The Walmart Cheer

The Walmart Cheer

In building Walmart as the world’s greatest retailer, founder Sam Walton borrowed every good idea he’d come across. And one of those ideas is the famous Walmart Cheer:

Give Me a W!
Give Me an A!
Give Me an L!
Give Me a Squiggly!
(Here, everybody sort of does the twist.)
Give Me an M!
Give Me an A!
Give Me an R!
Give Me a T!
What’s that spell?
What’s that spell?
Who’s number one?

From Walton’s autobiography, “Made In America”:

Helen (Walton’s wife) and I picked up several ideas on a trip we took to Korea and Japan in 1975. A lot of the things they do over there are very easy to apply to doing business over here. Culturally, things seem so different—like sitting on the floor eating eels and snails—but people are people, and what motivates one group generally will motivate another.

And Helen Walton is quoted,

Sam took me out to see this tennis ball factory, somewhere east of Seoul. The company sold balls to Wal-Mart, I guess, and they treated us very well. It was the dirtiest place I ever saw in my life, but Sam was very impressed. It was the first place he ever saw a group of workers have a company cheer. And he liked the idea of everybody doing calisthenics together at the beginning of the day. He couldn’t wait to get home and try those ideas out in the stores and at the Saturday morning meeting.

'Sam Walton: Made In America' by Sam Walton (ISBN 0553562835) All training activities include the Walmart cheer. Every morning, store associates participate in the cheer. A few people stand up to read the daily numbers, then break out into a chant—“Give me a W-A-L-M-A-R-T,” with the rest of the people in the room shouting back the same letter. Back then, Wal-Mart still had a hyphen, so between the L and the M they would yell, “Give me a squiggly!” and everyone would do a butt wiggle.

All across America, Walmart convenes nearly 60,000 regularly scheduled meetings each week, all of them starting and ending with the Walmart cheer. Also, each store has a 15-minute shift-change meeting three times a day, when a new wave of cashiers, stockers, and supervisors arrives. Their meetings start with a Walmart Cheer.

13 thoughts on “The Walmart Cheer”

  1. Dumbest nonsense there is. Demoralizing, condescending, and childish. Employees are FORCED to recite this cheer. You actually have to sign an acknowledgment specifically stating you are expected to participate in the cheer to get hired. Most employees would be very happy to NEVER to this nonsense again.

    1. I have been with WM for almost 3 years and have NEVER signed anything of the sort. After reading this I contacted Personnel and they’ve never heard of this contract either.

    2. You are an idiot. Nobody signs anything like that. It is part of their culture and since they are the biggest company in the whole damn world it most be working. Mind your own damn business.

    3. as a new employee, i was almost 3 months in and was never taught that. at my store, i experienced this for the first time, when i decided to join the managers and “any available associate” in a meeting. they did the cheer at the end, and i was taken back, i dont remember signing anything as somebody commented, but i didn’t know what to do and was left out of it. so reading up on this and seeing what the cheer is about, really enlightens me lol. Think they did some other cheer as part of our personal store before the actual walmart cheer, not sure.

    1. Lol…it’s a great way to get my employees on the right level. I can turn frowns upside down. Cap 2 is rough and needs the inspiration.

    1. Wal-Mart is the largest retailer in the world you know that right??? Yet you call him stupid? How big is your company? How many customers to you serve?

      1. Yeah, I’m sure you are a temporarily embarrassed millionaire, as you type that from mom’s basement.

        You have more in common with the bottom 99% then the 1%, and it’s far easier for you to become homeless then rich.

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