walmart Official Site USA, LLC


WalMart –
Perfecting a Modern Retail Model

The Walmart story is an amazing growth story that almost defies comprehension. With little capital available for expansion, in 8 years Walmart grew from a single rustic store in Rogers, Arkansas to 38 highly efficient operations poised to take over the world of discount retailing.

In less than 40 years Walmart can boast it has grown from a single store to almost 1 ½ million employees in 5000 stores located in 10 different countries. FORTUNE magazine chose Walmart as the “most admired retailer” in America. This story of Walmart is an exceptional one, of vision and merchandizing savvy.
Sam and Helen's Variety Stores

The real history of Walmart actually began seventeen years before the first Walmart store opened in 1962 in Rogers, Arkansas. A husband and wife team, Sam and Helen Walton purchased a Ben Franklin franchise store in 1945 in Newport, Arkansas.

Within 5 years this team had developed that unprofitable Ben Franklin franchise to the most profitable in Arkansas. Later Sam explained that the success of Walmart was based on the lessons he and Helen learned during this time in how to give customers what they want, get community involvement and merchandize in a creative way.

By 1962 Sam and Helen owned 16 variety stores located in Arkansas, Missouri and Kansas. The team felt they could do more - now it was time for a discount store experiment they called Walmart.
Competition Prompts A New Business Approach

Sam saw his chain of variety stores facing strong competition with regional discount stores. In his characteristic way, Sam Walton toured the country to visit competing stores. Believing that this discount retailing approach was the wave of the future, Sam and Helen opened the first Walmart to experiment with the discounting concept themselves.

While most other discounters, including Kmart, quickly expanded across the U.S. in the 1960s, Walmart was unable to raise the same magnitude of funds and could only build 15 Walmart stores during those years of retail expansion. Then in 1970 Walmart conducted its first stock offering on the New York Stock Exchange. The public offering created immense interest and provided capital that allowed Walmart to expand to 276 stores in 11 states by the end of 1980. Walmart's growth has lost no momentum since that time.

In his autobiography, Sam Walton wrote about the successes of Walmart. He said "The secret of successful retailing is to give your customers what they want…. a wide assortment of good quality merchandise; the lowest possible prices; guaranteed satisfaction with what you buy; friendly, knowledgeable service; convenient hours; free parking; a pleasa
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