Walmart sign with American flag

Walmart, The Unlikely Beginning

The Early Beginnings of Walmart. Walton's 5&10 Store.

Before there was a Walmart there was Walton’s 5&10. Sam Walton had previous retail experience. Therefore, Sam Walton opened the Walton’s 5&10 in Bentonville Arkansas.

Why Bentonville of all places? It had everything Sam and his wife Helen wanted. It had a small town charm which pleased Helen. Also, the location was ideal for Sam’s love of hunting.

Due to the success of Walton’s 5&10 Sam Walton was inspired. Walton wanted to bring even more savings to people. Therefore, he opened the first Walmart in 1962.

The First Walmart

Grand opening of the first store.

This first store was located in Rogers Arkansas. Sam Walton had many naysayers in the early days. His competition didn’t believe he could be successful with the mindset of giving it’s customers a great product at a low price.

Growing the Walmart Family

Sign at the home office.

By 1967 the Walton family owned 24 stores. All of which were making a profit. Therefore, Sam Walton’s competition had been proven wrong. As it turned out Walton was right in thinking people wanted a value in their products. This led to many more advances with the business.

In 1971 the first distribution center opened. It was located in Bentonville along with a Home Office. Furthermore, the growth was being noticed in the stock market as well. The stock continued to steadily increase. Therefore, by the end of the 1970s, the Walton family began the Walmart Foundation.

Continuing the Legacy

Sam Walton makes good on his promise to hula on Wall Street.

In the 80’s, Sam Walton’s business was extremely profitable. So much so that the Walton’s made a decision to open a new chain of stores. Those stores are still known today as Sam’s Club.

Also, by the 1980s there were over 270 Walmart locations with over 20,000 employees. Due to a large number of stores and employees, Sam Walton found new ways to keep everyone motivated. In 1984 Sam Walton wore a traditional hula outfit on Wall Street as he performed a hula dance. Why would the owner of a large company do such a thing? He had made a promise to his employees. That promise was if they reached a goal of “a pre-tax profit of 8% for the previous fiscal year” he would perform this dance in front of everyone.

Click on this link to learn more about Sam Walton and his famous quotes on Customers, Success, and Leadership.

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Sam Walton

Sam Walton was the founder of Walmart. He valued his customers as well as his employees. Therefore, he encouraged his employees to be great leaders. He also encouraged them to be successful.

Walton also believed that the customer should come first. In addition, he believed that the customers’ needs should be the most important thing in not only his business but in every business. Without customers how can any business flourish? Furthermore, Walton encouraged all leaders to be successful by putting their customers first. Using this strategy, the company of Walmart that we know flourished.

Sam Walton on Customers

Customers are the main focus.

Sam Walton believed that customers were the most important part of any company. Therefore, there are many memorable quotes that focus on them. Furthermore, he knew how to continue to be successful. Not only did Sam Walton speak about the importance of customers he also ran his business with that at the forefront.

* There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.

*  The goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best, but legendary.

* Exceed your customer’s expectations. If you do, they’ll come back over and over. Give them what they want – and a little more.

* If one of our customers comes into the store without a smile, I’ll give them one of mine.

* If you don’t listen to your customers, someone else will.

* Each Walmart store should reflect the values of its customers and support the vision they hold for their community.

Sam Walton on Success

Walmart has shown success throughout the years.

Sam Walton had many things to say about success. He believed that success was directly related to hard work. Also, Walton knew that with time things change. Therefore, in business, you need to be flexible as well as ready for those changes. Furthermore, Walton knew while keeping up with changes you need to also be able to continue to put the customers’ needs first.

* You can’t just keep doing what works one time, everything around you is changing. To succeed, stay out in front of change.

* To succeed in this world, you have to change all the time.

* Celebrate your success and find humor in your failures. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Loosen up and everyone around you will loosen up. Have fun and always show enthusiasm. When all else fails, put on a costume and sing a silly song.

* The secret of successful retailing is to give your customers what they want. And really, if you think about it from the point of view of the customer, you want everything: a wide assortment of good quality merchandise; the lowest possible prices; guaranteed satisfaction with what you buy; friendly, knowledgeable service; convenient hours; free parking; a pleasant shopping experience.

* The key to success is to get out into the store and listen to what the associates have to say. It’s terribly important for everyone to get involved. Our best ideas come from clerks and stock boys.

* If you want a successful business, your people must feel that you are working for them – not that they are working for you.

Sam Walton on Leadership

Leadership is important to success.

Good leaders are essential to a good business. Walton knew that if you take care of your employees, they, in turn, will take care of you. Therefore, he had a lot of positive advice for leaders. Along with leading, Walton believed that leaders were responsible for keeping other employees on the track for success. Furthermore, he knew good leaders produce good employees. Also, good employees produce good customers.

* Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.

* Communicate everything you can to your associates. The more they know, the more they care. Once they care, there is no stopping them.

* Leaders must always put their people before themselves. If you do that, your business will take care of itself.

* Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. They’re absolutely free and worth a fortune.

* There’s absolutely no limit to what plain, ordinary, working people can accomplish if they’re given the opportunity and encouragement to do their best.

* If you love your work, you’ll be out there every day trying to do it the best you possibly can, and pretty soon everybody around will catch the passion from you – like a fever.

Lastly, check out our post on: Inspiring Business Quotes Help Conquer Tough Times 

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