Walmart Inc. is an American multinational retail corporation that
operates a chain of hypermarkets, discount department stores, and
grocery stores. Headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas, the company
was founded by
Sam Walton in 1962 and incorporated on October 31,
1969. It also owns and operates
Sam's Club retail warehouses.
As of January 31, 2018,[update]
Walmart has 11,718 stores and
clubs in 28 countries, operating under 59
different names. The company operates under the name
Walmart in the United States and Canada, as
Walmart de México y
Centroamérica in Mexico and Central America, as
Asda in the United
Kingdom, as the
Seiyu Group in Japan, and as Best Price in India. It
has wholly owned operations in Argentina, Chile, Brazil, and Canada.
Walmart is the world's largest company by revenue –
approximately US$480 billion according to
Fortune Global 500 list in
2016 – as well as the largest private employer in the world
with 2.3 million employees. It is a publicly traded family-owned
business, as the company is controlled by the Walton family. Sam
Walton's heirs own over 50 percent of
Walmart through their
holding company, Walton Enterprises, and through their individual
Walmart was the largest U.S. grocery retailer in 2016,
and 62.3 percent of Walmart's US$478.614 billion sales came
from U.S. operations.
The company debuted on the
New York Stock Exchange
New York Stock Exchange in 1972. By 1988,
Walmart was the most profitable retailer in the U.S., and by
October 1989, it had become the largest in terms of revenue.
Originally geographically limited to the South and lower Midwest, by
the early 1990s, the company had stores from coast to coast: Sam's
Club opened in New Jersey in November 1989 and the first California
outlet opened in Lancaster in July 1990. A
Walmart in York,
Pennsylvania opened in October 1990: the first main store in the
Walmart's investments outside North America have seen mixed results:
its operations in the United Kingdom, South America, and
highly successful, whereas ventures in Germany and South Korea
1.1 1945–1969: Early history
1.2 1969–1990: Incorporation and growth as a regional power
Retail rise to multinational status
1.4 2005–2010: Initiatives
1.5 2011–present: Continued developments
1.6 2000s crime problem
2 Operating divisions
Walmart Discount Store
Walmart Neighborhood Market
2.1.4 Former stores and concepts
2.2.3 Central America
2.2.7 United Kingdom
2.2.11 Corruption charges
2.3 Sam's Club
2.4 Global eCommerce
Private label brands
3.4 Online commerce acquisitions and plans
4 Corporate affairs
4.1 Finance and governance
4.4 Customer base
4.5.1 Open source software
Big data analytics
6 Economic impact
7 Labor relations
7.2 Sexual orientation and gender identity
8 Animal welfare
9 Criticism and controversies
10 See also
12 Further reading
13 External links
Main article: History of Walmart
1945–1969: Early history
Sam Walton's original Walton's Five and Dime store in Bentonville,
Arkansas, now serving as The
In 1945, businessman and former J. C. Penney employee Sam Walton
purchased a branch of the Ben Franklin stores from the Butler
Brothers. His primary focus was selling products at low prices to
get higher-volume sales at a lower profit margin, portraying it as a
crusade for the consumer. He experienced setbacks because the lease
price and branch purchase were unusually high, but he was able to find
lower-cost suppliers than those used by other stores. He passed on the
savings in the product pricing. Sales increased 45 percent in
his first year of ownership to US$105,000 in revenue, which increased
to $140,000 the next year and $175,000 the year after that. Within the
fifth year, the store was generating $250,000 in revenue. When the
lease for the location expired, Walton was unable to reach an
agreement for renewal, so he opened up a new store at 105 N. Main
Street in Bentonville, naming it "Walton's Five and Dime".
That store is now the
Original logo, 1962–1964
Logo used 1964–1981
Logo used 1981–1992
Logo used 1992–2008
On July 2, 1962, Walton opened the first
Walmart Discount City store
at 719 W. Walnut Street in Rogers, Arkansas. The building is now
occupied by a hardware store and an antique mall, while the company's
"Store #1" has since relocated to a larger discount store and now
expanded to a Supercenter several blocks west at 2110 W. Walnut
Street. Within its first five years, the company expanded to
24 stores across
Arkansas and reached US$12.6 million in
sales. In 1968, it opened its first stores outside Arkansas, in
Sikeston, Missouri and Claremore, Oklahoma.
1969–1990: Incorporation and growth as a regional power
The company was incorporated as Wal-Mart, Inc. on October 31, 1969,
and changed its name to
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in 1970. The same year,
it opened its home office and first distribution center in
Bentonville, Arkansas. It had 38 stores operating with 1,500
employees and sales of $44.2 million. It began trading stock as a
publicly held company on October 1, 1970 and was soon listed on the
New York Stock Exchange. The first stock split occurred in May 1971 at
a price of $47. By this time,
Walmart was operating in five states:
Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, and Oklahoma; it entered
Tennessee in 1973 and Kentucky and Mississippi in 1974. As it moved
into Texas in 1975, there were 125 stores with 7,500 employees
and total sales of $340.3 million.
In the 1980s,
Walmart continued to grow rapidly, and by its 25th
anniversary in 1987, there were 1,198 stores with sales of
$15.9 billion and 200,000 associates. This year also marked
the completion of the company's satellite network, a $24 million
investment linking all operating units with the Bentonville office via
two-way voice and data transmission and one-way video communication.
At the time, it was the largest private satellite network, allowing
the corporate office to track inventory and sales and to instantly
communicate to stores. In 1988, Walton stepped down as CEO and was
replaced by David Glass. Walton remained as
Chairman of the Board.
Walmart Supercenter in West Plains, Missouri
With the contribution of its superstores, the company surpassed Toys
"R" Us in toy sales in the late 1990s.[specify]
Retail rise to multinational status
While it was the No. 3 retailer in the U.S.,
Walmart was more
profitable than rivals
Sears by the late 1980s. By 1990, it
became the largest U.S. retailer by revenue.
Prior to the summer of 1990,
Walmart had no presence on the West Coast
or in the Northeast (except for a single
Sam's Club in New Jersey
which opened in November 1989), but in July and October that year, it
opened its first stores in
California and Pennsylvania, respectively.
By the mid-1990s, it was far and away the most powerful retailer in
the U.S. and expanded into Mexico in 1991 and
Canada in 1994.
Walmart stores opened throughout the rest of the U.S., with Vermont
being the last state to get a store in 1995.
The company also opened stores outside North America, entering South
America in 1995 with stores in Argentina and Brazil; and Europe in
July 1999, buying
Asda in the
United Kingdom for
Walmart introduced the Neighborhood Market concept with three
stores in Arkansas. By 2005, estimates indicate that the company
controlled about 20 percent of the retail grocery and consumables
In 2000, H. Lee Scott became Walmart's President and CEO as the
company's sales increased to $165 billion. In 2002, it was
listed for the first time as America's largest corporation on the
Fortune 500 list, with revenues of $219.8 billion and profits of
$6.7 billion. It has remained there every year except 2006, 2009,
Walmart reported US$312.4 billion in sales, more than
6,200 facilities around the world – including 3,800 stores
in the United States and 2,800 elsewhere, employing more than
1.6 million associates. Its U.S. presence grew so rapidly that
only small pockets of the country remained more than 60 miles (97
kilometres) from the nearest store.
Walmart rapidly expanded into the world's largest corporation, many
critics worried about its effect on local communities, particularly
small towns with many "mom and pop" stores. There have been several
studies on the economic impact of
Walmart on small towns and local
businesses, jobs, and taxpayers. In one, Kenneth Stone, a professor of
economics at Iowa State University, found that some small towns can
lose almost half of their retail trade within ten years of a Walmart
store opening. However, in another study, he compared the changes
to what small town shops had faced in the past – including
the development of the railroads, the advent of the
catalog, and the arrival of shopping malls – and concluded
that shop owners who adapt to changes in the retail market can thrive
Walmart arrives. A later study in collaboration with
Mississippi State University
Mississippi State University showed that there are "both positive and
negative impacts on existing stores in the area where the new
In the aftermath of
Hurricane Katrina in September 2005,
its logistics network to organize a rapid response to the disaster,
donating $20 million, 1,500 truckloads of merchandise, food for
100,000 meals, and the promise of a job for every one of its displaced
workers. An independent study by Steven Horwitz of St. Lawrence
University found that Walmart, The Home Depot, and
Lowe's made use of
their local knowledge about supply chains, infrastructure, decision
makers and other resources to provide emergency supplies and reopen
stores well before the
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
began its response. While the company was overall lauded for its
quick response amidst criticism of FEMA, several critics were quick to
point out that there still remained issues with the company's labor
Solar modules mounted on a
Walmart Supercenter in Caguas, Puerto Rico
In October 2005,
Walmart announced several environmental measures to
increase energy efficiency. The primary goals included spending
$500 million a year to increase fuel efficiency in Walmart's
truck fleet by 25 percent over three years and double it within ten,
reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent in seven years, reduce
energy use at stores by 30 percent, and cut solid waste from U.S.
stores and Sam's Clubs by 25 percent in three years. CEO Lee Scott
said that Walmart's goal was to be a "good steward of the environment"
and ultimately use only renewable energy sources and produce zero
waste. The company also designed three new experimental stores
with wind turbines, photovoltaic solar panels, biofuel-capable
boilers, water-cooled refrigerators, and xeriscape gardens.
