Gerard Mulliez is often called the Sam Walton of France. The Mulliez (pronounced Mool-yay) family got started in textile manufacturing 200 years ago. By the 1950s, the textile industry in France had collapsed. So, Gerard boldly took the family out of textiles and invested what was left of the family fortune in big-box retail stores. There are a surprising number of similarities between the Waltons of Arkansas (of Walmart fame) and this retailing family of northern France. (More on that in just a second.)
The Mulliez family has businesses with annual revenues of about $60 billion and more than a quarter million employees.