Alice, Jim and Rob Walton present the Sam M. Walton Entrepreneur of the Year Award to Walmart Japan Chief Merchandising Officer Maki Nakamura (far left) at the 2011 Walmart Shareholders Meeting
The Walton family traces its famous roots back to brothers Sam and James "Bud" Walton, co-founders of what would become Wal-Mart Stores Inc. The brothers opened individual "variety stores" starting in 1945 — the kind of stores shoppers would duck into for a variety of inexpensive items.
Since its incorporation in 1969, Wal-Mart has grown into a retail juggernaut, operating in 28 countries around the globe, and more recently growing into an e-commerce giant internationally.
The seven heirs of the Walton brothers maintain control of about half of Wal-Mart's stock, making the Waltons the richest family in America. Who are those seven? Sam's three living children, Rob, Jim and Alice Walton, daughter-in-law Christy and grandson Lukas, and Bud's daughters, Ann Walton Kroenke (who is married to Stan Kroenke) and Nancy Walton Laurie. During the election campaign, Bernie Sanders said the Walton family owns more wealth than the bottom 40% of Americans, a claim PolitiFact rated as true.
More than a decade ago, Wal-Mart was purchasing more than $1B in international real estate annually. Last year, Wal-Mart Stores, which includes Walmart in the U.S. and internationally and Sam's Club, generated $485.9B in revenue.
In the U.S., Walmart has 4,672 stores with more than 699M SF. Internationally, Walmart has 6,363 store units with a total of nearly 377M SF. There are 660 Sam's Club stores in the U.S. with more than 88M SF. The company also owns and leases hundreds of distribution facilities in the U.S. and around the world.
The Walton Family Foundation carries out philanthropic work for the family, awarding grants in education, conservation and economic development in Arkansas and the Mississippi Delta. — Allison Nagel
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