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Up Against the Wal-Marts: How Your Business Can Prosper in the Shadow of the Retail Giants by Jeanne Smalling Archer,Don Taylor

Up Against the Wal-Marts: How Your Business Can Prosper in the Shadow of the Retail Giants
Up Against the Wal-Marts: How Your Business Can Prosper in the Shadow of the Retail Giants
Jeanne Smalling Archer,Don Taylor
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AMACOM; 2nd edition (September 9, 2005)
272 pages
PDF size:
1946 kb
FB2 size:
1769 kb
EPUB size:
1460 kb
Ten years ago, Up Against the Wal-Marts helped smaller businesses take on the corporate retailing empire. Now, with the giants bigger and more influential than ever, the underdogs have an even tougher struggle. The second edition of Up Against the Wal-Marts is here to help, with an updated focus on marketing and brand new ways to conquer (or at least co-exist with) the Goliaths of the shopping mall.

The authors have updated many of the businesses profiled in the original edition -- so readers can see how those companies have refined their operations to stay competitive -- and they detail the best practices of hundreds of successful small companies. The book also examines several fast-growth chains in a variety of markets. With advice for improving customer service and loyalty, maximizing the power of electronic marketing, hiring and keeping great employees, and more, Up Against the Wal-Marts is a formidable strategic tool any business can use to become (and remain) competitive.

  • Nahn
Very good read with principle that apply to todays firm management.
  • Rigiot
Don Taylor and Jeanne Smalling Archer explain how to prosper "in the shadow of the retail giants." This is quite literally a "how to" manual, filled with hundreds of specific examples, suggestions, strategies, and cautions which can be of substantial benefit to literally any small-to-midsize retail operation which is currently struggling to survive and then succeed. Of course, the David and Goliath metaphor is invoked. The co-authors stress the importance of courage, ten survival strategies, and "about 500 stones." (David needed only one well-placed stone. Today, he would need more "ammunition" because there are so many different "giants" to conquer. It is worth noting that David did not wrestle Goliath.) Interestingly, the "Big Three" (Wal-Mart, Kmart, and Target) all opened their first stores in 1962. They were not the first discounters but they had learned a great deal from pioneers such as Ann and Hope, Korvettes, Zayres, Arlands, and Gibson's. Once "Davids" themselves, they eventually became "Goliaths", demonstrating (in process) the importance of the ten strategies which are examined in Up Against the Wal-Marts.
The authors organize the material according to three overriding themes: change, improve, and succeed. In the 1990s, change has been the only constant. Improvement is not an option; it is an imperative. With regard to success, the co-authors leave their reader with this final statement: "Many small businesses are going to be successful competing with the giants, and we can't think of any reason why yours shouldn't be one of them."
  • Velan
Taylor and Archer have written a basic primer for small business start-ups as well as for existing small
businesses who are looking to compete and even thrive in the wake of the appearance of Wal-Mart or any other
giant retail competitor in their local market. There are no silver bullets, no magic secrets here. Instead you will
find sound managerial advice plus examples of businesses who stayed the course in their local markets and
managed to live in shadow of the giant retail chains.

The authors' basic premise is that too often Main Street small retail businesses have grown fat and lazy. They
have not had to compete for customers and so they are run on auto-pilot, with indifference to their customers.
Then, when faced with a competitor who has better prices, better location and big marketing budgets, they cry
foul and fold up. But the fact is you can compete against the super retailers and win. In a nutshell, you do it by
changing the way you do business, by being smarter, working harder, and by focusing on the customer. You cut
waste, you position your business smartly, and you do a better job marketing and selling to your customers.
Finally, you have to recognize you are in a fight for survival of your business and be willing to go at it.

All in all, Archer and Taylor provide an excellent battle plan for saving Main Street America from the threat
presented by the retail giants. If you are faced with that prospect, then pick up a copy of Up Against the
Wal-Marts. It just might help you keep your business.
  • Darksinger
I have no relationship with anyone connected with this book - it just sounds like I do. We stumbled across this book- and have now bought more than 12 copies for our key staff over three years. IT IS the BEST TRAINING BOOK for RETAIL MANAGERS I HAVE EVER SEEN. Whoops - sorry I get excited - but you get my point.
It is NOT about Wal-Mart - it is about being smart in operating your own business - and when you are smart - you have a much better chance of success.
Every chapter is solid with good info -- no fluff.
Try it
  • Buzalas
I can see that this book may have added value in 1994, but it is entirely out-dated at this point. The copywrite itself is from 1994, and the examples are dated back to that point. I am interested in seeing if the customer examples they list are actually still in business. Although I am sure they are, the techniques recommended in this book are only 1/2 the story for a modern day business. Perhaps the authors could update the book, with new statistics for the Wal-Mart's of the world, along with strategies to succeed on the Internet. It is a little strange to read a book that talks about how important it is to fax, and to trim phone bills by dialing after 11pm... as I said, this book is for the dinosaurs.
  • Doulkree
This book covers everything you need to know about marketing and customer service for the large or small retail store. It's written in a easy to read style and gives ideas that can be used immediatly. Its help in developing our employee manual. I strongly recomend it!