57 Sam Walton Quotes on Retailing, Business from Walmart Founder

Walmart’s foundation stems from Sam Walton’s dedication to exceptional value and customer service.

Fondly known as “Mr. Sam,” he emphasized leadership through service, setting the stage for Walmart’s ethos over the past half-century.

Born in 1918 in Kingfisher, Oklahoma, Sam’s early retail experience began post-military service and culminated in him launching his own variety store.

By 1950, he established Walton’s 5&10 in Bentonville. 1962 marked the inauguration of the first Walmart in Rogers, Arkansas.

Contrary to competitor skepticism, Walmart thrived on low prices and superior service. Going public in 1970, the business grew exponentially, with Sam crediting its success to his associates’ commitment.


He introduced novel retail techniques, diversified store formats and even expanded into Mexico.

His dedication earned him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1992. Underpinning Walmart’s mission is “saving people money so they can live better.”

Although Sam passed away in 1992, his legacy persists, with Walmart consistently championing retail leadership and community upliftment.

I have made a list of the topmost quotes from Sam Walton for you.

Best Sam Walton Quotes


Celebrate your successes. Find some humor in your failures. ~ Sam Walton.


You can make a positive out of the most negative if you work at it hard enough. ~ Sam Walton.


I learned a long time ago that exercising your ego in public is definitely not the way to build an effective organization. ~ Sam Walton.


In the beginning, I was so chintzy I really didn’t pay my employees well. ~ Sam Walton.


Each Wal-Mart store should reflect the values of its customers and support the vision they hold for their community. ~ Sam Walton.


All of us profit from being corrected – if we’re corrected in a positive way. ~ Sam Walton.


Many of our best opportunities were created out of necessity. ~ Sam Walton.


If you don’t want to work weekends, you shouldn’t be in retail. ~ Sam Walton.

If you love your work, you’ll be out there every day trying to do it the best you possibly can, and pretty soon everybody around will catch the passion from you – like a fever. ~ Sam Walton.


One person seeking glory doesn’t accomplish very much. ~ Sam Walton.

Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish. ~ Sam Walton.

Inspiring Sam Walton Quotes


I have always been driven to buck the system, to innovate, to take things beyond where they’ve been. ~ Sam Walton.

Take the best out of everything and adapt it to your needs. ~ Sam Walton.

If you take someone who lacks the experience and the know-how but has the real desire and the willingness to work his tail off to get the job done, he’ll make up for what he lacks. And that proved true nine times out of ten. ~ Sam Walton.


I had to get up everyday with my mind set on improving something. ~ Sam Walton.

No question about it, a lot of my attitude toward money stems from growing up during a pretty hardscrabble time in our country’s history: the Great Depression. ~ Sam Walton.


If I had to single out one element in my life that has made a difference for me, it would be a passion to compete. ~ Sam Walton.

Exceed your customer’s expectations. If you do, they’ll come back over and over. Give them what they want – and a little more. ~ Sam Walton.

Motivational Sam Walton Quotes

Control your expenses better than your competition. This is where you can always find the competitive advantage.~ Sam Walton.


The best way to reduce paying estate taxes is to give your assets away before they appreciate. ~ Sam Walton.

You can make a lot of mistakes and still recover if you run an efficient operation. Or you can be brilliant and still go out of business if you’re too inefficient. ~ Sam Walton.

I loved retail from the beginning, and I still love it today. ~ Sam Walton.


Give ordinary folk the chance to buy the same things as rich people. ~ Sam Walton.

Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. They’re absolutely free and worth a fortune. ~ Sam Walton.

I had to pick myself up and get on with it, do it all over again, only even better this time. ~ Sam Walton.


Most of us don’t invent ideas. We take the best ideas from someone else. ~ Sam Walton.

We’re all working together; that’s the secret. ~ Sam Walton.

I not only knew I wanted to go into retailing, I also knew I wanted to go into business for myself. ~ Sam Walton.

Inspirational Sam Walton Quotes

Loosen up, and everybody around you will loosen up. ~ Sam Walton.


The key to success is to get out into the store and listen to what the associates have to say. ~ Sam Walton.

High expectations are the key to everything. ~ Sam Walton.

If everybody is doing it one way, there’s a good chance you can find your niche by going exactly in the opposite direction. ~ Sam Walton.


It’s a proven fact – it costs five times more to gain a new customer than to retain a current one. ~ Sam Walton.

