In the age of Ama­zon, Wal­mart is chang­ing its le­gal name

The Trentonian (Trenton, NJ) - - BUSINESS - By Anne D’in­no­cen­zio

NEW YORK » Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is chang­ing its le­gal name ef­fec­tive Feb. 1 as it shifts away from phys­i­cal stores in the age of Ama­zon’s in­creas­ing dom­i­nance.

The world’s largest re­tailer, based in Ben­tonville, Arkansas, said Wed­nes­day it will change its le­gal name to Wal­mart Inc. from Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

It said the move un­der­scores its grow­ing em­pha­sis on serv­ing shop­pers in dif­fer­ent ways be­yond just phys­i­cal stores but also on­line, on their mo­bile de­vices and through pickup and de­liv­ery. The com­pany has been mak­ing in­roads in nar­row­ing the gap be­tween it­self and Ama­zon by mak­ing big in­vest­ments in its on­line busi­ness. It tripled the num­ber of items sold on­line from a year ago, over­hauled its free ship­ping strat­egy and is ex­pand­ing such ser­vices as al­low­ing shop­pers to pick up on­line gro­cery or­ders curb­side at the stores. That has helped drive strong e-com­merce sales gains in the past sev­eral quar­ters, most re­cently 50 per­cent growth in its fis­cal third quar­ter.

It op­er­ates more than 11,600 stores and clubs un­der 60 dif­fer­ent ban­ners world­wide.

“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,” wrote Doug McMil­lon, Wal­mart pres­i­dent and CEO, in a blog post Wed­nes­day.

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