Despite much criticism of its environmental record,
Walmart took a few
steps in what some viewed as a positive direction, which included
becoming the biggest seller of organic milk and the biggest buyer of
organic cotton in the world, while reducing packaging and energy
Walmart also spent nearly a year working with outside
consultants to discover the company's total environmental impact and
find areas for improvement.
Walmart created its own electric company
in Texas, Texas
Retail Energy, planned to supply its stores with cheap
power purchased at wholesale prices. Through this new venture, the
company expects to save $15 million annually and also to lay the
groundwork and infrastructure to sell electricity to Texas consumers
in the future.
In March 2006,
Walmart sought to appeal to a more-affluent
demographic. The company launched a new Supercenter concept in Plano,
Texas, intended to compete against stores seen as more upscale and
appealing, such as Target. The new store has wood floors,
wider aisles, a sushi bar, a coffee/sandwich shop with free Wi-Fi
Internet access, and more expensive beers, wines, electronics, and
other goods. The exterior has a hunter green background behind the
Walmart letters, similar to Neighborhood Market by Walmarts, instead
of the blue previously used at its supercenters.
On September 12, 2007,
Walmart introduced new advertising with the
slogan, "Save money. Live better.", replacing "Always Low Prices,
Always", which it had used for the previous 19 years. Global Insight,
which conducted the research that supported the ads, found that
Walmart's price level reduction resulted in savings for consumers of
$287 billion in 2006, which equated to $957 per person or $2,500
per household (up 7.3 percent from the 2004 savings estimate of
On June 30, 2008,
Walmart removed the hyphen from its logo and
replaced the star with a Spark symbol that resembles a sunburst,
flower, or star. The new logo received mixed reviews from design
critics, who questioned whether the new logo was as bold as those of
competitors, such as the Target bullseye or as instantly recognizable
as the previous company logo, which was used for 18 years. The new
logo made its debut on the company's website on July 1, 2008.
Walmart's U.S. locations were to update store logos in the fall of
2008, as part of an ongoing evolution of its brand.
started to adopt the logo for its stores in early 2009.
On March 20, 2009,
Walmart announced that it was paying a combined
US$933.6 million in bonuses to every full and part-time hourly
worker. This was in addition to $788.8 million in profit
401(k) pension contributions, hundreds of millions of dollars
in merchandise discounts, and contributions to the employees' stock
purchase plan. While the economy at large was in an ongoing
Walmart reported solid financial figures for the most
recent fiscal year (ending January 31, 2009), with $401.2 billion
in net sales, a gain of 7.2 percent from the prior year. Income
from continuing operations increased 3 percent to
$13.3 billion, and earnings per share rose 6 percent to
On February 22, 2010, the company confirmed it was acquiring video
Vudu, Inc. for an estimated $100 million.
2011–present: Continued developments
Truck converted to run on biofuel
Walmart's truck fleet logs millions of miles each year, and the
company planned to double the fleet's efficiency between 2005 and
2015. The truck pictured on the right is one of 15 based at
Walmart's Buckeye, Arizona, distribution center that was converted to
run on biofuel from reclaimed cooking grease made during food
In January 2011,
Walmart announced a program to improve the
nutritional value of its store brands over five years, gradually
reducing the amount of salt and sugar and completely eliminating trans
Walmart also promised to negotiate with suppliers with respect to
nutritional issues, reduce prices for whole foods and vegetables, and
open stores in low-income areas, so-called "food deserts", where there
are no supermarkets. On April 23, 2011, the company announced that
it was testing its new "
Walmart To Go" home delivery system where
customers will be able to order specific items offered on their
website. The initial test was in San Jose, California, and the company
has not yet said whether the delivery system will be rolled out
On November 14, 2012,
Walmart launched its first mail subscription
service called Goodies. Customers pay a $7 monthly subscription for
five to eight delivered food samples each month, so they can try new
In August 2013, the firm announced it was in talks to acquire a
majority stake in the Kenya-based supermarket chain, Naivas.
In June 2014, some
Walmart employees went on strike in major U.S.
cities demanding higher wages. In July 2014, American actor and
Tracy Morgan launched a lawsuit against
punitive damages over a multi-car pile-up which the suit alleges was
caused by the driver of one of the firm's tractor-trailers who had not
slept for 24 hours. Morgan's limousine was apparently hit by the
trailer, injuring him and two fellow passengers and killing a fourth,
fellow comedian James McNair.
Walmart settled with the McNair
family for $10 million, while admitting no liability. Morgan and
Walmart reached a settlement in 2015 for an undisclosed amount,
Walmart later accused its insurers of "bad faith" in refusing
to pay the settlement.
In 2015, the company closed five stores on short notice for plumbing
repairs. However, employees and the United Food and Commercial
Workers International Union (UFCW) alleged some stores were closed in
retaliation for strikes aimed at increasing wages and improving
working conditions. The UFCW filed a complaint with the National
Labor Relations Board. All five stores have since reopened. On
October 14, 2015,
Walmart saw its stock fall 10 percent. In 2015,
Walmart was the biggest US commercial producer of solar power with 142
MW capacity, and had 17 energy storage projects. This solar
was primarily on rooftops, whereas there is an additional
20,000 m2 for solar canopies over parking lots.
On January 15, 2016,
Walmart announced it would close 269 stores in
2016, affecting 16,000 workers. 154 of these stores earmarked for
closure were in the U.S. (150
Walmart U.S. stores, 115 Walmart
International stores, and 4 Sam's Clubs). 95 percent of these
U.S. stores were located, on average, 10 miles from another Walmart
store. The 269 stores represented less than 1 percent of
global square footage and revenue for the company. All 102 locations
Walmart Express, which had been in a pilot program since 2011, were
included in the closures.
Walmart planned to focus on "strengthening
Supercenters, optimizing Neighborhood Markets, growing the e-commerce
business and expanding pickup services for customers". In fiscal 2017,
the company plans to open between 50 and 60 Supercenters, 85 to 95
Neighborhood Markets, 7 to 10 Sam's Clubs, and 200 to 240
international locations. At the end of fiscal 2016,
38 Supercenters and relocated, expanded or converted 21 discount
stores into Supercenters, for a total of 59 Supercenters, and opened
69 Neighborhood Markets, 8 Sam's Clubs, and 173 international
locations, and relocated, expanded or converted 4 locations for a
total of 177 international locations. On August 8, 2016, Walmart
announced a deal to acquire e-commerce website
Jet.com for US$3.3
Jet.com co-founder and CEO
Marc Lore stayed on to run
Jet.com in addition to Walmart's existing U.S. e-commerce operation.
The acquisition was structured as a payout of $3 billion in cash, and
an additional $300 million in
Walmart stock vested over time as part
of an incentive bonus plan for
Jet.com executives. On October 19,
Walmart announced it would partner with
IBM and Tsinghua
University to track the pork supply chain in
On February 15, 2017,
Walmart announced the acquisition of Moosejaw, a
leading online active outdoor retailer, for approximately $51 million.
The acquisition closed on February 13, 2017. On June 16, 2017,
Walmart agreed to acquire the men's apparel company Bonobos for $310
million in an effort to expand its fashion holdings. As the deal's
announcement coincided with Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods
Market, the stock market reacted negatively, with Walmart's holdings
on the NYSE falling by 6%. On September 29, 2017,
Parcel, a technology-based, same-day and last-mile delivery company in
Brooklyn. The acquisition announcement saw
Walmart shares rise
more than 1%. On December 6, 2017,
Walmart announced that it will
change its corporate name to
Walmart Inc. from
Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
effective February 1, 2018.
In March 2018,
Walmart announced that it is producing its own brand of
meal kits in all of its stores that is priced under Blue Apron
designed to serve two people.
2000s crime problem
According to an August 2016 report by Bloomberg Businessweek,
aggressive cost-cutting decisions that began in 2000 when Lee Scott
took over as CEO of the company led to a significant increase in crime
in stores across the United States. These included the removal of the
store's famed greeters, which are seen as a theft deterrent at exits,
the replacement of many cashiers with self-checkout stations, and the
addition of stores at a rate that exceeded the hiring of new
employees, which led to a 19 percent increase in space per employee
from a decade previous. While these decisions succeeded in increasing
profits 23 percent in the decade that followed, it led to an increase
in both theft and violent crime.
