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1970s

Walmart Goes National

1970

Taking the Company Public

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1970

Walmart becomes a publicly held company. First offered at $15, shares sell at $16.50 each.

1970

Walmart's first distribution center and Home Office open in Bentonville, Arkansas.

1970

The company has 1,500 associates working in 38 stores in five states: Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, and Oklahoma. Annual sales hit $44.2 million.

1970

Two years after going public, Walmart was added to the New York Stock Exchange

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Feb. 1971

As we're about to close our fiscal year of 1970, I'm... Read Letter

1971

The hourly associate profit-sharing plan is introduced.

1971

In May, Walmart stock experiences its first 100 percent split; it sells at a market price of $47.

Jun. 1971

I’ll review a few highlights of the past month or two... Read Letter

If we truly dedicate ourselves to instill that thrill of merchandising – the thrill of buying and selling something at a profit – into every one of our associates, nothing can ever stop us.

Sam Walton

1971

Walmart operates 51 stores, with annual sales of $78 million and 2,300 associates.

Aug. 1971

Turnover! Return on Investment! Those are two phrases... Read Letter

Nov. 1971

11 DOWN – 3 TO GO IN ‘71 And they're even getting... Read Letter

1971

Walmart World, Walmart’s associate magazine, is first published in February.

Taking Care of Families

From the very beginning, the basic essentials as well as small luxuries were offered at the lowest prices, helping families save money and live better.

1972

Bob Thornton helped build the world-class Walmart distribution model that Walmart has today. Ferold Arend streamlined store operations, including merchandise accountability and personnel leadership.

1972

Walmart is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

May. 1972

I suppose that being the President of a growing company... Read Letter

1972

Walmart stock splits 100 percent for the second time, with a market price of $47.50 on the NYSE.

So what's our challenge? Customer service, that's right. Are you thinking about doing those extra little things? Are you lookin' the customer in the eye and offering to help?

Sam Walton

Jul. 1972

Ten Tremendous Years With Wal-Mart 1962-1972 The first... Read Letter

Sep. 1972

The Records Tumble In This Summer of 1972 With Wal-Mart... Read Letter

1972

Walmart data processing center.

Dec. 1972

Sales Up for October And First Nine Months of Year!... Read Letter

1972

Walmart operates 64 stores, with sales of $124.9 million and 3,500 associates.

Jan. 1973

Our Prime Objective for 1973 In thinking about our year... Read Letter

1973

Expansion continues into Tennessee.

1973

Walmart executives, from left: Bud Walton, Ferold Arend, and Sam Walton, 1973.

Nov. 1973

New Trends in Retailing as It Affects Our Wal-Mart... Read Letter

Little Known Sparks

In what year did Walmart open its first store in China: ’92, ’94, or ’96?
In 1996, Walmart expanded into China.

Dec. 1973

As the Holiday Season approaches, I would like to share... Read Letter

Feb. 1974

– Goals for 1974 It’s that time of year again. A new... Read Letter

1974

Every Day Low Prices

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1974

In an effort to "level out sales curves and spread out increased efficiency," Walmart executive Jack Shewmaker champions Every Day Low Prices.

1974

As an outstanding store manager, Gary Reinboth trained Ron Loveless, who later became the first CEO of Sam's Club.

1974

As a key member of Walmart's senior leadership team, Ferold Arend is promoted to President and Chief Operating Officer in 1974.

1974

Walmart stores open in Kentucky and Mississippi; the 100th store opens in Bentonville.

Jul. 1974

A Matter of Pride In a recent trade publication, our... Read Letter

Dec. 1974

Another very excellent report was just released for our... Read Letter

So as it relates to our beliefs and behaviors, we have a great legacy, we have Sam Walton to build upon; he gave us a great start. His expectations and my expectations of you is to continue to build in the future to make Walmart a greater Company and that together we can make a huge difference in this world and a really good business.

Doug McMillon

1974

The origins of Every Day Low Prices.

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1975

Forbes ranks Walmart number one among general retailers.

1975

Inspired by workers he saw during a visit to Korea, Sam introduces the famous Walmart cheer.

Sam's Letters

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1975

Walmart leases an IBM System/370 Model 135 to track stock-keeping units (SKUs) in its distribution centers. It is one of the first computers to use “virtual memory.”

1975

Electronic cash registers in more than 100 Walmart stores record point-of-sale (POS) data to maintain inventory.

The real key is, let's truly spoil our customers as never before and beyond with our friendliness, courtesy and our obvious personal concern for their needs, appreciating them every day as we would guests in our homes. Our customer is our friend and guest who has chosen us over all other stores available on the street. Let's treat them accordingly and personally thank them for letting us serve them better with their needs.

