Early History of Wal-Mart Store

Samuel Moore Walton was born in 1918 in Oklahoma. Graduated from the University of Missouri in 1940 he entered the field of low price retail selling in Arkansas.

In 1945 in Newport, Arkansas, Sam Walton, opened a franchise Ben Franklin variety store. In 1946 his brother opened a similar store in Versailles, Missouri.

Many trace discount retailing’s birth to 1962, the first year of operation for Kmart, Target and Wal-Mart. But by that time, Sam Walton’s tiny chain of variety stores in Arkansas and Kansas was already facing competition from regional discount chains.

In 1962, he and his wife, Helen, put up 95 percent of the money for the first Wal-Mart Discount City store in Rogers, Arkansas, borrowing heavily on Sam´s vision that the American consumer was shifting to a different type of general store.

By 1967, the company was operating 24 stores with total sales of 12.6 million.

In 1984 the first three Sam’s Clubs were opened, and in 1988 the first supercenter opened.

By 1975, Wal-Mart had more than 125 stores and $340.3 million in sales.
Early History of Wal-Mart Store
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Reuters: Business News