In 2015, under CEO Doug McMillon,
Walmart began a company-wide
campaign to reduce crime that includes spot-checking receipts at
exits, stationing employees at self-checkout areas, eye-level security
cameras in high-theft areas, use of data analytics to detect credit
fraud, hiring off-duty police and private security officers, and
reducing calls to police with a program by which first-time offenders
caught stealing merchandise below a certain value can avoid arrest if
they agree to go through a theft-prevention program. 
Law enforcement agencies across the United States have noted a burden
on resources created by a disproportionate number of calls from
Walmart. Experts have criticized the retailer for shifting its
security burden onto the taxpayers. 25% of arrests overall in St.
Petersburg, Florida are made at one of the Walmart. Across three
Florida counties, approximately 9,000 police calls were logged to 53
Walmart stores but resulted in only a few hundred arrests. 92% of
larceny calls to local police in
Granite Falls, North Carolina
Granite Falls, North Carolina were
Walmart store there. The trend is similar in rural,
suburban and urban areas. Police are called to
Walmart stores 3-4
times as much as similar retailers such as Target. Experts say the
chain and its razor thin profit margins rely heavily on police to
protect its bottom line.
Walmart Supercenters top the list of those
most visited by police.
In addition to hundreds of thousands of petty crimes, more than 200
violent crimes, including attempted kidnappings and stabbings,
shootings, and murders, occurred at the 4,500 Walmarts in the U.S., in
See also: List of assets owned by Walmart
Walmart stores in the U.S., as of August 2010[update]
Walmart's operations are organized into four divisions:
Sam's Club and Global eCommerce. The
company offers various retail formats throughout these divisions,
including supercenters, supermarkets, hypermarkets, warehouse clubs,
cash-and-carry stores, home improvement, specialty electronics,
restaurants, apparel stores, drugstores, convenience stores, and
Walmart U.S. is the company's largest division, accounting for
US$298.38 billion, or 62.3 percent of total sales, for fiscal
2016. It consists of three retail formats that have become
commonplace in the United States: Supercenters, Discount Stores,
Neighborhood Markets, and other small formats. The discount stores
sell a variety of mostly non-grocery products, though emphasis has now
shifted towards supercenters, which include more groceries. As of
January 31, 2018,[update] there are a total of 4,761
The president and CEO of
Walmart U.S. is Greg Foran.
Walmart Supercenter in Windham, Connecticut.
Walmart Supercenters, branded simply as "Walmart", are hypermarkets
with sizes varying from 69,000 to 260,000 square feet (6,400 to 24,200
square meters), but averaging about 178,000 square feet (16,500 square
meters). These stock general merchandise and a full-service
supermarket, including meat and poultry, baked goods, delicatessen,
frozen foods, dairy products, garden produce, and fresh seafood. Many
Walmart Supercenters also have a garden center, pet shop, pharmacy,
Tire & Lube Express, optical center, one-hour photo processing
lab, portrait studio, and numerous alcove shops, such as cellular
phone stores, hair and nail salons, video rental stores, local bank
branches (such as
Woodforest National Bank
Woodforest National Bank branches in newer
locations), and fast food outlets.
Walmart Supercenters have featured
McDonald's restaurants, but in
Walmart announced it would stop opening
at most of their newer stores. Most locations that opened up after the
announcement had Subway as their restaurants, and some McDonald's
inside the stores were replaced with Subways. In some Canadian
locations, Tim Hortons were opened.
Some locations also have fuel stations which sell gasoline distributed
Murphy USA (which spun off from
Murphy Oil in 2013), Sunoco, Inc.
Corporation ("Mirastar"), USA Gasoline, and
even now Walmart-branded gas stations.
The first Supercenter opened in Washington, Missouri, in 1988. A
similar concept, Hypermart USA, had opened a year earlier in Garland,
Hypermart USA stores were later closed or converted into
As of January 31, 2018,[update] there were 3,561 Walmart
Supercenters in 49 of the 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia,
and Puerto Rico. Hawaii is the only state to not have a
Supercenter location. The largest Supercenter in the United States,
covering 260,000 square feet (24,000 square meters) on two floors, is
Crossgates Commons in Albany, New York.
A typical supercenter sells approximately 120,000 items, compared to
the 35 million products sold in Walmart's online store.
The "Supercenter" portion of the name has since been phased out, with
these stores now simply referred to as "Walmart", since the company
introduced the new
Walmart logo in 2008. The Supercentre name is still
used in Canada.
Walmart Discount Store
The exterior of the
Walmart Discount Store in Charlotte, North
Walmart Discount Stores, also branded as simply "Walmart", are
discount department stores with sizes varying from 30,000 to 206,000
square feet (2,800 to 19,100 square meters), with the average store
covering 105,000 square feet (9,800 square meters). They carry
general merchandise and limited groceries. Some newer and remodeled
discount stores have an expanded grocery department, similar to
Target's PFresh department. Many of these stores also feature a garden
center, pharmacy, Tire & Lube Express, optical center, one-hour
photo processing lab, portrait studio, a bank branch, a cell phone
store, and a fast food outlet. Some also have gasoline stations.
Discount Stores were Walmart's original concept, though they have
since been surpassed by Supercenters.
Walmart opened its first Bud's Discount City location in
Bentonville. Bud's operated as a closeout store, much like Big Lots.
Many locations were opened to fulfill leases in shopping centers as
Walmart stores left and moved into newly built Supercenters. All of
the Bud's Discount City stores had closed or converted into Walmart
Discount Stores by 1997.
As of January 31, 2018,[update] there were 400
Stores in 41 states and Puerto Rico. Idaho, Montana, Nebraska,
North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, District of
Columbia, West Virginia, and Wyoming are the only states and
territories where a discount store does not operate.
Walmart Neighborhood Market
Walmart Neighborhood Market
Walmart Neighborhood Market in Houston, Texas
Walmart Neighborhood Market
Walmart Neighborhood Market sometimes branded as "Neighborhood Market
by Walmart" or informally known as "Neighborhood Walmart", is
Walmart's chain of smaller grocery stores ranging from 28,000 to
65,000 square feet (2,600 to 6,000 square meters) and averaging about
42,000 square feet (3,900 square metres), about a fifth of the size of
Walmart Supercenter. The first
Walmart Neighborhood Market
opened in 1998, yet
Walmart renewed its focus on the smaller grocery
store format in the 2010s.
The stores focus on three of Walmart's major sales categories:
groceries, which account for about 55 percent of the company's
revenue, pharmacy, and, at some stores, fuel. For
groceries and consumables, the stores sell fresh produce, deli and
bakery items, prepared foods, meat, dairy, organic, general grocery
and frozen foods, in addition to cleaning products and pet
supplies. Some stores offer wine and beer sales and
drive-through pharmacies. Some stores, such as one at Midtown
Center in Bentonville, Arkansas, offer made-to-order pizza with a
seating area for eating. Customers can also use Walmart's
site-to-store operation and pick up online orders at Walmart
Neighborhood Market stores.
Walmart Neighborhood Market
Walmart Neighborhood Market stores carry the same prices
as those at Walmart's larger supercenters. A Moody's analyst said the
wider company's pricing structure gives the chain of grocery stores a
"competitive advantage" over competitors Whole Foods,
Neighborhood Market stores expanded slowly at first as a way to fill
Walmart Supercenters and Discount Stores in existing
markets. In its first 12 years, the company opened about 180
Walmart Neighborhood Markets. By 2010,
Walmart said it was ready
to accelerate its expansion plans for the grocery stores. As of
January 31, 2018,[update] there were 701
Markets, each employing between 90 and 95 full-time and
Former stores and concepts
2015 photo of a
Walmart Express branded as a
Alma, Georgia that closed in 2016
Walmart opened Supermercado de
Walmart locations to appeal to Hispanic
communities in the United States. The first one, a
39,000-square-foot (3,600-square-meter) store in the Spring Branch
area of Houston, opened on April 29, 2009. The store was a
conversion of an existing
Walmart Neighborhood Market. In 2009,
another Supermercado de
Walmart opened in Phoenix, Arizona. Both
locations closed in 2014. In 2009,
Walmart opened "Mas Club", a
warehouse retail operation patterned after Sam's Club. Its lone store
closed in 2014.
Walmart Express was a chain of smaller discount stores with a range of
services from groceries to check cashing and gasoline service. The
concept was focused on small towns deemed unable to support a larger
store, and large cities where space was at a premium.
to build 15 to 20
Walmart Express stores, focusing on Arkansas, North
Carolina and Chicago, by the end of its fiscal year in January 2012.
As of September 2014,[update]
Walmart re-branded all of its
Express format stores to Neighborhood Markets in an effort to
streamline its retail offer. It continued to open new Express stores
under the Neighborhood Market name. As of January 31,
2018,[update] there were 99 small-format stores in the United States.
These include Amigo (17 locations), E-Commerce Acquisition / C-stores
(59 locations), and other store formats (23 locations). On
January 15, 2016,
Walmart announced that it will be closing 269 stores
globally, including all 102 U.S.