I had to pick myself up and get on with it, do it all over again, only even better this time. ~ Sam Walton.

Most everything I’ve done I’ve copied from somebody else. ~ Sam Walton.

There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else. ~ Sam Walton.


I guess everybody who knew I was going ahead with the discounting idea on my own really did think I’d completely lost my mind. ~ Sam Walton.

What we were obsessed with was keeping our prices below everybody else’s. ~ Sam Walton.

I usually felt that if a fellow could manage his own finances, he would be more successful managing one of our stores. ~ Sam Walton.


Do it. Try it. Fix it. ~ Sam Walton.

Another way we tried hard to make up for our lack of experience and sophistication was to spend as much time as we could checking out the competition. It’s something I did from the beginning, and it’s something I insisted all our managers do. ~ Sam Walton.

Powerful Sam Walton Quotes

I guess the kids thought of themselves as slave labor back then, but we didn’t work them that hard. We just taught them the value of work. ~ Sam Walton.


Swim upstream. Go the other way. Ignore the conventional wisdom. ~ Sam Walton.

The way management treats associates is exactly how the associates will treat the customers. ~ Sam Walton.

If you want the people in the stores to take care of the customers, you have to make sure you’re taking care of the people in the stores. That’s the most important single ingredient of Wal-Mart’s success. ~ Sam Walton.


One of my assets is my willingness to try something new, to change. ~ Sam Walton.

A computer can tell you down to the dime what you’ve sold. But it can never tell you how much you could have sold. ~ Sam Walton.

Ignore the conventional wisdom. If everybody else is doing it one way, there’s a good chance you can find your niche by going in exactly the opposite direction. ~ Sam Walton.


The two most important words I ever wrote were on that first Walmart sign, ‘Satisfaction Guaranteed.’ ~ Sam Walton.

There’s absolutely no limit to what plain, ordinary, working people can accomplish if they’re given the opportunity and encouragement to do their best. ~ Sam Walton.

All that hullabaloo about somebody’s net worth is just stupid, and it’s made my life a lot more complex and difficult. ~ Sam Walton.


Keep everybody guessing as to what your next trick is going to be. Don’t become too predictable. ~ Sam Walton.

And like most other overnight successes, it was about twenty years in the making. ~ Sam Walton.


Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. ~ Sam Walton.

The folks on the front lines – the ones who actually talk to the customer – are the only ones who really know what’s going on out there. ~ Sam Walton.

The goal of a company is to have customer service that is not just the best but legendary. ~ Sam Walton.

Why do I drive a pickup truck? What am I supposed to haul my dogs around in, a Rolls-Royce? ~ Sam Walton.

Short Biography of Sam Walton

Sam Walton, born in 1918 in Oklahoma, became a retail titan, founding Walmart and Sam’s Club, revolutionizing shopping globally.


His ventures led Walmart to become a leading global corporation and made his family the wealthiest in the U.S. Growing up during the Great Depression.

Walton’s early life was marked by financial hardship, pushing him to contribute to his family’s income through various small jobs.

Full NameSamuel Moore Walton
Born29 March 1918, Kingfisher, Oklahoma, United States
Died5 April 1992 (age 74 years), UAMS Medical Center, Little Rock, Arkansas, United States
SpouseHelen Walton (m. 1943–1992)
ChildrenS. Robson Walton, Alice Walton, Jim C. Walton, John T. Walton
GrandchildrenLukas Walton, Steuart Walton, MORE
ParentsThomas Gibson Walton, Nancy “Nannie” Lee Lawrence Walton
Known forFounding the retailers Walmart and Sam’s Club
Alma materUniversity of Missouri
Service/branchUnited States Army
Years of service1942–1945
UnitMilitary Intelligence Corps
Battles/warsWorld War II

He embraced education, earning an economics degree from the University of Missouri, where he was actively involved in extracurriculars.

Post-college, Walton briefly worked at J.C. Penney before serving in World War II.

His early experiences shaped his business ethos, leading to his monumental success in retail.

