Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

A Wal-Mart Summer;
a Report from a Biz Skool Student

In the November issue of Chicago Business Online, Alison Nickum has Part Two of her series [Part One of the series is here] about being a summer intern at Wal-Mart headquarters.

In this installment, she
  • explains the precision involved with unloading a truck at a typical Wal-Mart store.
  • describes the intricate pricing mechanism at the Wal-Mart cafeteria [e.g. if you want flavoured creamer or a larger cup, the price is a bit higher because the costs are a bit higher]. Another good example of marginal-cost pricing, assuming the transaction costs are low! In fact I would guess that a major contribution from Wal-Mart has been its relentless push to reduce transaction costs.
  • describes the "Rule of Ten" -- whenever you are within 10 feet of someone, smile and greet them; if they are customers, ask if you can help them.
  • explains the "Sundown Rule": respond to any inquiry or request or message before sundown of the day you receive it. You may not be able to deal with it effectively in one day, but let people know you have received it and what your plans are.

No wonder I like shopping at Wal-Mart.
Again, let me say it's too bad the blog, Always Low Prices is shutting down.

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