Garth Helps Roll Back Prices

Wal-Mart perennially tops the Fortune 500 companies in profits. It has grocery stores worried it might start selling fruits and vegetables. And recently, Sam Walton’s company even figured out how to get Garth Brooks to come out of retirement.

OK. It’s not exactly like Brooks is going on a Wal-Mart-sponsored tour of the U.S., but the company found a way to get the country star to play three songs at its recent shareholders meeting in Fayetteville, Ark.

Wal-Mart must have one heck of a talent budget because other performers included Jon Bon Jovi, Jessica Simpson and Yolanda Adams. Will Smith, Sara Evans, Brad Paisley, Shakira and Jimmy Buffett performed for employees earlier in the week.

Of course, Wal-Mart’s huge CD sales volume is a big part of any artist’s bottom line.

Brooks thanked his friend David Porter, general merchandise manager for Wal Mart, according to the Northwest Arkansas Times, and added that probably one out of four records he has ever sold have been through Wal-Mart stores. Brooks also alluded to a “bigger relationship” with the company, the paper said.

The country star closed the meeting by singing “The Dance,” “Till The Rivers Run Dry” and “Friends in Low Places.” He did so bedecked in a blue associate vest, with Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club name tags.

Brooks recently ended his 20-year recording agreement with Capitol Nashville. Terms were kept confidential, but the record company said in a statement that no money changed hands.