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datatime: 2022-06-30 10:14:35 Author:Baidu fishing bar

As usual, some of our criticsmostly unions in this casetook a shot at me for this idea. They said I waswrapping myself in the flag and pulling a typical Sam Walton promotion to hide the fact that we sell a lotof import goods. These folks, Im afraid, are really living in the past. They dont believe in a free market.

We do a lot of things to take care of our own. Some of them you already know about. Our associateshave almost billion in their profit sharing fund, some of which I suppose the company could have givento charity instead. We have a relief fund for associates who are the victims of natural disasters. And eachyear, every Wal-Mart store sponsors one student in its community to a ,000 scholarship.

With this approach, we estimate we have saved or created almost 100,000 American manufacturingjobs. So before anybody dismisses Bring it Home as a publicity stunt, they should listen to the peoplewhose jobs were saved, or created, by the program.

Its the best thing that ever happened to Brinkley, and certainly the best thing that ever happened to me.

For example, we did billion in sales this year. For the last ten years1982 to 1992we haveaveraged sales of, say, billion a year. So thats about 0 billion in sales. If we only saved ourcustomers 10 percent over what they would be paying if we werent thereand I think thats veryconservativethat would be billion weve saved them. Thats billion which is a product of a freemarket system that allows us to operate efficiently, and its the reason our customers love us so. The truthis that Wal-Mart has been a powerful force for improving the standard of living in our mostly rural tradeareas, and our customers recognize it.

Wal-Mart, like many other corporations, conducts a very aggressive United Way campaign which meetswith great success among our associates every year. In fact, we keep our United Way goal sign in theyard right outside my office here so everybody can see how were doing. We strongly believe in UnitedWay becausein spite of all the publicity it received recently for some problems in the nationalofficemost all the money thats collected in these campaigns is directed locally. We believe in locallydirected charities, so we have a matching grant program for associates who want to raise money forcharities of their choice. Were also a big contributor to the Childrens Miracle Network Telethonwhichsupports locally directed childrens hospitals. Last year, Wal-Mart and its associates were the largestsingle contributors to this campaignat .5 million.

We know we can be very influentialpowerful if you prefer. So today I think its important for our peopleto remember that things arent the same as the old days, when we were the scrappy underdog having tofight for every single break. We still want to drive a hard bargain, but now we need to guard againstabusing our power. We want to find more ways, like Bring it Home, in which we can use our influence togive something back.

We dont come by this passion for improving education out of some fuzzy-headed notion or somethingwe read somewhere. We see the need every day at Wal-Mart. In the old days, just being bright andwilling to work hard was enough to give you all the opportunity you needed at our company. But we aresuch a sophisticated company today, and have moved so rapidly in the areas of technology andcommunications, that skill and knowledge in these fields have become a vital part of our business. Noneof this is news to anyone who keeps up with world business trends. This is the direction in which were allheaded. And to succeed, were just going to have to do a better job of educating and training our workforce.

Its the best thing that ever happened to Brinkley, and certainly the best thing that ever happened to me.

We arent the least bit naive about how big a stick Wal-Mart swings in the world of retailing these days.

What we learned was that we had fallen into a pattern of knee-jerk import buying without reallyexamining possible alternatives. In the past, we would just take our best-selling U.S.-made items, sendthem to the Orient, and say, See if you can make something like this. We could use 100,000 units ofthis, or more, if the quality holds up.Im sure a lot of other retailers do the same thing. Today, weinstruct our buyers to make trips to places like Greenville, South Carolina; Dothan, Alabama; Aurora,Missouri; and hundreds of other out-of-the-way places in Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, or NewHampshire, before just routinely dashing off a letter of credit to the Far East. If we could all take a littleextra trouble to work some of these deals outand the manufacturers will continue to come up with theirown creative programsI think theres still a tremendous amount of untapped potential left in this idea.

I think quite a few companies use charitable giving guidelines as a way to say, in effect, We gave at theoffice,when it comes to thinking about what overall good the companies should be accomplishing. In myopinion, Wal-Mart is an entirely different sort of enterprise from that and I would argue that our relentlesseffort to improve our business has always been tied to trying to make things better for the folks who liveand work in our communities. We have built a company that is so efficient it has enabled us to save ourcustomers billions of dollars, and whether you buy into the argument or not, we believe it. That in itself isgiving something back, and it has been a cornerstone philosophy of our company.

Before, we had a contract with Van Heusen for Penneys and Sears, but in 1984 they told us they weremoving everything to China. We were struggling from season to season with ninety jobs, when I got thiscall from a guy claiming to be Sam Walton. It turns out he actually was Sam Walton, and he wanted toknow if we thought we could make 50,000 dozen flannel shirts for him. Ill tell you what, though. Hes theonly guy I ever worked for who looked me right in the eye and said, Son, if you cant make money offthis project, dont do it. Most retailers couldnt care less whether the manufacturer makes money or not.

In the same spirit, were in the early stages of an environmental initiative, encouraging suppliers andmanufacturers to eliminate any wasteful practicessuch as unnecessary packagingthat we can. Also, wehave a fairly new program in which we donate 2 percent from purchases of Sams American Choiceproductsa selection of our own private label products toward scholarships for students studyingmathematics, hard sciences, and computer sciences.

We dont come by this passion for improving education out of some fuzzy-headed notion or somethingwe read somewhere. We see the need every day at Wal-Mart. In the old days, just being bright andwilling to work hard was enough to give you all the opportunity you needed at our company. But we aresuch a sophisticated company today, and have moved so rapidly in the areas of technology andcommunications, that skill and knowledge in these fields have become a vital part of our business. Noneof this is news to anyone who keeps up with world business trends. This is the direction in which were allheaded. And to succeed, were just going to have to do a better job of educating and training our workforce.

