photo of Sam WaltonPhoto Credit: WikiMedia Commons

Quotes by Sam Walton

Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Sam Walton. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.

Wikipedia Summary for Sam Walton

Samuel Moore Walton (March 29, 1918 – April 5, 1992) was an American businessman and entrepreneur best known for founding the retailers Walmart and Sam's Club. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. grew to be the world's largest corporation by revenue as well as the biggest private employer in the world. For a period of time, Walton was the richest man in America.

Quote: Celebrate your successes. Find some humor in your failures. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of woman in red tube dress holding wine glass
Photo Credit: Laura Chouette

Celebrate your successes. Find some humor in your failures.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

Celebrate your success and find humor in your failures. Don't take yourself so seriously. Loosen up and everyone around you will loosen up. Have fun and always show enthusiasm. When all else fails, put on a costume and sing a silly song.


Quote: I probably have traveled and walked into more variety stores than anybody in America. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

I probably have traveled and walked into more variety stores than anybody in America.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

I probably have traveled and walked into more variety stores than anybody in America. I am just trying to get ideas, any kind of ideas that will help our company. Most of us don't invent ideas. We take the best ideas from someone else.


Quote: Expenses should never exceed one percent of our purchases. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

Expenses should never exceed one percent of our purchases.


Quote: Most of us don't invent ideas. We take the best ideas from someone else. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

Most of us don't invent ideas. We take the best ideas from someone else.


Quote: In the beginning, I was so chintzy I really didn't pay my employees well. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

In the beginning, I was so chintzy I really didn't pay my employees well.


Quote: I've never been one to dwell on reverses. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

I've never been one to dwell on reverses.


Quote: If you don't listen to your customers, someone else will. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

If you don't listen to your customers, someone else will.


Quote: I'd still say that visiting the stores and listening to our folks was one of the most valuable uses of my time as an executive. But really, our best ideas usually do come from the folks in the stores. Period. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

I'd still say that visiting the stores and listening to our folks was one of the most valuable uses of my time as an executive. But really, our best ideas usually do come from the folks in the stores. Period.


Quote: Job security lasts only as long as the customer is satisfied. Nobody owes anybody else a living. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

Job security lasts only as long as the customer is satisfied. Nobody owes anybody else a living.


Quote: I'd hate to see any descendants of mine fall into the category of what I'd call 'idle rich' -- a group I've never had much use for. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

I'd hate to see any descendants of mine fall into the category of what I'd call 'idle rich' -- a group I've never had much use for.


Quote: I've always been driven to buck the system. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

I've always been driven to buck the system.


Quote: The way management treats their associates is exactly how the associates will then treat the customers. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

The way management treats their associates is exactly how the associates will then treat the customers.


Quote: Great ideas come from everywhere if you just listen and look for them. You never know who's going to have a great idea. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

Great ideas come from everywhere if you just listen and look for them. You never know who's going to have a great idea.


Quote: It's just paper -- all I own is a pickup truck and a little Wal-Mart stock. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

It's just paper -- all I own is a pickup truck and a little Wal-Mart stock.


Quote: I was asked what I thought about the recession. I thought about it and decided not to take part. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

I was asked what I thought about the recession. I thought about it and decided not to take part.


Quote: If one of our customers comes into the store without a smile, I'll give them one of mine. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

If one of our customers comes into the store without a smile, I'll give them one of mine.


Quote: The job of senior management is to cultivate an environment where store managers can learn from the market and from each other. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

The job of senior management is to cultivate an environment where store managers can learn from the market and from each other.


Quote: After a lifetime of swimming upstream, I am convinced that one of the real secrets to Wal-mart's phenomenal success has been that very tendency. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

After a lifetime of swimming upstream, I am convinced that one of the real secrets to Wal-mart's phenomenal success has been that very tendency.


Quote: Information is power, and the gain you get from empowering your associates more than offsets the risk of informing your competitor. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

Information is power, and the gain you get from empowering your associates more than offsets the risk of informing your competitor.


Quote: I think my constant fiddling and meddling with the status quo may have been one of my biggest contributions to the later success of Wal-Mart. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

I think my constant fiddling and meddling with the status quo may have been one of my biggest contributions to the later success of Wal-Mart.


Quote: It was almost as if I had a right to win. Thinking like that often seems to turn into sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

It was almost as if I had a right to win. Thinking like that often seems to turn into sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy.


Quote: I don't know what would have happened to Wal-Mart if we had laid low and never stirred up the competition. My guess is that we would have remained a strictly regional operator. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

I don't know what would have happened to Wal-Mart if we had laid low and never stirred up the competition. My guess is that we would have remained a strictly regional operator.


