The History, Globalization and Economic Impact of Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart, almost all of the civilized world knows the name and has shopped in the store. But not everyone knows the background. What is Wal-Mart’s history? Where did it begin? How many people work at Wal-Mart? How many Wal-Mart stores are there? How does Wal-Mart affect the local economy? How did it become an international superstar of a retail store? How does Wal-Mart affect the national and global economies? These are but a few of the questions answered here.
The History of Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart’s official beginning is set in 1962 when brothers Samuel and J.L (Bud) Walton opened the first Wal-Mart store (Reclaimdemocracy.org). But these two brothers could not have done it without the assistance of Sam’s wife Helen, who believed in Sam’s dream and encouraged the investment. Sam and Helen put together 95% of the funds for this first store in Rogers, Arkansas (Wal-Mart).
Sam’s previous experience taught him the ins and outs of purchasing for a retail market. He had a notion that if he could pass on the savings to his customers that he received from purchasing deals, then he could corner a market based on low prices and increase his profits through bulk or volume selling at these low prices. This idea was an instant success, and is the foundational business strategy for Wal-Mart.
By 1967 Wal-Mart had 24 stores in Arkansas, but the Walton brothers had a much bigger vision. In 1968 they hired a full time pilot to head Walmart Aviation. This was a tremendous help as it allowed the Walton’s to travel in the hilly terrain of the Ozark Mountains faster and easier. In 1968, this ease of movement allowed them to open stores in Sikeston, Missouri and Claremore, Oklahoma (History of Things).
October 31, 1969 marked the official incorporation of Wal-Mart under the name Wal-Mart Stores Inc. In 1970, 300,000 shares of common stock were available for...