Chasing the Customer … While Sears Built a Tower … Sam Walton Built Stores

Back in 1969, the world’s largest retailer, Sears Roebuck and Company, decided to build the world’s tallest building in Chicago, IL – Sears Tower.

Sears Tower Business InsiderAbout that time, Sam Walton decided to start building a lot of retail stores.

Sears at one time did over 1% of the U.S. gross national product in retail sales. Today Walmart does over 2 % of the U.S. GDP. Well, actually a little north of 3% if you count in all of their international sales.

Sears management never worried about the ‘boys in Bentonville’ back in those days.

Today, the world’s tallest building is no longer the world’s tallest building. The Sears SearsTowerHoustonname is no longer on it.

Sears is no longer the world’s largest retailer – either.

But, Walmart is now the world’s largest retailer.

There is a rather interesting chart in the below link. It charts the growth of Walmart in the U.S. – year by year. Take a look at the top of the graph as you pass through 1969. Not too many dots back then. I guess if you were thinking about the competitive landscape from the majestic heights of the Sears Building (all financed from internal cash flow. Why build stores when you could own the World’s Tallest Building, free and clear? Arkansas? to Sears Management, those masters of retailing, Arkansas seemed far, far away.

The chart you will see by clicking here, gives you an annimated view of how the Walmart empire grew. It is worth the click. Click here :

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