Our People Make the Difference
The Original Associates
When Walton’s 5&10 opened, Sam looked close to home for associates. After school and football practice, his sons Rob, John, and Jim would head to work where they’d stock shelves and sweep floors. On Saturdays, his daughter Alice sold popcorn. By the time Walmart opened its doors in 1962, there were 17 stores and hundreds of associates. Though their numbers had grown, Sam’s passion for his associates was as strong as when he was just starting out.
Putting a Practice Into Words
It was easy for Sam to stay focused on people because he didn’t lead from his office. He spent most of his time out and about, visiting the stores. And when Sam visited, his first stop wasn’t the store manager’s office. He started with “the people on the front lines.” He knew those associates were essential to keeping loyal customers, that they treated the customers better than salespeople in other stores, and that “the best ideas usually do come from the folks in the stores.” But it wasn’t just about the front lines, Sam’s passion for his associates extended throughout Walmart.