Sam Walton: If we work together, we’ll lower the cost of living for everyone… we’ll give the world an opportunity to see what it’s like to save and have a better life.
Sam Walton was one revolutionary entrepreneur that didn’t just see the great chasm separating cold-hearted businesses from their overly cautious customers, but went ahead to provide so much insight and solutions to businesses that, 62 years later, his corporate culture and cost-reduction methods are still heavily implemented around the world.
Walmart has raised itself as a force in the retail business, offering its customers literally everything from delicious biscuits and household items to luxury cars. And this is something that allowed the Walmart brand to set trends that countless retail shops rush to follow.
Now, with the massive amount of success Walmart has achieved over the years, it can be difficult to believe that it all started with a single store in Bentonville, Arkansas. But that single store was the spark that lit the flames of Sam Walton’s business empire.
Walton’s First Step
Moving to Bentonville with his family afforded Sam Walton the perfect opportunity to purchase a store from a certain Luther E. Harrison, and start his own business, Walton 5&10.
The first and most important step Sam took while starting his business was identifying and solving a pressing need in his customers that other retailers of the time like Kmart could not satisfy.
And how did he achieve that?
For one, his retail business focused on sending mail ads particularly focused on his target audience, controlling the prices of his products, and building large distribution warehouses that greatly reduced his product distribution time.
But it didn’t end there because Sam made it a point to leverage his business’s rural surroundings—which were untouched by big retailers—to grow a supportive customer base in locations with reduced competition.
So, Why is Walmart Called Walmart?
Understand that the need for a new name for the Walton 5&10 became necessary as Sam’s business grew from a single dime-store to a sprawling network covering multiple locations.
Sam needed a name that’d be easy to say, sound nice, and also enhance the value of his business. To achieve this, he turned to Bob Bogle, the trusted store manager he’d lured from the state health department by offering to pay him 25% of the store’s net profit in addition to his salary.
And sure enough, Bogle came through. He put his creativity to work, and crafted Wal-Mart, a brilliant combination of ‘Mart’ from ‘Supermart’ and ‘Wal’ from ‘Walton’.
In 1962, Sam announced that the name of the business chain would become Wal-Mart. And yes, it didn’t take long for Wal-Mart’s solid brand name and immense growth to spread the business, effectively transforming it into a national retail chain.
Wal-Mart was an instant success not only because it was easy to say, and remember, but because it offered customers a hint of the services offered by the brand. The name stuck.
How is Walmart Doing Today?
Walmart—right from its early days—had set itself apart from the competition not only because his business saved customers billions of dollars but because Sam Walton had a strong desire for gathering information. Until his death, Sam was well known for copying, improving, and implementing concepts from his competitors.
Today, Walmart’s consistent customer-focused innovation, digital growth, amazing retail presence, and efficient supply chain, has given the company a solid financial footing in the market.
Grant Polachek is the Director of Marketing at Squadhelp–transforming the way names are developed by combining an affordable agency-level brainstorming process with the unmatched creativity of “the crowd.”