Archive for the 'Sam Walton' Category


Saturday, July 2nd, 2016

Forty-four years ago, on 2 July 1962, the first Walmart store, in Rogers, Arkansas, opened the doors for customers. Rogers, population ~6,000 in 1962, is also the home of Daisy, maker of the iconic Red Ryder BB gun. Happy birthday Walmart. Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.


Saturday, July 2nd, 2016

Years ago I worked as executive editor of a small, family owned publishing house. I learned a lot there from the owner who, while he did not match his financial success, did share what I think of as many of the good qualities of Sam Walton. I remember a conversation we had once regarding Wall […]


Friday, July 1st, 2016

When Los Angeles Laker Coach Pat Riley trademarked the phrase—coined by Shooting Guard (and future Lakers coach) Byron Scott—Three-Peat, he associated the term with the team’s remarkable effort, but ultimately failure, to win three successive NBA championships. The recent distinction of the Walton family to top Forbes’ list of wealthiest families in the United States, […]


Sunday, May 1st, 2016

So, we’ve written hundreds of posts about the Walton family, their peers and their hirelings, but we’ve never focused on the people the way the folks at The Walmart 1%, The People Behind The Walmart Empire. Who, sadly, were these bloggers? The Walmart 1% was a project of Making Change At Walmart, (who took notice […]


Monday, April 25th, 2016

This story has a strange vibe. The headline from Arkansas Business declares: Wal-Mart Reveals $1.9M Paid to UA in FY 2015 and adds the note that while the University expects future payments of the same, stockholders might not be told because: Wal-Mart has to disclose its dealings with the UA because former Chancellor G. David […]


Monday, July 6th, 2015

Back when I was a business editor and interviewing CEOs on a regular basis, I always liked to snap a few pictures of their offices to get a sense of what kind of person they were. You might expect that they would tidy up the office, but I regularly found that not to be the […]


Friday, July 3rd, 2015

Everyone should listen to the entire speech—when was the last time any candidate for their party’s presidential nomination attracted more than 10,000 people to a speech 17 months before the election?—but if you just can spare the time, you should take note of what Bernie has to say at around the 21:00 and 41:30 time […]


Sunday, June 28th, 2015

Why else would the Walton family spend so much money? Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.


Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

The Motely Fool asks the question: Would Sam Walton endorse Walmart’s recent bumps in workers’ wages? The answer is a qualified, that depends. Walton himself wrote in his 1992 autobiography, Sam Walton, Made in America, “See, no matter how you slice it in the retail business, payroll is one of the most crucial things you […]

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Monday, July 2nd, 2012

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Then there is the role Walmart has played in raising the middle class, in China.

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SOL PRICE, 1916-2009…

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

Why do we at The Writing On The Wal care about Sol Price? Because Price was the genius (or possibly evil genius, given history) that gave us the big-box super store. Before there was a Walmart or Sam’s Club, there was Fed-Mart and Price Clubs. From the San Diego Tribune: I grew up vaguely aware […]

The part of Bethany’s book that Robert really would have liked.

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

As I wrote in my Wal-Mart Watch review of To Serve God and Wal-Mart, the book goes way beyond Wal-Mart in its pages, using Walmart as a kind of proxy for deeper political and cultural changes that have occurred since the company’s founding. Robert always liked to use Walmart as a stepping stone to other […]


Saturday, September 12th, 2009

In the past I’ve said good things about Sam Walton. In his review of The Retail Revolution: How Wal-Mart Created a Brave New World of Business by Nelson Lichtenstein, Harold Myerson shows me that I had good ol’ Sam figured all wrong. Around the time that the young Sam Walton opened his first stores, John […]


Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

There is perhaps no more important piece of the Sam Walton mythology than his Ford F-150 pickup truck. Even after he was a billionaire, Sam continued to drive the truck now enshrined in Walmart’s vistor center in Bentonville, Arkansas. Clearly Walton’s son Robson didn’t get the memo. Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.

A Tale of Two Dynasties

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Well we all know about the Walton family dynasty. The one devoted to extracting the maximum it can from its retail empire and using very little of it for charity. What the Waltons do give is either for egotistical projects like a pet museum or for politically motivated astro-turf groups like the one that supports […]