Saturday, 9 February 2019

History of walmart

1945–1969: Early history


In 1945, businessman and former J. C. Penney employee Sam Walton bought a branch of the Ben Franklin stores from the Butler Brothers. His primary focus was selling products at low prices to get higher-volume sales at a lower profit margin, portraying it as a crusade for the consumer. He experienced setbacks because the lease price and branch purchase were unusually high, but he was able to find lower-cost suppliers than those used by other stores and was consequently able to undercut his competitors on pricing. Sales increased 45% in his first year of ownership to US$105,000 in revenue, which increased to $140,000 the next year and $175,000 the year after that. Within the fifth year, the store was generating $250,000 in revenue. When the lease for the location expired, Walton was unable to reach an agreement for renewal, so he opened up a new store at 105 N. Main Street in Bentonville, naming it "Walton's Five and Dime". That store is now the Walmart Museum.
On July 2, 1962, Walton opened the first Walmart Discount City store at 719 W. Walnut Street in Rogers, Arkansas. The building is now occupied by a hardware store and an antique mall, while the company's "Store #1" has since relocated to a larger discount store and now expanded to a Supercenter several blocks west at 2110 W. Walnut Street. Within its first five years, the company expanded to 24 stores across Arkansas and reached US$12.6 million in sales. In 1968, it opened its first stores outside Arkansas, in Sikeston, Missouri and Claremore, Oklahoma.
1969–1990: Incorporation and growth as a regional power
The company was incorporated as Wal-Mart, Inc. on October 31, 1969, and changed its name to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in 1970. The same year, the company opened a home office and first distribution center in Bentonville, Arkansas. It had 38 stores operating with 1,500 employees and sales of $44.2 million. It began trading stock as a publicly held company on October 1, 1970, and was soon listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The first stock split occurred in May 1971 at a price of $47 per share. By this time, Walmart was operating in five states: Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, and Oklahoma; it 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 employees and total sales of $340.3 million.
In the 1980s, Walmart continued to grow rapidly, and by the company's 25th anniversary in 1987, there were 1,198 stores with sales of $15.9 billion and 200,000 associates. This year also marked the completion of the company's satellite network, a $24 million investment linking all operating units with the Bentonville office via two-way voice and data transmission and one-way video communication. At the time, the company was the largest private satellite network, allowing the corporate office to track inventory and sales and to instantly communicate to stores. In 1988, Walton stepped down as CEO and was replaced by David Glass. Walton remained as Chairman of the Board.
With the contribution of its superstores, the company surpassed Toys "R" Us in toy sales in the late 1990s.
1990–2005: Retail rise to multinational status
While it was the third-largest retailer in the United States, Walmart was more profitable than rivals Kmart and Sears by the late 1980s. By 1990, it became the largest U.S. retailer by revenue.
Prior to the summer of 1990, Walmart had no presence on the West Coast or in the Northeast (except for a single Sam's Club in New Jersey which opened in November 1989), but in July and October that year, it opened its first stores in California and Pennsylvania, respectively. By the mid-1990s, it was far and away the most powerful retailer in the U.S. and expanded into Mexico in 1991 and Canada in 1994. Walmart stores opened throughout the rest of the U.S., with Vermont being the last state to get a store in 1995.
The company also opened stores outside North America, entering South America in 1995 with stores in Argentina and Brazil; and Europe in July 1999, buying Asda in the United Kingdom for US$10 billion.
In 1998, Walmart introduced the Neighborhood Market concept with three stores in Arkansas. By 2005, estimates indicate that the company controlled about 20 percent of the retail grocery and consumables business.
In 2000, H. Lee Scott became Walmart's President and CEO as the company's sales increased to $165 billion. In 2002, it was listed for the first time as America's largest corporation on the Fortune 500 list, with revenues of $219.8 billion and profits of $6.7 billion. It has remained there every year except 2006, 2009, and 2012.
In 2005, Walmart reported US$312.4 billion in sales, more than 6,200 facilities around the world—including 3,800 stores in the United States and 2,800 elsewhere, employing more than 1.6 million associates. Its U.S. presence grew so rapidly that only small pockets of the country remained more than 60 miles (97 kilometers) from the nearest store.
As Walmart rapidly expanded into the world's largest corporation, many critics worried about its effect on local communities, particularly small towns with many "mom and pop" stores. There have been several studies on the economic impact of Walmart on small towns and local businesses, jobs, and taxpayers. In one, Kenneth Stone, a professor of economics at Iowa State University, found that some small towns can lose almost half of their retail trade within ten years of a Walmart store opening. However, in another study, he compared the changes to what small town shops had faced in the past—including the development of the railroads, the advent of the Sears Roebuck catalog, and the arrival of shopping malls—and concluded that shop owners who adapt to changes in the retail market can thrive after Walmart arrives. A later study in collaboration with Mississippi State University showed that there are "both positive and negative impacts on existing stores in the area where the new supercenter locates."
