Walmart, which began as a small-town store in Arkansas, has made Walton’s heirs among America’s richest people.
The name Walton carries the same perceptions as Rockefeller and Ford, and the influence the Walton family has on the communities, nations and even the world at large that they serve easily puts them in the same sacred league. .
With over 10,000 Walmart stores worldwide, the millions of employees employed there, the countless manufacturers they maintain, their truly enormous wealth, and an equally impressive Even ignoring his philanthropic work, Samuel Walton and his family have changed lives around the world. It all started in Bentonville, Arkansas.
Sam Walton, who would go on to become America’s richest man, was born on March 29, 1918 in Kingfisher, Oklahoma. He was a smart and talented young man who excelled in both high school and college before serving as a captain in the Army. Intelligence agency during World War II. After the end of the war, Walton began his first serious foray into retail ownership and management by franchising Ben He Franklin’s Variety His store in Newport, Arkansas.
The undertaking was a resounding success. Because Walton’s work ethic and dedication to his customers have resulted in earnings that far exceed the typical Ben His Franklin His franchise. So it may have been his own actions, a victim of his own success, that Walton was pushed aside, influencing the young man and taking control of the business by the landlord who refused to renew his lease. not.
Walton decides to leave Newport and settle in Bentonville, where his family enjoys the small-town lifestyle and is near Sam’s favorite hunting grounds. And he brought all the lessons and insights he’d learned over the years in retail, both as an employee and as an owner.
But Sam Walton was just getting started. He recognized that discount stores and department stores (Sears, JCPenney, etc.) operating in big cities essentially ignored much of rural America. But where these companies were seeing a shortage of customers, Walton saw an opportunity. Instead of capturing his share of the small markets in the big cities, he was able to grow his local market by adding stores to small towns that until then had basically relied on family-run stores for all their needs. I was able to get my share.
He also moved away from the high profit margins that most retailers relied on for profit, instead relying on sales volume to sell products cheaply. His first Walton Five and Dime store in Bentonville was a huge success, and he eventually grew to a network of 15 stores. Then, in 1962, Sam opened his first Walmart in Rogers, Arkansas with the help of his brother Bud. At 44, he was laying the groundwork for what would one day be the largest company on the planet.
“Mr. Sam”, as warmly referred to by the people of Walmart for his humility, friendliness and camaraderie, established the ground principles that guided him and his business early in the company’s history. . He truly believed he was helping his customers raise their living standards by lowering their cost of living.
He believed it was his purpose and goal to help customers save money and live more comfortably, explaining in his 1992 Presidential Medal of Freedom acceptance speech: We offer an opportunity to show the world what it is like to help others and live better lives. So, today, 30 years after his death, Walmart’s slogan is “Mr. Sam,” a reminder of its founding philosophy of “Save money. Live better.”
Walton’s talent comes in two forms: one focused on business logistics, processes and efficiency, and one focused on customers who provide “great value and excellent service.” As a result, whether intentionally or not, Walton transferred market power from the manufacturers who sold him goods to the customers who bought those goods from him.
On the business side, Walton made a profit by compressing margins and increasing sales volumes. But he also reinvented the way retail chains handled logistics, incorporating a “pull” rather than a “push” system of inventory.
Instead of management choosing which items to stock and in what quantities, the process is shared with manufacturers but disconnected from consumers, and Walton allows consumers to make their own inventory decisions. I made it The store reported the items purchased and the amount, and Walton was able to send the store exactly what the customer wanted.
This is made possible by the establishment of a network of distribution centers. A huge facility that can quickly replenish the inventory of nearby locations. All of our stores are within a day’s drive of our fulfillment centers, and we have a significant advantage over our competitors in that we are able to respond quickly to consumer demand and scale to keep prices and margins low. had. As Sam likes to say, “There’s only one boss – he’s the customer. And he can fire everyone in the company below the chairman just by spending the money elsewhere.” .”
On the consumer side, Walton has always relied on his guiding principle of “excellent value and superior service.” By keeping prices low, he helped both his customers and the small community that began to rely on his store.
Even his later creations for Sam’s Club and Walmart Supercenters were developed with the customer in mind, offering wholesale purchases at Sam’s Club and a full grocery store in each of the supercenters for all your shopping needs. Allows for the ability to combine.
When Walton, who died of cancer in 1992, took Walmart public in 1970, it wasn’t about cashing out. If anything, his motives were the opposite. it’s growth. The company used this capital to grow, grow and grow.
Today, Walmart has over 10,500 stores across a variety of brands and approximately 2.3 million employees worldwide, including approximately 1.7 million in the United States. And although it was long after he passed away, his growth into his e-commerce space at Walmart, which has the same goals of low prices and mass production, is definitely “Mr. Sam” happy.
There’s a reason Forbes’ list of the world’s richest individuals looks like a Walton family reunion guest list, and it all started with the family patriarch’s simple business philosophy.
In fact, the international conglomerate now generates more than $570 billion in annual revenue, and Walton’s children and their families still own less than half of the company. From his 1982 to his 1988 years, Sam was listed by Forbes as the richest person in America, but when the magazine began considering dividing his fortune between his family members, he fell to the top. I just let go of the seat.
His children Rob, Jim, Alice, and late son John’s family still retain ownership and continue to add to the family’s wealth. It’s clear from Rob’s purchase of the NFL’s Denver Broncos for $4.65 billion in 2022. The family’s total wealth is estimated at well over $200 billion.
They are estimated to be the richest family in the world, and unlike some similar companies, Walmart’s business continues to grow and thrive under the family’s continued participation and guidance. I can see it.
Finally, the Walton family, led by Sam’s example, have always kept philanthropy and philanthropy close to their hearts and wallets. In 2021, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation donated approximately $1.5 billion in cash and other resources. This is on top of donating nearly 700 million pounds of food in the US alone.
Certainly Sam consistent with the principles of
Since Sam Walton founded the company, Walmart’s rise has been comprehensive, hugely profitable, and has changed the retail industry forever with its groundbreaking business model. Some friction arose with the domestic manufacturers, or the small towns in which they grew up.
But despite the complexities and conflicts that naturally arise whenever a business reinvents the marketplace, Walmart certainly has built Sam’s vision of “great value and great service” into its corporate DNA, making billions It raises the standard of living and provides employment for thousands of people. For millions of people changing the face of retail forever.
Not too shabby for a small-town Arkansas general store or the guy who started it.
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