As much as we travel to our stores, and bring our folks in to Bentonville, though, sometimes I have thefeeling that the word is not getting out. And if it's on a subject I feel strongly enough about, I'm not abovegetting in front of one of our TV cameras here and going out by satellite to all our associates gathered infront of their TV's in the break rooms of our stores. A few years ago, I had an idea aroundChristmastime that was just burning me up to tell people about, so I went on the camera and visited witheverybody about how our sales were doing, and talked a little about my hunting, and let them know that Ihoped their holiday season was going well. Then I got to the point: "I don't think any other retail companyin the world could do what I'm going to propose to you. It's simple. It won't cost us anything. And Ibelieve it would just work magic, absolute magic on our customers, and our sales would escalate, and Ithink we'd just shoot past our Kmart friends in a year or two and probably Sears as well. I want you totake a pledge with me. I want you to promise that whenever you come within ten feet of a customer, youwill look him in the eye, greet him, and ask him if you can help him. Now I know some of you are justnaturally shy, and maybe don't want to bother folks. But if you'll go along with me on this, it would, I'msure, help you become a leader. It would help your personality develop, you would become moreoutgoing, and in time you might become manager of that store, you might become a department manager,you might become a district manager, or whatever you choose to be in the company. It will do wondersfor you. I guarantee it. Now, I want you to raise your right handand remember what we say atWal-Mart, that a promise we make is a promise we keepand I want you to repeat after me: From thisday forward, I solemnly promise and declare that every time a customer comes within ten feet of me, Iwill smile, look him in the eye, and greet him. So help me Sam."Now, I had no way of knowing how much effect a little communication like that would have on ourassociates, or on our customers. But I felt so strongly about the idea that it was worth calling attention toit by satellite, and I really meant it when I said I didn't think any other retailer in the country could do it. Ido know thisa lot of our associates started doing what I suggested, and I'm sure a lot of our customersappreciated it. We used mass communications to transmit the idea, but it was a small idea, aimed at thefolks on the front lines, the ones most responsible for keeping our customers happy and coming back toour stores over and over. And I'm not saying one way or another whether my little pep talk had anythingto do with it, but we went on from that Christmas to pass both Kmart and Sears in sales at least twoyears before even the most optimistic Wall Street analysts thought we could do it. One big strain on the family that I've already talked about was this whole richest man in Americabusiness. I don't know if Helen ever really forgave me for putting us in the position to be dragged intothat. "I thought it a rather strange coincidence, taken with the bit I learned of her dreams," remarked Kennedy. "As I recall, my blueprint for the warehouse called for 100,000 square feet, which to me was veryminimal. Then Sam decided to get an architect involved. When I got to look at the drawing, I thought,'Well, this can't be right. It's only 60,000 square feet.' So I went to tell Sam about it, and he said, 'Well, Icalled the architect and told him to cut it back. I just don't think we need that 100,000 square feet, Bob.' "We have this executive VPI (Volume Producing Item) contest, you know, but it's really hard tocompete with Sam on it because it is just unbelievable the compliance he gets. I think the ChattanoogaBakery, which makes Moon Pies, made him their man of the year. If they didn't, they should have. Noone in history has ever even dreamed you could sell Moon Pies like that. But see, if he picks an item, he'llsay he wants a table in front of the check stands, and he wants fifteen cases of Moon Pies there brokendown into vanilla, chocolate, and caramel, in whatever ratios he decides they're going to sell. ThatBedmate thing was ordinarily a side-counter itemmaybe you stock four on a side counter and they sell afew a month. Well, Sam takes a table in action alley, designs the sign himself, and makes a rule that youhave to keep the thing full of Bedmates. Of course, it just exploded. Ask him about his minnow bucket,though. That was his worst item ever. That was the same year I won the contest with Seneca AppleJuice. It was just sensational. It sold tons. So I would go to the stores, and get them to take that minnowbucket up front to the people greeter at the door, put ice in it, ice down the apple juice, and give awaysamples out of his minnow bucket. I particularly did it in stores I knew he was going to visit. It drove himcrazy, and he got off that minnow bucket pretty quick. 白白色在线视频_波多野结衣在线视频_久久热在线视频精品 I had talked a little bit about the idea of taking the company public, seeking advice from people like AbeMarks and some of those other discounters in that association we all belonged to, but I really hadn'tpursued anything seriously. One day in 1969 we got a call from Mike Smith, who said he wanted tocome up and talk to us. Mike worked for Witt and Jack Stephens in Little Rock. Today, Stephens Inc. isthe largest investment banking firm west of the Mississippi, and one of the most respected in the country. After that trip, I knew we had to build one, and everybody was pressuring me for a new general office,so we bought fifteen acres on a farm right outside Bentonville, where we still are today, for about$25,000. Bob was in charge of building us a new 15,000-foot general office, which I thought would lastus forever, and a 60;000-foot warehouse, which I thought was too big, but Ferold convinced me weneeded it.