"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. Very few outsiders ever get to see our Saturday meetings. So the event that gives people the mostinsight into our corporate culture, the place where they really get a chance to see the Wal-Mart chemistryin action, is our annual stockholders' meeting. I told you how it began as an attempt to do somethingdifferent for the analysts, taking them on float trips and making them camp out. But since then it's growninto what is probably the largest corporate annual meeting in the world. It's gotten so big nowwith over10,000 shareholders and gueststhat we hold it down in Fayetteville at Barnhill Arena, the University ofArkansas's basketball coliseum. Soon we'll be holding it in the new Bud Walton Arena they're buildingdown there, and I know my brother will really take a lot of pride in that. I realize this may sound boring to most of you, but one of my best items ever was a mattress pad calleda Bedmate. I think I picked this one up one day by going out and talking to one of those salesmen waitingin the lobbywhich is something I like to do from time to time just to keep in touch. At the time I don'tthink we even carried mattress pads, but somehow or another I felt it was an unexplored item or an itemwe should have. So we bought a bunch of the pads, lowered the price and the margin a little bit,displayed them prominently, and it has become one of the most fantastic items we have ever had in ourstores. I had somebody check for me the other day, and since we introduced the Bedmate in 1980,we've sold over five and a half million of those doggoned things. So we feel pretty good about what we've done up until now. But I do realize there's a bigger issue atstake here, and I've been doing a lot of thinking on it lately. As a family, we've been in the planning stagesof how we want to leverage our resources for a while now, but really the serious business of getting itdone will begin after I'm gone. Helen and I expect that an amount at least equal to our share of the familyassets will go to nonprofit organizations over a number of years. What I did nextwhich seems totally out of character for meonly compounded the problem tenfold. 五月丁香六月婷婷A V 六月婷婷丁香五月首页 Those meetings are just one example of how, in the early days of being a public company, we really didhave to go to greater lengths than most companies to let Wall Street get to know us and understand us. Today he works here in Bentonville at the Wal-Mart Visitors Center, which is sort of a museum locatedon the site of that first store. Although she would occasionally speak hastily, she did not as a rule write hastily. If she could not in her letters praise a person, she would cease to bring forward that person鈥檚 name,鈥攁t all events in letters meant for general reading.