Why Walmart is changing its name

by Monica Watrous
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Walmart
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has changed its corporate name to Walmart, Inc.
 

BENTONVILLE, ARK. — The world’s biggest retailer formerly known as Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has changed its corporate name to Walmart, Inc. as “a symbol of how customers are shopping us today and how they’ll increasingly shop us in the future,” said Doug McMillon, president and chief executive officer.

Doug McMillon, Walmart
Doug McMillon, president and c.e.o. of Walmart

“Whether it’s in our stores, on our sites, with our apps, by using their voice or whatever comes next, there is just one Walmart as far as our customers are concerned,” Mr. McMillon said in a corporate blog post. “When they shop with us, they expect it to be an easy and seamless experience.”

The name change is also a nod to the company’s roots, Mr. McMillon noted.

“You might be surprised to learn that, when Sam Walton opened the first store in 1962, the name on the front of the building was simply, ‘Walmart,’” he said. “A few years later, we incorporated as Wal-Mart, Inc., and amended the name to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., when we went public in 1970.”

First Walmart store
When Sam Walton opened the first store in 1962, the name on the building was "Walmart."
 

Today, the company operates under almost 60 different banners around the world, including e-commerce sites, and has more than 11,600 stores and clubs in 28 countries.

“Now, we are focused on strengthening stores and clubs around the world to make sure customers continue to have a great experience every time they walk through the door,” Mr. McMillon said. “At the same time, we’re also building our eCommerce and digital capabilities, and we’re putting them together in a way that makes every day easier for busy families.”

Walmart on-line grocery shopping
E-commerce has been a major focus for Walmart, which currently offers grocery pick-up service at hundreds of stores nationwide.
 

E-commerce has been a major focus for Walmart, which currently offers grocery pick-up service at hundreds of stores nationwide and is testing same-day delivery at a handful of stores. Recently, the retailer began testing “in-fridge delivery,” a service that stocks a customer’s refrigerator while he or she is away from home.

“Sam Walton said, ‘To succeed in this world, you have to change all the time,’” Mr. McMillon said. “He wouldn’t have known that customers in the future would shop on their smart phones or with their voices, but he did know that retail would continue to change. He taught us that, and that for a company to succeed, it has to be agile and innovative."
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