Monday, August 4, 2008
Street leading up to town square in Fayetteville
Fayetteville is a city in Washington County, Arkansas, United States, and is home to the University of Arkansas. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 58,047. However, a special census completed in June 2006 showed the population to be 67,158. Along with the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers area, the metro population is estimated at 420,876. The city is the third most populous in Arkansas and serves as the county seat of Washington County. Fayetteville, Arkansas is known as the "Track Capital of the World" for being the home of the University of Arkansas' track and field program which has won 42 national championships to date. It was also ranked 8th on Forbes Magazine's Top 10 Best Places in America for Business and Careers.  Kiplinger's 2008 "Best Cities to Work, Live and Play" list featured Fayetteville as #7.
The Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers Metropolitan Statistical Area, as defined by the United States Census Bureau, is a four-county area including three Arkansas counties and one Missouri county. The MSA (most often referred to as Northwest Arkansas) is anchored by the Arkansas cities of Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, and Bentonville — the state's third, fourth, ninth, and twelfth largest cities, respectively. The total MSA population in 2000 was 347,045 people. The US Census estimated the population of the MSA to be 420,876 in 2006 (up to 438,000 in 2007). From 1990-2000 the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers MSA was the sixth fastest growing area in the nation. The metropolitan area is the home of Wal-Mart and Tyson Foods — global leaders in retail and meat and poultry processing, respectively. J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc., North America's largest publicly owned transportation and logistics company, is also based in the area. Over 1,300 Wal-Mart vendors have added corporate branches or offices in the area as well, including: Procter and Gamble, Unilever, Motorola, Nestlé Purina, Dell, General Mills, and Kelloggs.
Bentonville is world renowned as a retail capital of the world, as it is headquarters to Wal-Mart Stores Incorporated. Springdale is home to Fortune 75 company Tyson Foods, the world’s leading producer of poultry and beef, and second-largest producer of pork. J.B. Hunt Transport Services in Lowell, is the nation’s largest publicly owned truckload carrier, with international networks in Canada and Mexico.
An exterior of a typical Wal-Mart discount department store.
Sam, as he appears in David H. Hickman High School's yearbook
Born March 29, 1918(1918-03-29)
Died April 5, 1992 (aged 74)
Occupation Former Chairman, Wal-Mart
Net worth US$58.6 bn (1992 Forbes 400), $128.0 billion (2008), according to Wealthy historical figures 2008.
Samuel Moore Walton (March 29, 1918 – April 5, 1992), was an American businessman and entrepreneur born in Kingfisher, Oklahoma who founded two American retailers Wal-Mart and Sam's Club. He was the patriarch of the Walton family, one of the richest families in the world.
Walton was born to Thomas Gibson Walton and Nancy Lee Walton near Kingfisher, Oklahoma on March 29, 1918. There, he lived with his parents on their farm until 1923. Sam's father decided farming did not generate enough income on which to raise a family, so he decided to go back to a previous profession of a mortgage man. So he and his family (now with another son, James born in 1921) moved from Oklahoma to Missouri. There they moved from one small town to another for several years. While attending 8th grade in Shelbina, Sam became the youngest Eagle Scout in the state's history. In adult life, Walton became a recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award from the Boy Scouts of America.
Walton excelled physically in high school, playing basketball and football as starting quarterback for Columbia's David H. Hickman High School in 1935, when they won the state title. While at Hickman, he also served as vice president of the student body in his junior year and as president in his senior year. He performed well enough academically to become an honors student.
Growing up during the Great Depression, Walton had numerous chores to help make financial ends meet for his family. He milked the family cow, bottled the surplus and drove it to customers. Afterwards, he would deliver newspapers on a paper route. Upon graduating, he was voted "Most Versatile Boy."
After high school, Walton decided to attend college, hoping to find a better way to help support his family. He attended the University of Missouri and majored in economics and was an ROTC officer. During this time, he worked various odd jobs, including waiting tables in exchange for meals. Also during his time in college, Walton joined the estimable Zeta Phi chapter of Beta Theta Pi fraternity. He was also tapped by QEBH, the well-known secret society on campus honoring the top senior men. Upon graduating, he was voted "permanent president" of the class. He was also a member of the professional business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi.
Walton joined JCPenney as a management trainee in Des Moines, Iowa three days after graduating from college. This position earned him $75 a month. He resigned in 1942 in anticipation of being inducted into the military for service in World War II. In the meantime, he worked at a DuPont munitions plant near Tulsa, Oklahoma. There he met his future wife, Helen Robson, in April 1942. She and Sam were married February 14, 1943.
