Author Topic: Sam Walton: Made In America, My Story - Sam Walton with John Huey  (Read 8201 times)

Liberty

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Re: Sam Walton: Made In America, My Story - Sam Walton with John Huey
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2013, 07:11:05 PM »
Since everybody's reading about Walmart these days, here's an interesting piece:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-27/why-walmart-will-never-pay-like-costco.html
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meiroy

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Re: Sam Walton: Made In America, My Story - Sam Walton with John Huey
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2013, 09:53:39 PM »
I thought it was great and recommend it as well.  I'm pretty sure it was co-authored by a mass-market, easy-to-read author guy as well so, yeah, very easy and quick to read.

Derailing the thread a little bit, I read it as part of the readings for the Art of Profitability by Adrian Slywotzsky, probably the best book I've ever read for understanding how different businesses work.  One of the "assignments" in the book is to read Made in America and Pour Your Heart into It (the Starbucks book) at the same time and look for similarities in their business models, business strategies, and how the two companies (Wal-Mart and Starbucks) first got off the ground.  Suffice it to say, your mind will be blown if you actually do the assignment in full.  The two companies really are cut from the same cloth.


Now you are making me want to buy all 3 books mentioned. My library is already stuffed.

Don't buy The Art of Profitability!  It's a rabbit hole of (required, but all awesome) books to read!

Seriously tho, it's an amazing book.  I have no idea why no one knows about it.

Thanks to you and Plan.  It is indeed a great book. Beautifully placed simple concepts leading you down the rabbit hole as you've put it.

As for the Wallmart book, I though it's OK.  A quick and easy read.

Liberty

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Re: Sam Walton: Made In America, My Story - Sam Walton with John Huey
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2014, 10:33:28 AM »
This post isn't just about wmt, but worth a look. It includes a link to the 1974 wmt annual report.

http://philosophicaleconomics.wordpress.com/2014/03/22/wmt/
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ItsAValueTrap

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Re: Sam Walton: Made In America, My Story - Sam Walton with John Huey
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2014, 02:16:19 PM »
This post isn't just about wmt, but worth a look. It includes a link to the 1974 wmt annual report.

http://philosophicaleconomics.wordpress.com/2014/03/22/wmt/

Interesting read.  Thanks!
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LongHaul

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Re: Sam Walton: Made In America, My Story - Sam Walton with John Huey
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2014, 05:05:13 PM »
I loved Sam Walton's book.   

One thing that really struck me was that there were a ton of discount retailers initially in the 50's and 60's and Walton beat them all.  That was really impressive.

Morgan

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Re: Sam Walton: Made In America, My Story - Sam Walton with John Huey
« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2014, 01:49:30 PM »
Just finished reading Sam Walton - Made in America and it was excellent. His story is incredibly inspiring. He started with some savings and loan from his folks to buy one franchised variety store and eventually turned it into WalMart. He wasn't from a wealthy family and didn't have tons of connections or advantages. He (and his team) earned it. If he was half as hard working and competitive as the book makes him out to be, he was workhound. it's very impressive.

yadayada

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Re: Sam Walton: Made In America, My Story - Sam Walton with John Huey
« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2014, 11:43:30 AM »
book says that he made it a habit just to talk to everyone he saw. That is not a bad habit.

dcollon

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Re: Sam Walton: Made In America, My Story - Sam Walton with John Huey
« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2014, 06:13:43 AM »
This book was fantastic.  Thank you all for the recommending it.

What a great story and it gave me a completely new appreciation for Mr. Walton and his family. 


longinvestor

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Re: Sam Walton: Made In America, My Story - Sam Walton with John Huey
« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2018, 07:32:14 AM »
Just finished reading this book. Irrespective of where one is when thinking about his baby, Wal-mart, this is an exceptional story. He is a true original, and arguably there are only a few every century. Winning this big in brutal retail is quite something. Sam's winning approach reeks of simplicity and putting customer first.

Here are some interesting tidbits that I was not aware of before hearing it from the horse's mouth,

- He copied shamelessly; there was never a trip that he took (family camping, business meetings) where  he did not pay a visit to the local retailers. He says he's been in more K-Mart stores than he can count, probably more than K-Mart management!
- Wal-mart's success came about because he was never afraid of trying new things, change at a whim. It defies the stodgy, cast-in-stone image that shopping there would present itself. Most notably the switch to IT enabled logistics from his paper based management was a huge turning point.
- Until he could no longer keep up with the growing store count, every single site was chosen by Sam flying his plane repeatedly over the target locale! He did this apparently single handedly until store #400. Apparently this continues.
- His foray into retailing with the first variety store success ending abruptly because he did not read the lease he'd signed. The owner took over the property! That day forward, all leases are 99 years. They read now.
- His employee base (especially the early and long termers) include many millionaires via stock ownership. Of course he pays just enough as the labor market pushes him to. But apparently they ask for ideas from everyone in the rank and file. Don't know if this is current practice. As an online grocery shopper myself, I am pleased as  a punch with the customer friendliness of the associates who load my car.
- How he arm wrestled P&G to submission is quite a story. Buffett / Munger are surely keenly aware of this with the ownership of packaged goods and Costco.
- I simply loved his Saturday morning management meetings at every store. That captures what it is all about..

 - Just like Buffett, he shares in the same world view and has done similar things: newspaper routes, frugal living, inherited wealth (he threatens to come out of the "box" should future Waltons splurge in vanities), local empowerment (biz/store) etc.

If Wal-Mart keeps Sam's approach substantially intact, they are not going down anytime soon. But time will tell.

Just as Buffett says about Rose Blumkin, absorbing Walton's story is worth a business degree.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2018, 07:34:12 AM by longinvestor »

dwy000

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Re: Sam Walton: Made In America, My Story - Sam Walton with John Huey
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2018, 02:57:15 PM »
How funny.  A 20 year old book and I just finished it this week too after picking it up a while ago in a used bookstore.  The lessons are just as timely today as at any point in the company's history.  I especially liked his rant about people complaining that they were killing off the small town mom and pop stores.  He (rightly) claimed that they offered a better experience, better merchandising, better hours, friendlier staff and lower prices - and that's what killed off other stores.  No point feeling nostalgic for operators who don't serve their customers as well.