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in September 2005, Walmart used its logistics network to organize a rapid response to the disaster, donating $20 million, 1,500 truckloads of merchandise, food for 100,000 meals, and the promise of a job for every one of its displaced workers. An independent study by Steven Horwitz of St. Lawrence University found that Walmart, The Home Depot, and Lowe's made use of their local knowledge about supply chains, infrastructure, decision makers and other resources to provide emergency supplies and reopen stores well before the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) began its response. While the company was overall lauded for its quick response amidst criticism of FEMA, several critics were quick to point out that there still remained issues with the company's labor relations.
2005–2010: Initiatives Environmental initiatives
In November 2005, Walmart announced several environmental measures to increase energy efficiency and improve its overall environmental record, which had previously been lacking. The company's primary goals included spending $500 million a year to increase fuel efficiency in Walmart's truck fleet by 25 percent over three years and double it within ten; reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent in seven years; reduce energy use at stores by 30 percent; and cut solid waste from U.S. stores and Sam's Clubs by 25 percent in three years. CEO Lee Scott said that Walmart's goal was to be a "good steward of the environment" and ultimately use only renewable energy sources and produce zero waste. The company also designed three new experimental stores with wind turbines, photovoltaic solar panels, biofuel-capable boilers, water-cooled refrigerators, and xeriscape gardens. In this time, Walmart also became the biggest seller of organic milk and the biggest buyer of organic cotton in the world, while reducing packaging and energy costs. In 2007, the company worked with outside consultants to discover its total environmental impact and find areas for improvement. Walmart created its own electric company in Texas, Texas Retail Energy, planned to supply its stores with cheap power purchased at wholesale prices. Through this new venture, the company expected to save $15 million annually and also to lay the groundwork and infrastructure to sell electricity to Texas consumers in the future.
Branding and store design changes
In 2006, Walmart announced that it would remodel its U.S. stores to help it appeal to a wider variety of demographics, including more affluent shoppers. As part of the initiative, the company launched a new store in Plano, Texas that included high-end electronics, jewelry, expensive wines and a sushi bar.
On September 12, 2007, Walmart introduced new advertising with the slogan, "Save money. Live better.", replacing "Always Low Prices, Always", which it had used for the previous 19 years. Global Insight, which conducted the research that supported the ads, found that Walmart's price level reduction resulted in savings for consumers of $287 billion in 2006, which equated to $957 per person or $2,500 per household (up 7.3 percent from the 2004 savings estimate of $2,329).
On June 30, 2008, Walmart removed the hyphen from its logo and replaced the star with a Spark symbol that resembles a sunburst, flower, or star. The new logo received mixed reviews from design critics who questioned whether the new logo was as bold as those of competitors, such as the Target bullseye, or as instantly recognizable as the previous company logo, which was used for 18 years. The new logo made its debut on the company's website on July 1, 2008, and its U.S. locations updated store logos in the fall of 2008. Walmart Canada started to adopt the logo for its stores in early 2009.
Acquisitions and employee benefits
On March 20, 2009, Walmart announced that it was paying a combined US$933.6 million in bonuses to every full and part-time hourly worker. This was in addition to $788.8 million in profit sharing, 401(k) pension contributions, hundreds of millions of dollars in merchandise discounts, and contributions to the employees' stock purchase plan. While the economy at large was in an ongoing recession, Walmart reported solid financial figures for the most recent fiscal year (ending January 31, 2009), with $401.2 billion in net sales, a gain of 7.2 percent from the prior year. Income from continuing operations increased 3 percent to $13.3 billion, and earnings per share rose 6 percent to $3.35.
On February 22, 2010, the company confirmed it was acquiring video streaming company Vudu, Inc. for an estimated $100 million.
2011–present: Continued developments
Walmart's truck fleet logs millions of miles each year, and the company planned to double the fleet's efficiency between 2005 and 2015. The truck pictured on the right is one of 15 based at Walmart's Buckeye, Arizona, distribution center that was converted to run on biofuel from reclaimed cooking grease made during food preparation at Walmart stores.
