We live in an era of truly incredible wealth and vast inequality between the richest billionaires and every day middle class people. The world’s 50 richest families have a net worth of $ 1.2 trillion. The Walton family is the wealthiest country not only in America, but in the world, with a net worth of $ 247 billion. A year ago, the family had a combined net worth of $ 191 billion. Two years ago it was $ 151.5 billion. It is not far-fetched to say that by the end of 2021, the Walton family may have a collective net worth of over $ 300 billion. The Walton family’s wealth, of course, comes from their family business, a small shop you may have heard of at Walmart. Members of the Walton family are the largest shareholders of Walmart. He has more than 50% stock in the company. Walmart is the world’s largest retail company with more than 11,500 stores worldwide.
The first Walmart store was opened in 1962 in Rogers, Arkansas. It was founded by Sam Walton. After graduating from the University of Missouri with a degree in economics in 1940, Sam began his professional career in Iowa as a management trainee for Jessie Penny. After about a year and a half, he joined the army and was a member of the Intelligence Corps during World War II. When he returned to the United States, he bought a Ben Franklin variety store in Newport, Arkansas. They ran their stores a little differently than other Ben Franklin stores. They made sure that their shelves were always full. As a result, he earned about $ 225,000 in revenue. This got the attention of the former owners and when it came time to renew their lease, the owners instead bought the store back from them for $ 50,000.
Sam took $ 50,000 and jointly leased another store in Arkansas with a $ 20,000 loan from his father-in-law. He was not taking any chances this time, so he negotiated a 99-year lease. Within three years, he was bringing in $ 175,000, before doubling the store’s annual revenue. During the 1950s, Sam expanded his growing retail empire in Missouri and brought his brother Bud into the company. The Walton brothers opened 16 more stores over the next eight years.
By 1962, however, it was clear to Sam that it was time for him to start his own store. He opened the first Walmart Discount City in Rogers, Arkansas. He had a simple plan to develop the company. They opened their stores in small towns not far from their regional warehouses. They stock the brand from American manufacturers. He started his own trucking company to move goods from warehouses to shops. In 1972, Walmart made its IPO. By 1985, Walmart had 800 stores. In 1988, Walmart was the most profitable retail store in the US until October 1989, the largest in terms of revenue. In the early 1990s, Walmart stores, once restricted to the South and Lower Midwest, were located from coast to coast. The first Sam’s Club opened in November 1989 in New Jersey. The first California location opened in Lancaster in July 1990.
Sam Walton died on April 5, 1992, at age 74 of multiple myeloma from a blood cancer. At the time, he was running 1,735 Wal-Mart stores, 212 Sam’s Club stores and 13 Supercenters. Wal-Mart employed 380,000 people and generated annual revenue of $ 50 billion. When Sam died, he split his stake in the company with his wife Helen and four children, equally. 50% of Walmart’s equity is controlled by four people: Rob, Jim, Ellis and Christy Walton. Today, Walmart has 11,510 stores and 599 Sam’s Club stores in 27 countries. Walmart is the world’s largest company with revenues of $ 524 billion in 2020. Walmart is the world’s largest private employer with 2.2 million employees worldwide.
At the time of his death in 1992, Sam Walton had total assets of $ 8.6 billion. This is equivalent to 16 billion dollars today.