Hudson Loves Salvage

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It was more like a revival meeting than a business gathering. Bill Hudson paced the stage at Peavey Electronics' auditorium as he talked about his career and his success.

"I wanted to be the greatest salvage man in the U.S. of A. I was probably the only man in the world with that particular dream, but I like it like that," Hudson said. "You see, Sam Walton was born an eagle, could fly high in the sky. I was born a buzzard, just waiting for businesses to die."

Hudson said many people do things for a living they don't like and their performance isn't very good. To them he offered some advice.

"If you're miserable every day and you've got no passion for it, if you can't change the environment that you're in, I say start examining your passions in life and find out what you're supposed to be doing," said Hudson.

Later Hudson said his philosophy of business is that one man's trash is another man's treasure.

"The Hudson's model is buying the damage, the rack and the ruin of life, the disasters, the muds, the floods, the tornado damaged, that's what we do for a living. Buy it from insurance companies and resell it at a bargain so I'm kind of the buzzard of the industry," Hudson said.

There is apparently no shortage of such merchandise.

"Everybody's got a dead dog in the warehouse, we would say," said the company founder. "There's something damaged, something that's not selling, some not going through primary channels, but it is on the secondary distribution market and that's our goal. To buy all that merchandise and then sell it in our stores cheaper than anybody else can sell product for."

Hudson said his Meridian store is one of the most successful in the company.