Another Year Coming to a Close: “You’ve Done Good!”
It's November 22 and our Wal-Mart year of 1988 is rapidly winding down. From all indications, we will have a super, record-breaking year overall and in most all of our divisions. One of my favorite expressions applies: “You've done good!" Certainly, the hay isn't in the bam yet, as we're approaching Thanksgiving with our largest opportunities for CUSTOMER SERVICE from now until Christmas. This week looks to be especially strong. Last evening, I dropped into our fine Store #54 in Springdale and they thought they would have a 30 percent sales increase this week. All our Wal-Mart's and Sam's seem to be having strong, increasing sales this week as well. Unbelievable, but true - Monday evening, we celebrated the opening of our 100th Sam’s Wholesale Club in Joliet, Illinois. In a little more than five years, that very fine organization consisting of our Sam’s partners has come from ground “0” in total sales to nearly $3.8 billion by year-end. As previously reported, these sales have never been achieved, world-wide, by any company. So I know all our Wal-Mart associates in all divisions join me in saluting and appreciating the great job our Sam’s associates have done in five short years. Best of all, they’ve experienced great sales with excellent profitability every year and they claim they’ve ONLY JUST BEGUN!
As a follow-up on Tuesday, our Sam’s in Rockford, Illinois, had a great opening along with our outstanding Sam’s unit in Austin, Texas, the following day. Now we’re at unit #102 and shooting for that magical 200 number in a few years down the road. Does anybody want to guess when that will be?
I’m proud of our CUSTOMER SERVICE and AGGRESSIVE HOSPITALITY! A promise we make is a promise we keep! Remember our promise: “Any customer who comes within 10 feet of me, at any time, I’ll respond with a big, friendly Wal-Mart smile, make eye contact and express a friendly greeting.” Are we doing it? Are we going all-out to maximize our front-end service for our wonderful customers? We must not keep them waiting in line, especially during this busiest of all seasons. Let’s all plan daily on how best to meet this most important challenge during this period of peak sales and traffic.
I’m proud of what is being done throughout our Company, especially those exceptional efforts you’re making to be the very best in satisfying our customers with your aggressive, friendly service. I just wish I could relate and highlight what many of you are doing – on your own, in your own special way – to make our customers feel welcomed and appreciated. Every store I’ve visited of late (between bird hunts) is doing unusual and unique things and has greatly improved customer service throughout at our checkouts. Thanks, once more, to all you wonderful associates for caring and demonstrating your fantastic Wal-Mart spirit and enthusiasm. You’re all really special and you’re the reason for our Wal-Mart chemistry that causes outsiders to wonder and question, “What is it with those Wal-Mart folks? They even border on the weird side with some of their antics. How do they continue, year after year, to excel, achieve, and accomplish those unbelievable goals? What is their formula?” You and I know the answer. We are a total team. We work hard together and we believe! The bottom line is that you’re special and in my book, the success we have had through the years is solely based on the fact that OUR PEOPLE DO AND HAVE MADE THE DIFFERENCE. You are the real key to whatever we have accomplished or will achieve in the future.
So, my good friends, at this holiday season, let us be especially thoughtful and considerate of our loyal customers, our wonderful Company, and our future opportunities. Most of all, let us appreciate this great country of ours and the freedoms we enjoy, where any of us can achieve our goals if we really apply ourselves. Above all, though, I’m so grateful for your friendship and I truly value and treasure our special relationship more than all else.
You know that if I could, I would visit with each of you, individually, and convey my appreciation to you as well as my personal holiday greetings. I’m sorry that time won’t permit, but I hope you will allow my family and I to take this means of wishing you and your families much joy and happiness during this coming Christmas season. May you have the best new year ever in 1989 and enjoy even a greater measure of health and success. Bless you all. Again, thanks. Sam Walton.
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One year – 1988 – is about to wind down as we approach...