In a suburb of little houses beyond a great open square stands a gateway鈥攁 monumental portico of pink sandstone inlaid with white marble, on which the texts from the Koran, in black marble, look green in the intense light. We'll never know, because we chose the other route. We decided that instead of avoiding ourcompetitors, or waiting for them to come to us, we would meet them head-on. It was one of the smarteststrategic decisions we ever made. In fact, if our story doesn't prove anything else about the free marketsystem, it erases any doubt that spirited competition is good for businessnot just customers, but thecompanies which have to compete with one another too. Our competitors have honed and sharpened usto an edge we wouldn't have without them. We wouldn't be nearly as good as we are today withoutKmart, and I think they would admit we've made them a better retailer. One reason Sears fell so far offthe pace is that they wouldn't admit for the longest time that Wal-Mart and Kmart were their realcompetition. They ignored both of us, and we both blew right by them. One of the reasons Helen insisted all along on our living in a small town, I'm sure, is so we could raisethe kids with the same values she and I had been exposed to in our youth. And we did, except it wasn'tthe Depression, and we never had to worry about having enough to go around at the dinner table. 亚洲天堂2018无码-AV天堂2018在线观看-新影音先锋男人资源站 For all my confidence, I hadn't had a day's experience in running a variety store, so Butler Brothers sentme for two weeks' training to the Ben Franklin inArkadelphia,Arkansas. After that, I was on my own,and we opened for business onSeptember 1, 1945. Our store was a typical old variety store, 50 feetwide and 100 feet deep, facingFront Street, in the heart of town, looking out on the railroad tracks. Backthen, those stores had cash registers and clerk aisles behind each counter throughout the store, and theclerks would wait on the customers. Self-service hadn't been thought of yet.