Walmart Express stores, including
those branded as Neighborhood Markets.
In September 2006,
Walmart announced a pilot program to sell generic
drugs at $4 per prescription. The program was launched at stores
in the Tampa, Florida, area, and by January 2007 had been expanded to
all stores in Florida. While the average price of generics is $29
per prescription, compared to $102 for name-brand drugs, Walmart
maintains that it is not selling at a loss, or providing them as an
act of charity – instead, they are using the same
mechanisms of mass distribution that it uses to bring lower prices to
other products. Many of Walmart's low cost generics are imported
from India, where they are made by drug makers that include Ranbaxy
On February 6, 2007, the company launched a "beta" version of a movie
download service, which sold about 3,000 films and television episodes
from all major studios and television networks. The service was
discontinued on December 21, 2007 due to low sales.
Walmart started a pilot program in the small grocery store
Marketside in the metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona, area.
The four stores closed in 2011.
Walmart began testing a free grocery pickup service, allowing
customers to select products online and choose their pickup time. At
the store, a
Walmart employee loads the groceries into the customer's
car. As of December 17, 2017,[update] the service is available in
39 U.S. states.
In May 2016,
Walmart announced a change to ShippingPass, its three-day
shipping service, and that it will move from a three-day delivery to
two-day delivery to remain competitive with Amazon. Walmart
priced it at 49 dollars per year, compared to Amazon Prime's 99 dollar
per year price.
In June 2016,
Sam's Club announced that they would begin
testing a last-mile grocery delivery that used services including
Uber, Lyft, and Deliv, to bring customers' orders to their homes.
Walmart customers would be able to shop using the company's online
grocery service at grocery.walmart.com, then request delivery at
checkout for a small fee. The first tests were planned to go live in
Denver and Phoenix.
Walmart announced on March 14, 2018 that it
would expand online delivery to 100 metropolitan regions in the United
States, the equivalent of 40 percent of households, by the end of the
year of 2018.
Walmart international locations (former locations in red)
As of January 31, 2018,[update] Walmart's international
operations comprised 6,360 stores and 800,000 workers in
26 countries outside the United States. There are wholly
owned operations in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, and the UK. With
2.2 million employees worldwide, the company is the largest
private employer in the U.S. and Mexico, and one of the largest in
Canada. In fiscal 2016, Walmart's international division sales were
US$123.408 billion, or 25.8 percent of total sales.
International retail units range from 8,900 to 186,000 square feet
(830 to 17,280 square metres), wholesale units range from 35,000 to
185,000 square feet (3,300 to 17,200 square metres) and other units
(including drugstores and convenience stores) range up to 2,400 square
feet (220 square metres). Judith McKenna is the president and
Walmart Argentina was founded in 1995 and, as of January 31,
2018,[update] operates 106 stores under the banners Walmart
Supercenter (32 locations), Changomas (52 locations), Changomas
Express (8 locations), Mi Changomas (8 locations), and Walmart
Supermercado (6 locations).
Bompreço in Natal, Brazil
Walmart bought the 118 stores in the Bompreço
supermarket chain in northeastern Brazil. In late 2005, it took
control of the Brazilian operations of Sonae Distribution Group
through its new subsidiary, WMS Supermercados do Brasil, thus
acquiring control of the Nacional and Mercadorama supermarket chains,
the leaders in the
Rio Grande do Sul
Rio Grande do Sul and Paraná states, respectively.
None of these stores were rebranded. As of January 2014,[update]
Walmart operated 61 Super-
Bompreço stores, 39 Hiper-Bompreço
stores. It also ran 57
Walmart Supercenters, 27 Sam's Clubs,
and 174 Todo Dia stores. With the acquisition of
Bompreço and Sonae,
Walmart was the third-largest supermarket chain in Brazil,
Carrefour and Pão de Açúcar.
Walmart Brasil, the operating company, has its head office in Barueri,
São Paulo State, and regional offices in Curitiba, Paraná; Porto
Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul; Recife, Pernambuco; and Salvador,
Bahia. As of January 31, 2018,[update]
operates 465 stores under the banners Todo Dia (123 locations),
Naconial (Sonae) (51 locations),
Supermarket (Bompreço) (57
Walmart Supercenter (68 locations), Maxxi Atacado (Sonae)
(43 locations), BIG (Sonae) (34 locations),
Sam's Club (27 locations), Mercadorama (Sonae) (8
Walmart Posto (Gas Station) (15 locations), Supermercado
Todo Dia (3 locations), and Hiper Todo Dia (5 locations).
Walmart also owns 51 percent of the Central American Retail
Holding Company (CARHCO), which, as of January 31, 2018,[update]
consists of 238 stores in Guatemala (under the Paiz [26 locations],
Walmart Supercenter [10 locations], Despensa Familiar [164 locations],
and Maxi Dispensa [38 locations] banners), 95 stores in El
Salvador (under the Despensa Familiar [63 locations], La Despensa de
Don Juan [17 locations],
Walmart Supercenter [4 locations], and Maxi
Despensa [11 locations] banners), 103 stores in Honduras
(including the Paiz [8 locations],
Walmart Supercenter [3 locations],
Dispensa Familiar [66 locations], and Maxi Despensa [26 locations]
banners), 95 stores in Nicaragua (including the Pali [67
locations], La Unión [8 locations], Maxi Pali [19 locations], and
Walmart Supercenter [1 location] banners), and 247 stores
in Costa Rica (including the Maxi Pali [39 locations], Mas X Menos [35
Walmart Supercenter [11 locations], and Pali [162
In January 2009, the company acquired a controlling interest in the
largest grocer in Chile, Distribución y Servicio D&S
SA. In 2010, the company was renamed
Walmart Chile. As
of January 31, 2018,[update]
Walmart Chile operates 378 stores
under the banners Lider Hiper (88 locations), Lider Express (85
locations), Superbodega Acuenta (112 locations), Ekono (88 locations),
and Central Mayorista (5 locations).
Walmart de México y Centroamérica
As of January 31, 2018,[update] Walmart's Mexico division, the
largest outside the U.S., consisted of 2,358 stores.
Walmart Supercenter (270 locations),
Sam's Club (162
locations), Bodega Aurrera (503 locations), Mi Bodega Aurrera (343
locations), Bodega Aurrera Express (975 locations), Superama (95
locations), and Medimart Farmacia de
Walmart (10 locations).
Walmart Supercentre in Richmond Hill, Canada
Walmart has operated in
Canada since it acquired 122 stores
Woolco division of Woolworth Canada, Inc in 1994. As of
January 31, 2018,[update] it operates 410 locations
(including 334 supercentres and 76 discount stores) and, as
of June 2015,[update] it employs 89,358 people, with a local home
office in Mississauga, Ontario.
Walmart Canada's first three
Supercentres (spelled in Canadian English) opened in November 2006 in
Ancaster, London, and Stouffville, Ontario. The
100th Canadian Supercentre opened in July 2010, in Victoria,
Walmart Canada Bank was introduced with the launch of the
Walmart Rewards MasterCard.
Main article: Asda
Walmart's UK subsidiary, Asda
Walmart's UK subsidiary
Asda (which retained its name after being
acquired by Walmart) is based in
Leeds and accounted for
42.7 percent of 2006 sales of Walmart's international division.
In contrast to the U.S. operations,
Asda was originally and still
remains primarily a grocery chain, but with a stronger focus on
non-food items than most UK supermarket chains other than Tesco. As of
January 31, 2018,[update]
Asda had 642 stores, including
147 from the 2010 acquisition of Netto UK. In addition to small
Asda Supermarkets, which has 211 locations, larger stores
are branded Supercentres, which has 32 locations. Other banners
Asda Superstores (341 locations),
Asda Living (33 locations),
Asda Petrol Fueling Station (25 locations). In July
Asda updated its logo featuring the
Walmart Asterisks behind the
first 'A' in the Logo.
