March 23; Stealing Stopped With a Smile
MANAGEMENT BY THE BOOK:
365 Daily Bible Verse &
One-Minute Management Lessons For The Busy Faithful

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23 March

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.

And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.

But when you are tempted,

he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

1 Corinthians 10:13

Stealing Stopped With a Smile

Simple Control

Sam Walton

Sam Walton

Many Wal-Mart stores and every Baptist church share at least one thing in common: Greeters at the front door.

The glad-handing is a welcoming act in both institutions. We will expect the church to do the Lord’s work but Wal-Mart? Might the Big Box greeter be doing as much for the customer as a greeter of the saints at the church door?

Maybe. As the church will show visitors The Way to heavenly reward, Wal-Mart might keep them from hellish punishment.

A big box retailer is a tempting target for theft.

Wal-Mart gives the will to resist by providing an ‘escape.’ The mega-tailer has in place a way out of temptation on the way into the store. Just like at church, the greeter will smile at every incoming sinner.

Shrinkage, the polite word for shoplifting, is a challenge for all retail businesses. Managers want customers to handle and take home the merchandise – they just want the customer to pay for it first.

Retail shop managers want customers to feel welcomed in the store. A uniformed guard can be a bit off-putting no matter how much he smiles. The police action says, “We don’t trust you.”

How did Wal-Mart come to solve this dilemma?

The founder Sam Walton was humble enough to know that he didn’t have all the answers. He was always looking for innovative solutions and he knew exactly where to find them. He made it a habit to visit every one of his stores once a year. Staff, the people closest to the paying customer will have — indeed the employees better have — some ideas on how to be more effective.

Around the 1980’s on a friendly store visit (let’s not call it an INSPECTION) Sam Walton was in the Wal-Mart store in Crowley, Louisiana. It was managed by Dan McAllister who demonstrated how he controlled and protected his inventory. He would make pleasant eye contact with every customer as they walked in. Where the Honest would see the smile, the dishonest and the tempt-able would see surveillance.

The store manager McAllister’s simple well-executed solution addressed theft, provided a way out of temptation and made customers smile.

Sam Walton would institute this practice in all his stores.

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

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