Sam Walton- Entrepeneur

Essay by kosborn2University, Bachelor'sA+, February 2004

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As Kelly Fitzgerald points out, Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, who passed away on April 5, 1992, "was like no other man in this world," and has been described as "industrious (and with) a burning ambition to succeed." As a businessman, Sam Walton "started his own business from almost nothing (and) changed the field of management" in relation to his Wal-Mart ventures (Internet, 2003). This description of Sam Walton is the basis of his amazing success as one of America's most outstanding entrepreneurs and shows that hard work, dedication and perseverance can lead to untold riches.

In 1945, Sam Walton used his own savings and a loan to buy a Ben Franklin variety store in Newport, Arkansas and although he had built the store into a major success, his landlord refused to renew his lease when it expired in 1950, forcing Walton to turn the store over to the landlord's son.

Walton then moved to Bentonville, Arkansas, where he and his younger brother became franchisees of the Ben Franklin variety store chain. Fifteen stores were eventually controlled by the two brothers in Arkansas and Missouri.

During his days as a Ben Franklin franchisee, Walton traveled throughout the East and Midwest, studying large retail chains like K-Mart and Korvettes, and observed that these big chains always placed their stores in or near large cities, obviously out of a conviction that small towns could not generate enough business to make a large store profitable. But Walton saw things differently, and when he approached the management of Ben Franklin, he received no encouragement at all about putting stores in small towns.

Walton then took on the project himself and in 1962, he opened the first Wal-Mart Discount City in Rogers, Arkansas, a store that would "specialize in name-brands at low prices. Sam Walton...