In 1962, Sam Walton opened the first Walmart in Rogers, Ark. By 1993, hold-outs Montana and Idaho opened their first Walmarts, meaning the chain now occupied each and every continental U.S. state. Today, the Walmart empire includes 8,500 stores in 15 countries, with 3,898 proudly hosted on U.S. soil.
Here, All That Is Interesting gives us a look at the Walmart’s bacteria-like conquest of the States. In 1962, the operation started out innocently enough, with the first Walmart popping up in Arkansas:
By 1975, things were looking up for the owners. With a total of 115 stores around the South, Walmart seeming to be onto something:
By 1986, in just 11 short years, Walmart had more than octupled its stores, shooting from 115 to 942 and spreading across the South, Midwest and West like a swarm of bees:
By 2006, the conquest was complete. Walmart’s 3,176 stores are found in all continental States:
And why stop there? Walmart is steadily growing its list of international locales. From China to Chile, it’s a Walmart world.
More from Smithsonian.com: