Do you remember Woolworth’s, Sprouse Reitz, S.H. Kress, J.J. Newberry, W.T. Grant, and other five-and-dimes? That’s what Sam Walton opened in 1950, a five-and-dime. The store was located in downtown Bentonville, Arkansas. This was followed by the first Walmart store, which opened in 1962.
When Sam was 74 years old, he passed away. He left most of the business to his wife and their four children. Today the Walton family owns nearly half of the company operating under the name of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Today Sam’s youngest living son, Jim, holds the largest number of shares in the company with 10.5 percent. He went to work for the company in 1972 in the company’s real estate division. Marc Lore, who is not a member of the Walton family but has held senior positions with the company, owns 3.3 million shares, making him the fourth-largest shareholder.
Walmart Shares Given to Family Members
A year after his dad passed away, Jim became president of Walton Enterprises. A year later, he retired from Walmart’s board of directors. Sam’s only daughter, Alice Walton, owns the second-largest equity in the company. As of July 2018, she had 6.7 million shares. The eldest son, S. Robson Walton, is the third-largest stakeholder with 3.34 million shares as of July 2018. He presently serves as the senior vice president of Walmart. Two days after Sam passed away, he was named chairman of the board of directors – a position he held until 2015.
Richest Family In The US
The Walton family will never need to shop at any of their discount stores if they choose instead to go to fancier stores and pay higher prices. Why? In 2015 they were listed on the Forbes 400 list with a net worth of $136.1 billion (b as in billion). They are the richest family in the United States. Another way of looking at their wealth – they have more money than 43 percent of American families combined. Their net worth almost equals the combined wealth of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. The second richest family in the United States is Koch’s (Koch Industries). Their worth is $70 billion less than the Waltons.
Walmart Is the World’s Largest Retailer
Walmart is presently the world’s largest retailer by revenue. The sales for the business exceed $500 billion annually from nearly 12,000 stores located worldwide. Even so, with all of their money, it is reported that the Waltons live a relatively modest life. Their life cannot be that simple. For example, in 2013, Rob, who has a large collection of vintage cars, ran his Daytona coupe worth $15 million at the time, off the tracks, and wrecked it. The car was one of only five ever made. Another example is with Alice. She might live a modest life, but most people cannot afford the immense art collection she reportedly has, which includes original works from Andy Warhol and Georgia O’Keefe. Oh, and Alice also opened a museum called Crystal Bridges, where she houses her $500 million private art collection. One of her purchases includes a $44.4 million Georgia O’Keefe oil painting. Do you know people, living modestly, who can afford to buy that sort of painting?
Apparently, the Walton family performs a lot of good deeds for people and charities. However, there is no doubt that they most likely would not have the money they presently have if it was not for their father, Sam. He created the foundation for the wealth of each family member. To the children’s credit, they have obviously invested wisely.
It is difficult to believe the Walton children live modest lives. Their cars, their homes, their art collections all indicate they have some pretty extravagant tastes. I’m sure you will not find Alice looking around a local Walmart to find a work of art to hang in her living room.