Soon afterwards, Walton joined the military in the U.S. Army Intelligence Corps, supervising security at aircraft plants and prisoner of war camps. In this position he served in the continental United States. He eventually reached the rank of captain.
The first stores
In 1945, after leaving the military, Walton decided he wanted to own a department store but would settle for a variety store. With some help from his father-in-law with a loan of $20,000, plus $5000 he had saved from his time in the Army, Walton purchased a Ben Franklin variety store in Newport, Arkansas. The store was a franchise of the Butler Brothers chain.
It was here that Walton pioneered many concepts that would prove to be crucial to his success. Walton made sure the shelves were consistently stocked with a wide range of goods at low prices. His store also stayed open later than most other stores, especially during the Christmas season. He also pioneered the practice of discount merchandising by buying wholesale goods from the lowest priced supplier. This allowed him to pass on savings to his customers, which drove up his sales volume. Higher volumes allowed him to negotiate even lower purchase prices with the wholesaler on subsequent purchases. Walton's store led in sales and profits in the Butler Brothers' six-state region. One factor that made this store successful was its central location, making it accessible to a wide range of customers. In an attempt to limit the expansion of his main competitor, the Sterling Store, Walton leased a nearby Kroger store and opened it in 1950 as the "Eagle" department store, but it didn't fare as well.
Due to the variety store's enormous success, the landlord, P. K. Holmes, refused to renew the lease when it expired, desiring to pass the store onto his son. The lack of a renewal option, together with the outrageous rent of 5% of sales, were early business lessons to Walton. Despite forcing Walton out, Holmes bought the store's inventory and fixtures for $50,000, which Walton called "a fair price."
Walton's Five and Dime (a.k.a. Walton's 5 & 10)
Before long, Walton arranged for another location for a new store. Unable to find a new location in Newport, Walton located a variety store in Bentonville, Arkansas which he would open as another called "Walton's Five and Dime." In Bentonville, the Waltons became involved in numerous civic activities. Sam Walton served as president of the Rotary Club and the Chamber of Commerce.
A chain of Ben Franklin stores
Over time, Walton went on to open more Ben Franklin stores with the help of his brother, father-in-law, and brother-in-law. In 1954, he opened a store with his brother in a shopping center in Ruskin Heights, a suburb of Kansas City. He opened another in Arkansas, but it failed to be as successful as his other stores. Walton decided to concentrate on retail business instead of the shopping centers and opened larger stores which were called "Walton's Family Center."
Walton offered managers the opportunity to become limited partners if they would invest in the store they oversaw and then invest a maximum of $1,000 in new outlets as they opened. This motivated the managers to always try to maximize profits and improve their managerial skills. By 1962, Walton and his brother Bud owned sixteen variety stores in Arkansas, Missouri, and Kansas (fifteen Ben Franklin and the one independent Fayetteville store).
The First Wal-Mart
Crowds in Rogers (Benton County) gathering for opening day of the first Wal-Mart; 1962.
The first true Wal-Mart opened in 1962 in Rogers, Arkansas. Wal-Mart eventually became the world's largest retailer.
Walton stated, "Each Wal-Mart store should reflect the values of its customers and support the vision they hold for their community." Wal-Mart has outreach programs led by local employees who grew up in the area and understand its needs. Wal-Mart becomes involved in local communities by allowing local charities to hold bake sales on store property, and by offering scholarships to graduating seniors from local high schools. Wal-Mart's slogan is "The lowest Prices. Guaranteed!" Changed in 2007 to "Save Money. Live Better."
Born December 3, 1919(1919-12-03)
Died April 19, 2007 (aged 87)
Helen Robson Kemper Walton (December 3, 1919 — April 19, 2007) was the wife of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton. She was the eleventh richest American and at one point the richest woman in the world. Helen died with an estimated net worth of $16.4 billion that will pass to charity over the next few years.
Helen was the valedictorian of her high school class in Claremore, Oklahoma and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma at Norman with a degree in business. She was the daughter of L.S. Robson, a prosperous banker and rancher. She and Sam were married February 14, 1943.
