Sam Walton: Made in America Summary & Review

Author: Sam Walton

Sam Walton: Made in America (1992) is a story of the famous owner of Wal-Mart Stores; Sam Walton. This book entails the experiences and strategies that transformed him into one of the most successful entrepreneurs.
sam walton: made in america

Detailed Summary of Sam Walton: Made in American

Sam Walton: Made in America is an account of the motivational journey of a man who went from milking cows in the morning to become a successful entrepreneur. If you are living in Europe you have certainly shopped from Walmart at one point in your life.

In this book, Walton shares his secrets of turning a retail store into one of the most successful businesses in the world.

Walton values hard work due to his humble origin. From the beginning, he worked hard to earn the fruit of his labor. He learned from his competitors, employed smart promotional strategies, established a customer-friendly environment, and cared for his employees.

All of that resulted in making Walmart a top-notch store with a total number of 10,593 retail stores throughout the world as of January 31, 2022. In these Sam Walton: Made in America Key Points you will learn some of the most important factors that made Walmart a hit.

Sam Walton: Made in America Summary Key Points

Eager to learn how to grow your small shop into a big business or organization? The book Sam Walton: Made in America will enlighten your vision with some real truths. He argues that for building a business you must have creativity, confidence, spiritual competence, and on top of it put your customers first. The following key points will give you an overview of how you can start your business to build into an Empire.

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Learning from the Competitors

While some people may argue that analyzing and researching those who are in the same business field as you might strip you of creativity and originality; Walton observed and copied the ideas of his competitors quite often and openly.

His first store was named Walton 5-10 but he did not want to stop there. For example, he observed that having multiple cashiers was only increasing the crowd and was not of much help to the customers either so he set up only two dedicated counters that allowed him to save money by reducing cashiers and also decreased the confusion of customers.

He also went from changing his shelves from wooden to metal because the metal ones were long-lasting and let us be real.

 How many of us care for or even remember what the shelves were like when we shop? We don’t but we do remember the discounted prices that made us save our budget. By replacing these shelves Walton was able to put the money towards providing discounted products and that enhanced his client base.

By observing his competitors, the author was able to decide what he wanted to include in his store and what he would rather enhance or change.

Observing what Customers want

If you observe how Walmart works, you will find out that they always put the needs of the customers first. Let’s compare Walmart to another retail store with multiple products. The first thing you will notice is the bigger parking area and the availability of multiple brands local and international.

All of us want to go shopping where we do not have to worry about parking as we shop, have multiple options to choose from, and where we can find both local and international options so that we can compare and buy. All these options, allow Walmart to give a better customer experience which makes them come back again.

Accepting Competition

In every phase of our lives, we have faced people we need to compete with. In school we compete for a position, in college, we compete for scholarships and after graduating we compete for the best jobs.

Similarly, Walton faced several big competitors despite his flawless and customer-friendly services. The question is whether he got scared of it or pushed through. Soon after the opening of his first discount store, Walton realized that there will always be competition. The best he could do was to learn from them. So, he accepted the competition with both arms.

Walmart soon employed new promotional strategies to stand prominent around its competitors. They were not afraid of competition but they knew they had to try new strategies.

 For example, while trying to pull more customers than a town local Kmart which overall had ten times more stores than Walmart, the company strategized to do a sale on Tide detergent. This strategy required them to display more than 3500 bags which took a lot of space and money and they did!

This huge display along with the discount offer attracted a lot of customers. These people shopped for other products as well when they stepped into Walmart and looked at the variety of products and customer-friendly services. Walton thus associates many of his diverse strategies with accepting competition. If it wasn’t for them, he would not have come up with innovative strategies.

Trusting and Giving back to his Employees

Giving back to Employees and trusting them with important matters of your business instills a sense of confidence in them. Walton did not act on these principles at first. The reason? His humble upbringing and frugal way of conducting business. To earn bonuses or increments in wage per hour, the stores had to reach a certain profit rate. As a result, many of the employees were distressed.

 His visit to England in 1971 taught him the benefits of making employees an integral part of their business.

He started focusing on making Walmart a more inclusive place where all the employees were called associates and the profit of the business was shared with everyone through a plan.  The employees felt cared for and as a result, their work efficiency increased.

Sam Walton: Made in America Quotes

Great ideas come from everywhere if you just listen and look for them. You never know who’s going to have a great idea.” –Sam Walton

“Sam Walton: I had to pick myself up and get on with it, do it all over again, only even better this time.” –Sam Walton

Review of Sam Walton: Made in America Summary

Sam Walton: Made in America is a realistic account of a person who went from rags to riches. Not only did Walton become an entrepreneur, but he was also able to form a brand that will always be remembered due to its diversity and facilities.

The interviews and anecdotes shared by his family and friends make the book more personal, heart-warming, and real. The reader gets to know the struggles of one of the world’s biggest entrepreneurs from a very close distance.

To Whom I Would Recommend Sam Walton: Made in America Summary

  • To the twenty-four-year-old from a humble background trying to become something on his own.
  • To anyone stuck in a corporate job who wants to start his own business.
  • And to anyone who needs encouragement.