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Showing posts with label FW Woolworth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FW Woolworth. Show all posts



No one ever accomplished anything, never created anything, never built any plan or developed a definite chief aim without the use of imagination! Everything ever created or built, was first, mentally visional through imagination.

Years before it became a reality, the late John Wanamaker saw in his imagination, in practically all of its details, the gigantic business that for so many years bore his name. Despite the fact that he was then, without the capital to create such a business, he managed to get it and lived to see the business he had dreamed of in his mind become a splendid reality.

In the workshop of the imagination, one may take old, well-known ideas of concepts, or parts of ideas, and combine them with still other old ideas or parts of ideas, and out of this combination create that which seems to be new. This process is the major principle of all invention.

One may have a definite chief aim and a plan for achieving it; may possess self-confidence in abundance; may have a highly developed habit of saving, and both initiative and leadership in abundance. But if the element of imagination is missing, these other qualities will be held useless, because where will be no driving force to shape the use of these qualities. In the workshop of the imagination, all plans are created, and without such plans, no achievement is possible except by mere accident.

Witness the manner in which the imagination can be used as both the beginning and the end of successful plans: Clarence Saunders, who created the well-known chain of Piggly Wiggly supermarkets, conceived the idea on which the stores were based, or rather borrowed it, from the cafeteria restaurant system. While working as a grocer’s helper, Mr. Saunders went into a cafeteria for lunch. Standing in line, waiting for his turn at the food counters, the wheels of his imagination began to turn, and he reasoned, to himself, something like this : “people seem to like to stand in line and help themselves. Moreover, I see that more people can be served this way, with fewer sales person. Why would it not be a good idea to introduce this plan in the grocery business, so people could come in, wander around with a basket, pick up what they wanted, and pay on the way out?” Then and there with that bit of elementary ‘imagining’, Mr. Saunders sowed the seed of n idea which later became the Piggy-Wiggly stores system and made him a multimillionaire in the bargain.

“Ideas” are the most profitable products of the human mind, and they are all created in the imagination. The old five-and-ten cent store system that served the nation so well for so many years was the results of imagination. The system was created by F.W. Woolworth, and it happened in this way : Woolworth was working as a salesman in a retail store. The owner of the store complained that he had a considerable amount of old, un-sellable merchandise on hand that was in the way, and was about to throw some of it into the trash box to be consigned to the furnace, when Woolworth’s imagination began to function.


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