10 Things You Might Not Know About Walmart
You may shop at Walmart every week. But do you know the company’s story and secrets?
The chain started as a 5&10
Walmart started small—with a single discount store in Bentonville, Arkansas. Sam Walton opened Walton’s 5&10 in the early 1950s. During its first year of operation, the store had sales of $75,000.
There’s a Walmart Museum
The original Walton’s 5&10 is now home to a Walmart Museum. The store still has its original floor tiles (the colors don’t match because Sam got a discount when he purchased them as-is!) and an original tin ceiling, as well as toys, candy and books straight out of the old days.
Walmart has a test kitchen
It’s officially called the Culinary & Innovation Center, and it opened in Bentonville in 2016. This is where Walmart’s team is developing and testing new products. The lucky taste testers are employees who volunteer from Walmart’s home office nearby.
Shutterstock / Sheila Fitzgerald
Their Great Value brand is pretty darn good
Every year Taste of Home conducts an enormous taste test of grocery items called Best Loved Brands (we test kitchen gadgets, too!). A couple Great Value products ranked in the Top 3 for our taste tests, including french fries and pancake mix.
They want to prevent lettuce recalls
The outbreak of E. coli in romaine lettuce scared shoppers everywhere. Like us, if you checked your refrigerator after the recall, it was probably hard to tell whether your lettuce was affected. By next year, Walmart wants you to be able scan a bag and know exactly where it came from!
Their Savings Catcher app will pay you
Walmart is so convinced that its low prices are unbeatable, they will literally pay you the difference if a competitor beats their price. You download the Savings Catcher app, and scan your receipts within a week of shopping. The app compares what you paid with competitors’ prices. If you paid more at Walmart, you get an eGift card for the difference.
Walmart re-stocks quickly after natural disasters
Back in 2005, Walmart sent more 2,450 truckloads of supplies to victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. More recently, after Hurricane Florence, the company quickly re-routed water, generators, breakfast cereal and even mops to its stores in the Carolinas.
There’s a Walmart cheer
In 1975, Sam Walton took a trip to a factory in Korea where he saw a group of workers do a company cheer. He immediately brought the idea back to Walmart stores in the United States. It starts, “Give Me a W! Give Me an A! Give Me an L!”—and you should be able to guess the rest.
Walmart has free grocery pick-up
Lots of chains offer grocery delivery, for an extra charge. But do your grocery shopping at Walmart.com/grocery and you can pick up the order later that day—for free. You still have to swing by the store, but Walmart’s personal shoppers do all the heavy lifting.
Walmart is all around the world (kind of)
They company has stores all over the United States and Mexico, but if you want to shop in another country, the name is going to be different. Look for Woolco stores in Canada, Asda stores in the UK and Seiyu in Japan.