Sam Walton (d. 1992) left his ownership in Wal-Mart to his wife and their four children, S. Robson Walton (Rob), John T. Walton (d. 2005), Jim Walton, and Alice Walton. Rob Walton chairs the board of directors of Wal-Mart, on which John served until his death. The others are not directly involved in the company except through their voting power as shareholders.
Walton died of heart failure on Thursday, April 19 2007.
Tyson Foods, Inc.
Founded in 1935 in Springdale (Washington County), Tyson Foods has emerged as one of Arkansas’s most prominent companies, employing more than 100,000 workers. By the end of the twentieth century, it had become one of the largest meat-processing companies in the world, with millions of customers in the United States and in more than eighty countries worldwide. Forbes magazine currently lists it as one of America’s 100 largest companies, and it continues to play a pivotal role in the state’s economy.
Following the collapse of the fruit industry in northwest Arkansas in the late 1920s, many farmers turned to raising poultry as a source of income. The connection of Highway 71 to Midwest markets such as Kansas City, Missouri, allowed John Tyson, among others, to begin shipping goods northward. Tyson had moved to Springdale (Washington County) in 1931 with his wife, Helen, and one-year-old son, Don, and earned his living hauling hay, fruit, and chickens for local farmers. In 1935, after borrowing the necessary start-up funds, Tyson made his first long-distance load, hauling chickens to Kansas City and St. Louis, Missouri. The following year, he began hauling birds to the more lucrative Chicago, Illinois, market. On his first journey there, he turned a profit of $235, encouraging him to start shipping poultry to Midwest markets on a full-time basis.
Tyson soon expanded his poultry-shipping business to Cincinnati, Ohio; Detroit, Michigan; Cleveland, Ohio; and beyond, but when a shortage of baby chicks threatened his trucking business, he established his own hatchery and, later, a commercial feed business. World War II proved to be a boon for Tyson, as wartime rationing of beef and government subsidization of poultry made many northwest Arkansas chicken producers—particularly John Tyson—enormous profits. In 1943, he invested in a poultry-growing operation, and accordingly, the process of vertical integration—in which a poultry firm owns virtually every step of the production process from feed to distribution.
The end of the war marked the beginning a new period for Tyson, as the industry faced increasing uncertainty: diseases ravaged many poultry farms, and the postwar adjustment of the economy caused drastic price fluctuations, which forced many poultry growers into bankruptcy. Fending off potential buyouts from larger firms such as the Swanson Company, Tyson, with his son Don now working for his father, instead began to buy up local competitors. By 1957, the Tyson firm built its first poultry-processing plant on the north side of Springdale. The company had thus developed from a trucking firm into a poultry company that controlled nearly every aspect of production. Most of the actual raising of birds was undertaken by contract growers who were nominally independent contractors. But as a 1967 U.S. Department of Agriculture report noted, such growers were essentially employees of Tyson.
Throughout the 1960s, Tyson continued to expand, buying up competing firms and even dabbling in the retail sale of chickens with its short-lived “Chicken Huts.” In 1967, Don Tyson suddenly took the helm of the company after John Tyson and his wife were killed when their car was struck by a train. Over the next three decades, Don Tyson would oversee the company’s growth into one of the world’s leading food producers.
The 1970s and 1980s saw the company, known as Tyson Foods, Inc., after 1971, continuing its expansion into new markets. In 1977, Tyson purchased major hog-producing facilities in North Carolina. In 1982, the firm made the Fortune 500 list as one of America’s largest companies, and it also secured lucrative contracts to supply chicken nuggets to restaurants such as fast-food giant McDonald’s. Seven years later, the company purchased Holly Farms. This acquisition nearly doubled its market share which, prior to the buyout, had stood at 13.5 percent. The following decade saw even more growth as Tyson bought Hudson Foods and, in 2001, Iowa Beef Producers.
By the early twenty-first century, Tyson Foods stood as the world’s largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef, and pork. Yet along the way, the company has drawn considerable controversy for its business practices. Labor union advocates have charged Tyson with taking a strident anti-union stance, and the company withstood major strikes at processing plants in, for example, Pasco, Washington, and Jefferson, Wisconsin. Environmentalists have charged that the company consistently flouts environmental and safety standards. In 2001, a trial was held in Shelbyville, Tennessee, in which Tyson managers were accused of smuggling illegal aliens into the country to work in poultry-processing plants. The trial ended in acquittal but nevertheless tarnished Tyson’s image as a corporate citizen.
