Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Stock Market Project
April 22, 2007
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
History and Business
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is the number one retailer in the world. They are dedicated to low prices, great customer service and contributing to the community. Let me take a few minutes to take you through the time-line of how Wal-Mart grew to be the corporation it is today.
The first Wal-Mart store opened in 1962 in Rogers. Arkansas. In 1969 Wal-Mart became incorporated. The first distribution center opened in 1970 and Wal-Mart was put in the New York Stock Exchange. By 1985 Wal-Mart had 882 stores and made $8.5 billion. In the 1990’s Wal-Mart became the nation’s number one retailer and in 1991 they became and international company with the opening of a Wal-Mart in Mexico City. Wal-Mart became a major success and in 1992 President George Bush awarded Sam Walton the highest civilian award achievable, the Medal of Freedom. April 5, 1992 Sam Walton passed away after a long battle with cancer. A few years later Wal-Mart became the number one employer in the United States and was later ranked the number one Corporate Citizen in America. For exhibiting exceptional dedication to raising awareness and support for United States service members and their families, Wal-Mart was awarded the Corporate Patriotism Award in 2004 (Wal-Mart, 2007). Sam’s 3 Basic Beliefs: Respect for the individual, service to our customers and strive for excellence (Wal-Mart, 2007). Don Soderquist, Senior Vice Chairman (retired) of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. said, “’Our people make the difference’ is not a meaningless slogan-it’s a reality at Wal-Mart.” He said that we are “ordinary people that are dedicated and hardworking teamed up to accomplish extraordinary things. Each individual deserves to be treated with respect and dignity.” He also stated that Sam Walton believed that the customers are always number one and with out them Wal-Mart would be nothing. “We need our customers to trust us with our pricing and service” (Wal-Mart, 2007).
“Sam was never satisfied that prices were as low as they needed to be or that our products quality was as high as they deserved- he believed in the concept of striving for excellence before it became a fashionable concept” (Lee Scott, President and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 2007).
On April 12, 2007, Channel 6 News (WLNS) reported that New York City's comptroller requests the federal government to probe whether or not Wal-Mart illegally spied on some of its shareholders. “The request follows reports that the retailer had an internal security team that secretly investigated employees, critics and shareholders who were expected to challenge some of the company's policies at an annual meeting. The comptroller’s office has control over $400 million worth of Wal-Mart stock through government pension funds” (WLNS, 2007). Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has failed to comment. On February 1, 2007, Wal-Mart President and CEO Lee Scott unveiled "Sustainability 360" - a company-wide stress on “sustainability extending beyond Wal-Mart's direct environmental footprint to engage associates, suppliers, communities and customers” (Wal-Mart, 2007). "Sustainability 360 takes in our entire company - our customer base, our supplier base, our associates, the products on our shelves, the communities we serve," said Scott. "And we believe every business can look at sustainability in this way. In fact, in light of current environmental trends, we believe they will, and soon." Scott then announced that the company intends to introduce "Global Innovation Projects", which is a test for Wal-Mart associates and suppliers. They will have to start thinking about how to eliminate non-renewable energy from the goods Wal-Mart sells. "Perhaps the most far-reaching opportunity we have with our suppliers is a simple idea with potentially profound consequences," said Scott. "Just think about...