When all else fails, put on a costume and sing a silly song. Then make everybody else sing with you. I read in some trade publication not long ago that of the top 100 discounters who were in business in1976, 76 of them have disappeared. Many of these started with more capital and visibility than we did, inlarger cities with much greater opportunities. They were bright stars for a moment, and then they faded. Istarted thinking about what really brought them down, and why we kept going. It all boils down to nottaking care of their customers, not minding their stores, not having folks in their stores with goodattitudes, and that was because they never really even tried to take care of their own people. If you wantthe people in the stores to take care of the customers, you have to make sure you're taking care of thepeople in the stores. That's the most important single ingredient of Wal-Mart's success. 日本一级特黄大片_日本毛片免费视频观看 "Searcy probably was built about two years later than we needed it, so there was a lot of pressure on usto get it up and running. The big knock on Wal-Mart was that we weren't going to be able to expandmuch beyond the 350-mile ring around our distribution center in Bentonville. Because of that logisticalproblem, our disbelievers said we would always be a medium-sized regional retailer confined to this area. "We used to get in some terrific fights. You have to be just as tough as they are. You can't let them getby with anything because they are going to take care of themselves, and your job is to take care of thecustomer. I'd threaten Procter & Gamble with not carrying their merchandise, and they'd say, 'Oh, youcan't get by without carrying our merchandise.' And I'd say, 'You watch me put it on a side counter, andI'll put Colgate on the endcap at a penny less, and you just watch me.' They got offended and went toSam, and he said, 'Whatever Claude says, that's what it's going to be.' Well, now we have a real goodrelationship with Procter & Gamble. It's a model that everybody talks about. But let me tell you, onereason for that is that they learned to respect us. They learned that they couldn't bulldoze us likeeverybody else, and that when we said we were representing the customer, we were dead serious."In those days, of course, we desperately needed Procter & Gamble's product, whereas they could havegotten along just fine without us. Today, we are their largest customer. But it really wasn't until 1987 thatwe began to turn a basically adversarial vendor/retailer relationship into one that we like to think is thewave of the future: a win-win partnership between two big companies both trying to serve the samecustomer. Believe it or not, as big as we had become by then, I don't believe Wal-Mart had ever beencalled on by a corporate officer of P&G. We just let our buyers slug it out with their salesmen and bothsides lived with the results.