Wal-Mart, like many other corporations, conducts a very aggressive United Way campaign which meetswith great success among our associates every year. In fact, we keep our United Way goal sign in theyard right outside my office here so everybody can see how were doing. We strongly believe in UnitedWay becausein spite of all the publicity it received recently for some problems in the nationalofficemost all the money thats collected in these campaigns is directed locally. We believe in locallydirected charities, so we have a matching grant program for associates who want to raise money forcharities of their choice. Were also a big contributor to the Childrens Miracle Network Telethonwhichsupports locally directed childrens hospitals. Last year, Wal-Mart and its associates were the largestsingle contributors to this campaignat .5 million.

This isnt the first time that Ive been asked to come up with a list of rules for success, but itis the firsttime Ive actually sat down and done it. Im glad I did because its been a revealing exercise for me. Thetruth is, David Glass is right. I do seem to have a couple of dozen things that Ive singled out at one timeor another as the keyto the whole thing. One I dont even have on my list is work hard.If you dontknow that already, or youre not willing to do it, you probably wont be going far enough to need my listanyway. And another I didnt include on the list is the idea of building a team. If you want to build anenterprise of any size at all, it almost goes without saying that you absolutely must create a team of peoplewho work together and give real meaning to that overused word teamwork.To me, thats more thegoal of the whole thing, rather than some way to get there.

One aspect of this whole philanthropy issue that has annoyed me considerably over the years is thecriticism by some of our detractors that Wal-Mart doesnt do its fair share of giving to charities. Thecriticism seems to come from folks who say we dont meet the standard guidelines for corporations,guidelines which are set, I guess, by the people who run the charity business.

As usual, some of our criticsmostly unions in this casetook a shot at me for this idea. They said I waswrapping myself in the flag and pulling a typical Sam Walton promotion to hide the fact that we sell a lotof import goods. These folks, Im afraid, are really living in the past. They dont believe in a free market.

With this approach, we estimate we have saved or created almost 100,000 American manufacturingjobs. So before anybody dismisses Bring it Home as a publicity stunt, they should listen to the peoplewhose jobs were saved, or created, by the program.

In the same spirit, were in the early stages of an environmental initiative, encouraging suppliers andmanufacturers to eliminate any wasteful practicessuch as unnecessary packagingthat we can. Also, wehave a fairly new program in which we donate 2 percent from purchases of Sams American Choiceproductsa selection of our own private label products toward scholarships for students studyingmathematics, hard sciences, and computer sciences.

Beyond that, we feel very strongly that Wal-Mart really isnot, andshould not be, in the charity business.

So we are going to approach philanthropy with the same lack of reverence we gave to the traditionalmethods of the retail business when we started out there. We are going to see if we cant shake up someof the time-honored assumptions about what you can teach people, about what you can do with peoplewhose self-esteem has been beaten down, and about how you can motivate ordinary people to doextraordinary things. As just one example of the kinds of folks were calling on in putting this efforttogether, we asked Lamar Alexander, the former governor of Tennessee and now U.S. Secretary ofEducation, to attend our last family meeting here in Bentonville and talk with us about some of the ideashes come across for improving our public education system.

FARRIS BURROUGHS, PRESIDENT, FARRIS FASHIONSBRINKLEY, ARKANSAS:

We dont come by this passion for improving education out of some fuzzy-headed notion or somethingwe read somewhere. We see the need every day at Wal-Mart. In the old days, just being bright andwilling to work hard was enough to give you all the opportunity you needed at our company. But we aresuch a sophisticated company today, and have moved so rapidly in the areas of technology andcommunications, that skill and knowledge in these fields have become a vital part of our business. Noneof this is news to anyone who keeps up with world business trends. This is the direction in which were allheaded. And to succeed, were just going to have to do a better job of educating and training our workforce.

I think quite a few companies use charitable giving guidelines as a way to say, in effect, We gave at theoffice,when it comes to thinking about what overall good the companies should be accomplishing. In myopinion, Wal-Mart is an entirely different sort of enterprise from that and I would argue that our relentlesseffort to improve our business has always been tied to trying to make things better for the folks who liveand work in our communities. We have built a company that is so efficient it has enabled us to save ourcustomers billions of dollars, and whether you buy into the argument or not, we believe it. That in itself isgiving something back, and it has been a cornerstone philosophy of our company.

One more thing. If youre really looking for my advice here, trying to get something serious out of thisexercise I put myself through, remember: these rules are not in any way intended to be the TenCommandments of Business. They are some rules that worked for me. But I always prided myself onbreaking everybody elses rules, and I always favored the mavericks who challenged my rules. I mayhave fought them all the way, but I respected them, and, in , I listened to them a lot more closelythan I did the pack who always agreed with everything I said. So pay special attention to Rule 10, and ifyou interpret it in the right spiritas it applies to youit could mean simply: Break All the Rules.

So we are going to approach philanthropy with the same lack of reverence we gave to the traditionalmethods of the retail business when we started out there. We are going to see if we cant shake up someof the time-honored assumptions about what you can teach people, about what you can do with peoplewhose self-esteem has been beaten down, and about how you can motivate ordinary people to doextraordinary things. As just one example of the kinds of folks were calling on in putting this efforttogether, we asked Lamar Alexander, the former governor of Tennessee and now U.S. Secretary ofEducation, to attend our last family meeting here in Bentonville and talk with us about some of the ideashes come across for improving our public education system.

For what theyre worth, here they are. Sams Rules for Building a Business:

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