SAM WALTON Biography - Bussiness people and enterpreneurs


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Name: Sam Walton                                                                           
Born: 29 March 1918                                                                       
Died: 1992                                                                                 
Contrary to popular belief, Sam Walton (the founder of Wal-Mart) was not from             
Arkansas. He was actually born in Kingfish, Oklahoma on March 29, 1918. He was             
raised in Missouri where he worked in his father's store while attending school.           
This was his first retailing experience and he really enjoyed it. After                   
graduating from the University of Missouri in 1940, he began his own career as a           
retail merchant when he opened the first of several franchises of the Ben                 
Franklin five-and-dime franchises in Arkansas.                                             
This would lead to bigger and better things and he soon opened his first Wal-Mart         
store in 1962 in Rogers, Arkansas. Wal-Mart specialized in name-brands at low             
prices and Sam Walton was surprised at the success. Soon a chain of Wal-Mart               
stores sprang up across rural America.                                                     
Walton's management style was popular with employees and he founded some of the           
basic concepts of management that are still in use today.                                 
After taking the company public in 1970, Walton introduced his "profit sharing             
plan". The profit sharing plan was a plan for Wal-Mart employees to improve               
their income dependent on the profitability of the store. Sam Walton believed             
that "individuals don't win, teams do". Employees at Wal-Mart stores were                 
offered stock options and store discounts. These benefits are commonplace today,           
but Walton was among the first to implement them. Walton believed that a happy             
employee meant happy customers and more sales. Walton believed that by giving             
employees a part of the company and making their success dependent on the                 
company's success, they would care about the company.                                     
By the 1980s, Wal-Mart had sales of over one billion dollars and over three               
hundred stores across North America. Wal-Mart's unique decentralized                       
distribution system, also Walton's idea, created the edge needed to further spur           
growth in the 1980s amidst growing complaints that the "superstore" was                   
squelching smaller, traditional Mom and Pop stores. By 1991, Wal-Mart was the             
largest U.S. retailer with 1,700 stores. Walton remained active in managing the           
company, as president and CEO until 1988 and chairman until his death. He was             
awarded the Medal of Freedom shortly before his death.                                     
Walton died in 1992, being the world's second richest man, behind Bill Gates. He           
passed his company down to his three sons, daughter and wife. Wal-Mart Stores             
Incorporated (located in Bentonville, Arkansas) is also in charge of "Sams Club".         
Wal-Mart stores now operate in Mexico, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, South Korea,             
China and Puerto Rico. Sam Walton's visions were indeed successful.