Remember this guy?
Sam Walton started Walmart with core beliefs and vision for a wholesome, American grown business. Walmart was about great customer service, products ‘Made in America’ and treating their employees well.
But, times have changed.
Do you remember these ‘Made in the USA’ signs and labels?
This was the early years of their boom while Sam Walton was still alive; fast forward 15-years, and this is what Walmart looks like:
- The average U.S. family now spends more than $4000 a year at Wal-Mart.
- In 2010, Wal-Mart had revenues of 421 billion dollars. That amount was greater than the GDP of 170 different countries including Norway, Venezuela and the United Arab Emirates.
- If Wal-Mart was a nation, it would have the 23rd largest GDP in the world.
- Wal-Mart now sells more groceries than anyone else in America does. In the United States today, one out of every four grocery dollars is spent at Wal-Mart.
- Amazingly, 100 million customers shop at Wal-Mart every single week.
- Wal-Mart has opened more than 1,100 ”supercenters” since 2005 alone.
- Today, Wal-Mart has more than 2 million employees.
- If Wal-Mart was an army, it would be the second largest military on the planet behind China.
- Wal-Mart is the largest employer in 25 different U.S. states.
- According to the Economic Policy Institute, trade between Wal-Mart and China resulted in the loss of 133,000 manufacturing jobs in the United States between 2001 and 2006.
- The CEO of Wal-Mart makes more in a single hour than a full-time Wal-Mart associate makes in an entire year.
- Tens of thousands of Wal-Mart employees and their children are enrolled in Medicaid and are dependent on the government for healthcare.
- Between 2001 and 2007, the value of products that Wal-Mart imported from China grew from $9 billion to $27 billion.
- Sadly, about 85 percent of all the products sold at Wal-Mart are made outside of the United States.
- It is being reported that about 80 percent of all Wal-Mart suppliers are in China at this point.
- Amazingly, 96 percent of all Americans now live within 20 miles of a Wal-Mart.
- The number of “independent retailers” in the United States declined by 60,000 between 1992 and 2007.
- According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Wal-Mart spent 7.8 million dollars on political lobbying during 2011. That number does not even include campaign contributions.
- Today, Wal-Mart has five times the sales of the second largest U.S. retailer (Costco).
- The combined net worth of six members of the Walton family is roughly equal to the combined net worth of the poorest 30 percent of all Americans.
This is a mix of success and failure.
Most would agree that Walmart has become a necessary evil for most Americans. In fact, even Walmart is beginning to understand the error of its ways as it attempts to bring back ‘Made in America’:
“… the giant retailer could play a part in the manufacturing rebound that is taking place in the U.S. with its promise to buy $50 billion more U.S. made goods over the next decade for its Walmart and Sam’s Club stores.
Although $50 billion is a lot of goods, it’s about 10% of what Walmart will sell this year at retail.”
It would seem as though there was a shift in Walmart’s vision and goals, leading to some ugly realities.
Church technologists can learn a lot from Walmart.
Driven so much by profits and customer demands, Walmart’s decision makers changed their target. Their goals changed. Their vision transformed.
Many of us start out in Church tech very well intentioned. We have big hopes and dreams and a healthy vision. But as time goes by, demands weigh us down and our focus shifts, we’re purchasing equipment that we don’t need, looking to technology for all the answers and idolizing our gadgets and gizmos.
Knowing is Half the Battle
[Video via YouTube]
It’s true, knowing is half the battle. Now, let’s tackle the other half of the battle!
I propose we work together to craft a mission statement, a motto, a kind of vision for all Church Tech. Maybe it’s a sentence, maybe it’s a paragraph, so tell me:
What should be a part of the Church Tech motto or vision statement?
If we could craft something awesome, perhaps it will help us stay on track. The world is driven for the latest and greatest of everything. I think Church tech can challenge that paradigm. Care to try?
[Image via ZAmazon & Mac Rumors]