Quote: You can learn from everybody. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

You can learn from everybody.


Quote: Focus on something the customer wants, and then deliver it. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

Focus on something the customer wants, and then deliver it.


Quote: When all else fails, put on a costume and sing a silly song. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

When all else fails, put on a costume and sing a silly song.


Quote: Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, 

well-timed, sincere words of praise. 

They're absolutely free and worth a fortune. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen,

well-timed, sincere words of praise.

They're absolutely free and worth a fortune.


Quote: I've owned about 18 airplanes over the years, and I've never bought one of them new. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

I've owned about 18 airplanes over the years, and I've never bought one of them new.


Quote: There is only one boss. The customer. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

There is only one boss. The customer.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.


Quote: The secret of successful retailing is to give your customers what they want. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

The secret of successful retailing is to give your customers what they want.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

The secret of successful retailing is to give your customers what they want. And really, if you think about it from the point of view of the customer, you want everything: a wide assortment of good quality merchandise; the lowest possible prices; guaranteed satisfaction with what you buy; friendly, knowledgeable service; convenient hours; free parking; a pleasant shopping experience.


Quote: I not only knew I wanted to go into retailing, I also knew I wanted to go into business for myself. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

I not only knew I wanted to go into retailing, I also knew I wanted to go into business for myself.


Quote: Appreciate everything your associates do for the business. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

Appreciate everything your associates do for the business.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

Appreciate everything your associates do for the business. Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. They're absolutely free and worth a fortune.


Quote: Exceed your customer's expectations. If you do, they'll come back over and over. Give them what they want -- and a little more. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

Exceed your customer's expectations. If you do, they'll come back over and over. Give them what they want -- and a little more.


Quote: I have always been driven to buck the system, to innovate, to take things beyond where they've been. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

I have always been driven to buck the system, to innovate, to take things beyond where they've been.


Quote: One person seeking glory doesn't accomplish very much. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

One person seeking glory doesn't accomplish very much.


Quote: Give ordinary folk the chance to buy the same things as rich people. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

Give ordinary folk the chance to buy the same things as rich people.


Quote: Share your profits with all your associates, and treat them as partners. In turn, they will treat you as a partner, and together you will all perform beyond your wildest expectations. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

Share your profits with all your associates, and treat them as partners. In turn, they will treat you as a partner, and together you will all perform beyond your wildest expectations.


Quote: If you love your work, you'll be out there every day trying to do it the best you possibly can, and pretty soon everybody around will catch the passion from you -- like a fever. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

If you love your work, you'll be out there every day trying to do it the best you possibly can, and pretty soon everybody around will catch the passion from you -- like a fever.


Quote: Maybe I was born to be a merchant, maybe it was fate. I don't know about that. But I know this for sure: I loved retail from the very beginning. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

Maybe I was born to be a merchant, maybe it was fate. I don't know about that. But I know this for sure: I loved retail from the very beginning.


Quote: I learned this early on in the variety business: You've got to give folks responsibility, you've got to trust them, and then you've got to check on them. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

I learned this early on in the variety business: You've got to give folks responsibility, you've got to trust them, and then you've got to check on them.


Quote: If everybody is doing it one way, there's a good chance you can find your niche by going exactly in the opposite direction. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

If everybody is doing it one way, there's a good chance you can find your niche by going exactly in the opposite direction.


Quote: Swim upstream. Go the other way. Ignore the conventional wisdom. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

Swim upstream. Go the other way. Ignore the conventional wisdom.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

Swim upstream. Go the other way. Ignore the conventional wisdom. If everybody else is doing it one way, there's a good chance you can find your niche by going in exactly the opposite direction. But be prepared for a lot of folks to wave you down and tell you you're headed the wrong way. I guess in all my years, what I heard more often than anything was: a town of less than 50,000 population cannot support a discount store for very long.


Quote: Control your expenses better than your competition. This is where you can always find the competitive advantage. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

Control your expenses better than your competition. This is where you can always find the competitive advantage.


Quote: Each Wal-Mart store should reflect the values of its customers and support the vision they hold for their community. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

Each Wal-Mart store should reflect the values of its customers and support the vision they hold for their community.


Quote: We let folks know we're interested in them and that they're vital to us. cause they are. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

We let folks know we're interested in them and that they're vital to us. cause they are.


Quote: We're all working together; that's the secret. by author Sam Walton overlaid on photo of photo of author Sam Walton with quote

We're all working together; that's the secret.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

We're all working together; that's the secret. And we'll lower the cost of living for everyone, not just in America, but we'll give the world an opportunity to see what it's like to save and have a better lifestyle, a better life for all. We're proud of what we've accomplished ; we've just begun.


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