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Sam Walton Case

Essay by   •  May 14, 2013  •  Essay  •  872 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,538 Views

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Sam Walton was born March 29th 1918. Growing up in The Great Depression seemed to give him the drive and grit that led to much of his success. After he graduated high school he attended the University of Missouri. After college, he landed a management job with J.C. Penny. He was paid about $75 a month while working there. With United States involvement with WW2 becoming more and more imminent, Sam relinquished his position with J.C. Penny to work in a Dupont munitions plant before enlisting in the United States Army.

After Sam Walton served in the military, he had a desire to open a store in Arkansas. The only money he had to invest in the operation, was six thousand dollars he had saved while he was in the military, and a twenty thousand dollar loan he had secured from a family member. This was the beginning of an empire Sam would ultimately build for himself. By the time he died in 1992 Sam accrued what at the time was the greatest fortune in U.S. history. Forbes magazine ranked Sam as the richest man in the United States from 1985 to 1988. Wal-Mart had grown to become larger than the next three largest retail stores combined. Sales around the time of his death where around one hundred and twenty billion dollars. It would take over four hundred dollars from every man women and child in America to equal that amount. But how did a man from honest and humble beginnings come to create such a great fortune from essentially nothing? Well, he was a pioneer in business practice that has essentially become the gold standard for the way in which many large retail organizations operate. During the developmental stages of Sams ventures, Sam did things a little different to separate the stores he ran from the competition. One thing he would do is buy large quantities from wholesalers at discounted cost, to transfer the savings over to the customers. He would also keep his store open longer than the competition, giving his customer base the possibility of being able to shop at the most convenient time for them. The low prices Sam offered created a large volume of revenue. So he was able to buy more and more quantity from wholesalers. Sam also allowed his store managers to essentially become partners through allowing them to invest in the stores they worked at, and any new stores that opened. This give them motivation to maximize profits, productivity, and overall pride within the organization. The managers became more than just stakeholders, but shareholders as well.

In 1962 the first Wal-Mart store opened in Rogers, Arkansas. The store chain would grow at a tremendous rate for the next forty years, while maintaining the core principles of Sam Waltons vision. By 2005 there were over one million people working fro Wal-Mart corporation. 1998 saw Sam Walton move into Time Magazines top 100 most influential people of the 20th Century, he also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his life accomplishments.

While Sam Walton may be one of the most successful businessman that ever lived, this doesn't explain how he arrived at such great success. In Sam Waltons book "Running a Successful Company: Ten Rules that Worked for Me," He lists the reasons in which he believes he found success.

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