Walmart started slow in 1962, based out of Arkansas, and then spread like wildfire in the southeast, starting in 1970, and then made its way towards the west coast. Sam’s Club starts to sprout up in the 1980s with bursts up to present. Check out this cool one minute video of the rapid spread of the company in pictures. To read a really great book on Wal-Mart’s growth and its (former) moat, check out Bruce Greenwald’s Competition Demystified: A Radically Simplified Approach to Business Strategy. The chapter on Wal-Mart in my opinion is the best part of the book, and required reading for all value investors.
The video is embedded below: