In 1950, former J.C. Penny employee, Sam Walton opened Walton’s Five and Dime in Bentonville, Arkansas. By 1965, in the same small town Walton would open the first Walmart store unknowing that his investment would become the world’s largest retailer. By keeping sales prices low Walton was able to get ahead of the competition and successfully opened an additional store within the same year. Walton’s success continued and by 1967 his chain of stores had grown to 24 locations, and was bringing in about $12.6 million dollars in sales annually.
Wal-Mart is an American national wholesale business that runs chains of huge discount branch stores and warehouses. The business is the world's second largest company, according to the Fortune Global 500 list in 2013, the biggest private employer in the world with over two million employees, and is the largest retailer in the world. Wal-Mart is a family-owned company, and is controlled by the Walton family, who possess 50 percent of Wal-Mart. It’s also the largest grocery seller in the United States. In 2009, it generated 51 percent of its US$258 billion sales in the U.S. from grocery business. It also owns and operates the Sam's Club retail warehouses in North America. Wal-Mart helps people around the world save money in retail stores, online and through their mobile devices. More than 245 million customers and members visit their 11,000 stores each week under 69 banners in 27 countries and e-commerce websites in 10 countries. With 2013 sales of $466 billion, Wal-Mart employs 2.2 million workers worldwide.
Wal-Mart customers say low prices as the number one reason for shopping there, reflecting the "Low prices, always" advertising motto that Wal-Mart used from 1962 until 2006. The average US Wal-Mart customer's income is below the national average, and analysts recently estimated that more than one-fifth of them lack a bank account. A Wal-Mart money report in 2006 also indicated that Wal-Mart customers are sensitive to higher utility costs and gas prices. In 2006, Wal-Mart expands its US consumer base, by introducing a change in its US stores from a "one-size-fits-all" selling strategy to one designed to "reflect each of six demographic groups African-Americans, Hispanics, suburbanites and rural residents." Six months later, its new slogan read: "Saving people money so they can live better lives". This reflects the three groups into which Wal-Mart groups its 200 million consumers: "People with low incomes love name brands, richer shoppers who love good deals, and people who like low prices.” They’ve also making steps to attract more liberal consumers.
Wal-Mart evolved from Sam Walton’s purpose for great price and great consumer service. “Mr. Sam,” as he was known, believed in management through service. The principle that true leadership depends on willing service was the standard on which Wal-Mart was built, and drove the choices the business has made for the past 50 years. So much of Wal-Mart’s past is...