Store Within a Store (SWAS)

SWAS stands for Store Within a Store.

Once upon a time, Sam Walton went to visit a store. Mr. Sam used to go in early to check sales, according to Walmart veteran Teresa Warren, and would then call his dogs, climb in his pickup, and fly around to various stores, flying down to count the cars in the parking lot.

Then he’d count the cars in the competition’s parking lots.

When he saw something interesting, he’d land the plane and drop in to visit the store, and that’s what happened on the day we’re talking about. On this particular visit, he found a pickup in Action Alley filled with Moon Pies. Mystified, he went to ask the manager what was up.

She explained that she had made a mistake and ended up with too many Moon Pies even to put on the shelves, let alone to sell from their usual spot. She decided to pile them up in a pickup in the aisle, and made a happy discovery – people bought lots more than they usually did.

This was the birth of the “Store Within a Store” concept. The object was to empower associates. Mr. Sam wanted them to take ownership of their jobs as if they were the owners of the business.

Later, when Retail Link came along, the SWAS reports allowed suppliers to identify opportunities quickly. They’re predefined reports that let you quickly see the top-selling item, top and bottom stores, and more – including things like your top 25 under-forecast items with more than a 20% variance.

Get to know your SWAS reports. You’ll be glad you did!