Retail scene in the US:
Retail trade is an important aspect of any business. This is one of the most common ways for the end product to reach the consumer. There has always been tremendous competition in the retail trade business. Hence to rein in the maximum customers, the concept of discount stores came into being in the United States in the early 1950s.
Birth of a new concept:
With this concept gaining in popularity a gentleman by the name of Sam Walton opened his own discount retail shop in Rogers, Arkansas in the year 1962. This was said to be the birth of Walmart and the start of a new revolution in retail trading.
Within a short period of just five years, Walton was able to open 24 stores in Arkansas itself. The turnover achieved by all these 24 stores put together was around $ 12.6 million. The expansion resulted in change from the private establishment to an officially incorporated company, Walmart Stores Inc. on October 31, 1969.
Extent of expansion:
Substantial growth was witnessed in the years to follow with the highlight point being sale of shares of the company over the counter. In 1977, the company acquired the Hutchinson Shoe Company and also introduced the sale of pharmaceutical products in the name of Walmart Pharmacy. By the end of the decade it became a name to be contended within the American retail industry. The number of stores expanded to 276 by then.
The decade of the 80s and 90s saw expansion on a greater scale with the opening of the first Sam’s club in 1983 and the inauguration of Walmart’s first super centre in 1988. The number of employees of Walmart started to grow exponentially and today Walmart employs more than 2.1 million associates and direct employees and serves a whopping 176 million customers all over the world annually.
Some irresistible facts about Walmart:
We list below certain facts about Walmart that might make you sit up and take notice.
- In 2012, the annual turnover of Walmart was estimated at $ 444 billion which is more than the GDP of a country such as Austria. If Walmart were to be treated as a country, it would have been the 26th largest economy of the world.
- If Walmart were to be projected as an army they would have workforce strength second only to the Chinese military army.
- It has been researched that an average family spends about $ 4000 annually at Walmart.
- It is always said the top brass of Walmart make more money than the ordinary workforce. The annual salary package of the CEO of Walmart makes him earn more in an hour what a full time employee of Walmart earns in an entire year.
- The amount of space occupied by Walmart stores is mind blogging. If it was considered to be at one place it would encompass an area about 1.5 times that of Manhattan. The parking lots alone would take up a size roughly equal to that of Tampa.
- It was the most sued company in the US in 2010 with an average of one suit being filed against it every 2 hours.
- Its accessibility to the common man is proved by the fact that 90% of all Americans live within 15 miles of a Walmart store.
- Though they do their bit for charity, it is nothing when compared to contemporaries such as Bill Gates or Warren Buffet though the total net worth of the Walton family is roughly equal to that of both Gates and Buffet combined.
- It is said that if the total worth of the Walton heirs is such that it can fill up a large swimming pool full of solid gold.
- The most frequent searched destination in GPS provider Telenav is Walmart.
However all said and done, Walmart has changed the way people shop all over the world.