History in the Making

Walmart 60th

One of Sam Walton’s first 5 & 10 hires reflects on the early days of Walmart.

Troy Almand landed in Bentonville, Arkansas, in 1950. His family had just moved from New Mexico, and 16-year-old Troy was looking for work.


Luckily for Troy, a man named Sam Walton had just purchased a small discount store in downtown Bentonville. Sam hired the teen to sweep floors and unpack boxes in the new store, and with that, Troy became one of the first of many people whose lives intertwined with what would become Walmart.


The Early Days

“My work assignment was everything from sweeping to carrying out trash,” Troy told an interviewer from The Walmart Museum in 2003. “I did unpack the first Walton 5 & 10 sign, a big old heavy metal, [with] baked-on enamel. I helped put that up on the front of the building even before the plaster was up.”


Troy said the new store was a beehive of activity as Sam and his workers prepared to open the store.


“The doors weren’t even open for business, but during that time, customers would come in, and he would help them find what they wanted and ring it up,” Troy recalled.


Troy said the six clerks working when Walton’s 5 & 10 opened had a good camaraderie and pitched in to help each other.

“I attribute that to Sam’s organization of the help, even back then, maximizing the job descriptions and interactions, and all that kind of stuff,” Troy said. “I can attribute a lot of my success later on from what I learned from Sam.”


Troy stayed with the 5 & 10 until the following spring. After finishing high school and college, working at Kraft and serving a stint in the Navy, he started his own business, Almand Tile and Linoleum, later Almand Tile and Carpet.


While Troy was finishing his education and starting a career, Sam Walton was buying additional 5 & 10 stores.


“He was growing and growing,” said Troy.


Getting in on the Ground Floor

Their paths would cross again when Troy was occasionally hired to install floors at new Walton 5 & 10 locations. He remembered Sam not just for the lessons he taught a young man starting out—how to treat both customers and employees, how to act with integrity and how to work hard—but also for his impact on the community.

“He went about doing good,” Troy recalled. “His contributions are so enormous that how can you single any one of them out? Through the Walton Foundation, we’ve got the magnificent Crystal Bridges. We’ve got more things than I can think of that the Walton Foundation and the Walton family have been responsible for.”

Later in their lives, Troy said he and Sam looked back on the time when they first met.


“He told me: ‘I never dreamed of Walmart.’” Troy said. “He said: ‘Just a few dime stores.’ Because we could both reflect back to number one, right here, the dime store in 1950, and then how it has mushroomed into the world’s largest retailer.”


As we celebrate Walmart’s 60th anniversary, we’re featuring stores and stories from around the Walmart World.