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Sam Walton/Walmart - Term Paper Example

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Sam Walton, Founder of the Wal-Mart Store Introduction Sam Walton was a frugal and grounded man. He began his career in retail in 1940, as a J.C. Penney clerk with a monthly salary of $75. In 1945 he opened his first store, a 5-and-10 store in Newport, which lost its lease in 1950…
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Download file to see previous pages and one of the world’s most successful corporations that ever existed (Springer, 2010). The company is known to have revolutionized food retailing such that competitors were forced to adapt to the standards of service it had set. What Walton did right Wal-Mart’s main business goal was to deliver big-city discounting to small-town America (Sellers & Barlyn, 1996). The key strategy behind Walton’s retailing model is cost leadership – keeping costs low and prices lowest. He imparted the values of thrift and efficiency in his company, but most important of all was his attention to people, both his customers and his employees. Walton hired personnel with grocery experience for his stores because they knew low-margin retailing best, thereby cutting the learning curve as well as costs. He also created a highly organised supply chain system that kept store shelves stocked with fresh foodstuffs and quality merchandise at low prices (Sidey, 1992) Raised on a strong work ethic, Walton made it a point to personally visit and confer with his store employees when the company was smaller, although this became a problem as the company expanded. Fortunately, Walton also had “a thirst for innovation and a willingness to gamble on new ideas” (Springer, 2010). ...
tions, which was years ahead of its time, provided Walton with a means to maintain personal contact with each of his stores, a matter he had always emphasised and a cornerstone in the firm’s corporate culture. More than this, however, it also provided a means of gathering and organising data, which had increasingly become difficult to conduct by phone. The satellite network that was operational in 1987 enabled Walton to maintain close personal touch with all the associates, while providing management with daily store-by-store information on sales and inventories. Because of this, Wal-Mart’s sales rose from $8.4 billion in 1985 to $93.6 billion in 1995; by 2005, it hit $288 billion (Hajim, 2005). Most significant of all is the respect and admiration Sam Walton’s leadership inspired. Walton kept a low profile, shared his profits with his employees, and held down his salary to a lower proportion to his employees than executives in other companies did. When the business grew, Walton modified his company’s structure from that of a family business, realizing that a large corporation could not be run in the same way a small business is run. He ingrained in his family that the company is the foundation of their assets, but not the foundation of their income. The family’s real income was produced by their investments developed as an overall corporation supported by the company – not the company’s operations itself. Thus the company was able to keep its costs and prices low (Springer, 2010). What Walton did wrong Sam Walton was not perfect, and he had to learn along the way. Probably his first error (or near error, as it turned out) was wanting to establish his first nickel and dime store in St. Louis. As luck would have it, his young wife refused to live in the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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