Now, most of these guys already had distribution centers and systems in place, while we had to buildone from scratch. So on paper we really didn't stand a chance. What happened was that they didn'treally commit to discounting. They held on to their old variety store concepts too long. They were soaccustomed to getting their 45 percent markup, they never let go. It was hard for them to take a blousethey'd been selling for $8.00, and sell it for $5.00, and only make 30 percent. With our low costs, ourlow expense structures, and our low prices, we were ending an era in the heartland. We shut the door onvariety store thinking. 鈥楽he said something about the British Museum Library that I did not understand,鈥?she said. "He asks me if I'm Abe Marks and I say, 'Yes, I am.' "We always worked in the stores. I would sweep the floors and carry boxes after school, and evenmore in the summer. I remember just barely having a driver's license and driving a truckload ofmerchandise one night up to that Ben Franklin in Saint Robert, which we all knew to be the best BenFranklin in the world. In those days, we all got an allowance too, and it was less than some of ourfriends. I don't know that we particularly felt deprived, but we didn't have a lot of money. Dad wasalwaysfrugal is probably a good word for it. But he always let us invest in those stores, and I had aninvestment in that Saint Robert store so I came out real well on that. It paid for my house and variousotherDad would call themextravagances."I guess the kids thought of themselves as slave labor back then, but we didn't work them that hard. Wejust taught them the value of work. And besides, I needed the helpat the store and at home. I didn'thave time to mow the lawn, and why should I anyway, with three strapping boys and a healthy girlavailable for chores. And it wasn't all work. Helen and I made it a point to take the whole family out andspend time traveling or camping together. Sometimes the kids thought of these trips as forced marches,but I think that time we spent together has had a lot to do with our close relationship as a family today. Allegra's wedding-day had dawned鈥攁 glorious day鈥攁 day to make one drunken with the beauty of sky and earth; a day when the vetturini in the Piazza di Spagna sat and dreamt on their coach-boxes鈥攏arcotized by the sun鈥攚hen the reds and blues in the garments of the flower-women were almost too dazzling for the eye to look upon, and when every garden in the city sent forth tropical odours of roses steeped in sunlight. 国产av在在免费线观看,国产在现线免费观看,免播放器线观看视频在线观看 Our most famous technique for doing this is a textbook example of thinking small. We call it StoreWithin a Store, and it's the simplest idea in the world. Again, in many big retail companies the departmenthead is just an hourly employee going through the motions, somebody who punches a clock, then ripsopen boxes and stacks whatever's in them onto shelves. But we give our department heads theopportunity to become real merchants at a very early stage of the game. They can have the pride ofproprietorship even if they weren't fortunate enough to go to college or be formally trained in business. Another day I walked out into the lobby and began talking with this salesman from the AladdinCompany, the folks who make Thermos bottles. He had his samples with him, and I asked him the usualquestion, what do you have that is real hot that we could promote successfully And he had a half-gallonred and blue Thermos bottle that looked real handsome and he said, "This will make a great special.