Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is an American public corporation that runs a chain of large, discount department stores. It is the world's largest public corporation by revenue and is founded by Sam Walton in 1962. It is the largest private employer in the world and the fourth largest utility or commercial employer. Wal-Mart is the largest grocery retailer in the United States, with an estimated 20% of the retail grocery and consumables business, as well as the largest toy seller in the U.S. It also owns and operates the North American Company, Sam's Club.
1962 – Wal-Mart begins
Before opening Wal-Mart, Sam traveled the country studying everything he could about discount retailing. He became convinced American consumers wanted a new type of store. Trusting his vision, Sam and his wife Helen put up 95 percent of the money for the first Wal-Mart store in Rogers, Ark.
1972 – Wal-Mart goes public
Discounters such as KMart quickly expanded in the 1960s, while Sam only had enough money to build 15 Wal-Mart stores. In 1972, Wal-Mart stock was offered for the first time on the New York Stock Exchange. With this infusion of capital, the company grew to 276 stores in 11 states by the end of the decade.
The 1980s – Wal-Mart comes of age
In 1983, the first Sam’s Club members-warehouse store opened. The first Supercenter opened in 1988, featuring a complete grocery, and 36 departments of general merchandise. By 1989, there were 1,402 Wal-Mart stores and 123 Sam’s Club locations. Employment had increased tenfold. Sales had grown from $1 billion in 1980, to $26 billion.
The 21st century – one of the most successful retailers in the world In 1991, Wal-Mart became an international company when we opened a Sam's Club near Mexico City. Just two years later, Wal-Mart International was created. Today, 7,390 stores and club locations in 14 markets employ more than 2 million associates, serving more than 176 million customers a year. The oversea...