Mike Duke Letter

Retail Revolution

Sam Walton's strategy is built on an unshakeable foundation: The Lowest Prices Anytime, Anywhere!

1962:On July 2, Sam Walton opens his first Walmart in Rogers, Ark.

1967:The Waltons now own 24 stores, ringing up $12.7 million in sales.

1969:The company officially incorporates as Wal–Mart Stores, Inc.

Walmart Goes National

In the 1970s, a decade of incredible growth, "Mr. Sam" begins to take Walmart national, proving his vision's widespread appeal.

1970: Walmart becomes a publicly traded company on October 1.

1971: The company's first distribution center is opened in Bentonville, Ark.

1972: Walmart is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (ticker: WMT).

Now with 51 stores, Walmart records sales of $78 million.

1975: Inspired by a visit to a Korean manufacturing facility, Sam Walton introduces the Walmart cheer.

1976:David Glass joins the company as EVP of finance.

1979:The Walmart Foundation is established.

A Decade of Firsts

In the 1980s, the company reaches several major milestones: The first Sam's Club opens, serving small businesses and individuals alike; the first supercenter opens, in Washington, Mo.; and the company's strategy of Everyday Low Prices thrives.

1980:Walmart reaches $1 billion in annual sales, faster than any other company at that time.

1983:The first Sam's Club opens in Midwest City, Okla.

Walmart replaces cash registers with computerized point–of–sale systems, enabling fast and accurate checkout.

1987:The company installs the largest private satellite communication system in the U.S., linking the company's operations through voice, data and video communication.

1988:The first supercenter opens in Washington, Mo., combining general merchandise and a full–scale supermarket to provide a one–stop shopping convenience.

David Glass is named CEO.

America's Top Retailer

Walmart comes to suburban America and beyond. By 1990, it is the nation's number–one retailer. As the Walmart Supercenter redefines convenience and one–stop shopping, Everyday Low Prices go international. Argentina, China, Mexico and others welcome Walmart, again confirming Sam's vision.

1991: Through a joint venture with Cifra, Walmart expands internationally, opening a Sam's Club in Mexico City.

1992:While receiving the Medal of Freedom, Sam Walton articulates the company mission of saving people money so they can live better, shortly before passing away at 74.

Rob Walton becomes chairman of the board.

1993:Walmart celebrates its first $1 billion sales week.

1994:Walmart expands into Canada with the purchase of 122 Woolco stores.

1996:Walmart opens its first stores in China.

1999:Walmart enters the United Kingdom with the acquisition of ASDA.

New Millennium

Walmart enters the new millennium by expanding the scope of servant leadership again. The Site to Store program, which allows customers to have their online purchases shipped to any Walmart store in the contiguous United States, completes the multichannel experience.

2000:H. Lee Scott, Jr. succeeds David Glass as CEO.

2002:For the first time, Walmart tops the Fortune 500 ranking of America's largest companies.

Walmart enters the Japanese market through its investment in Seiyu.

2005:Walmart takes a leading role in disaster relief, contributing $18 million and 2,450 truckloads of supplies to victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Walmart intensifies its sustainability commitment, announcing goals to create zero waste, use only sustainable energy and sell products that sustain the environment.

2006:Walmart U.S. introduces its $4 generic drug prescription program.

2009:Walmart enters Chile with the acquisition of a majority stake in D&S S.A.

Mike Duke succeeds Lee Scott as CEO.

For the first time, Walmart exceeds $400 billion in sales.

2010:Walmart commits $2 billion to help end hunger in the United States and launches a global commitment to sustainable agriculture.

Bharti Walmart, a joint venture, opens its first store in India.

2011:With the acquisition of MassMart, Walmart surpasses 10,000 retail units around the world.

2012:Walmart celebrates 50 years of helping customers save money and live better.