Walton family values

Everyone knows the story of the record company executive who passed up the chance to sign the Beatles. The retail world has a similar tale, but it’s less well known.

21st October, 2006

In 1962, an American supermarket owner whose ambition remained sharp as he drifted into middle age, had a plan. He had been running a handful of stores under the successful Ben Franklin franchise. He told the franchise’s executives that he wanted to open bigger stores in rural areas, and that he also wanted to cut costs. The supermarket owner came from small town Arkansas; the executives were based in the city of Chicago.

The...

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