Walmart, a name that resonates with almost every household in America, is a multinational retail corporation that operates a chain of hypermarkets, discount department stores, and grocery stores. Founded in 1962, Walmart has grown to become the world’s largest company by revenue and the largest private employer in the world. This article delves into the background of Walmart, its founders, its revenue, and other interesting aspects of this retail giant.
Background of Walmart
Walmart was founded on July 2, 1962, by Sam Walton in Rogers, Arkansas. The company was incorporated on October 31, 1969, and went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 1972. Walmart’s business model was and still is, to sell products at low prices to get higher-volume sales at a lower profit margin. This strategy has been incredibly successful, making Walmart a dominant force in the global retail industry.
The Founders: Sam Walton and His Legacy
Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, was born in 1918 in Kingfisher, Oklahoma. He served as an Army captain during World War II before opening his first store, a Ben Franklin franchise, in Newport, Arkansas. Walton’s focus on selling products at low prices to get higher-volume sales at a lower profit margin was considered a revolutionary concept in the retail industry. After his death in 1992, his eldest son, S. Robson Walton, took over as Chairman of the company, a position he held until 2015.
Walmart’s revenue has seen a steady increase over the years. In 2020, the company reported a global revenue of over $520 billion, making it the world’s largest company by revenue. The majority of Walmart’s revenue comes from its U.S. operations, where it operates more than 4,700 stores. The company’s international operations also contribute a significant portion to its total revenue.
Walmart’s Global Presence
Walmart operates over 11,500 stores under 56 banners in 27 countries. The company also operates e-commerce websites in 10 countries. Despite its global presence, the United States remains Walmart’s largest market, accounting for nearly 78% of its sales. In terms of store count, Walmart’s largest market outside the U.S. is Mexico, where it operates over 2,400 stores.
Walmart’s Impact on the Economy
As the world’s largest company by revenue and the largest private employer, Walmart has a significant impact on the economy. The company employs over 2.2 million people worldwide, with more than 1.5 million in the U.S. alone. Walmart’s low-cost business model has also influenced the retail industry, leading to lower prices for consumers and influencing the pricing strategies of other retailers.
In conclusion, Walmart’s journey from a single discount store to a global retail giant is a testament to Sam Walton’s vision and business acumen. The company’s focus on low prices and high volume has not only made it the world’s largest company by revenue but also had a significant impact on the global retail industry. Despite facing criticism and challenges, Walmart continues to grow and adapt, maintaining its position as a dominant force in the retail industry.