Last Updated on November 20, 2018
It all started with one five-and-dime store
Sam Walton was born to be an entrepreneur, plain and simple. He learned the ins-and-outs of running a small business when, in 1945 after his WWII military service, he opened a five-and-dime store in Newport, Arkansas. It was a franchise of the Ben Franklin chain. By 1962, he and his brother, Bud, had owned 16 stores in Arkansas, Missouri, and Kansas. It was in that year that the first Walmart store opened. But, the story doesn’t end there. In 1983, first Sam’s Club opened in Midwest City, Oklahoma. Today, there are 589 Sam’s Clubs across the United States and Peurto Rico.
Committed to becoming the membership you love most
Sam Walton’s mission was to be the absolute best membership warehouse store, ever. Offering a targeted selection of items, Sam’s Club offers its members quality products and value at lower prices that traditional retail stores.
The stores present a no-frills shopping environment, warehouse style. Products are displayed on shipping pallets and in wire bins. This makes it quick and easy to move products in and out.
Free shipping? You bet!
Sam’s Club also provides free shipping on most items for Plus members, Cash Rewards, early shopping and savings on medications. Club members can take advantage of Sam’s perks, such as free health screenings, daily “Tastes & Tips” sampling demonstrations and members-only savings on fuel.
Sam Walton was a humble man. His favourite vehicle was a red 1985 Ford pickup truck. He and his wife Helen, whom he married in 1943, lived in the same house in Bentonville, Arkansas, since 1959. The couple had four children.
Sam Walton died in 1992 of of multimyloma (bone marrow cancer), in Little Rock, Arkansas. Sam’s wife, Helen, died in 2007 at the age of 87.
At the time of his death, Sam Walton had 380,000 employees.
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