The first year of operation for Wal-Mart was 1962. At this time, Sam Walton's stores in Arkansas and Kansas were already facing competition from regional discount chains, such as K-Mart and Target. Sam traveled the country to study this radical, new retailing concept and was convinced it was the wave of the future. Today, Sam Walton has a global company with more than 1.8 million associates worldwide and nearly 6,500 stores and wholesale clubs across 14 countries. This kind of success could not have been achieved without implementing the proper control systems in order to understand the expectations of what consumers want and need from a retailer. ISD is the Information Systems Division. Wal-Mart depends on technology to increase their efficiency and provide more information. From registers to Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), Wal-Mart leads the retail industry by implementing ISD around the world. "The secret of successful retailing is to give your customers what they want," Sam wrote in his autobiography. "And really, if you think about it from the point of view of the customer, you want everything: a wide assortment of good quality merchandise; the lowest possible prices; guaranteed satisfaction with what you buy; friendly, knowledgeable service, convenient hours, free parking, a pleasant shopping experience.
Wal-Mart got the boost it needed in 1970, when its stock was offered for the first time on the New York Stock Exchange. The public offering created the capital infusion that grew the company to 276 stores by the end of the decade. By focusing on customer expectations, Wal-Mart was growing rapidly in 11 states. In the 1980s, Wal-Mart became one of the most successful retailers in America. Sales grew to $26 billion by 1989, compared to $1 billion in 1980. At the end of the ten years, there were nearly 1,400 stores. The first Super Center, featuring a complete grocery department along with the 36 departments of general merchandise,...
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