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In 1962 when Sam Walton opened the first Wal-Mart store in Rogers Arkansas no one could have ever predicted the enormous success this small-town merchant would have Sam Waltons talent for discount retailing not only made Wal-Mart the worlds largest retailer but also the worlds number one retailer in sales Indeed Wal-Mart was named Retailer of the Decade by Discount Store News in 1989 and on several occasions has been included in Fortunes list of the 10 most admired corporations Even with Waltons death after a two-year battle with bone cancer in 1992 Wal-Marts sales continue to grow significantly Wal-Mart is successful not only because it makes sound economic and strategic management decisions but also for its innovative implementation of those strategic decisions Regarded by many as the entrepreneur of the century Walton had a reputation for caring about his customers his employees or associates as he referred to them and the community In order to maintain its market position in the discount retail business Wal-Mart executives continue to adhere to the management guidelines Sam developed Walton was a man of simple tastes and took a keen interest in people He believed in three guiding principles 1 Customer value and service 2 Partnership with its associates 3 Community involvement The Story of Wal-Mart 1998 Waltons greatest accomplishment was his ability to empower enrich and train his employees Longo 1999 He believed in listening to employees and challenging them to come up with ideas and suggestions to make the company better At each of the Wal-Mart stores signs are displayed which read Our People Make the Difference Associates regularly make suggestions for cutting costs through their Yes We Can Sam program The sum of the savings generated by the associates actually paid for the construction of a new store in Texas The story of Wal-Mart 1998 One of Wal-Marts goals was to provide its employees with the appropriate tools to do their jobs efficiently
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