Walmart: Train Going Anywhere

I tell people I treat a small town like a train going anywhere from the band Journey – Don’t Stop Believing. Walmart built its business by dominating competition in many small towns in America. USA sales for Walmart account for about sixty percent of its business. The remainder is mostly in Walmart International which has over two thousand stores in Mexico and over five hundred stores in Canada and the United Kingdom. Then there is Sam’s Club which is a bit like Costco where you pay a membership fee and have access to some shopping; that is my understanding. The reason we are interested in Walmart is because like the most beautiful girl in a room, it is a stock that is liable to being gamed. So if we can understand the nature of these games we can remove the hurdles to owning Walmart. Specifically small town life revolves often around things that have secret significance. Someone who does not have these secrets cannot do much but someone who does can construct a game for the small town to play. As the small town desires its secrets back and will willingly play the game. Hence we have to move from secrets to something else like transparency with encryption. Cryptography is an entire study of the field of computer science. But here it is simpler the dynamics. For Walmart just to be a regular big business, all it needs to do is play the games without losing interest. For if there is a game for Walmart, other people are doing the work for it. The worst you can do when you are being gamed is to try to play another game because games are by definition of which one is possible at any given time no matter how many people you think you are or how many places you think you influence. For example, the game could be something that arises out of economics, finance or mathematics. We would say though that we do see people playing two games at the same time. In that case, we ask simply that Walmart focus on the game that is of greater value measured by money. If there is a wealthier guy the girl should probably pay more attention to him as long as there are games going on. That is because the girl is a game optimizing function not a money optimizing function. Nobody likes to hear that they are money-driven but games-driven sounds so culturally specific so we will say some people are victory-driven. That is a good thing. Now that we see being gamed is really no big deal as long as you know what is valuable in life is measured by dollars and what can’t be bought or sold in life shouldn’t be part of a game anyway, we realize Walmart had a secure business with an economic moat where other people who come in to take Walmart’s position would compete both of them out of business. So they don’t. Walmart also has ample room to grow in e-commerce with integration with its stores when customers can come pick items up. Also what is interesting right now is who hasn’t Walmart put out of business? In addition, Walmart stands as kingmaker in many professions, rather businesses, as Walmart is of sufficient size that it can dictate its own audience for its products: it is confident in its value proposition. Also what is interesting is the troubles that Kmart are going through which require real moves by management on the ground to turn Kmart around. Kmart is built on the value investing proposition. Its CEO is a value investor for the hedge fund ESL. But if you just buy the most value per dollar while digging around in the bargain aisles, you may be left behind when at Walmart you can get better items for less. This is Walmart’s proposition: save money, live better. As we can save money and live better if we accept that some of us have jobs to do and those require us drop the games and do what we have to do not because we have to eat but because if it is raining in New York City and no cab comes out, how does the interviewed student get back to the airport to return home? That is, we drop the obsession to win when we realize that most of us have one role in society and if we are absent, no one fills that role. Walmart fills a role in small towns in America by keeping them afloat. Kmart served a similar role. But if Walmart left, Kmart wouldn’t be able to fill Walmart’s role. If Kmart left, Walmart will have a job to fill. I don’t think Kmart is leaving anytime soon having worked at Kmart before and seen a very efficient operation. But that just tells me it is a good time to buy Walmart as if Kmart can survive, a lot of small town ecosystems will, and these ecosystems will grow up, some of them, and go shop at Walmart when they look for the most beautiful stock in the room which is the same name. Kmart can be seen as an arrogant guy with airs who passed the Bart Simpson phase and now is Garfield who beats up Odie who bears resemblance to royal blue. Buy Walmart because it is a good deal not because it is cheap but because it is dear; we are all consumers, we wish for a better education for our children, and we have that in common and if you think about it, losing some personality to save money for the children, who wouldn’t do that, and raise a beauty queen too in Walmart? Meanwhile Kmart is dealing with the obesity epidemic which is in the way of small towns in America reviving as if you eat yourself out of the house you won’t think about saving money. So value investing I believe works. It is just under repair at Kmart. In the meantime this is not the time to buy Kmart but Walmart as we know now that the trouble with Walmart has been fear of games but there is nothing to fear if your head is full of games: it just means you are going in circles. Go straight and you will see these games are real and this moment is your life. Drink deep this is all that youth will give you. – Persian poet. Walmart is a consumer staple so macroeconomic factors are less important but micro market dynamics are very important. Fear of games leads you to the other extreme which is running away from nerds and we know Mark Zuckerberg recommended that women be nerds. That is because all a nerd is, is someone who is successful, provided we define success as independent thinking. A failed nerd is nothing and when you become nothing you become a plot. I’m glad Boston is my Greece. And that I outran the plot. As there are limits to how many racist men who can call me Japanese for example, just because I look like what they think Chinese looks like, but there is no limit to cooperation, no limit to the Heavens, and in the fields of Elysium I wait for the arrival of my beloved who seems strangely to desire to live so badly while as a version of Maximus Decimus I thought made it clear a long time ago that living is not the most important thing, for we live alone and die together unless you stay true to your blood and not just your heart. My blood runs deep Greek and the Roman didn’t make any sense. So I guess these Fields of Elysium belong to Queen Gorgo and I have come home. 300 men against a million represented what we needed to do to end sexism as I brought 300 Spartans but left her the one that mattered: I left her my sword and while I was gone she put me on trial. The deformed Spartan gave me his sword. He goes by Ruse O’Liu. Later friends and happy new year to Trump’s enemies cause he is successful.

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