On September 28, 2010,
Walmart announced it would buy Massmart
Holdings Ltd. of Johannesburg,
South Africa in a deal worth over
US$4 billion giving the company its first footprint in
Africa. As of January 31, 2018,[update] it has
382 stores in
South Africa (under the banners Game Foodco [70
locations], CBW [48 locations], Game [49 locations], Builders Express
[43 locations], Builders Warehouse [33 locations], Cambridge [42
locations], Dion Wired [24 locations], Rhino [19 locations], Makro [21
locations], Builders Trade Depot [15 locations], Jumbo
[7 locations], and Builders Superstore
[11 locations]), 11 stores in Botswana (under the banners
CBW [7 locations], Game Foodco [2 locations], and Builders
Warehouse [2 locations]), 2 store in Ghana under the
banners Game (1 location) and Game Foodco (1 location),
1 store in
Kenya (under the Game Foodco banner),
3 stores in Lesotho (under the banners CBW [2 locations] and
Game [1 location]), 2 stores in Malawi (under the Game
banner), 5 stores in Mozambique (under the banners Builders
Warehouse [2 locations], Game Foodco [2 locations], and CBW
[1 location]), 4 stores in Namibia (under the banners
Game Foodco [2 locations], Game [1 location], and CBW
[1 location]), 5 stores in Nigeria (under the banners
Game [4 locations] and Game Foodco [1 location], 1
store in Swaziland (under the CBW banner), 1 store in
Tanzania (under the Game banner), 1 store in Uganda (under
the Game banner), and 6 stores in Zambia (under the banners
CBW [1 location], Game [3 locations] and Builders Warehouse
Walmart in Hangzhou, China
Walmart has joint ventures in
China and several majority-owned
subsidiaries. As of January 31, 2018,[update]
(沃尔玛 Wò'ērmǎ) operates 443 stores under the Walmart
Supercenter (406 locations),
Sam's Club (19 locations) and Hypermarket
(18 locations) banners. In Japan,
Walmart owns 100 percent of
Seiyu (西友 Seiyū) as of 2008.[update] As of January 31,
2018, there are 336 stores under the Seiyu (Hypermarket) (91
locations), Seiyu (Supermarket) (236 locations), Seiyu (General
Merchandise) (1 location), and Livin (8 locations)
In February 2012,
Walmart announced that the company raised its stake
to 51 percent in Chinese online supermarket
Yihaodian to tap rising
consumer wealth and help the company offer more products.
full ownership in July 2015.
In November 2006, the company announced a joint venture with Bharti
Enterprises to operate in India. As foreign corporations were not
allowed to enter the retail sector directly,
Walmart operated through
franchises and handled the wholesale end of the business. The
partnership involved two joint ventures – Bharti manages
the front end, involving opening of retail outlets while
care of the back end, such as cold chains and logistics. Walmart
operates stores in
India under the name Best Price Modern
Wholesale. The first store opened in
Amritsar on May 30, 2009. On
September 14, 2012, the Government of
India approved 51 percent FDI in
multi-brand retails, subject to approval by individual states,
effective September 20, 2012. Scott Price, Walmart's
president and CEO for Asia, told
The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal that the
company would be able to start opening
Walmart stores in
two years. Expansion into
India faced some significant problems.
In November 2012,
Walmart admitted to spending US$25 million
lobbying the Indian National Congress; lobbying is conventionally
considered bribery in India.
Walmart is conducting an internal
investigation into potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt
Practices Act. Bharti
Walmart suspended a number of employees,
rumored to include its CFO and legal team, to ensure "a complete and
thorough investigation". As of January 31, 2018,[update]
there are 20 Best Price locations. In October 2013, Bharti and
Walmart separated to pursue business independently.
In the mid-1990s,
Walmart tried with a large financial investment to
get a foothold in the German retail market. In 1997,
Walmart took over
the supermarket chain Wertkauf with its 21 stores for DM 750
million and the following year
Walmart acquired 74 Interspar
stores for DM 1.3 billion. The German market at this point
was an oligopoly with high competition among companies which used a
similar low price strategy as Walmart. As a result, Walmart's low
price strategy yielded no competitive advantage. Walmart's corporate
culture was not viewed positively among employees and customers,
particularly Walmart's "statement of ethics", which restricted
relationships between employees and led to a public discussion in the
media, resulting in a bad reputation among customers. In
Walmart announced its withdrawal from Germany due to
sustained losses. The stores were sold to the German company Metro
during Walmart's fiscal third quarter.
Walmart did not
disclose its losses from its German investment, but they were
estimated to be around €3 billion.
An April 2012 investigation by
The New York Times
The New York Times reported the
allegations of a former executive of
Walmart de Mexico that, in
September 2005, the company had paid bribes via local fixers to
officials throughout Mexico in exchange for construction permits,
information, and other favors, which gave
Walmart a substantial
advantage over competitors.
Walmart investigators found credible
evidence that Mexican and American laws had been broken. Concerns were
also raised that
Walmart executives in the United States had "hushed
up" the allegations. A follow-up investigation by The New York Times,
published December 17, 2012, revealed evidence that regulatory
permission for siting, construction, and operation of nineteen stores
had been obtained through bribery. There was evidence that a bribe of
US$52,000 was paid to change a zoning map, which enabled the opening
Walmart store a mile from a historical site in San Juan
Teotihuacán in 2004. After the initial article was released,
Walmart released a statement denying the allegations and describing
its anti-corruption policy. While an official
Walmart report states
that it had found no evidence of corruption, the article alleges that
previous internal reports had indeed turned up such evidence before
the story became public.
Forbes magazine contributor Adam Hartung
also commented that the bribery scandal was a reflection of Walmart's
"serious management and strategy troubles", stating, "[s]candals are
now commonplace ... [e]ach scandal points out that Walmart's
strategy is harder to navigate and is running into big problems".
In 2012, there was an incident with CJ's Seafood, a crawfish
processing firm in Louisiana that was partnered with Walmart, that
eventually gained media attention for the mistreatment of its 40 H-2B
visa workers from Mexico. These workers experienced harsh living
conditions in tightly packed trailers outside of the work facility,
physical threats, verbal abuse and were forced to work day-long
shifts. Many of the workers were afraid to take action about the abuse
due to the fact that the manager threatened the lives of their family
members in the U.S. and Mexico if the abuse were to be reported. Eight
of the workers confronted management at CJ's Seafood about the
mistreatment however the management denied the abuse allegations and
the workers went on strike. The workers then took their stories to
Walmart due to their partnership with CJ's. While
investigating the situation, the workers collected 150,000 signatures
of supporters who agreed that
Walmart should stand by the workers and
take action. In June 2012, the visa workers held a protest and
day-long hunger strike outside of the apartment building where a
Walmart board member resided. Following this protest, Walmart
announced its final decision to no longer work with CJ's Seafood. Less
than a month later, the Department of Labor fined CJ's Seafood
"approximately $460,000 in back-pay, safety violations, wage and hour
violations, civil damages and fines for abuses to the H-2B program.
The company has since shut down."
As of December 2012,[update] internal investigations were ongoing
into possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Walmart has invested US$99 million on internal investigations,
which expanded beyond Mexico to implicate operations in China, Brazil,
and India. The case has added fuel to the debate as to
whether foreign investment will result in increased prosperity, or if
it merely allows local retail trade and economic policy to be taken
over by "foreign financial and corporate interests".
Main article: Sam's Club
Sam's Club store in Maplewood, Missouri
Sam's Club is a chain of warehouse clubs that sell groceries and
general merchandise, often in bulk. They range from 94,000 to 168,000
square feet (8,700 to 15,600 square meters), with an average size of
134,000 square feet (12,400 square meters). Sam's Clubs are
membership warehouse clubs where most customers buy annual
memberships. There are three kinds of memberships at Sam's Club, each
with their own benefits. Non-members can make purchases either by
buying a one-day membership or paying a surcharge based on the price
of the purchase. Some locations also sell gasoline. The
Sam's Club opened in 1983 in Midwest City, Oklahoma under
the name "Sam's
Sam's Club has found a niche market in recent years as a supplier to
small businesses. All Sam's Clubs are open early hours exclusively for
business members and their old slogan was "We're in Business for Small
Business." Their slogan has been "Savings Made Simple" since late
Sam's Club attempts to attract a more diverse member
base. In March 2009, the company announced that it plans to enter
the electronic medical records business by offering a software package
to physicians in small practices for US$25,000.
Walmart is partnering
Dell and eClinicalWorks.com in this new venture.
Sam's Club's sales were US$56.828 billion, or 11.9 percent
Walmart sales, during fiscal 2016. As of January 31,
2018,[update] there were 597 Sam's Clubs in 44 states and Puerto
Rico. Alaska, Massachusetts (the last remaining location closed
in 2018), Oregon, Rhode Island (the only location closed in 2016),
Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia are the only U.S.
states and territories where a
Sam's Club does not operate. Walmart,
Walmart International, also operates 206 international
Sam's Clubs, including 161 in Mexico, 27 in Brazil,
and 18 in China. The president and CEO is John Furner.
Based in San Francisco, California, Walmart's Global eCommerce
division provides online retailing for Walmart, Sam's Club, Asda, and
all other international brands. There are several locations in the
United States in
California and Oregon: San Bruno, Sunnyvale,
Brisbane, and Portland. Locations outside of the United States include
Leeds (United Kingdom), and
Bangalore (India). Marc
Lore is the president and CEO.
In February 2010,
Walmart agreed to buy Vudu, a Silicon Valley
start-up whose online movie service is being built into an increasing
number of televisions and Blu-ray players. Terms of the acquisition
were not disclosed, but a person briefed on the deal said the price
for the company, which raised US$60 million in capital, was over
US$100 million. It is the third-most-popular online movie
service, with a market share of 5.3 percent.
