Wal-Mart Stores Inc is a USA based multinational retail corporation which operates a chain of grocery stores, discount department stores and hypermarkets. Founded by Sam Walton in 1962 and incorporated on October 31st 1969, it is headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas.

It has a total of 11,526 stores in 28 countries, under a total of 65 banners as of September 30, 2015. The company operates under the Wal-Mart name in the United States and Canada while in Mexico it is known as Wal-Mart de Mexico y Centroamerica, as Asda in the United Kingdom, as Seiyu in Japan, and as Best Price in India. It has wholly owned operations in Argentina, Brazil, and Canada. It also owns and operates the Sam's Club retail warehouses.

According to Fortune Global 500 list in 2014, Wal-Mart was the world's largest company by revenue and also the biggest private employer in the world with 2.2 million employees. Wal-Mart is controlled by the Walton family as it is a family owned business.

Sam Walton's heirs own over 50% of Wal-Mart through their holding company, Walton Enterprises and through their individual holdings. Wal-Mart is the world's largest grocery retailer in the US as well as one of the most valuable companies by market value. It generated 51% of its US $258 billion sales in the U.S from its grocery business as of 2009.

Wal-Mart's investments outside North America have seen mixed results: its operations in the United Kingdom, South America, and China are highly successful, whereas ventures in Germany and South Korea failed.

Wal-Mart US is the company's largest division accounting for $ 258 billion or 63.8% of total sales. It has three retail formats:- Supercenters, Discount Stores and Neighborhood Markets. The retail department stores are now more focused towards supercenters including mostly groceries, though they do sell a lot of non-grocery items. It includes Wal-Mart's online site, walmart.com. The president and CEO of Wal-Mart U.S is Greg Foran and as of August 31st 2015 there were a total of 5,249 U.S stores which employs 1.4 million people.

Wal-Mart Supercenters are hypermarkets where sizes vary from 98,000 to 261,000 Square Feet with the average store measuring about 197,000 square feet. They include a full service supermarket, including meat and poultry, baked goods, delicatessen, frozen foods, dairy products and fresh seafood and also stock everything a Wal-Mart discount has. Many Wal-Mart Supercenters have a garden center, Pharmacy, pet shop, one hour photo processing lab, portrait studio and numerous alcove shops, such as cellular phone stores, local bank branches and fast food outlet.

It is usually Subway but sometimes Dunkin Donuts, McDonald's, Wendy's, Checker's, Burger King or Blimpie. Many have featured McDonald's stores, however in 2007, Walmart announced it would not open any more McDonald's restaurants at most new stores. Most stores that opened after the announcement had Subway as their restaurant and some McDonald's inside the stores were also replaced with Subway. Some sell gasoline distributed mainly by Murphy Oil Corporation, Sunoco, Inc or Tesoro Corporation.

There were 3445 Wal-Mart Supercenters in the United States as of August 2015.

The largest Supercenter in the United States is located in Crossgates Commons in Albany, New York covering about 260,000 square feet with two floors. The second largest located at Lewisburg, Pennsylvania covers about 220,000 Square feet.

At present the stores are simply referred to as Wal-Mart, phasing out the Supercenter portion of the name with the introduction of the Wal-Mart logo in 2008. The supercenter name is still in use in Canada as the 100th store was opened in 2010.

Wal-Mart Discount Stores are discount department stores who size varies from 51,000 to 224,000 Square Feet where the average store covers about 102,000 Square Feet. They specialize in selling a selection of groceries and general merchandize. Many stores feature a garden center, pharmacy, tire & Lube Express, Optical Center, portrait studio and a fast food restaurant such as a subway, McDonald's or Burger King. Some have gas stations too.

Wal-Mart opened its first Bud's Discount City location in Bentonville in 1990. It operated as a closeout store much similar to Big Lots. Many locations were started in order to fulfill leases in shopping centers as Wal-Mart stores moved into the newly built Supercenters. By 1997 all of Bud's Discount City stores were either closed or converted into Wal-Mart Discount Stores. By August 2015, there were 455 Wal-Mart discount stores in the United States.

Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market is a chain of grocery stores with an average size of 42,000 square feet. They fill in the gap between the superstores and the discount stores offering a variety of products that are in demand and not available at these stores. Products offered include groceries, pharmaceuticals, health and beauty and beauty aids, photo developing services and a limited amount of general merchandise. By August 2015, there were 656 Wal-Mart Neighborhood Markets.

Supermercado De Wal-Mart locations were started by Wal-Mart in a bid to appeal the Hispanic communities in the United States. The first location was opened in the Spring Branch area of Houstan on April 29, 2009 with the store measuring about 39,000 square feet. This paved the way to Wal-Mart 's first entry into the Hispanic grocery market in Houston with the second store being opened in Phoenix, Arizona in 2009. 

Wal-Mart Express is a chain of discount stores which are smaller in size to the normal Wal-Mart store. The services range from groceries, check cashing and gasoline services. The idea behind conceptualizing the chain is to cater to the needs of the smaller towns which cannot afford to support a larger store and also at cities where space is at premium. By September 8, 2014 Wal-Mart rebranded all the Express Format stores to Neighborhood Markets in an attempt to streamline its retail offer. It has continued to open new Express Stores under the Neighborhood Market name. Wal-Mart had 41 small format stores by August 2015 in the United States which include Amigo, Wal-Mart on Campus and Super Ahorros Stores.

