One man with a vision and an extraordinary understanding of customers can alter the way Americans shop.
Pioneering the Superstore: A Retail Revolution traces the remarkable journey of Clyde B. Smith on the road to retail success as he developed a prototype foreshadowing Kmart, Walmart, and Target. Along the way, "Smitty" shares his wit and wisdom about thriving in business: listening to customers, caring for employees and vendors, and taking risks in marketing to make a vision a reality.

An American story of "rags to riches," Smitty's memoir shows how good business practices and consideration for others can still form the foundation for innovation. For anyone starting a business or struggling with the challenges of growth and competition, Smitty argues that, although today's retail environment seems complicated, the fundamentals remain the keys to success.

Smitty's Iowa Palm Tree ad  
Smitty's Iowa Palm Tree ad. Exterior of 35,000-sq.-ft. store in 1975. Note: there are corn leaves on the palm tree trunk.


Pioneering the Superstore celebrates "Smitty's Basics for Business," and his "Something to Think About" in each chapter provokes current business owners to take advantage of his farsighted ideas. Smitty's strongest message is that, with proper application, "anyone can be a success".

Clyde B. Smith was raised during the Great Depression in a family that made "dirt poor" sound luxurious. He dropped out of high school to help support his family by working in the coal mines. His life changed when he first stepped onto a sales floor and was hooked by "the thrill of the money changing hands, the way the merchandise was placed neatly on the shelves, and the way one hustled to please the customers." By the 1970s, his company of superstores was the largest private employer in Arizona.

In his lifetime, he has witnessed the retail world change from using cranked cash registers to integrated point-of-sale systems tied to supercomputers. He has watched American business navigate such economic "diversities" as the Great Depression, the boom of the post- World War II years, the rise of corporate America in the 1950s, the hyperinflation of the 1970s, and the globalization of the world economy. His confidence in the innovation of American business has never wavered.

The father of three daughters, Smitty attributes his remarkable life to his family and his faith. He now lives in Boerne, Texas, with his wife, Peggy, cofounder of Smith and Smith Ministries. Together they share what she calls "Clyde's passion for bringing America back to righteousness, an outreach which he does with a great deal of enthusiasm."

Red Rooster Coffee "Something to Crow About" promotion

Red Rooster Coffee "Something to Crow About" promotion, at Marshalltown store in 1949. The store was 40ft x 80ft. Notice the prices.

About The Authors

John Trice John Trice is a professional banker who spent most of his career with Texas's premier banking franchise –Frost National Bank. Read more.
Helen Hosier Helen K. Hosier is well known in the field of Christian communications both as a writer and a speaker. Her forte is writing biographies. Read more.