Walmart serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at more than 8,692 retail units under 55 different banners in 15 countries. With fiscal year 2010 sales of $405 billion, Walmart employs 2.1 million associates worldwide.
A leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity, Walmart ranked first among retailers inFortune Magazine’s 2010 Most Admired Companies survey.
Walmart was founded in 1962, with the opening of the first Walmart discount store in Rogers, Ark. The company incorporated as Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., on Oct. 31, 1969. The company's shares began trading on OTC markets in 1970 and were listed on the New York Stock Exchange two years later.
The company grew to 276 stores in 11states by the end of the decade. In 1983, the company opened its first Sam’s Club membership warehouse and in 1988 opened the first supercenter -- now the company’s dominant format -- featuring a complete grocery in addition to general merchandise. Walmart became an international company in 1991 when it opened its first Sam's Club near Mexico City. Learn more about our history.
Savingpeople money to help them live better was the goal that Sam Walton envisioned when he opened the doors to the first Walmart more than 40 years ago. Today, this mission is more important than ever to our customers and members around the world. We work hard every day in all our markets to deliver on this promise. We operate with the same level of integrity and respect that Mr. Sam put in place. It isbecause of these values and culture that Walmart continues to make a difference in the lives of our customers, members and associates. Learn more about our purpose.
Ed. Note: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) is the legal name of the corporation. The name "Walmart," expressed as one word and without punctuation, is a trademark of the company and is used analogously to describe the company andits stores. Use the legal name when it is necessary to identify the legal entity, such as when reporting financial results, SEC filings, litigation or governance matters.
Sam Walton said it best,
“If we work together, we’ll lower the cost of living for everyone…we’ll give the world an opportunity to see what it’s like to save and have a better life.”
What We Do
Saving peoplemoney to help them live better was the goal that Sam Walton envisioned when he opened the doors to the first Walmart. It’s the focus that underlies everything we do at Walmart. And for the millions of customers who shop in our stores and clubs around the world each week, it means a lot.
Walmart’s overall impact on the retail industry and beyond has changed the way businessis conducted globally, and increased consumer benefits — regardless of where they shop.
The birth of discount retailing
Most people think discount retailing began in 1962 – the year that Kmart, Target, and Walmart first opened. But actually, the chain of variety stores Sam Walton owned during the 1950s faced stiff competition from many regional discount stores.
1962 – Walmart beginsBefore opening Walmart, Sam traveled the country studying everything he could about discount retailing. He became convinced American consumers wanted a new type of store. Trusting his vision, Sam and his wife Helen put up 95 percent of the money for the first Walmart store in Rogers, Ark.
1972 – Walmart goes public
Discounters such as Kmart quickly expanded in the 1960s, while Sam only hadenough money to build 15 Walmart stores. In 1972, Walmart stock was offered for the first time on the New York Stock Exchange. With this infusion of capital, our company grew to 276 stores in 11 states by the end of the decade.
The 1980s – Walmart comes of age
In 1983, the first Sam’s Club members-warehouse store opened. The first Supercenter opened in 1988, featuring a complete grocery, and 36...