Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (also spelled Walmart) is an American public corporation that runs a chain of large, discount department stores. It is the world's largest public corporation by revenue, according to the 2008 Fortune Global 500. A leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity, Wal-Mart ranked first among retailers in Fortune Magazine’s 2009 Most Admired Companies survey.
The headquarters of Wal-Mart is located in Bentonville, Arkansas, U.S.A. Currently the company operates in fourteen countries: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, United States and the United Kingdom. Although Wal-Mart linked a joint venture with India-based “Bharti Express”, it could not enter the market directly. This is because of the regulations pertaining to foreign direct investment only allow single brand retailers such as Nike or Gucci to own 51% of their business operations in India. Wal-Mart is known by different names in some of the countries where it countries operates. It operates in Mexico as Walmex, in the UK as Asda, and in Japan as Seiyu. It has wholly owned operations in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Wal-Mart's investments outside North America have had mixed results: its operations in South America and China are highly successful, while it was forced to pull out of Germany and South Korea when ventures there were unsuccessful.
The history of Wal-Mart’s innovation, leadership and success began in 1962, when Sam Walton opened the company’s first discount store in Rogers, Arkansas. Soon Wal-Mart began to be is considered as an industry trendsetter. In 1967, there were 24 Wal-Mart stores in Arkansas ringing up $12.6 million in sales. 1968 saw the hiring of Wal-Mart Aviation’s first full-pilot, who provided help to Sam and Bud Walton, as well as the opening of the first stores outside of Arkansas, in Sikeston, Mo., and Claremore,
Oklahoma. The company officially incorporated as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on October 31, 1969. . The company's shares began trading on OTC markets in 1970, and were listed on the New York Stock Exchange two years later. With the infusion of investor capital, the company grew to 276 stores in 11 states by the end of the decade. In 1983, the company opened its first Sam’s Club membership warehouse, and in 1988 opened the first super centre -- now the company’s dominant format -- featuring a complete grocery in addition to general merchandise. Wal-Mart became an international company in 1991 when it opened its first Sam's Club near Mexico City. In the last year of the 1990s, Wal-Mart became the largest private employer in the world, with 1,140,000 total associates. The stock split 100 percent for the 11th time, with a market price of $89.75. The 1999 Cone/Roper Report, an annual national survey on philanthropy and corporate citizenship, ranked Wal-Mart the No. 1 Corporate Citizen in America. The company acquired 71 Interspar units in Germany and acquired the ASDA Group plc in the United Kingdom. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. now serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at more than 8,000 retail units under 55 different banners in 14 countries. More than 176 million customers shop at Wal-Mart business locations worldwide every week. With fiscal year 2009 sales of $401 billion, Wal-Mart employs more than 2.1 million associates worldwide. It is the largest private employer in the U.S. and also the largest grocery retailer in the United States, with an estimated 20% market share of the retail grocery and consumable business. Mission
Sam Walton said it best, “If we work together, we’ll lower the cost of living for everyone…we’ll give the world an opportunity to see what it’s like to save and have a better life.” Wal-Mart’s philosophy has always been to save people money so they can live better.
Wal-Mart makes every effort...