Arkansas Business City of Distinction 2011

On the firm foundation established by founder Sam Walton, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of Bentonville has gone from a small, rural retail chain to one of the world's biggest companies. As the company marks its 50th anniversary, Arkansas Business takes a look at the history of this icon brand, how it's affected American business and culture, and where it's headed.

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Wal-Mart at 50: A Not-So-Short History Of the World's Largest Retailer

The lessons Sam Walton learned during those early, successful years of Wal-Mart allowed him to build the most successful retail chain in history. And just like the times that he took his planes up to search for potential Wal-Mart sites, it was Mr. Sam himself who was behind the stick, deciding which direction to go. read more >

Wal-Mart IPO Set the Stage for Global Expansion

In preparation for the IPO, a hodge-podge of ownership interests in different stores was consolidated under one corporate banner: Wal-Mart Stores Inc. The corporation represented the merger of 78 partners that owned pieces of 32 stores, with the Walton family owning a majority stake in each. The stores also were a mixed bag of Wal-Mart Discount City, Ben Franklin, Walton's Family Center and Ben Franklin Family Center. read more >

Influx of Workers Transforms Northwest Arkansas

From highways to airports, from homes to banks, from dining to the arts, the Wal-Mart presence is felt mightily in the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers Metropolitan Statistical Area anchored by the three cities plus Wal-Mart's home in Bentonville. read more >

Wealth Created by Wal-Mart Supports Massive Philanthropic Efforts in Arkansas

Wal-Mart made a number of Arkansans very rich, and that wealth has been manifested in billions of dollars worth of gifts to educational, medical and cultural institutions in the state. read more >

Hurricane Katrina Defining Moment In Wal-Mart Giving

Because Wal-Mart is a master of logistics it got those items and more to the victims of Hurricane Katrina, one of the worst natural disasters ever to hit this country. And Wal-Mart got those goods to the people of the devastated Gulf Coast faster than did the government of the United States. read more >