That was the year I lost a bet to David Glass and had to pay up by wearing a grass skirt and doing thehula on Wall Street. I thought I would slip down there and dance, and David would videotape it so hecould prove to everyone back at the Saturday morning meeting that I really did it, but when we got there,it turned out David had hired a truckload of real hula dancers and ukulele playersand he had alerted thenewspapers and TV networks. We had all kinds of trouble with the police about permits, and thedancers' union wouldn't let them dance without heaters because it was so cold, and we finally had to getpermission from the head of Merrill Lynch to dance on his steps. Eventually, though, I slipped on thegrass skirt and the Hawaiian shirt and the leis over my suit and did what I think was a pretty fair hula. Itwas too good a picture to pass up, I guessthis crazy chairman of the board from Arkansas in this sillycostumeand it ran everywhere. It was one of the few times one of our company stunts reallyembarrassed me. But at Wal-Mart, when you make a bet like I didthat we couldn't possibly produce apretax profit of more than 8 percentyou always pay up. Doing the hula was nothing compared towrestling a bear, which is what Bob Schneider, once a warehouse manager in Palestine, Texas, had to doafter he lost a bet with his crew that they couldn't beat a production record. What happened was absolutely a necessary and inevitable evolution in retailing, as inevitable as thereplacement of the buggy by the car and the disappearance of the buggy whip makers. The small storeswere just destined to disappear, at least in the numbers they once existed, because the whole thing isdriven by the customers, who are free to choose where to shop. 您查看的页面找不到了!-理想生活上天猫 But before we got the stock issued, the market fell out on us, and we had to postpone the offering. Wewere already having unusual managers' meetings in those days. We would all go fishing together, withoutwives, for four or five days at a time and talk about the business. I remember we were on one of thosetrips to Table Rock Dam, and I had to tell everybody that we were pulling back on the deal. But themarket recovered some, and on October 1, 1970, Wal-Mart became a public company, traded over thecounter. Our prospectus offered 300,000 shares at a price of $15, but it sold for $16.50. It was wellreceived, though not widely held; we only had about 800 shareholders, most of them either institutions orfolks we knew. Those who bought in that offering, or who owned some of those early partnerships andhad them converted in that offering, made an absolute killing.