In 1990, to the shock of even its founder Sam Walton, Walmart’s profits reached $1 billion for the very first time, representing a colossal leap in profits from the $41 million the company made ten years ago.
Wall Street investors were equally shocked, as they continually derided Walmart ever since its listing on the stock market. Even with the company growing so fast, they still claimed that Walmart would never be able to keep going with such a business model after it reached $1 billion in sales. When Walmart reported annual profits of one billion dollars, they started to say that everything would fall apart at ten billion dollars because you just couldn't manage a company that big with so few down-home management philosophies.
As you can see, the supposed Wall Street experts embarrassed themselves time and time again. Under Walton's leadership, Walmart became the world's largest retailer by 1990. Many statistics prove its massive scale of influence. At one point, every week Walmart welcomed almost forty million customers into its stores. 135 million men's underwear, 136 million women's underwear and 280 million pairs of socks were sold in a single year. A mere quarter of the fishing lines sold by Walmart in the United States are 600 thousand miles long and can circle the earth 24 times.