In 2006, the company underwent a major reshuffling of its leadership, as Don Tyson’s son, John, stepped down as CEO (a position he had held since 2000) and was replaced by Richard Bond. This came in the midst of mounting problems: late in 2006, the company reported losses in excess of $196 million for the year. Despite recent struggles, the company remains one of the most successful businesses in Arkansas history, rivaling only Wal-Mart and Stephens, Inc. in terms of its size and influence.
Grapette International, Inc.
Grapette soda was developed by Benjamin Tyndle Fooks in Camden (Ouachita County) in 1939. Once one of the bestselling non-cola soft drinks in the United States, Grapette virtually disappeared from the marketplace for most of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s after being bought by a leading competitor. As the twenty-first century began, Grapette International in Malvern (Hot Spring County), the last remaining subsidiary of Fooks’s Grapette Company, re-acquired the Grapette and Orangette trademarks, reuniting the original flavors with the brand names. Currently Grapette, Orangette, and two other flavors made by Grapette International are distributed nationwide exclusively in Wal-Mart stores as part of their store brand line of soft drinks.
Fooks bought a soft-drink bottling plant in Camden in 1926 after leaving the lumber business. He bought a second plant in Arkadelphia (Clark County) in 1927 and added a third in Hope (Hempstead County) the following year, which he used as a warehouse. However, the Depression forced him to close and sell his operations in Arkadelphia and Hope. Fooks focused on developing unique flavors from his plant in Camden, selling “Fooks Flavors” to other bottling plants throughout Arkansas, Louisiana, and east Texas. Fooks Flavors never attempted to match existing soft drinks, relying instead on unique tastes, like blackberry punch.
Fooks’s beverage sales continued to climb. Initially relying on his father and brother to assist with sales, Fooks added two friends to his sales force in 1932, and sales increased seven-fold. Sales reports showed that grape flavors were the most popular with customers, so in 1938, Fooks began experimenting with the distinctive grape flavor that was to become Grapette. By 1939, he had developed the flavor he wanted. Searching for a name for the new soft drink, Fooks found that the owner of the Sunset Liquor Company, Rube Goldstein, had registered trademarks for the names “Grapette,” “Lemonette,” and “Orangette” but had never used them. In 1939, Fooks purchased the copyrighted names for $500, and the following year, Grapette entered the market.
Grapette was an immediate success, eventually outselling all other grape sodas combined. The Grapette bottle itself was an innovation. It was very lightweight (six ounces) and clear, which allowed the liquid to show through the glass. Grapette was also sold in a thirty-bottle case instead of the conventional twenty-four-bottle case, making it attractive to retailers.
In 1946, Lemonette became available, followed by Orangette in 1947. Grapette introduced the “Mr. Cola” line of soft drinks in 1962. Further flavor introductions included Lymette, Cherryette, and Strawberryette, but they never reached the popularity of other flavors.
In 1948, Grapette introduced its famous “animal” syrups—animal-shaped glass containers that held syrup to be mixed with water. In 1965, a line of five flavors, including Grapette, became available in six-ounce frozen concentrate. Grapette expanded rapidly from 1950 to 1970, utilizing more than 300 bottlers in thirty-eight states.
In 1942, R. Paul May, a friend of Fooks from Camden, acquired the rights to Grapette outside the United States. The Grapette Export Company was officially established in 1944, becoming Grapette International in 1962. May sold his first Grapette franchise in Guatemala in 1945 and sold other franchises throughout Latin America thereafter. In 1972, May was succeeded by his son-in-law, Brooks T. Rice. Rice solidified the business in Latin America and also expanded the company into the Caribbean and Southeast Asia.
Domestically, however, Grapette was in decline. Through a series of acquisitions, the company was named Flavette in 1972 and was eventually controlled by the Monarch Company, the maker of rival Nu-Grape, in 1977. Without proper franchise support, market share tumbled, and Grapette virtually disappeared from the market. By the 1990s, Grapette was only being produced in limited areas.
In the late 1980s, Brooks Rice met Sam Walton, and soon, Wal-Mart was using Grapette flavors in its Sam’s Choice line of soft drinks. In early 2000, Grapette International purchased the U.S. rights to the Grapette and Orangette trademarks, and in 2005, Grapette and Orangette became available exclusively in Wal-Mart stores nationwide. In addition to Grapette and Orangette, Wal-Mart uses Grapette International’s raspberry and grapefruit flavors in its private label line of soft drinks.
Posted by Palmer at 9:29 AM