The Road to Walmart
Walmart as we know it today evolved from Sam Walton’s goals for great value and great customer service. “Mr. Sam,” as he was known, believed in leadership through service. This belief that true leadership depends on willing service was the principle on which Walmart was built and drove the decisions the company has made for the past 50 years. So much of Walmart’s history is tied to the story of Sam Walton himself, and so much of our future will be rooted in Mr. Sam’s principles.?
On July 2, 1962, Sam Walton opens the first Walmart store in Rogers, Arkansas. The Walton family owns 24 stores, ringing up $12.7 million in sales in 1967 and in 1969 the company officially incorporates as Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and the following year Walmart becomes a publicly traded company. The first stock is sold at $16.50 per share. The first distribution center and Home Office open in Bentonville, Arkansas in 1971. In the 1980s, the first Sam’s Club opens, serving small businesses and individuals, and the first Walmart Supercenter opens, combining a supermarket with general merchandise. In the same year Walmart reaches $1 billion in annual sales, faster than any other company at that time and has 276 stores with employs of 21,000 associates. In 1983 replaces cash registers with computerized point-of-sale systems, enabling fast and accurate checkout. By 1987 the company installs the largest private satellite communication system in the U.S., linking the company’s operations through voice, data, and video communication. The first Walmart Supercenter opens in 1988 in Washington, Missouri, combining general merchandise and a full-scale supermarket to provide one-stop shopping convenience.
By 1990, Walmart is the nation’s No. 1 retailer. As the Walmart Supercenter redefines convenience and one-stop shopping, Everyday Low Prices goes international. In 1992 While receiving the Medal of Freedom, Sam Walton articulates the company’s mission of saving people money, so they can live better, shortly before passing away at age 74. Then in 1993 Walmart celebrates its first $1 billion sales week. In 2000s Walmart enters the new millennium dedicated to offering customers a seamless shopping experience, whether they are online, in a store or on a mobile device. In 2007 Walmart.com launches its Site to Store service, enabling customers to make a purchase online and pick up merchandise in stores. In 2010 Walmart commits $2 billion through the end of 2015 to help end hunger in the United States. Walmart launches a global commitment to sustainable agriculture, aiming to strengthen local farmers and economies, while providing customers access to affordable, high-quality food. In 2015 Walmart celebrates 50 years of helping people save money so they can live better. The company employs 2.3 million associates worldwide and serves more than 200 million customers each week at more than 11,000 stores in 27 countries. Walmart announces a $2.7 billion investment over two years in its U.S. workforce, including raising its minimum wage to $9 an hour, implementing new training programs, and giving associates more control over their schedules. In 2018 Walmart announces plans to increase its starting wage rate for all U.S. hourly associates to $11, expand maternity and parental leave benefits and provide a one-time cash bonus for eligible associates. More than 1 million associates are expected to benefit from the combined wage and benefit changes.
The Road to Walmart