Sam Walton opened the first Wal-Mart in 1962 in Rogers, Arkansas. By 1967, the Walton family owned 24 stores. As of 2015, more than 11,000 locations exist throughout the world. In 2012, Wal-Mart celebrated its 50th anniversary.
Walton, inspired by his earlier success with a dime store in Bentonville, Arkansas, believed he could bring even greater value and service to his customers. In 1970, Wal-Mart went national and became a publicly traded company. In the 1980s, Wal-Mart Stores open the first Sam's Clubs and the first Wal-Mart Supercenter, which combined general merchandise with a full-scale supermarket. In 1992, Walton was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George H. W. Bush. Walton died shortly after receiving the medal at the age of 74.
Wal-Mart contributed $18 million and 2,450 truckloads of supplies to victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The company has launched a commitment to sustainable agriculture, aimed at strengthening local farmers and economies. Wal-Mart has also committed $2 billion through the end of 2015 to help end hunger in the United States.
Wal-Mart currently employs over 2 million associates worldwide and serves more than 200 million customers each week at more than 11,000 stores in 27 countries.