In January 2011, Walmart announced a program to improve the nutritional value of its store brands over five years, gradually reducing the amount of salt and sugar and completely eliminating trans fat. Walmart also promised to negotiate with suppliers with respect to nutritional issues, reduce prices for whole foods and vegetables, and open stores in low-income areas, so-called "food deserts", where there are no supermarkets. On April 23, 2011, the company announced that it was testing its new "Walmart To Go" home delivery system where customers will be able to order specific items offered on their website. The initial test was in San Jose, California, and the company has not yet said whether the delivery system will be rolled out nationwide.
On November 14, 2012, Walmart launched its first mail subscription service called Goodies. Customers pay a $7 monthly subscription for five to eight delivered food samples each month, so they can try new foods. The service shut down in late 2013.
In August 2013, the firm announced it was in talks to acquire a majority stake in the Kenya-based supermarket chain, Naivas.
In June 2014, some Walmart employees went on strike in major U.S. cities demanding higher wages. In July 2014, American actor and comedian Tracy Morgan launched a lawsuit against Walmart seeking punitive damages over a multi-car pile-up which the suit alleges was caused by the driver of one of the firm's tractor-trailers who had not slept for 24 hours. Morgan's limousine was apparently hit by the trailer, injuring him and two fellow passengers and killing a fourth, fellow comedian James McNair. Walmart settled with the McNair family for $10 million, while admitting no liability. Morgan and Walmart reached a settlement in 2015 for an undisclosed amount, though Walmart later accused its insurers of "bad faith" in refusing to pay the settlement.
In 2015, the company closed five stores on short notice for plumbing repairs. However, employees and the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) alleged some stores were closed in retaliation for strikes aimed at increasing wages and improving working conditions. The UFCW filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board. All five stores have since reopened. On October 14, 2015, Walmart saw its stock fall 10 percent. In 2015, Walmart was the biggest US commercial producer of solar power with 142 MW capacity, and had 17 energy storage projects. This solar was primarily on rooftops, whereas there is an additional 20,000 m2 for solar canopies over parking lots.
On January 15, 2016, Walmart announced it would close 269 stores in 2016, affecting 16,000 workers. One hundred and fifty-four of these stores earmarked for closure were in the U.S. (150 Walmart U.S. stores, 115 Walmart International stores, and 4 Sam's Clubs). Ninety-five percent of these U.S. stores were located, on average, 10 miles from another Walmart store. The 269 stores represented less than 1 percent of global square footage and revenue for the company. All 102 locations of Walmart Express, which had been in a pilot program since 2011, were included in the closures. Walmart planned to focus on "strengthening Supercenters, optimizing Neighborhood Markets, growing the e-commerce business and expanding pickup services for customers". In fiscal 2017, the company plans to open between 50 and 60 Supercenters, 85 to 95 Neighborhood Markets, 7 to 10 Sam's Clubs, and 200 to 240 international locations. At the end of fiscal 2016, Walmart opened 38 Supercenters and relocated, expanded or converted 21 discount stores into Supercenters, for a total of 59 Supercenters, and opened 69 Neighborhood Markets, 8 Sam's Clubs, and 173 international locations, and relocated, expanded or converted 4 locations for a total of 177 international locations. On August 8, 2016, Walmart announced a deal to acquire e-commerce website Jet.com for US$3.3 billion Jet.com co-founder and CEO Marc Lore stayed on to run Jet.com in addition to Walmart's existing U.S. e-commerce operation. The acquisition was structured as a payout of $3 billion in cash, and an additional $300 million in Walmart stock vested over time as part of an incentive bonus plan for Jet.com executives. On October 19, 2016, Walmart announced it would partner with IBM and Tsinghua University to track the pork supply chain in China using blockchain.
On February 15, 2017, Walmart announced the acquisition of Moosejaw, a leading online active outdoor retailer, for approximately $51 million. The acquisition closed on February 13, 2017. On June 16, 2017, Walmart agreed to acquire the men's apparel company Bonobos for $310 million in an effort to expand its fashion holdings. As the deal's announcement coincided with Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods Market, the stock market reacted negatively, with Walmart's holdings on the NYSE falling by 6%. On September 29, 2017, Walmart acquired Parcel, a technology-based, same-day and last-mile delivery company in Brooklyn. The acquisition announcement saw Walmart shares rise more than 1%. On December 6, 2017, Walmart announced that it will change its corporate name to Walmart Inc. from Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. effective February 1, 2018.
In March 2018, Walmart announced that it is producing its own brand of meal kits in all of its stores that is priced under Blue Apron designed to serve two people.
It was reported that Walmart is now looking at entering the subscription-video space, hoping to compete with Netflix and Amazon. They have enlisted the help of former Epix CEO, Mark Greenberg, to help develop a low-cost subscription video-streaming service.
In September 2018, Walmart partnered with comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres to launch a new brand of women's apparel and accessories called EV1.

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