Private label brands
Main article: List of
About 40 percent of products sold in
Walmart are private label store
brands, which are produced for the company through contracts with
Walmart began offering private label brands in 1991,
with the launch of Sam's Choice, a line of drinks produced by Cott
Beverages for Walmart.
Sam's Choice quickly became popular and by
1993, was the third-most-popular beverage brand in the United
Walmart brands include Great Value and Equate in
the U.S. and
Canada and Smart Price in Britain. A 2006 study talked of
"the magnitude of mind-share
Walmart appears to hold in the shoppers'
minds when it comes to the awareness of private label brands and
In 2010, the company teamed with Procter & Gamble to produce
Secrets of the Mountain and The Jensen Project, two-hour family movies
which featured the characters using
Walmart and Procter & Gamble
The Jensen Project
The Jensen Project also featured a preview of a
product to be released in several months in
A third movie, A Walk in My Shoes, also aired in 2010 and a fourth is
in production.[when?] Walmart's director of brand marketing also
serves as co-chair of the Association of National Advertisers's
Alliance for Family Entertainment.
Online commerce acquisitions and plans
In September 2016,
Walmart purchased e-commerce company Jet.com,
founded in 2014 by Marc Lore, to start competing with Amazon.com.
Jet.com has acquired its own share of online retailers such as
Hayneedle in March 2016, Shoebuy.com in December 2016, and
On February 15, 2017,
Walmart acquired Moosejaw, an online active
outdoor retailer, for approximately $51 million.
Moosejaw brought with
it partnerships with more than 400 brands, including Patagonia, The
North Face, Marmot, and Arc'teryx.
Marc Lore, Walmart’s U.S. e-commerce CEO, said that Walmart's
existing physical infrastructure of almost 5,000 stores around the
U.S. will enhance their digital expansion by doubling as warehouses
for e-commerce without increasing overhead. As of 2017,[update]
Walmart offers in-store pickup for online orders at 1,000 stores with
plans to eventually expand the service to all of its stores.
Home office in Bentonville, Arkansas
Walmart is headquartered in the
Walmart Home Office complex in
Bentonville, Arkansas. The company's business model is based on
selling a wide variety of general merchandise at low prices. Doug
McMillon became Walmart's CEO on February 1, 2014. He has also worked
as the head of
Sam's Club and
Walmart International. The company
refers to its employees as "associates". All
Walmart stores in the
Canada also have designated "greeters" at the entrance, a
practice pioneered by
Sam Walton and later imitated by other
retailers. Greeters are trained to help shoppers find what they want
and answer their questions.
For many years, associates were identified in the store by their
signature blue vest, but this practice was discontinued in June 2007
and replaced with khaki pants and polo shirts. The wardrobe change was
part of a larger corporate overhaul to increase sales and rejuvenate
the company's stock price. In September 2014, the uniform was
again updated to bring back a vest (paid for by the company) for store
employees over the same polos and khaki or black pants paid for by the
employee. The vest is navy blue for
Walmart employees at Supercenters
and discount stores, lime green for
Walmart Neighborhood Market
employees and yellow for self check out associates; door greeters and
customer service managers. Both state "Proud
Walmart Associate" on the
left breast and the "Spark" logo covering the back. Reportedly
one of the main reasons the vest was reintroduced was that some
customers had trouble identifying employees. In 2016,
self-checkout associates, door greeters and customer service managers
began wearing a yellow vest to be better seen by customers. By
requiring employees to wear uniforms that are made up of standard
Walmart is not required to purchase or reimbursement
employees which is required in some states, as long as that clothing
can be worn elsewhere. Businesses are only legally required to pay for
branded shirts and pants or clothes that would be difficult to wear
outside of work.
Unlike many other retailers,
Walmart does not charge slotting fees to
suppliers for their products to appear in the store. Instead, it
focuses on selling more-popular products and provides incentives for
store managers to drop unpopular products.
On September 14, 2006, the company announced that it would phase out
its layaway program, citing declining use and increased
Layaway ceased on November 19, 2006, and required
merchandise pickup by December 8, 2006.
Walmart now focuses on other
payment options, such as increased use of six- and twelve-month,
zero-interest financing. The layaway location in most stores is now
used for Walmart's Site-To-Store program, which was introduced in
March 2007. This enables walmart.com customers to buy goods online
with a free shipping option, and have goods shipped to the nearest
store for pickup.
Walmart continues to offer seasonal
select categories from late summer through early Christmas and
year-round in their jewelry department.
On September 15, 2017,
Walmart announced that it would build a new
headquarters in Bentonville to replace its current 1971 building and
consolidate operations that have spread out to 20 different buildings
Finance and governance
For the fiscal year ending January 31, 2015,
Walmart reported net
income of US$17 billion on $485.7 billion of revenue. The
company's international operations accounted for $197.7 billion,
or 40.7 percent, of sales.
Walmart is the world's 18th largest
public corporation, according to the
Forbes Global 2000 list, and the
largest public corporation when ranked by revenue.
Walmart is governed by a fifteen-member board of directors elected
annually by shareholders. Gregory B. Penner, son-in-law of S. Robson
Walton and the grandson-in-law of Sam Walton, serves as chairman of
Doug McMillon serves as president and chief executive
officer. Members of the board include Aída Álvarez, Jim Breyer, M.
Michele Burns, James Cash, Roger Corbett, Douglas Daft, David Glass,
Marissa Mayer, Allen Questrom, Arne M. Sorenson, Jim Walton, S. Robson
Walton, Christopher J. Williams, and Linda S. Wolf.
Notable former members of the board include Hillary Clinton
(1985–1992) and Tom Coughlin (2003–2004), the latter having
served as vice chairman. Clinton left the board before the 1992 U.S.
presidential election, and Coughlin left in December 2005 after
pleading guilty to wire fraud and tax evasion for stealing hundreds of
thousands of dollars from Walmart. On August 11, 2006, he was
sentenced to 27 months home confinement and five years of probation,
and ordered to pay $411,000 in restitution.
After Sam Walton's death in 1992, Don Soderquist, Chief Operating
Officer and Senior Vice Chairman, became known as the "Keeper of the
Walmart Inc. is a joint-stock company registered with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission. As of
March 2017,[update] it has 3,292,377,090 outstanding shares.
These are held mainly by the Walton family, a number of institutions
43.00% (1,415,891,131): Walton Enterprises LLC
5.30% (174,563,205): Walton Family Holdings Trust
3.32% (102,036,399): The Vanguard Group, Inc
2.37% (72,714,226): State Street Corporation
BlackRock Institutional Trust Company
0.94% (28,831,721): Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund
BlackRock Fund Advisors
0.71% (21,769,126): Dodge & Cox Inc
0.68% (20,978,727): Vanguard 500 Index Fund
Bank of America
Bank of America Corporation
0.57% (17,571,058): Bank of New York Mellon Corporation
Northern Trust Corporation
0.55% (16,818,165): Vanguard Institutional Index Fund-Institutional
0.55% (16,800,850): State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co
SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust
In North America, Walmart's primary competitors include grocery stores
and department stores like Aldi, Kmart, Kroger, Ingles, Publix,
Target, Shopko, and Meijer, and Winn Dixie, Canada's The Real Canadian
Sobeys and Giant Tiger, and Mexico's Comercial Mexicana
and Soriana. Competitors of Walmart's
Sam's Club division are Costco
and the smaller
BJ's Wholesale Club
BJ's Wholesale Club chain. Walmart's move into the
grocery business in the late 1990s set it against major supermarket
chains in both the United States and Canada. Several smaller
retailers, primarily dollar stores, such as
Family Dollar and Dollar
General, have been able to find a small niche market and compete
successfully against Walmart. In 2004,
Walmart responded by
testing its own dollar store concept, a subsection of some stores
Walmart also had to face fierce competition in some foreign markets.
For example, in Germany it had captured just 2 percent of the
German food market following its entry into the market in 1997 and
remained "a secondary player" behind
Aldi with 19 percent.
Walmart continues to do well in the UK, where its
Asda subsidiary is
the second-largest retailer.
In May 2006, after entering the South Korean market in 1998, Walmart
sold all 16 of its South Korean outlets to Shinsegae, a local
retailer, for US$882 million.
Shinsegae re-branded the Walmarts
Walmart struggled to export its brand elsewhere as it rigidly tried to
reproduce its model overseas. In China,
Walmart hopes to succeed by
adapting and doing things preferable to Chinese citizens. For example,
it found that Chinese consumers preferred to select their own live
fish and seafood; stores began displaying the meat uncovered and
installed fish tanks, leading to higher sales.
Walmart customers cite low prices as the most important reason for
shopping there. The average U.S.