Quick Facts about Sam Walton

  • Samuel Moore Walton founded Walmart and Sam’s Club in 1962 and 1983, respectively.
  • Walmart became the world’s largest corporation by revenue and the biggest private employer.
  • Walton was once the richest person in the U.S.
  • The Walton family is the richest in the U.S., with a net worth of about $240.6 billion as of January 2022.
  • Walton passed away in 1992 at age 74 from blood cancer.
  • Born in Kingfisher, Oklahoma, Walton grew up during the Great Depression, helping his family financially.
  • He became the youngest Eagle Scout in Missouri’s history during eighth grade.
  • Walton attended the University of Missouri, where he was active in various organizations and graduated with a degree in economics.
  • His first job after college was a management trainee at J.C. Penney.
  • Walton served in the U.S. Army Intelligence Corps during World War II.
  • In 1945, Walton took over his first store with a $25,000 loan, starting his retail career.
  • Walton’s first venture was a Ben Franklin variety store in Newport, Arkansas.
  • He emphasized offering low prices and maintaining well-stocked shelves.
  • After losing his first store’s lease, Walton opened a new store in Bentonville, Arkansas, in 1950.
  • Walton and his brother Bud opened multiple Ben Franklin franchise stores.
  • The first Walmart opened in 1962 in Rogers, Arkansas.
  • Walton’s business strategy focused on small towns and efficient logistics.
  • The “Walmart Effect” refers to the impact Walmart stores have on local communities.
  • Walton married Helen Robson in 1943, and they had four children.
  • Walton was involved in charitable activities and served in his local church.
  • He was diagnosed with hairy cell leukemia before his death from multiple myeloma.
  • Walton left his Walmart shares to his wife and children, with Rob succeeding him as Chairman.
  • Walmart operated 1,735 stores, 212 Sam’s Clubs, and 13 Supercenters by Walton’s death.
  • Walton was posthumously honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1992.
  • Time magazine listed Walton among the 100 most influential people of the 20th Century.
  • Forbes ranked Walton as the richest person in the U.S. from 1982 to 1988.
  • Walmart has expanded internationally to over fifteen markets, including the UK, China, and Brazil.
  • The University of Arkansas named its business college after Walton.
  • Walton was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 1992.
  • Walton’s legacy includes his innovative retail strategies and the growth of Walmart as a global retail giant.

Top Questions about Sam Walton

Q: What is Sam Walton known for?

A: Sam Walton is famous for founding Walmart in 1962 and developing it into the largest retail chain in the U.S. by 1990.

Q: How did Sam Walton fund the start of Walmart?

A: He used a $20,000 loan from his father-in-law and $5,000 of his own savings to buy a Ben Franklin store in 1945, which laid the groundwork for Walmart.

Q: Who inherited Sam Walton’s Walmart shares?

A: His wife and children inherited his Walmart shares. Rob Walton became Walmart’s Chairman, and John Walton was a director until his death in 2005.

Q: Who currently owns Walmart?

A: The Walton family, as the heirs of Sam and his brother Bud Walton, hold about 45% of Walmart’s stock, making them the richest family in America.

Q: What contributed to Sam Walton’s success?

A: Walton’s strategy involved sourcing less expensive suppliers, then passing the savings onto consumers by discounting merchandise, thus profiting from volume sales.

Q: How did Sam Walton amass his wealth?

A: Walton gained retail experience early in his career, opened his own stores, and expanded into discount stores in small towns, outcompeting others with his business model.

Q: Was Sam Walton a billionaire at the time of his death?

A: Yes, at his death in 1992, Sam Walton had a net worth of nearly $25 billion.

Q: Did Sam Walton serve in the military?

A: Yes, he served as an Army captain during World War II from 1942 to 1945, stationed stateside due to a heart condition.

Q: Was Sam Walton considered a good boss?

A: Yes, he was known for a positive work environment, valuing employee input, and creating a close-knit company culture at Walmart.

Q: Did Sam Walton have a pilot’s license?

A: Yes, he was a private pilot and used his plane for business travel, including visiting stores and scouting new locations.

Q: What military role did Sam Walton have in World War II?

A: Walton served in the Army Intelligence Corps for three years during World War II, while his brother Bud served as a Navy pilot.

Q: What was Sam Walton’s educational background?

A: He earned a BA in economics from the University of Missouri in 1940 and gained retail experience before starting Walmart.

Q: Why did Sam Walton establish Walmart?

A: He aimed to help people save money to live better, starting with a single store in 1962.

Q: When did Sam Walton retire from his executive roles at Walmart?

A: Walton remained chairman until his death but stepped down as president and CEO in 1988, after briefly holding the CEO position again between 1974 and 1976.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar

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