Sam took the money from his previous stores and bought a small store with a 99 year lease in Bentonville. There were already two other variety stores in this small town which only needed one, but Sam welcomed the opportunity and challenge.
Walton would buy in bulk and sell things cheap, he had an eye for buying and he was a natural salesman. Already a success, he looked for more stores and locations to start up a second Walton’s Five and Dime store. He bought an old Kroger grocery store that was being abandoned. Sam would buy inventory that made him stand out and even made his own hula-hoops to sell which was a popular item in the cities. This process continued and his success increased immensely. He took all the money he made from a store and opened up more stores. Now the Wal-Mart franchise was in four states and would eventually grow into stores all over the country.
Walton’s ambition and leadership qualities took a small variety store into a national chain franchise. Several things attributed to his success; he bought in bulk and always sold it for less than the competition. He was confident, innovative and not afraid to take risks. When Sam had failures, he learned from them and bounced back. Walton’s philosophy to motivate employees was a simple one….make them know they are important, show appreciation, look for things to praise, and always be honest. Walton (1992) stated “…there’s no better way to keep someone doing things the right way than by letting him or her know how much you appreciate their performance” (p. 140). Sam believes in giving back and contributes to diverse organizations across the nation. I highly recommend his book, and I am a big fan of Sam Walton and his stores!
Walton, S., (1992). Sam Walton: Made in America, my story. New York, New York, Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc.