1962: Sam Walton (right) opens first store in Rogers, Ark.
1969: Wal-Mart opens first stores outside Arkansas — in Sikeston, Mo., and Claremore, Okla.
1970: Company moves home office to Bentonville, Ark., and opens first distribution center there.
1975: Sam Walton introduces “Wal-Mart cheer.” Company has 125 stores with sales of $340.3 million.
1978: Wal-Mart opens first in-store pharmacies.
1979: Company achieves annual sales of $1 billion-plus for first time — $1.248 billion at 276 stores.
1983: First Sam’s Club unit opens in Midwest City, Okla.
1984: David Glass (right) named Wal-Mart president.
1987: Wal-Mart marks 25-year anniversary with sales of $15.9 billion at 1,998 stores.
1988: Wal-Mart opens its first supercenter in Washington, Mo. Glass adds title of CEO.
1990: Wal-Mart becomes largest U.S. retailer.
1991: Wal-Mart opens first store outside U.S., in Mexico City.
1992: Sam Walton dies. Company enters Puerto Rico.
1993: Wal-Mart acquires Pace Warehouse Clubs chain.
1994: Wal-Mart acquires 122 Woolco stores in Canada.
1995: Wal-Mart enters its 50th state, Vermont, and opens first stores in Argentina and Brazil.
1996: David Glass, Wal-Mart president and CEO, tells annual meeting the company’s goal is to increase its market penetration in food by converting discount stores to supercenters. Approximately 100 discount stores are converted that year. Wal-Mart opens first store in China.
1998: Wal-Mart opens first Neighborhood Market stores in Arkansas. Company enters Germany and South Korea.
1999: Wal-Mart’s 550 supercenters achieve sales of about $32 million. Glass says, “We’ve laid the framework to be the dominant retailer in North America.” Wal-Mart acquires Asda Group in the U.K.
2000: H. Lee Scott Jr. (left) named CEO.
2001: Wal-Mart becomes the largest food retailer in the U.S., with total sales of $221 billion. Sam’s Club opens in Canada.
2006: Wal-Mart introduces $4 generic prescription program.
2007: Company replaces “Always Low Prices, Always” with new slogan — “Save Money, Live Better.”
2008: Mike Duke (right) succeeds H. Lee Scott Jr. as president and CEO. Company opens four Marketside stores in Phoenix.
2009: Wal-Mart announces plan to slow the pace of new-store growth in the U.S. and shift spending to remodels and overseas expansion.
2011: Wal-Mart’s North American sales hit an estimated $331 billion, with 3,002 supercenters in the U.S. The company opens its 10,000th store — a Sam’s Club in Cuernavaca, Mexico.
2012: Wal-Mart’s 50th anniversary is July 2. Events and promotions scheduled all year.