History of Walmart - 1960s and 1970s

1960s and 1970s

At some point Sam Walton made the decision to achieve higher sales volumes by keeping sales prices lower than his competitors by reducing his profit margin. Inspired by the successes of other discount department store chains, Walton opened the first store in his own discount chain in Rogers, Arkansas that year. Responsible for the purchase and maintenance of signage, Walton's assistant, Bob Bogle, came up with the name "Wal-Mart" for the new chain. By 1967, the company grew to 24 stores across the state of Arkansas, and had reached $12.6 million in sales, and by 1968, the company opened its first stores outside of Arkansas in Sikeston, Missouri and Claremore, Oklahoma.

The company's first stock split occurred in May 1972 at a market price of $47. By this time, Walmart was operating in five states: Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri and Oklahoma, and entered Tennessee in 1973, and Kentucky and Mississippi in 1974. As the company moved into Texas in 1975, there were 125 stores with 7,500 associates, and total sales of $340.3 million.

By 1977, Wal-Mart made its first corporate acquisition, assuming ownership and operation of the Mohr-Value stores, which operated in Missouri and Illinois. This was followed by the acquisition of the Hutcheson Shoe Company in 1978. In the same year Walmart also branched out into several new markets, launching its pharmacy, auto service center, and jewelry divisions.

By 1979, with 276 stores and 21,000 associates, Walmart reached $1.248 billion in sales.

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