Walmart customer's income is
below the national average, and analysts estimated that more than
one-fifth of them lack a bank account; twice the national rate. A
Walmart report also indicated that
Walmart customers are
sensitive to higher utility costs and gas prices. A poll
indicated that after the 2004 US presidential election,
76 percent of voters who shopped at
Walmart once a week voted for
George W. Bush
George W. Bush while only 23 percent supported senator John
Kerry. When measured against similar retailers in the U.S.,
Walmart shoppers were rated the most politically
conservative. Thus, as of 2014,[update] the "majority
(54 percent) [of] Americans who prefer shopping at
that they oppose same-sex marriage, while 40 percent are in favor of
Due to its prominence in the Bible Belt,
Walmart is known for its
"tradition of tailoring its service to churchgoing
Walmart only carries clean versions of hip-hop
audio CDs and in cooperation with The Timothy Plan, places "plastic
sheathes over suggestive women's periodicals and banned 'lad mags'
such as Maxim" magazine. In addition,
Walmart also caters to
its Christian customer base by selling Christian books and
media, "such as
VeggieTales videos and The Purpose-Driven
Life", which earns the company over US$1 billion
Walmart took steps to expand its U.S. customer base,
announcing a modification in its U.S. stores from a
"one-size-fits-all" merchandising strategy to one designed to "reflect
each of six demographic groups – African-Americans, the
affluent, empty-nesters, Hispanics, suburbanites, and rural
residents." Around six months later, it unveiled a new slogan:
"Saving people money so they can live better lives". This reflects the
three main groups into which
Walmart categorizes its 200 million
customers: "brand aspirationals" (people with low incomes who are
obsessed with big name brands), "price-sensitive affluents" (wealthier
shoppers who love deals), and "value-price shoppers" (people who like
low prices and cannot afford much more).
Walmart has also made
steps to appeal to more liberal customers, for example, by rejecting
the American Family Association's recommendations and carrying the DVD
Brokeback Mountain, a love story between two gay cowboys in
Open source software
Walmart technology projects are coded in the open and available
GitHub repository as Open Source
software under the OSI approved Apache V2.0 license. As of
November 2016,[update] 141 public Github projects are listed.
During a migration of the walmart.com retail platform to Facebook
React and Node.js, the Electrode project was created to power the
e-commerce platform which serves 80 million visitors per month and 15
Electrode provides various developer enhancements and tools for the
Node.js configuration and feature management.
Alex Grigoryan of
Walmart Labs released a statement on
Medium.com on October 3, 2016 explaining the details of the
applications and the scale that they operate at Walmart.
Big data analytics
As the largest retailer in the U.S.,
Walmart collects and analyzes a
large amount of consumer data. The big data sets are mined for use in
predictive analytics, which allow the company to optimize operations
by predicting customer's habits. Walmart's datacenter is unofficially
referred to as Area 71.
In April 2011,
Kosmix to develop software for
analyzing real-time data streams. In August 2012, Walmart
announced its Polaris search engine.
The amount of data gathered by
Walmart has raised privacy
Sam Walton believed that the company's contribution to society was the
fact that it operated efficiently, thereby lowering the cost of living
for customers, and, therefore, in that sense was a "powerful force for
good", despite his refusal to contribute cash to philanthropic
causes. Having begun to feel that his wealth attracted people who
wanted nothing more than a "handout", he explained that while he
believed his family had been fortunate and wished to use his wealth to
aid worthy causes like education, they could not be expected to "solve
every personal problem that comes to [their] attention". He explained
later in his autobiography, "We feel very strongly that Wal-Mart
really is not, and should not be, in the charity business," stating
"any debit has to be passed along to somebody – either
shareholders or our customers." Since Sam Walton's death in 1992,
Walmart and the
Walmart Foundation dramatically increased
charitable giving. For example, in 2005,
US$20 million in cash and merchandise for Hurricane Katrina
relief. Today, Walmart's charitable donations approach
US$1 billion each year.
Kenneth Stone, Professor of Economics at Iowa State University, in a
paper published in Farm Foundation in 1997, found that some small
towns can lose almost half of their retail trade within ten years of a
Walmart store opening. He compared the changes to previous competitors
small town shops have faced in the past – from the development
of the railroads and the
Sears Roebuck catalog to shopping malls. He
concludes that small towns are more affected by "discount mass
merchandiser stores" than larger towns and that shop owners who adapt
to the ever-changing retail market can "co-exist and even thrive in
this type of environment."
One study found Walmart's entry into a new market has a profound
impact on its competition. When a
Walmart opens in a new market,
median sales drop 40 percent at similar high-volume stores, 17 percent
at supermarkets and 6 percent at drugstores, according to a June 2009
study by researchers at several universities and led by the Tuck
School of Business at Dartmouth College. A Loyola University
Chicago study suggested that the impact a
Walmart store has on a local
business is correlated to its distance from that store. The leader of
that study admits that this factor is stronger in smaller towns and
doesn't apply to more urban areas saying "It'd be so tough to nail
down what's up with Wal-Mart". These findings are underscored by
another study conducted in 2009 by the National Bureau of Economics
that showed "large, negative effects" for competing businesses within
5 to 10 miles (8 to 16 km) of the newly opening big-box retailer.
This same study also found that the local retailers experience
virtually no benefit. Walmart's negative effects on local
retailers may be partially explained by studies that find that local
firms re-invest nearly 63 percent more of profits in other local
businesses compared to chain retailers, as found by the Maine Center
of Economic Policy in 2011.
David Merriman, Joseph Persky, Julie Davis and Ron Baiman did a study
Economic Development Quarterly
Economic Development Quarterly outlining the impacts of
Chicago. The study draws from three annual surveys of enterprises
within a four-mile radius of a new
Walmart and it "shows that
the probability of going out of business was significantly higher for
establishments close to that store". The study illustrated how
approximately 300 jobs were lost due to the opening of the store,
which is about equivalent to Walmart's employment in the area. The
overall findings of this study reinforce the "contention that
large-city Walmarts, like those in small towns, absorb retail sales
from nearby stores without significantly expanding the market" as this
is one of the first studies of Walmarts economic impacts on local
A 2001 McKinsey Global Institute study of U.S. labor productivity
growth between 1995 and 2000 concluded that "
Wal-Mart directly and
indirectly caused the bulk of the productivity acceleration" in the
retail sector. Robert Solow, a Nobel laureate in economics and an
adviser to the study, stated that "[b]y far the most important factor
in that [growth] is Wal-Mart."
Economic Policy Institute
Economic Policy Institute estimates that between 2001 and 2006,
Wal-Mart's trade deficit with
China alone eliminated nearly 200,000
U.S. jobs. Another study at the
University of Missouri
University of Missouri found that
a new store increases net retail employment in the county by 100 jobs
in the short term, half of which disappear over five years as other
retail establishments close.
A 2004 paper by two professors at
Pennsylvania State University found
that U.S. counties with
Walmart stores suffered increased poverty
compared with counties without Wal-Marts. They hypothesized that
this could be due to the displacement of workers from higher-paid jobs
in the retailers customers no longer choose to patronize, Wal-Mart
providing less local charity than the replaced businesses, or a
shrinking pool of local leadership and reduced social capital due to a
reduced number of local independent businesses. Dr Raj Patel,
author of "Stuffed and Starved: Markets, Power and the Hidden Battle
for the World Food System", said in a lecture at the University of
Melbourne on September 18, 2007, that a study in Nebraska looked at
two different Wal-Marts, the first of which had just arrived and "was
in the process of driving everyone else out of business but, to do
that, they cut their prices to the bone, very, very low prices". In
the other Wal-Mart, "they had successfully destroyed the local
economy, there was a sort of economic crater with
Wal-Mart in the
middle; and, in that community, the prices were 17 percent
A 2005 story in
The Washington Post
The Washington Post reported that "Wal-Mart's
discounting on food alone boosts the welfare of American shoppers by
at least US$50 billion per year." A study in 2005 at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) measured the effect on
consumer welfare and found that the poorest segment of the population
benefits the most from the existence of discount retailers.
A June 2006 article published by the libertarian Ludwig von Mises
Institute suggested that
Wal-Mart has a positive impact on small
business. It argued that while Wal-Mart's low prices caused some
existing businesses to close, the chain also created new opportunities
for other small business, and so "the process of creative destruction
Wal-Mart has no statistically significant impact on the
overall size of the small business sector in the United States."
In 2006, American newspaper columnist
George Will named
most prodigious job-creator in the history of the private sector in
this galaxy" and that "[b]y lowering consumer prices,
about 50 retail jobs among competitors for every 100 jobs Wal-Mart
creates". In terms of economic effects, Will states that "
its effects save shoppers more than US$200 billion a year,
dwarfing such government programs as food stamps
(US$28.6 billion) and the earned income tax credit
A 2014 story in
The Guardian reported that the
Wal-Mart Foundation was
boosting its efforts to work with U.S. manufacturers. In February
Walmart Foundation pledged US$10 billion to support
domestic manufacturers and announced plans to buy US$250 billion
worth of American-made products in the next decade.
