The Purchase Department can make or break a Company. The general and administrative costs at one of these large, troubled regional discounters was 27 percent of sales. Wal-Mart's is 15 percent. This cost difference alone can explain the difference between spectacular success and spectacular bankruptcy! Wal-Mart's costs aren't just lower because they're bigger. They're lower because Sam Walton was the cheapest CEO in America--and by no coincidence, also the richest!