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The world’s largest retailer is headquartered in Northwest Arkansas.


The world’s largest retailer is headquartered in Northwest Arkansas.

Sam Walton opened his first Walmart store in Rogers in 1962. The city’s population at the time was approximately 5,700. Walton’s humble beginnings quickly morphed into an enormous success story. Within 20 years of opening, the store formerly known as Walton’s 5&10, reached $1 billion in annual sales faster than any other company at the time. By 1993, Walmart was generating $1 billion in sales per week. Today, with 2.3 million employees, Walmart is the 3rd largest employer worldwide. With annual sales well over $550 billion and 240 million weekly customers in the U.S., Walmart has 30% the revenue of online retail powerhouse Amazon.

Walton's original store the 5-10 in Bentonville

Walmart has been a huge influence in the development of Northwest Arkansas. Over 30 years ago Walmart and Proctor & Gamble changed how retailers interacted with their suppliers. Up to that point, the extent of the interaction was supplier sales reps working with retail buyers. A new model called for collaboration across multiple departments leading to more than 1,450 customer teams in Northwest Arkansas. This model not only created value for Walmart, their suppliers, and the customer but fueled massive growth in the region. The Walton Family Foundation has also been instrumental in Northwest Arkansas with its initiatives to create world-class Pre-K-12 options, coordinating regional economic development, access to the arts, cultural amenities, and development of trails and green space. The population of Rogers alone has increased by more than 55,000, quite a contrast from the quiet town where Walton decided to establish his first store.

With a drive down virtually any highway in the U.S., Walmart’s success is evident as you pass by location after location. What you may not know is the incredible generosity of the company in so many different ways. In 2005 nearly 2,500 truckloads of supplies were taken to Hurricane Katrina victims, they committed $2 billion to combat hunger in the US in 2010,  committed to hiring 250,000, funding for 762,000 women to participate in the women in factories program, $100 million to a Center for Racial Equity, and countless other initiatives. Visit the Walmart Foundation page to learn more about all of their initiatives.


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