Today on Day’s to remember, we celebrate how Sam Walton who was the founder of Walmart was born today on March 29th 1918.
When I think of the store Walmart, its great source to buy cheap plastic crap, but today were celebrating Sam Walton’s birthday.
Walton began what would be a lifelong career in the retail business in 1940, when he took a job as a sales trainee at a J.C. Penney store in Des Moines, Iowa.
Walton was enthusiastic about his job, but he was never one of Penney’s most thorough employees. He hated to make customers wait while he fussed with paperwork, so his books were a mess. His boss even threatened to fire him, saying he was not cut out for retail work. Walton was saved by his ability as a salesman, and he added about $25 per month in commissions to his beginner’s salary.
Drafted into the United States Army in 1942, Walton served stateside as a communications officer in the Army Intelligence Corps for the duration of World War II. By the time he was released from the military in 1945, Walton had a wife and child to support, so he decided to strike out on his own. Putting up $5,000 of his own money and $20,000 that he borrowed from his father-in-law, at the age of 27, Walton purchased a Ben Franklin variety store in Newport, Arkansas.
Through hard work and a policy of pricing products well below what other retailers charged, Walton soon tripled his business, and by 1950, he owned the leading Ben Franklin store in a six-state region. The store’s success wasn’t lost on Walton’s landlord, who decided to acquire the business for his son. Sam had no intention of selling, so the landlord simply refused to renew his lease.
The experience would have caused most people to give up. But not Sam Walton. He searched the rural towns of Arkansas for a new place to do business, and found it in the tiny community of Bentonville. There he set up shop in a store on the town square, this time insisting on a 99-year lease.
Sam Walton single-handedly built Wal-Mart into the biggest retailer in the world, transforming the way America shopped and making himself one of the world’s richest men in the process. Thanks to his “aw, shucks” demeanor and his strategy of targeting rural areas, retailing giants like Kmart, Sears and Woolworth’s never saw the scrappy, pickup-driving country boy coming. And when they did, it was too late to stop him, as we wish Sam Walton a happy birthday today.
Written & Designed by JD Mitchell