Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is an American multinational retail corporation that operates a chain of hypermarkets, discount department stores and grocery stores.
The success of Walmart has be nothing short of wonderful as they have grown to be one of the biggest organizations across the world. According to Wikipedia, The Company operates under the Walmart name in the United States and Canada. It operates as Walmart de México y Centroamérica in Mexico and Central America, as Asda in the United Kingdom, as Seiyu in Japan, and as Best Price in India. It has wholly owned operations in Argentina, Brazil, and Canada. It also owns and operates the Sam’s Club retail warehouses.
When it comes to their accomplishments, Walmart has had steady growth over time. Today, Walmart is the world’s largest company by revenue, according to the Fortune Global 500 list in 2016, as well as the largest private employer in the world with 2.2 million employees. Amidst all these, they have been finding out ways to be socially responsible and help out their immediate community. One of these ways is through their acclaimed Walmart scholarship. The Walmart scholarship has grown with the Walmart brand, and has started from being a small idea in the minds of a few to a source of living, funding, and education for millions across the globe. Take a look at the history of Walmart Inc. and the History of Walmart scholarship, and where it is today.
History of Walmart and Walmart Scholarship
Walmart was founded by Sam Walton in 1962 and incorporated on October 31, 1969. In 1950, Sam Walton purchased a store from Luther E. Harrison in Bentonville, Arkansas, and opened Walton’s 5 & 10 on the downtown square. His Intention was to create a successful business by offering lower prices and great services. Over the years as the business grew, they accomplished many feats and got numerous awards. On July 2, 1962, Sam Walton opened the first Walmart store in Rogers, Ark. The company officially incorporated as Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in 1969.
Walmart became a publicly traded company in 1970, and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange (WMT). They recorded sales of $78 million in that period. The first foot towards the Walmart scholarship then came in 1979 as The Walmart Foundation was established. In the 1990’s, Walmart expanded into Canada with the purchase of 122 Woolco stores, launched its Wal-Mart Television Network, sat the most profitable retailer in the United States, opened its first stores in China, and entered the United Kingdom with the acquisition of ASDA.
The Walmart scholarship has also experienced immense success, since its inception under the Walmart foundation. The Wal-Mart Foundation awards more than $6 million annually to graduating high school seniors across the United States now, but they also started small. Since Sam Walton’s death in 1992 Walmart and the Walmart Foundation dramatically increased charitable giving. They created philanthropic programs and partnerships, and fund initiatives focused on creating opportunities in education, workforce development, economic opportunity, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness.
In 2005, Walmart donated US$20 million in cash and merchandise for Hurricane Katrina relief. The foundation that offers the Walmart scholarship established it to offset rising tuition costs. The Foundation announced it will award more than $8 million in academic scholarships to help ease financial concerns for college students. As impressive as these are, today, their success has far surpassed these. They have also been able to give out more to charitable causes.
Walmart and the Walmart Scholarship of today
The new millennium ushered Walmart Inc. into an era of defying impossibilities. In 2000, Walmart.com was founded, allowing U.S. customers to shop online and Walmart employed more than 1.1 million associates in 3,989 stores and clubs worldwide. In 2002, they topped the list of the Fortune 500 ranking of America’s largest companies – for the first time! In 2006, Walmart introduced its $4 generic-drug prescription program.
Moving closer to today, in 2014, the company was known to employ 2.3 million associates worldwide and serve more than 200 million customers each week at more than 11,000 stores in 27 distinct countries. As of October 31, 2016, Walmart is known to have 11,593 stores and clubs in 28 countries, under a total of 63 banners. Today, more nearly 260 million customers frequent these stores. With fiscal year 2016 revenue of $482.1 billion, Walmart employs 2.3 million associates worldwide – 1.5 million solely in the United States.
As for the Walmart foundation, growth is an understatement. From February 1, 2008 all the way through January 31, 2009, Walmart – and its domestic and international Foundations – gave more than $423 million in cash and in-kind gifts globally. However, in 2014, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation gave $1.4 billion in cash and in-kind contributions around the world. Global in-kind donations accounted for $1 billion, while $309 million was given in cash also globally.
The Walmart scholarship of today, is geared to assist Walmart employees and their families who might not otherwise be able to afford a college education. The scholarships include the Associate Walmart Scholarship which is available to Walmart employees who have worked full-time or part-time with the company for at least 6 months before the application deadline and the Dependent Walmart Scholarship, which is available to dependents of Walmart employees who have worked full-time or part-time with the company for at least 6 months before the application deadline.
While it may seem that their scholarships target only their employees and their dependents, the millions of employees they have and the relatives of these employees are enough to cater for a wide sect of people in need in the United States. As such, even getting a Walmart scholarship can be really tough because of the competitiveness of it. Generally, Walmart has been able to offer great services, sell the right products, offer right prices to its clients, cater for families and individuals in need, grow its size and structure, and still remain one of the biggest go to brand name in the United States and beyond. Their success story certainly proves that one man can truly change the world.