Rare Walmart Photos: How We Shopped In The '60s & '70s

By | May 30, 2018

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Left: The first Walmart store, opened in 1962. Right: Sam Walton in a bargain-rich 'Action Alley' in a Walmart in the '60s. Source: walmartmuseum.com

Today, Walmart is ubiquitous. In 2019, there are 4,769 Walmart stores in the United States, and a recent study found that 95% of American consumers buy something from a Walmart store or walmart.com in any given year. From its founding by Sam Walton in 1962, Walmart has grown up with many of us, through the swinging '60s and groovy '70s. Have you been to a Walmart this week? Have you been to one today? Are you in a Walmart right now? Here's a look back at Walmarts of the past.

The First Walmart Store

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Wal-Mart in 1976

No one could have envisioned how much Walmart stores have changed since the 1960s and '70s, not even the store’s famous founder, Sam Walton. The growth of the mega-chain was spurred on by Walton’s desire to give customers what they want at the best price available. Vintage photos of Walmart stores give a glimpse into the early beginning of the world’s largest retail chain.

The first Walmart opened in Rogers, Arkansas -- not Bentonville -- on July 2, 1962. The Bentonville store was Walton's Five and Dime.