Wal-Mart International operations as of September 2015 comprised of 6,256 stores with 8,00,000 workers in 26 countries outside the United States. They have wholly owned operations in Argentina, Brazil, Canada and the United Kingdom. With 2.2 million employees worldwide, the company is rated as the largest private employer in the U.S and Mexico and one of the largest in Canada. During the Fiscal Year of 2010, Wal-Mart 's International division sales were $100 billion or 24.7 % of the total sales.


Wal-Mart 's Mexico division is the largest outside the U.S consisting of 2,306 stores. In Mexico it operates Wal-Mart Supercenter, Sam Club, Bodega Aurrera, Mi Bodega Aurrera, Bodega Aurerra Express, Superama, Suburbia, Farmacia de Wal-Mart and Zona Suburbia.


Wal-Mart has operated in Canada since 1994 when it acquired 122 stores comprising the Woolco division of Woolworth Canada Inc. By September 2015, it had 395 locations which included 288 supercenters and 107 discount stores. In 2010, Wal-Mart Canada Bank was introduced with the launch of the Wal-Mart Rewards MasterCard.

South America

Wal-Mart bought 118 stores in the Bompreco supermarket chain in the 2004. It took over control of the Brazilian operations in late 2005 of the Sonae Distribution Group through its new subsidiary, WMS Supermercados do Brazil, thereby acquiring control of the Nacional and Mercadorama supermarket chains, who are the leaders in the Rio Grande do Sul and Parana states, respectively, none of which stores were rebranded. Wal-Mart operated 61 Super-Bompreço stores, 39 Hiper-Bompreço stores.

It also ran 57 Walmart Supercenters, 27 Sam's Club stores, and 174 Todo Dia stores as of January 2014. After acquiring Bompreco and Sonae, Walmart was the third largest supermarket chain in Brazil, behind Carrefour and Pão de Açúcar in 2010.

Wal-Mart Brasil 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. Wal-Mart Brazil operates 558 stores under the banners Wal-Mart Supercenter, Sam's Club, Todo Dia, Supermercado Todo Dia, Hyper-Market, Super-Market, Mercadorama, BIG, Maxxi, Nacional, Gas Station, and Hiper Todo Dia.

Wal-Mart Brasil in January 2009 acquired a controlling interest in the largest grocer in Chile Distribución y Servicio D&S S and in 2010 the company was renamed as Walmart Chile. It operates 389 stores under the banners Lider Hiper, Lider Express, Superbodega Acuenta, Ekono, and Central Mayorista.

In 1995 Wal-Mart Argentina was founded. It currently operates 108 stores under the banners Wal-Mart Supercenter, Changomas, Changomas Express, Mi Changomas, and Wal-Mart Supermercado.

Currently Wal-Mart also owns 51 % of the Central American Retail Holding Company (CARHO). It consists of 217 stores in Guatemala (under the Paiz, Wal-Mart Supercenter, Despensa Familiar, ClubCo, and Maxi Dispensa banners}, 92 stores in El Salvador (under the Despensa Familiar, La Despensa de Don Juan, Wal-Mart Supercenter, and Maxi Despensa banners), 81 stores in Honduras (including the Paiz, Wal-Mart Supercenter, Dispensa Familiar, and Maxi Despensa banners), 85 stores in Nicaragua (including the Pali, La Unión, and Maxi Pali banners), and 220 stores in Costa Rica (including the Maxi Pali, Mas X Menos, Wal-Mart Supercenter, and Pali banners).

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, Wal-Mart’s UK Subsidiary Asda accounted for about 42.7% of the 2006 sales of Wal-Mart 's international division. Asda has retained its name after being acquired by Wal-Mart. Asda for most part operates as a grocery chain, but remains strongly focused on non-food items than most UK supermarket chains other than Tesco.

Asda had 616 stores, including 147 from the 2010 acquisition of Netto. In addition to small suburban Asda Supermarkets, larger stores are branded Super-centres, as well as Asda Superstores, Asda Living and Asda Petrol Fueling Stations as of September 2015. In July 2015, Asda updated its logo featuring the Wal-Mart Asterisks behind the first 'A' in the Logo.


China:- Wal-Mart has several joint-ventures and many majority-owned subsidiaries. Wal-Mart China operates 416 stores under the Wal-Mart Supercenter, Sam's Club, Neighborhood Market, Smart Choice, and Trust-Mart Hypermarket banners.

Japan:- As of 2008, Wal-Mart has owned 100% of Seiyu. Seiyu Group is a Japanese group of supermarkets, shopping centers and department stores owned by Wal-Mart stores with headquarters in Akabane, Kita Tokyo.

India:- In November 2006 Wal-Mart announced a joint venture with Bharti Enterprises to operate in India. Wal-Mart had to operate through franchises to enter India as foreign corporations were not allowed to directly enter the retail sector. The partnership has two joint ventures-While Bharti manages the front end which involves opening of retail outlets, Wal-Mart involves taking care of the back end work involving cold chains and logistics. Bharti Wal-Mart operates under the brand name "Best Price Modern Wholesale" with the first store opening in May 2012.

Africa:- In a major announcement on September 28, 2010, Wal-Mart said it would buy Massmart Holdings Ltd of Johannesburg, South Africa in a deal worth $ 4 million making it the first one in Africa. It has 404 stores under the banners Massdiscounters, Masswarehouse, Massbuild and Masscash in South Africa, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.

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