Ferold had been valuable in organizing the company as we began to roll out stores, but because of all thetechnology and sophisticated systems we were needing, I really felt at the time that Ron was absolutelyessential to the company's future. In addition to his ability, he had a lot of ambition. He made it pretty wellknown that his goal, which I respected, was to run a company, preferably Wal-Mart. He told me oneday that if he couldn't run our company, he wanted to get out and run another one. So I thought aboutthat for a few days, and I really worried that we were going to lose Ron. Then I said to myself, "Well, I'mgetting pretty old, and we could probably work together. I'll let him be chairman and CEO, and I'll justenjoy myself, step back a little, and, of course, continue to visit stores."So I became chairman of the Executive Committee. Ron became chairman and CEO of the company. Dr. Kenn waited for her to get calm again before he went on. "I especially remember the trip East. We went through the Carolinas and headed up the coast. It wasMother and Dad and all four kids and one scroungy dog named Tiny. We rolled into New York City in astation wagon with a canoe on top and a camping trailer on the backthat was the first time any of us kidshad ever been there. I have one really special memory of that trip. We went to seeCamelot, with theoriginal castJulie Andrews, Richard Burton, Roddy McDowall, and Robert Gouletand we were allwearing Bermuda shorts."Of course, what they say is true. I was visiting stores all the time, and I still do it today. In feet, we'vevisited them all over the world, and gotten some great ideas that wayas well as a few that didn't workout so well. Like working weekends, it's just something you have to do if you want to be successful in theretail business. I'm glad my kids remember the good times and don't seem to resent me too much for myabsences and distractions over the years. I think maybe one reason they don't have too much resentmentis that Helen and I always involved them in the business and kept them informed right from the startI hadno idea, incidentally, that Alice was so frightened of debt as a little girl, but there are certainly moreirrational things she could have feared. They may not have wanted to go visit all those stores while wewere on vacation, but they had some idea why I was doing it. They worked in the stores, invested in thestores, and shopped in the stores. "I went up there to see them in the fall of 1969, and it was really the height of ambition. We had onlydone one public offering, and I had done it, so I thought I was an expert. Sam was eager to talk becausehe had borrowed all the money he possibly could. I stopped at every Wal-Mart between Little Rock andBentonville so I would know something about his stores. Of course the first thing he did was throw me inthat plane of his and fly us all over Oklahoma and Missouri looking at stores."Not long after that, Bud and I went quail hunting up on the Robson ranch in Oklahoma, and the huntingwas really good. We spent most of that day talking about our options. We wanted to expand, and werealized we weren't generating enough profits both to expand and to pay off our debts. In fact, our cashshortage had forced us to give up five land sites where we had already planned to build new stores, sowe knew we had to do something. Driving back that night, we agreed to seriously explore thepossibilities of going public. It was a huge step for us, and we were concerned about losing control of thecompany. My son Rob had graduated from Columbia University law school the year before and hadgone to work at the biggest law firm in Tulsa. We, the Walton family were his first client. As our lawyer,he also kept track of the various Wal-Mart store partnership agreements, so I asked him to start lookingat all our options. "CALIFORNIA ORANGES, TEXAS CACTUS, WE THINK KMART COULD USE SOMEPRACTICE!"Our Fitzgerald, Georgia, store won first place in the Irwin County Sweet Potato Parade with a floatfeaturing seven associates dressed as fruits and vegetables grown in south Georgia. As they passed thejudging stand, the homegrown fruits and vegetables did a homegrown Wal-Mart cheer. 99XXXX开心情色站_色五月_激情五月_开心五月天-开心色播网 And on the third day 鈥?this day of which she had just sat out the close 鈥?the letter had come which was lying on the table before her. You can do exactly what you've always done and probably be just fine. But when competition comesalong, don't expect your customers to stick with you for old times' sake. There are plenty of ways tocompete successfully with Wal-Mart or any other big retailer. The principle behind all those ways ispretty basic: you have to focus on something the customer wants, and then deliver it."I don't want to be too critical of small-town merchants, but the truth is that a lot of these folks justweren't doing a very good job of taking care of their customers before we, or somebody else, came inand offered something new. And they didn't do a very good job of reacting to our arrival either. Youknow, there have been articles, and even one little book, written on how to compete with us. And I'vegot a few suggestions of my own.