Free «History of Walmart» Essay Sample

History of Walmart

Walmart was started by Sam Walton in 1962 by opening first store, Walmart Discount City that was located in Rogers, Arkansas. Within first five years of its existence, the company was so successful, that it has expanded to 24 stores across the Arkansas state with total sales comprising $12.6 million (Frontline, 2004). Two years later, in 1968, Walmart expanded its operation to other states, including Missouri and Oklahoma (Walmart, 2012).

In the next year of 1969, Walmart was integrated as Wal-Mart Stores Corporation. In the following year home office and first distribution center were opened by Walmart in Bentonville, Arkansas. At the beginning of 1970s, Walmart was running 38 stores with around 1,500 employees and the level of sales reaching $44.2 million. At the same tine, it started trading stocks and was listed in the New York Stock Exchange as a public company. By 1971 Walmart was operating stores in five states of the country, including Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Kansas. Walmart entered Tennessee in 1973 and expanded its operations to Mississippi and Kentucky in the next year. By 1975, the number of stores has increased to 125 employing almost 7,500 people and having total sales around $340.3 million (Walmart, 2012). During the 1980s, the trend of Walmart’s rpid growth was preserved and by 1987 there were almost 200 stores with 200,000 employees and total sales of $15.9 billion (Walmart, 2012)

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The first Wal-Mart Supercenter was opened in 1988 in Washington, Missouri. At the same time, the company also expanded overseas and opened stores in Brazil and Argentina in 1995. It entered European market in 1999 through the purchase of Asda in the United Kingdom for $10 billion (Buerkle, 1999). By the mid 2000s, Walmart was operating more than 6,200 facilities all over the world with more than 1.6 million of people and reaching sales of $312.4 billion (Walmart, 2012).

Board of Directors of Walmart

Walmart was founded by Sam Walton who selected into Board of Directors people with outstanding ideas and knowledge, those who were not afraid of facing challenges and willing to take risks. Strong corporate governance is considered to be a crucial factor that largely determines success of the business. Contemporary Board of Directors at Walmart comprises highly educated people. It is chaired by Robert Walton and comprises 17 members (Walmart, 2012. Among the members of Board, there are current and former executives of large investment and consulting companies, including Breyer Capital, KPMG International, Medrone Capital, The Williams Capital Group. At the same time, executives of large companies and universities are also on the Board of Directors at Walmart, such as Douglas Daft (retired chairman and chief executive officer of the Coca-Cola Company), Marissa Mayer (President and chief executive officer of Yahoo!, Inc.), and James Cash, Jr. (Professor at Harvard Business School).

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At the same time, successful performance of Walmart is secured by the effective work of top executive management of the company. Top management of the company comprises 34 highly professional managers headed by Mike Duke, President and CEO of Walmart, Inc. (Walmart, 2012).

Financial Performance of Walmart

During 2011 and 2012 Walmart, Inc. has been experiencing considerable growth of consolidated net sales. The growth rates constituted 5.9% and 3.4% in 2012 and 2011 accordingly. The increase of net sales during these years is largely explained by the joint impact of increased retail square feet, comparable sales and currency translation benefits. At the same time, acquisitions also had substantial effect on the increase of sales during this period. In particular, retail square feet area of Walmart increased by 5.3% and 3.4% in 2011 and 2012 respectively. Furthermore, in 2012 and 2011 the corresponding increase of the currency translation benefits constituted $4.0 billion and $4.5 billion. Finally, acquisitions of Massmart and Netto were accomplished by the mid 2012 and accounted for around $4.7 billion of the net sales in 2012 (Walmart, 2012).

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In the absolute terms, net sales of Walmart in 2012 constituted $443.9 billion along with the consolidated operating income of $26.6 billion. At the same time, diluted earnings per share reached increased to $4.54 per share in 2012 compared to $4.18 in 2011. Finally, 52.2 million square feet were added to the retail area of the company in 2012 through the acquisition of 1,160 facilities, including unites in the United Kingdom and South Africa (Walmart, 2012).

Mission Statement of Walmart

Mission of the Walmart Corporation is “Saving people money so they can live better”. This goal has been envisioned more than forty years by Sam Walton when he launched first Wal-Mart store. However, it was preserved and still remains to be a driving force of Walmart.

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Mission of Walmart is focused on the help that the company can deliver to its customers. The company disregards origin of its consumers, background and place of living. It establishes policy of equality and claims that products should be available for everyone. The major message of the Walmart’s mission is that company is aware about the needs of men and women and it is able to satisfy them.


Walmart has been founded by Sam Walton in the middle of the twentieth century as a single store in one of the states in the USA. However, due to excellent entrepreneurial skills and knowledge, he expanded the company within the state, within the country and then internationally. Currently, the company is operating thousands of retail facilities and employs more than one million of people. Net sales of Walmart exceed $25 billion a year. With the help of the highly professional Board of Directors and skilled top executive management team, Walmart is now one of the largest retail stores in the world.

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