Sam Walton

1975

Walmart goes to Texas.

1975

Over 7,500 associates work in 125 stores, with annual sales of $340.3 million.

Little Known Sparks

When did Walmart open its first Neighborhood Market: ’90, ’98, or ’06?
Walmart opened its first Neighborhood Market in 1998.

Jun. 1976

Our first quarter results were real good, as... Read Letter

1976

David Glass joins the company as executive vice president of finance.

Jul. 1976

The Real Hidden Asset on Wal-Mart’s Balance Sheet Much... Read Letter

Dec. 1976

By the time you read this article, you will be in the... Read Letter

1977

David Glass, Bud Walton, Sam Walton, Ferold Arend, and Jack Shewmaker

May. 1977

As a Company, we're sensitive to our customers and our... Read Letter

1977

Walmart builds a company-wide computer network and deploys a system for ordering merchandise from suppliers. The network helps Walmart achieve the secret to its success: Every Day Low Prices.

Aug. 1977

We had another good month in July and the second... Read Letter

1977

Walmart makes its first acquisition: 16 Mohr Value stores in Missouri and Illinois.

Little Known Sparks

In what year did Walmart become a publicly traded company: ’70, ’80, or ’90?
In 1970, Walmart became a publicly traded company. The first stock sold at $16.50 per share.

1977

Sam in his Bentonville office.

I don't know of anyone who has contributed more toward our total success as a retail company than Ferold Arend.

Sam Walton

1978

Sam with customer.

Apr. 1978

It's the last day of March, 1978, and almost two... Read Letter

1978

Walmart buys the Hutcheson Shoe Company.

Jun. 1978

We Must “Listen Aggressively” Most of our management... Read Letter

1978

Pharmacies, auto-service centers, and jewelry divisions are introduced in Walmart stores.

1978

In August, Jack Shewmaker becomes president and chief operating officer of Wal-mart Stores, Inc.

Sep. 1978

Message From Sam Walton I'm on my way to Greenville,... Read Letter

Little Known Sparks

In 1996, Walmart and Sam’s Club launched which kind of stores?

Walmart and Sam's Club launched online stores in 1996.

Nov. 1978

1978 rolls on! Our September results were much better... Read Letter

Dec. 1978

"OUR ASSOCIATES MAKE THE DIFFERNCE" What a truth, and... Read Letter

1979

A Billion Dollar Company

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1979

The Walmart Foundation is established; its first trustees are Sam Walton, David Glass, and Jack Shewmaker.

Jan. 1979

Our year's rapidly coming to a close, and what a great... Read Letter

1979

Rob Walton at Store #281 in Heber Springs, Arkansas.

Everything that is above average indicates quality thinking and the 'Pride of Performance.' It should be the rule rather than the exception. Constructive planning, good training, and careful supervision unite in beating competition and yesterday's methods.

Ferold Arend

Mar. 1979

We’ve just completed what has to be the best year-end... Read Letter

Our People Make the Difference

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Little Known Sparks

Where did Sam get the idea for the Walmart cheer?
Sam visited a tennis ball factory in Korea, where the workers did a cheer together every morning.

1979

Corporate Giving: The Walmart Foundation

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In 1979 ... We hit a billion dollars in sales ... I was amazed that Wal-Mart had turned into a billion-dollar company. But I couldn't see any logic to stopping there.

Sam Walton

Transportation

Walmart Transportation

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1979

Because of rapid growth in its computing power, the company builds a 16,000-square-foot data-processing facility to house the latest technology, and it installs the first terminal in a store: an IBM 3774.

Aug. 1979

My good friends, we were honored in Chicago this week... Read Letter

1979

Walmart expands into Alabama.

1979

Sam and Helen.

Sam's Truck

Sam's Truck

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1979

Walmart is the first company to reach $1 billion in annual sales in such a short period.

Little Known Sparks

What does the common Walmart acronym DC refer to?
Items that Walmart sells are shipped from factories to DCs—Distribution Centers—in every country before being loaded onto trucks for delivery to stores.

By the Numbers

By the end of the 1970s, annual sales reach $1.24 billion. Walmart has more than 21,000 associates and 276 stores.

1979

David Glass at the year-end meeting at the Tan-Tar-A Resort, in Missouri.

1979

The Walmart Aviation Maintenance Department is established to work on the Walmart fleet.

1979

Walmart's 21,000 associates are working at 276 stores with $1.2 billion in annual sales.

1979

Delivering Savings: The History of Walmart Transportation

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