Wal-Mart Stores


Founders:Sam Walton

Industry: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is a U.S.-based public corporation that operates a chain of discount department stores.


Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., began his career in retailing on June 3, 1940 in Des Moines, Iowa where he worked at a J.C. Penney store for 18 months.

Five years later he encountered the regional retailer Butler Brothers, which owned several five and dime variety stores that operated collectively under the name Ben Franklin. Butler Brothers offered him a store in Newport, Arkansas. Not liking the structure’s lease renewal, he instead set up shop in Bentonville, Arkansas; he opened a new Ben Franklin franchise but labeled it as “Walton’s Five and Dime.” By lowering the mark-ups on his merchandise relative to his competitors, he enjoyed high sales volumes.

Sam Walton opened his firs Wal-Mart Discount city store on July 2, 1962 and in a short span of five years, the company grew to 24 stores that lay scattered across the whole of Arkansas. The company further expanded in 1968, when it opened its first stores outside the state in Sikeston, Claremore, Oklahoma, and Missouri.

The company was formed as a legal corporation with the label Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. on October 31, 1969. In October 1, 1972, it started trading stock as a publicly held company and was soon included in the New York Stock Exchange’s list.

In 1975, when it expanded into Texas, the company already had a workforce of 7,500 employees, had 125 stores and had already garnered a sale of $340.3 million.

In 1988, Wal-Mart opened the first of its superstores, the Wal-Mart Supercenter, in Washington, Missouri. It then expanded overseas. In 1999, for $10 billion, Wal-Mart bought ASDA which is currently its biggest subsidiary.

Today, Wal-Mart is the United States’ largest grocery retailer and private employer in the planet. As a utility or commercial employer, it is the world’s fourth. With revenues of $378.80 billion, it is the world’s largest public corporation.


  • H. Lee Scott – Chief Executive Officer
  • S. Robson Walton – Chairman
  • Tom Schoewe – Chief Financial Officer


Alice Walton, the daughter of Sam Walton and part heiress of the Walton Family fortune, founded Crystal Bridges, an American Art museum in Bentonville, Arkansas. Alice Walton‘s museum project and philanthropy efforts is covered by the New York Time. Alice Walton is also the founder of Camp War Eagle, a charity camp for children.

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