Carnegie Vs. Walton
In this essay I was asked to compare Wal-Mart's Sam Walton to a 19th century business tycoon. I chose to do Andrew Carnegie who was the leader of the steel industry in the late 1800's. Both these men had different views on competition, government involvement, interaction with labor and charity.
Andrew Carnegie helped build the American steel industry. He was born in 1835 in Dunfermline, Scotland, to Margaret and Will Carnegie. The Carnegies are one of the many working-class families in Dunfermline. The family left the poverty of Scotland for the possibilities in America in 1848 and settled in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As he got older, he moved rapidly through a series of jobs with the Western Union and the Pennsylvania Railroad. In 1865, he resigned from the railroad to establish his own business and eventually organized the Carnegie Steel Company, which launched the steel industry in Pittsburgh.
Sam Walton was born on March 29, 1918 to Thomas Gibson and Nancy Lee Walton near Kingfisher, Oklahoma. They lived on a small farm but when that was proven non-profitable they moved out of Oklahoma to many towns across Missouri. Sam Walton was the starting quarterback for his football team and was an honors student. He attended the University of Missouri, where he majored in Economics. After a few setbacks Sam decided he wanted to own his own department store. His dream came a reality in the fall of 1945 when he purchased a store in Newport, Missouri with the help of his father-in-law.
Andrew Carnegie had no competition. By 1900 Carnegie Steel produced more metal than all of Great Britain. He controlled almost all of the steel produced and used in America. Carnegie used vertical integration, which means that he owned all the companies and resources need to make and process steel, thus giving him the edge and he was able to cut down costs.
Unlike Carnegie, as Sam Walton's business grew he took out more and more competition from other department stores. His store led in sales and profits even when it was newly opened. Sam made this possible by properly stocking all the shelves with a wide range of goods with very low prices, keeping his store centrally located so it was easily accessible to many customers, stayed open later than most stores especially during Christmas seasons, and experimented with discount merchandising.