Sam Walton

Sam Walton is – successful American entrepreneur

Sam Walton was a businessman in America who founded the Wal-Mart chain as well as Sam’s Club. For three years from 1985 to 1988 he was named the richest man in the country by Forbes magazine.
Walton’s date of birth is March 29, 1918, Kingfisher, Oklahoma. He was born into a family of farmers, his parents were Thomas Gibson Walton and Nan Walton’s. Upon reaching the age of 5, he began his school life at an educational institution in Springfield. When America was hit by the Great Depression, Sam Walton became involved in the family business that his parents discovered by selling milk. He milked cows and delivered the product to customers. When Sam turned seven, he started selling magazine subscriptions. In 7th grade and until graduation from university, he worked as a newspaper distributor, growing and selling small animals.
Soon the whole family moved to the small town of Marshall (Missouri). Here, Sam was repeatedly selected as class headmaster. Having earned the proud title of Boy Scout, he was the very first guy in the area to earn an Eagle degree at the age of 13.
In 1932, Sam saved a sinking boy, which was the subject of an article in the local media.
The Waltons soon moved home again, this time to Selbina, Missouri. Sam went to school, then moved to a Colombian institution, and graduated with honors.
After entering the University of Missouri, he was accepted into the Beta Theta P Student Society, considered the best in the university and a leader in the league of athletics. When he was a second year student, he was appointed to be in charge of recruitment and, in general, was tasked with becoming president of the university student council of government. It was easy and natural for him to acquire a variety of positions and titles.
While still at college, Sam was offered the position by J.C. Penney Enterprise, so in 1940 he began working at Des Moines in the retail department as a manager trainee. But in 1942, he quit his job and moved closer to Tulsa. This place introduced him to the only one who later became his wife, Helen Robson. However, they married a little later, in 1943, and while he was drafted into the army and put in charge of security at the plant that was building planes. That’s what he did for a year as a captain. The fighting was closed to him because of heart disease.

Sam Walton’s trading experience

The retail trade always attracted Sam, so he decided to do it when the war ended. He started the business in 1945 with a store in Newport, working as a franchisor for Ben Franklin from Butler Brothers. The first year of trade brought a sum that exceeded the income of the store earlier, the second brought it to the level of income twice as much. In this first store Sam began to apply new technologies, so successfully later worked in the Wal-Mart chain. So what did he do to raise the store’s wealth in this way? These are some of his tricks:

  • the goods were sold at low prices affordable to the buyer.;
  • the purchase was made directly from manufacturers, bypassing intermediaries, and the prices were an order of magnitude lower due to the absence of commissions to the intermediate link.;
  • during the holidays, the store worked longer than usual so that everyone could buy the necessary stuff.

When Sam worked for five years in the Ben Franklin network, he came first among other franchisees. This certainly caught the store owner’s attention, but not Sam’s: he did not want to extend the lease, but rented out the building to his own son for his retail outlet.

In 1950 the Walton family moved to Bentonville, also a small town – Helen did not like big cities. Here Sam reopened the store, now called “Walton’s Five and Dime”, the revenue was very small compared to previous experience. But a couple of years later, Walton opened a store in Fayetteville, and ten years later, together with his brother, he opened 16 more units in Arkansas, Missouri and Kansas. Walton invited store managers to become partners and invest their finances in their own stores, which was bold and new at the time. Given the distance between the sales units, Sam flew the plane that he also operated.

The first chain store

The opening date of the very first Wal-Mart store was July 2, 1962. It happened in Rogers, Arkansas, and the name of the store was chosen taking into account the number of letters: so you could save money on the sign. Sam was already 44 years old at the time. In 1979, the total number of stores chain reached 230, and the total revenue exceeded a billion dollars. So Wal-Mart retail chain became the largest in America, and Sam Walton was named the richest man in the country.
At the time of the entrepreneur’s death (it happened in April 1992) Forbes Magazine had assessed Walton’s condition, and it is expressed in the figure of more than 58 billion dollars.
The company was inherited by his wife and four children, each of whom linked their lives to work for the corporation: Rob served as head of the board of directors, John served as director of the company all his life, Alice and Rob are members of the board of the Walton Family Foundation. Jim, however, was involved in offline activities – he founded Arvest Bank, which has $17 billion in assets.