In 1962 in Rogers, Ark. Sam Walton opened Walton’s Five-and Dime store. A small but no doubt humble operation. Few if any could have ever guessed that it would become one of the greatest American entrepreneurial successes. That humble Five and Dime became Wal-Mart the “super” or should we say “monster” store giant.
Here are a few facts to help one understand the growth of what I’m sure at some point is going to have the moniker “monopoly” attached to it. Here are some facts from a now year old article I have come across. One Nation Under Wal-Mart
As of July 2003, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.'s U.S. operations included 1,514 traditional stores, 1,343 Supercenters and 528 Sam's Club warehouses. What’s even more astonishing is that since 1992 when Sam Walton died Wal-Mart was about one-fifth its present size. The article has popped up in more than one place. It was even used in my last semester marketing class. I found it recently at a United Food & Commercial Workers International Union website. The food workers are heavily affected whenever a super-center moves into their neighborhood and takes a large chunk of their business. They even have a link Not in My neighborhood to try and combat the problem. I’m sure they get some satisfaction from venting their frustrations but there’s no stopping the monster now. As new Wal-Mart’s keep popping up more stores and of every variety disappear, along with our choices of places to buy.
The question that has to be asked is whose fault is it that Wal-Mart got so big? The answer is all of us who shop there, it’s more our fault than Sam’s. We kept asking for it and he kept giving it to us……. cheap!! This gave us more buying power so we bought more and asked for more, and he kept giving it to us…… cheaper!!
For now nothing will get in Wal-Mart’s way and when it has they’ve just expanded somewhere else. In 2002, Wal-Mart had 1,288 stores in foreign countries. Wal-Mart has even made its way to the ballot box A Big-Box Ballot Bully
It’s only a matter of time before the government finally steps in and cries foul. As long as consumers keep getting low prices they won’t complain. That could well change when there’s only one place left to shop. For now the government is just interviewing a lot of people named David with sling experience. Then like Ma Bell we’ll end up with a bunch of baby Mart’s.