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Scaling The Wal

Is Wal-Mart on your wish list? Here's how to do business with the nation's largest retailer.

It's the day every small manufacturer dreams of, works for and fantasizes about. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the nation's largest retailer, has just agreed to carry your product. Welcome to Easy Street!

No, welcome to reality. "I thought I would become a millionaire," says Steve Kendall, whose Cutting Edge Opener System, a device that opens shrink-wrapped CDs, audiotapes and videotapes, is sold in Wal-Mart stores. "I didn't come anywhere close to that."

Just because your product is sitting on Wal-Mart's shelves doesn't mean you can sit back and relax. You need to work just as hard to make your product successful in Wal-Mart as you did to get it there in the first place.

Karen Axelton, former articles editor for Entrepreneur magazine, is a writer in Long Beach, California, who specializes in business topics.

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This article was originally published in the January 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Scaling The Wal.

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