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Description - In Sam We Trust by Bob Ortega

Wal-Mart's mighty presence is no longer restricted to America. To the alarm of the UK retail sector, June 1999 saw Wal-Mart devour Asda. And given Wal-Mart's track record in the rest of the world, such alarm is well-founded. For instance, within seven years of Wal-Mart invading Canada and Mexico it became the largest retailer in both countries. It took less than two years for it to become the fourth largest retailer in Germany, while France and several Scandinavian countries now look destined for Wal-Mart's shopping basket. In Sam We Trust offers an exhaustive in-depth investigation into this powerful retailing empire. Bob Ortega, The Wall Street Journal's authority on Wal-Mart, goes beyond the headlines and Sam Walton's carefully crafted public image to reveal the ruthless penny-pinching manipulator behind the visionary genius. He also provides an illuminating history of retailing that includes case studies of such important Wal-Mart competitors as Sears, J.C. Penny, Price Clubs and, of course, Kmart. In Sam We Trust describes in detail not only how Wal-Mart became what it is, but also how it works today. In this new edition, Bob Ortega brings us up to date with Wal-Mart's worldwide shopping spree and gives us a unique peep behind the doors of the Asda deal and its likely impact on British retailing, shoppers and communities. In Sam We Trust provides a fascinating context for current developments: Ortega's incisive analysis of Sam Walton's controversial rise to power and the creation of the world's most successful retail business makes for a shocking yet compelling read.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780749431778
ISBN-10: 0749431776
Format: Paperback
(235mm x 157mm x 33mm)
Pages: 448
Imprint: Kogan Page Ltd
Publisher: Kogan Page Ltd
Publish Date: 16-Sep-1999
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions - In Sam We Trust by Bob Ortega

Book Reviews - In Sam We Trust by Bob Ortega

UK Kirkus Review » An in-depth investigation of the world's most powerful retailer, this expose by an award-winning 'Wall Street Journal' reporter has been updated for the paperback edition to take account of Wal-Mart's purchase of ASDA. This is an illuminating account of how Sam Walton transformed US retailing from his company's beginnings as a single tiny store, and describes his vision and revolutionary business practices. The book will be fascinating for anyone interested in the retail industry. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » Attention Wal-Mart shoppers - and anyone interested in the history of retailing in America. Here's the tale of the late Sam Walton, once the richest man in the country, and of the marketing juggernaut he fashioned. With "big box" stores at every crossroads, Wal-Mart, together with affiliated outlets like Sam's Clubs, is the largest retailer in the world; Mr. Sam's enterprise is second only to Uncle Sam's in number of employees. ("Associates" is what the Wal-Mart sales force is called.) As reporter Ortega, who followed the firm for the Wall Street Journal, demonstrates, it was all done with a heavy dose of down-home bunkum and a monomaniacal devotion to business by cunning country boy Walton. Single-minded Mr. Sam, driving an old truck, used to pay folksy visits to his expanding domain. As it grew to become a ravenous retailing force and he became a billionaire, he remained the same canny tightwad, charming his "associates" even as he underpaid them. "Satisfaction guaranteed" and "low prices" were the watchwords, and if that eliminated the small-town merchant, so be it. But Mr. Sam died, and times have become a little more difficult Many communities have successfully resisted heavy-handed Wal-Mart incursions. Concurrent with a "Buy American" campaign, the firm was shown to be buying lots of jeans and tchotchkes made in Chinese gulags and shirts and bras made by Third World children. (The Kathy Lee Gifford child-labor flap is a case study in mismanagement,) With the company based in Arkansas, one might wonder about a Clinton connection; and sure enough, Hillary appears as a feisty board member. All in all, Ortega provides a vivid analysis of Wal-Mart and competitors like Sears, Price Clubs, and, notably, K-Mart, with many anecdotes that are emblematic of a new way of business. Here is well-researched, high-end business reportage, readable and informative. Put it in the category of "Store Wars." (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Bob Ortega

An award-winning investigative reporter, Bob Ortega covered Wal-Mart for The Wall Street Journal for five years. He previously worked at The Seattle Times and The Anchorage Times, and as Managing Editor of Homer (Alaska) News. He has contributed articles to numerous other publications and has worked as a television and radio reporter. He is a graduate of Princeton University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.