A hearty WELCOME to our Big K associates who are now on our
Wal-Mart Team. As of August 14th,
it should be official – we will have merged the Big K stores into our Wal-Mart
Company. All of us in Wal-Mart welcome
you! I’ve met with all your managers and
district managers and have visited some of your stores. You’re our kind of folks, and we really
appreciate your enthusiasm and your excellent attitude toward our new
I particularly would like to express my personal
appreciation and respect to Mr. Jack Kuhn, Mr. Gus Kuhn, Mr. Gil Fox, Mr. Carl
Goldstein, and their families for the help and support they have extended to us
in making this merger successful. It has
been a very difficult time for all, and were it not for their cooperation and
supportive attitude it couldn’t have been done nearly so well.
Likewise, we now welcome the Kuhn families into our Wal-Mart
family as some of our major stockholders. You and I must see to it that they’ll be pleased with their Wal-Mart
investment which they received for their Big K stock ownership.
We’re completely sold on your potential. We welcome you as partners with
Wal-Mart. You’ve already started to
respond in a very remarkable way. Our
Wal-Mart/Big K stores for the past two weeks have has a better than 25%
increase in same store sales. “And it’s
only the beginning” – I can hear you saying throughout Wal-Mart/Big K Country
from Hilton Head, South Carolina to Union City, Tennessee. We do hear you, and we’re as excited as you
all are about our prospects of converting your stores to 100% Wal-Marts and
doubling and even tripling your sales and profitability within a reasonable
time frame. We know you can do it!
Our scheduled conversion by our transition team and your
district managers and regional managers, with the support of your distribution
centers, is on plan, as our President, Jack Shewmaker, likes to say.
Let me quickly recap some of the amazing results already
accomplished in our Wal-Mart/Big K conversion program, headed by Paul Carter, Ray
Thomas, and with the help of everyone in Big K….
1.All stores have re-priced over 1,000 items of
merchandise downward, closed a day and reopened as Wal-Mart/Big K‘s.
2.A number of hardlines items and some fashion
wearable merchandise have already shipped from Wal-Mart Distribution Centers to
our Big K stores, and I’m told, it is selling well.
3.I mentioned that for the last two weeks we’ve
already had a complete turnaround in sales at a 25% increase, and that from
stores that are still heavily out of basics and seasonable merchandise.
4.Our Wal-Mart Buying Department and Sales
Promotion Department, along with our Distribution Centers, and with the support
of our Data Processing Department , working virtually day and night, have made
it possible for all Big K stores to start ordering from Wal-Mart Distribution
Centers and our Assembly orders, for all stores this week. Quite an accomplishment, and what a help that
5.Hopefully by September or possibly October,
we’ll have a complete Wal-Mart sales and promotional program in effect,
complete with signs, banners, unadvertised specials, radio and TV and
circulars. There will be some deviation
from our complete program in the beginning, but it will develop into a
full-blown Wal-Mart sales promotion program as soon as practical. And seeing how things are going together, it
will be sooner than later!
6.As most of you know, every former Big K store
will eventually be remodeled, planogrammed, and re-merchandised in varying
degrees. Some of the newly remodeled Big
K’s won’t need much additional work. There will be others that will require expansion of the existing
building or even relocation in some instanced. We have already started remodeling and refixturing on Murfreesboro and
several other stores. We have a schedule
of these remodelings set up, and so far, we’re even a bit ahead of schedule.
The thing I’m most pleased about
is that except for a few key people sent in from Wal-Mart to provide some
direction, the complete plan and conversion program will be carried out and
executed by our new Wal-Mart/Big K associates.
As you know, Paul Carter, Ray
Thomas and team will involve you in our program. We
believe in “ultimate” communication and involvement of our associates in all
phases of our business. So sound off
as you and we develop our plans in the former Big K stores. Let us have your ideas on what we need to do
in order to make our Wal-Mart/Big K’s the best retail store in each of our
communities. Draw up your list of suggestions and pass them on to us. We will listen to you!
Once again, let me sincerely
welcome you all to our Wal0Mart Company. I’m confident your stores will become really outstanding stores with
excellent sales and profit performance by 1982. What do you say? - and I think I
hear some of you saying “why wait ‘till ’82? – why not ’81?” Good luck, my friends! Go get those assorted Kmarts, Roses,
TG&Y’s, Hecks and Dollar Stores. We’re behind you and will help you in every
way possible – all 29,000 of us. Together we can do it!
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