Walmart - 20th Century
Walmart Inc. is an American multinational retail corporation that operates a chain of hypermarkets (also called supercenters), discount department stores, and grocery stores from the United States, headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas. The company was founded by Sam Walton in nearby Rogers, Arkansas in 1962 and incorporated under Delaware General Corporation Law on October 31, 1969. It also owns and operates Sam’s Club retail warehouses. As of July 31, 2021, Walmart has 10,524 stores and clubs in 24 countries, operating under 48 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, and as Flipkart Wholesale in India. It has wholly owned operations in Chile, Canada, and South Africa. Since August 2018, Walmart holds only a minority stake in Walmart Brasil, which was renamed Grupo Big in August 2019, with 20 percent of the company’s shares, and private equity firm Advent International holding 80 percent ownership of the company.
Walmart is the world’s largest company by revenue, with US \$ 548.743 billion, according to the Fortune Global 500 list in 2020. It is also the largest private employer in the world with 2.2 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 both their holding company Walton Enterprises and their individual holdings. Walmart was the largest United States grocery retailer in 2019, and 65 percent of Walmart’s US $510.329 billion sales came from U.S. operations.
Walmart was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1972. By 1988, it was the most profitable retailer in the U.S., and it had become the largest in terms of revenue by October 1989. The company was originally geographically limited to the South and lower Midwest, but it had stores from coast to coast by the early 1990s. 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 Northeast.
Walmart - 21st Century
In 2000, Lee Scott was named president and CEO and US sales had doubled to \$156 billion since 1995. That same year, Walmart was ranked fifth by Fortune magazine on its Global Most Admired All-Stars list and in 2003 and 2004, it was named as the most admired company in America.
In 2002, Walmart entered the Japanese market by acquiring a minor stake in Seiyu Group, who would become a wholly owned subsidiary of Walmart by 2008.
In 2005, Walmart had \$312.4 billion in sales, more than 6,200 facilities around the world, including 3,800 stores in the United States and 3,800 international units, and more than 1.6 million associates employed worldwide. Their US presence had grown so rapidly that there were only small pockets of the country that remained further than 60 miles away from the nearest Walmart. Approximately 138 million customers visited Walmart stores each week all over the world. Their corporate philanthropy efforts also assisted the US hurricane relief efforts with \$18 million in cash donations. Through a purchase of stock in Central American Retail Holding Company (CARHCO), Walmart also entered the countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica.
On May 22, 2006, Walmart announced the sale of its 16 stores in South Korea to Shinsegae Co, which rebranded the stores to E-Mart. Then on July 26, 2006 Walmart announced a complete pull-out from the German market; all existing 85 stores were sold to the Metro Group, which rebranded most of them to Real (hypermarket).
On September 12, 2007, for the first time in 13 years, Walmart introduced new advertising with the slogan, “Save Money Live Better,” instead of “Always Low Prices, Always.” It commissioned Global Insight for the ads and the report stated that as of 2006, the retailer saves American families \$2,500 yearly (up 7.3% from \$2,329, 2004). The new research found that the reduction in price levels due to Walmart resulted to savings for consumers of \$287 billion in 2006, equivalent to $957 per person and \$2,500 per household.
Logo designed in 2008 On June 30, 2008, Walmart unveiled the company’s new logo, which stylized the name as “Walmart”. A spark, a symbol chosen to represent Walmart associates, replaces the star. In early 2009, Walmart entered Chile by acquiring Distribucion y Servicio D&S SA. In May 2009 Walmart entered into a 50/50 partnership with Bharti to gain access to the Indian market.
On February 22, 2010, the company confirmed it was acquiring the video streaming company Vudu, Inc. for an estimated $100 million.
In June 2011, Walmart acquired 51% of Massmart Holdings. This acquisition gives the company access to the African countries of: South Africa, Botswana, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
The Massmart acquisition received final governmental approval in early 2012. The single store Mauritius was closed in January 2012.
In June 2014, Walmart employees went on strike in several major cities in the United States.
In light of recent events, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, in the last eighteen months, as of July 2021; Walmart has displaced all cashiers at smaller stores and neighborhood locations. Such locations, only have Scan-and-Go self-checkout stations.