Workers speak during Occupy Wall Street
With over 2.2 million employees worldwide,
Walmart has faced a torrent
of lawsuits and issues with regards to its workforce. These issues
involve low wages, poor working conditions, inadequate health care,
and issues involving the company's strong anti-union policies. In
November 2013, the
National Labor Relations Board
National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced
that it had found that in 13 U.S. states
Wal-Mart had pressured
employees not to engage in strikes on Black Friday, and had illegally
disciplined workers who had engaged in strikes. Critics point to
Walmart's high turnover rate as evidence of an unhappy workforce,
although other factors may be involved. Approximately 70 percent
of its employees leave within the first year. Despite this
turnover rate, the company is still able to affect unemployment rates.
This was found in a study by Oklahoma State University which states,
Walmart is found to have substantially lowered the relative
unemployment rates of blacks in those counties where it is present,
but to have had only a limited impact on relative incomes after the
influences of other socio-economic variables were taken into
Walmart is the largest private employer in the United States,
employing almost five times as many people as IBM, the second-largest
Walmart employs more
African Americans than any other
private employer in the United States.
In 2007, a gender discrimination lawsuit, Dukes v.
Inc., was filed against Walmart, alleging that female employees were
discriminated against in matters regarding pay and promotions. A class
action suit was sought, which would have been the nation's largest in
history, covering 1.5 million past and current employees. On
June 20, 2011, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Wal-Mart's
favor, stating that the plaintiffs did not have enough in common to
constitute a class. The court ruled unanimously that because of
the variability of the plaintiffs' circumstances, the class action
could not proceed as presented, and furthermore, in a 5–4 decision
that it could not proceed as any kind of class action suit.
Several plaintiffs, including the lead plaintiff, Betty Dukes,
expressed their intent to file individual discrimination lawsuits
According to a consultant hired by plaintiffs in a sex discrimination
lawsuit, in 2001, Wal-Mart's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
filings showed that female employees made up 65 percent of Wal-Mart's
hourly paid workforce, but only 33 percent of its
management. Just 35 percent of its store managers were
women, compared to 57 percent at similar retailers.
comparisons with other retailers are unfair, because it classifies
employees differently; if department managers were included in the
totals, women would make up 60 percent of the managerial
ranks. Others have criticized the lawsuit as without basis in the
law and as an abuse of the class action mechanism. In
Wal-Mart was named by the National Association for Female
Executives as one of the top 35 companies for executive
Sexual orientation and gender identity
In the Human Rights Campaign's (HRC) 2002 Corporate Equality Index, a
measure of how companies treat
LGBT employees and customers, gave
Walmart Stores Inc. a score of 14%. By 2017, HRC's 2017 Corproate
Equality Index gave
Walmart Stores Inc. a score of a 100%. In
Walmart added sexual orientation to their antidiscrimination
policy. In 2005, Walmart's definition of family began including
same-sex partners. In 2006,
Walmart announced that
"diversity efforts include new groups of minority, female and gay
employees that meet at
Walmart headquarters in Bentonville to advise
the company on marketing and internal promotion. There are seven
business resource groups: women, African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians,
Native Americans, gays and lesbians, and a disabled group." From
2006 to 2008,
Walmart was member of the National Gay & Lesbian
Chamber of Commerce. In 2011,
Walmart added gender idenity to
their antidiscrimination policy. Walmart's anti-discrimination
policies allow associates to use restroom facilities that corresponds
with their gender identity and gender expression. In 2013,
Walmart began offering health insurance benefits to domestic
partners. In 2015, Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart, issued a
statement opposing House Bill 1228 and asked Governor Asa Hutchinson
to veto the bill. In 2016,
Walmart added full healthcare benefits
to its transgender employees.
In April 2016,
Walmart announced that it plans to eliminate eggs from
battery cages from its supply chain by 2025. The decision was
particularly important because of Walmart's large market share and
influence on the rest of the industry. The move was praised
by major animal welfare groups and heralded as an "end of an era"
Humane Society of the United States
Humane Society of the United States President Wayne Pacelle,
but a poultry trade group representative expressed skepticism about
the decision's impact. Walmart's cage-free eggs will not come
from free range producers, but rather industrial-scale farms where the
birds will be allotted between 1 and 1.5 square feet each, a stressful
arrangement which can cause cannibalism. Unlike battery
cages, the systems Walmart's suppliers will use allow the hens to move
around, but relative to battery cages they have higher hen mortality
rates and present distinct environmental and worker health
On November 28, 2016 Paola Gaviño, in coordination with the animal
The Humane League
The Humane League and Mercy For Animals, launched a
multinational campaign to raise awareness of Walmart’s failure to
produce a policy to source 100 percent cage-free eggs throughout Latin
Walmart has not committed to phasing out battery cages in
Latin America as it has in the United States, the United
Kingdom, and Canada. The campaign argues that battery cages
are unnecessarily cruel and also increase the risk of food safety
issues, including an increased risk of Salmonella contamination.
On March 10, 2017 a Thunderclap campaign reached over one million
people and protests have occurred in cities ranging from Lynn, MA
to Seattle, Washington; as well as Mexico City, where Walmart
Mexico’s HQ is located. On March 30, 2017, activists traveled
to Walmart’s headquarters in Mexico to deliver more than 125,000
petition signatures from campaign supporters.
Criticism and controversies
Main article: Criticism of Walmart
Walmart has been subject to criticism from various groups and
individuals, including labor unions, community groups, grassroots
organizations, religious organizations, environmental groups, and the
company's own customers and employees. They have protested against the
company's policies and business practices, including charges of racial
and gender discrimination. Other areas of criticism
include the company's foreign product sourcing, treatment of
suppliers, employee compensation and working conditions, environmental
practices, the use of public subsidies, the company's security
policies, and slavery.
Walmart denies doing anything wrong
and maintains that low prices are the result of
In March 2018,
Walmart was sued by former Director of Business
Development Tri Huynh for claims of reporting misleading e-commerce
performance results in favor of the company. Huynh stated the
company's move was an attempt to regain lost ground to competitor
Business and economics portal
United States portal
Criticism of Walmart
"Something Wall-Mart This Way Comes" – a 2004 episode of Comedy
Central's South Park
Wal-Mart camel – a bone fossil of a prehistoric camel found at
Wal-Mart store in Mesa, Arizona
First Tee Open
First Tee Open at Pebble Beach – former name of a golf
Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price – a 2005 documentary film
by director Robert Greenwald
Walmarting – a neologism
Wal-Mart Works; and Why That Drives Some People C-R-A-Z-Y –
a 2005 rebuttal to the Greenwald documentary
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Coordinates: 36°21′56″N 94°13′03″W / 36.36556°N
94.21750°W / 36.36556; -94.21750
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Supermarket chains in the United States
Food 4 Less
Pick 'n Save
Shaw's and Star Market
Shop 'n Save
Stop & Shop
Fresco y Más
The Fresh Grocer
Other national chains
Hong Kong Supermarket
Island Pacific Supermarket
Shun Fat Supermarket
99 Ranch Market
El Ahorro Supermarket
La Perla Tapatía Supermarkets
Mi Pueblo Food Center
Cash & Carry
Acme Fresh Market
Boyer's Food Markets, Inc.
Buehler Food Markets Inc.
D&W Fresh Market
Dean & DeLuca
DeMoulas Market Basket
Dorothy Lane Market
Festival Foods (Minnesota)
Harps Food Stores
Heinen's Fine Foods
Highland Park Market
Jungle Jim's International Market
Karns Quality Foods
The Food Emporium
Kings Super Markets
Kuhn's Quality Foods
Lewis Food Town
Lund Food Holdings
Market of Choice
Martin's Super Markets
Mollie Stone's Markets
New Seasons Market
No Frills Supermarkets
PCC Community Markets
Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co.
Price Chopper / Price Mart
Price Chopper Supermarkets
Rice Epicurean Markets
Ridley's Family Markets
Save Mart Supermarkets
Scolari's Food and Drug
Sendik's Food Market
Seven Mile Market
Shop 'n Save
Smart & Final
Strack & Van Til
Sullivan Family of Companies
Super Dollar Discount Foods
Super One Foods
Super Saver Foods (B&R Stores)
The Fresh Market
Tops Friendly Markets
Weaver Street Market
Yoke's Fresh Market
Big Bear Stores
Big Star Markets
Bottom Dollar Food
Buttrey Food & Drug
Daniel Reeves Stores
Davis Food City
Eagle Food Centers
Eisner Food Stores
Fresh & Easy
Giant Open Air
Henry's Farmers Market
Kessel Food Markets
Minyard Food Stores
Schaffer Stores Company
Seaway Food Town
Southern Family Markets
Sunflower Farmers Market
Ukrop's Super Markets
Warehouse Economy Outlet
Wild Oats Markets
List of supermarket chains in the United States
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