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First Beginnings

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  The first locations of Walmart, Kohl’s, Target and Kmart all opened 50 years ago. 

  Walmart founder Sam Walton began his retail career by working at a J.C. Penney store in 1940. He later opened a new franchise called "Walton's Five and Dime" and by 1962, he opened the first Wal-Mart Discount City store in Rogers, Arkansas.

  Kohl’s was originally Kohl’s Food Stores-- a chain of supermarkets first operated by Maxwell Kohl. Sixteen years after he built his first grocery store, he opened the first Kohl’s Department Store in Brookfield, Wisconsin.

  Target and Kmart also began as department store offshoots. Target emerged from Minneapolis’ Goodfellow Dry Goods Store-- later changed to Dayton Company, after founder George Draper Dayton. Kmart Corporation was renamed from Michigan’s S.S. Kresge stores, after founder Sebastian S. Kresge. 

  Over 60 years before the first Walmart, Kohl’s, Target or Kmart opened, Rowland Hussey Macy opened R.H. Macy Dry Goods store in New York City. First business day sales totaled $11.08. In that same year of 1858, a 23-year-old James Cash Penney began working for a small chain of stores called Golden Rule.  By 1902, the owners offered him one-third partnership and J.C. Penney opened his first retail store in Kemmerer, Wyoming.

  The concept of a self-service grocery store was first developed in 1916 by Clarence Saunders. Piggly Wiggly opened in Memphis, Tennessee and soon became the first to provide checkout stands, price-mark every item in the store, put employees in uniforms, and provide shopping carts for customers. It was, however, Bernard H. Kroger’s supermarket that first included fresh meat departments and baked its own in-store bread.

More firsts:
  The first Dollar General opened in Scottsville, Kentucky in 1955.
  Neiman Marcus introduced practices that have become standard for department stores, such as the first customer loyalty program and the first in-store gift-wrapping service.
  The first bar code scanner was installed at a Marsh’s grocery store in Troy, Ohio in 1974. The first product scanned was a 10-pack of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit gum.

  The first World Wide Web browser was created in 1990 and opened for commercial use the next year. Some three years later, Netscape introduced SSL encryption of data transferred online. California’s Stanford Federal Credit Union became the first financial institution to offer online internet banking to all of its members. Pizza Hut opened its first online pizza shop. Amazon launched its shopping site the following year.

  And finally, it wasn’t until 2012 that I got my first ever paycheck by working from home. I did not think I could do well enough to be compensated, but I was motivated when I got my first “fan”.

  Thank you, nimase85! Thank you,!
shimisi posted May 02, 2012

That was very informative!

erick99 (rep: 433k) posted May 02, 2012


Awwwww you are the sweetest !!!! Nimase must be so proud ! Because I'm so proud!

gangstabarbie (rep: 21k) posted May 02, 2012


good information there i didnt know walmart was 50 years already

rd995 (rep: 151k) posted May 02, 2012


Great article, shimisi! I really enjoyed reading it! :)

FibroMom (rep: 244k) posted May 02, 2012


Thanks, erick, gangsta b, rd & FibroMom!
I didn't realize how old these retail giants were myself until I started looking into them, to write this article-- which was inspired by my humble beginnings :)

Feel free to share yours, everyone!

shimisi (rep: 140k) posted May 02, 2012


Good hard work for lots of info. Thank you

Dexterous (rep: 102k) posted May 02, 2012


Good article! I too say thanks to shimisi!

kumslee (rep: 5.1k) posted May 02, 2012


Awww you are so sweat =) and wow I didn't know those stores have been around for so long great article

nimase85 (rep: 16.2k) posted May 03, 2012


:) Thanks, and you're quite welcome!

shimisi (rep: 140k) posted May 03, 2012


I had that same motivation when I got my first fan & realized this community was great & ready to help me any way possible to get started. I try to do the same for all newcomers. Have a great day everyone & Thanks.

grandma5 (rep: 57.8k) posted May 03, 2012


Thanks, grandma5 :) It's true, there are people on here that look out for you without you even knowing it; and it applies to both newcomers and to not-so-new members. So cheers to all the little helpers!

shimisi (rep: 140k) posted May 04, 2012