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