Message to Associates
Something Old Is New Again: The Wal-Mart Visitors Center
Our Wal-Mart Visitors Center has been in the “talking” stage for several years but, very soon, it will be a reality. The center is located at the site of the first Walton 5 & 10 on the Bentonville, AR square. It will depict the history of our Company, from the early beginnings of the Walton 5 & 10 to the present Wal-Mart national retail chain that you and I know today. At first, the Center was labeled the Wal-Mart Museum. However, after visiting the Hallmark Visitors Center in Kansas City and viewing this fine example of a well-conceived visitors center, we were convinced to rename our museum – thus the Wal-Mart Visitors Center came into being.
The Center is in the building where the Walton 5 & 10 was actually located. Grand opening ceremonies will be held on May 9 and many of our old friends and associates are expected to attend.
The history of our Company, including those early Ben Franklin days, is evident throughout the center. More than 40 exhibits will be on display, including electronic displays and memorabilia from as far back as the 40s. Three video stations will feature Wal-Mart history, the Buy American program and information and photos about our family, our children and our grandchildren.
As you can imagine, many have worked hard to make this center a reality. We believe it will be interesting to everyone, regardless of age. This is your center, so stop by any time with your family and take a tour. We’re awfully proud of it and I think you will be pleased with it as well.
Our committee and those who have assisted in a number of ways, deserve much of the credit for the originality and design of the center which makes it unique and unlike anything you’ve ever seen. It has truly been a labor of love and has resulted in a work of art.
Without your loyalty and the dedication of many other associates over these past 40 years, the Wal-Mart Visitors Center could not have been possible. Your talents, your skills in retailing, your work ethic and values have helped create the strong, profitable, successful organization we recognize and appreciate today. I cannot adequately express to you, as well as to other who have shared in this phenomenon. My sincere gratitude for your combined efforts and the individual contributions you are making to produce this outstanding retail business of ours and its further development. Its future, though, rests in your hands. As we continue to write chapters in the Wal-Mart story and accumulate greater records of achievement, who knows – we may even have to enlarge the Visitors Center and relocate it to more spacious accommodations. I will leave that decision to you, my friends. I’m confident we have the potential and certainly, we have the opportunity. Thanks so much for your support!
Your Friend – Sam Walton