Company Selection Paper

Essay by k-to-the-cUniversity, Bachelor's October 2007

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History of Wal-MartOn July 2, 1962, Walton opened the first Wal-Mart store, Wal-Mart Discount City. Within five years the company expanded to 24 stores across the state of Arkansas and reached $12.6 million in sales. In 1968, the first stores opened outside Arkansas, in Missouri and Oklahoma. The company was incorporated as Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. on October 31, 1969, and in 1970 opened its home office in Bentonville, Arkansas, and its first distribution center (, 2007). There were 38 stores operating with 1,500 employees and sales of $44.2 million. The company began trading stock at this time as a publicly held company on October 1, 1972, and was listed on the Ney York Stock Exchange shortly thereafter (, 2007). The first stock split occurred in May 1971 at a market price of $47. By this time, Wal-Mart was operating in five states: Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri and Oklahoma. Wal-Mart entered Tennessee in 1973, and Kentucky and Mississippi in 1974.

Wal-Mart continued to grow rapidly during the 1980s and by its 25th anniversary in 1987; there were 1,198 stores with sales of $15.9 billion and 200,000 associates (, 2007). Company founder and CEO Sam Walton stepped down the following year, replaced by David Glass.

History of TargetIn 1962, the Dayton Company, using a concept developed by John F. Geisse, entered discount merchandising by opening its first Target discount store in Roseville, Minnesota. The name "Target" originated from Dayton's publicity director, Stewart K. Widdess, and was intended to prevent consumers from associating the new discount store chain with the department store (, 2007). The new subsidiary, Target Stores, ended its first year with four units, all in the Minneapolis area. Target Stores lost money in the initial years; however, in 1965 Target reported its first gain with sales reaching $39 million, allowing...