest though it might be, she gave away largely, restricting herself to a limited amount, and practising great economy. After being for a while in India, she seems to have been strongly impressed with a dread of needless luxuries, and to have become eager to set an example of extreme simplicity in the Missionary life. The rigid simplicity which she cultivated was, no doubt, partly a matter of pure economy, that she might have the more to give away,鈥攑artly a matter of her innate generosity; but partly also it arose from a deep-rooted desire to remove the reproach, which has of late been often levelled at the ease and luxury, real or supposed, of many Missionaries in India or elsewhere. Oh, but he鈥檚 been long awa鈥?