As we're about to close our fiscal year of 1970, I'm left with mixed feelings. I'm certainly proud of our tremendous accomplishments in this most critical year and glad it's about over. Yet, I'm still anxious about our final results. Needless to say, I know you join me in eagerly looking forward to Wal-Mart's continued growth in 1971.
What an eventful year this has been for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. And the story's not really been told yet, and won't be until the inventories are complete. But think with me for a moment about year 1970 and its significance to all of us in the Walton and Wal-Mart family. During this past year, these are some of the milestones we've passed.
1. We reorganized our company from a combination of individually owned, partnership and corporate stores to one consolidated corporation known as Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., consisting of thirty-one stores as of February 1, 1970.
2. We became a public held company with our stock selling over the counter and being quite well received by the investing public.
3. We've added eight new Wal-Marts and enlarged four Wal-Marts for a total of 340,000 square feet of additional store space, increasing our total space by 58%.
4. Sales for 1970 will total between 43 and 44 million dollars - up from 31 million in 1969, for a 42% increase in sales, and hopefully, profits will keep pace.
Some year! Really, it shouldn't have been possible except that you people who make up this fine Wal-Mart Company didn't know that it couldn't be done. The results are evident, and I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for a tremendous job well done. After 1970, I'm totally optimistic for Wal-Mart's future. With our splendid organization and a solid base upon which to build, there's hardly any limit for our future growth and expansion as a Company.
Once again I'll say I'm glad 1970 is over, but how proud I am of what was accomplished! My most sincere thanks and appreciation goes to each of you.
Sam M. Walton