Sam Walton was the founder of Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, with a winning spirit and strategies. It revolutionized American retail businesses. In the following, we will talk about the formation of Walmart by Sam Walton and the strategies he used to succeed. In addition, you will read 10 important tips from Sam Walton that will help you a lot in the success of your business.
The boss is none other than the customer. The customer is the one who can fire the top executives of the company; All you have to do is decide to spend your money elsewhere.
Founder and Walmart (1962); Sam Walton
Sam Walton alone made Walmart the world’s largest retailer, transformed the US buying and selling industry, and became the richest man of his time. Walton, on the other hand, behaved modestly and away from arrogance. This approach and behavior led retail giants such as Camart, Sears, and Wolverine to realize the emergence of a fledgling but capable rival when he seized power and they missed the opportunity to defeat him.
Walton started retail, which became his permanent job, in 1940. At the time, Walton was working as an apprentice salesman at the GC Penny Store in Demoin, Iowa. He was never like other employees of this store and hated to wait for the customer because of the paperwork. As a result, his sales offices were in disarray, and he was repeatedly threatened with dismissal by his superiors for irregularities. However, his high sales skills increased his salary by $ 25 a month from his basic salary at the time of hiring.
Walton joined the United States Army in 1942 and served as a communications officer in the Army Intelligence Corps during World War II. In 1945, when he left the army, he was married and had a child to support. So he decided to stand on his own two feet. At age 27, he bought a Ben Franklin store in Newport, Arkansas, for $ 5,000 and borrowed $ 20,000 from his stepfather.
By working hard and taking a low-cost approach to competitors, Walton quickly expanded his business threefold. Until 1950, he owned the Ben Franklin store in a common area between the six states.
Walton objected to the sale of the land when the store owner decided to sell the land and hand over the Walton business to his son. The landlord did not renew the lease. Even that did not stop Walton from growing his business.
Many people may have accepted and retreated in the face of such experiences, but Sam Walton was different.
He was looking for a new location for his store in rural Arkansas and found it in a small complex in Bentonville. He chose a shop in the town square and, with the experience he had gained, rented the shop with a 99-year contract.
Walton opened Waltons Five & Rain in the summer of 1950. Of course, there were two other similar stores in the city, but none of them, like the Walton store, offered regular discounts to customers. This led to the success of his new store and encouraged Walton to expand his business. “Maybe I was addicted to expanding stores, and maybe I didn’t want to keep all the eggs in one basket,” Walton said of his thirst for business expansion.
During the 1950s, with the money Walton borrowed and the profits from sales, Walton stores opened one after another. By 1960, he owned 15 stores, but his current profit did not satisfy him, and he believed that his round-the-clock efforts deserved more profit. So it tried to outperform its commercial competitors by dramatically reducing prices and increasing special sales. Of course, this strategy was not new, but the discount stores of that period were very small, mostly located in big cities, and only some of their products were discounted.
Walton’s idea was to open department stores in small towns to sell all goods at a discount to customers.
Initially, he intended to implement his idea in the Ben Franklin stores, but the company’s executives opposed his idea of halving the wholesale prices of products. Walton took a big risk. He pledged his home in 1962 and established the first Walmart store (Walton Mart) in Rogers-Arkansas, a short distance from Bentonville.
Of course, Walton was not the only one with the idea of big discounts. In the same year, SS Karzaj opened Camart and Wolverine Volco, which could easily have defeated Walmartz, but Walton had a long way to go to attract the attention of the two retail giants.
Customers in small US cities flocked to Walmart to buy because of the good discounts, which led to a definite increase in sales and profits. This early success provided the capital for the establishment of more stores; By 1969, 18 Walmartz stores had been established in Arkansas and Missouri. Until that year, Walton was growing his business with the help of store profits and the money he borrowed, but in 1970 he decided to make the company public. The first offer was to buy the company for $ 5 million, leaving 61% of the company owned by Walton and his family. In this way, he paid off the company’s debts and, with his ambitious plans, set out to grow the business as much as possible.
In the first year of its launch, six stores were added, in the next two years 13 stores, and in subsequent years 26 and 14 stores, respectively, to the Walmartz store chain. By the end of 1980, Walton had 276 stores, and since then it has opened an average of 100 stores per year. In 1983, Walton started Sam’s first wholesale clubs, aimed at small business owners and others who wanted to buy their merchandise in bulk. This multiplied Walton’s capital.
In 1985, Forbes magazine named him the richest man in America with a fortune of $ 2.8 billion. In 1987, Walmartz was the third largest retail store in the United States after Camart and Sears. After all these successes, in 1988 Walton announced that he had decided to hand over the executive management of Walmartz to David Glass, but he himself would continue to chair Walmartz.
Two years later, doctors diagnosed Walton with malignant bone cancer. But this disease also could not defeat his victorious spirit. At the annual Wal-Martz Conference in 1990, he predicted that in the next 10 years the company’s profits would reach five times its current value of $ 125 billion. Two years later, Walmartz overtook Camart and Sears to become the region’s largest retailer.
On March 17, 1992, then-President George W. Bush presented Walton with the Medal of Freedom for his service. This was Walton’s last honor; He was admitted to the University of Arkansas Hospital a few days later and died on April 5, 1992, six days after his 74th birthday. His net worth at the time of his death is estimated at $ 25 billion.
Sam Walton was not an inventor of retail; Just as Henry Ford was not the inventor of the automobile, but as the Ford automobile line revolutionized the American automobile industry, Walton’s strong cheap-selling strategy revolutionized American retail businesses.
Not only did Walton change the way he traded in the United States, he changed the philosophy of starting a retail business by transferring power from seller to customer, and this approach became pervasive in many American industries. Walton’s strategy later paved the way for many chain stores, such as Barnes & Noble, Blockbuster and HomeDipo, to change the face of retail forever.
10 Tips from Sam Walton
- Commit to your work.
- Share your profits with your co-workers and share them in your progress.
- Give your co-workers a positive spirit and energy.
- Talk to your coworkers about what you can do.
- Appreciate the services your employees provide to grow their business.
- Celebrate your successes.
- Listen to all comments.
- Exceed your customers’ expectations.
- Outperform your competitors in cost control.
- Specify your route.
What do the Pentagon and Walmart have in common?
One of the main reasons Walmart was so successful was its rapid adaptation to technology. Sam Walton realized from the beginning that in order to reduce costs and increase profits, he had to control the inventory and have the right goods in the right quantity. Having too many goods in stock means additional costs and low stock of goods in stock means inability to meet customer demand. Knowing the goods sold, inventory, orders and orders that are not yet available was one of Walton’s constant obsessions. Walmart was therefore one of the first retailers to install electronic scanners on its inboxes, which were connected to a central inventory control computer.
In the list of the world’s largest databases, the Walmart Stores database is second only to the Pentagon in terms of capacity.