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Sam Walton A Man of Innovation When Sam Walton opened the first Wal-Mart store in 1962 it was the beginning of an American success story that no one could have predicted A small-town merchant who had operated variety stores in Arkansas and Missouri Walton was convinced that consumers would flock to a discount store with a wide array of merchandise and friendly service Hence Wal-Marts mission is to deliver big-city discounting to small-town America From humble hard-working roots Sam Walton built Wal-Mart Stores Inc into the largest fastest-growing and most profitable retailer in the world A child of the Depression Sam always worked hard He would milk the cows and by the age of eight he started selling magazine subscriptions When he turned 12 Sam took on a paper route that he continued well into his college days to support himself Walton began his retail career at JC Penney in Des Moines Iowa in 1940 making just 75 per month In 1945 Sam borrowed 5000 from his wife and 20000 from his wifes family to open a Ben Franklin five and dime franchise in Newport Arkansas In 1950 he relocated to Bentonville Arkansas and opened a Walton 510 Over the next 12 years they built up and grew to 15 Ben Franklin Stores under the name of Walton 510 Sam had plenty of new ideas He liked to deal with the suppliers directly so he could pass the savings on to the customers He later brought a new idea to Ben Franklin management that they should open discount stores in small towns They rejected his idea Sam and his brother James Bud opened their first Wal-Mart Discount City store in Rogers Arkansas in 1962 Walton and his wife Helen had to put up everything they had including their house and property to finance the first 18000 square-foot store With gradual growth over the next eight years they went public
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