I'm in the middle of a western swing through our Wal-Mart Country, and I'm thoroughly enjoying the experience. Yesterday we helped celebrate the Grand Opening of our brand new Ruidoso, New Mexico store, along with our friends from Juarez and Chihuahua the Leopoldo Mares group, who operates a very fine chain of large discount type stores in Mexico. I think we did and heard it all – a fine Wal-Mart verse by a new associate – shouts in unison of "Yes We Can!" – as well as the invariable Wal-Mart cheer with some dramatic "squiggleys" thrown in for good measure. We all had fun, and best of all, as with all of our new stores and older stores as well, I sensed and felt some really good people with good attitudes and all focusing, along with our management, on listening and serving our customers.
This was also true in the other new stores, as well as those previously opened, that I visited yesterday and today. Taos, New Mexico; Anamosa, Salida, and Pueblo, Colorado; Clovis, Las Cruces, and Carlsbad, New Mexico; Fort Stockton, Texas; and the new store on the north side of Amarillo – all are great new Wal-Marts and are destined to be some of the finest Wal-Marts in our entire company – due again to those wonderful new enthusiastic and caring associates who are so proud of their units. They are doing such a great job for our customers in each of their stores.
I guess you can feel it as well – I'm on a "high", or whatever, as is usual when I get out in the midst of our stores visiting and listening to our associates and customers. It has to be the #1 priority for us all. "Yes We Can" – achieve all those difficult goals and objectives throughout our Company if we all continue to put our customers and associates first - and all of us with management responsibilities continue to consistently practice our philosophy of MBWA (Management by Walking Around) and listening aggressively. Even more importantly, trying and experimenting with the various suggestions and ideas presented if they offer even a reasonable chance to succeed.
Wal-Mart is on a roll this first part of March, 1986. We've all got to feel so good about our management meeting just concluded in Little Rock with our spouses and all that was accomplished there. I believe sincerely if we all follow through with even a part of the programs outlined in Little Rock that we have a good chance to have the best year in 1986 ever – and we've been consistent now for over 30 years in both sales and profits with some fantastic accomplishments in that time span. But to me, at this moment, I've never felt better about our Wal-Mart Company. We are a team – with some really outstanding, caring servant-leaders – starting with our top management right on throughout our Company. We all recognize that the really important folks in our company who make the real difference are those wonderful Wal-Mart associates in our stores who go to any length (as I say, they'll even stand on their heads!) to please and satisfy our customers. We are all part of that team and all of us must care and do all we can to support our store associates in every way possible.
Yes – we had one unbelievable year in 1985, and please, all of you know you are appreciated and thanked for your considerable contributions.
I'm rather sure right now – 1986 will be even better … even with all we've taken on for this year – 115 new Wal-Marts, 18 new Sams, 4 new distribution centers, the expansion of dot, as well as innumerable expansions and remodelings. YES WE CAN!! – I hear you all and believe you. We may even achieve that impossible profit figure of 7.5% net profit pretax in 1986 that some have discussed. Incidentally, have you heard about that little deal cooked up in Little Rock by that Sam's Wholesale bunch. I understand that our President, David Glass, agreed (?) to lead a little (washed and perfumed) female pig down Wall Street – probably with a hula skirt - if we came through with that 7.5% number this year. That would be something to behold! Problem, though, is that we'd likely never get David out of that New York City hoosegow for staging an illegal parade and scene!
Let's go for it!
Thank you, my good friends,
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