Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is changing its name to Walmart Inc., the company announced today. While it might not seem like a big change, it is a signal that the retail giant is taking the growing online retail space seriously.
“Changing our corporate name from Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., to Walmart Inc. is just a symbol of how customers are shopping us today and how they’ll increasingly shop us in the future,” Doug McMillon, president and CEO, wrote in a blog post. “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. When they shop with us, they expect it to be an easy and seamless experience.”
He continued, saying: “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. Sam Walton said, ‘To succeed in this world, you have to change all the time.’ 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.”
Walmart is hardly a stranger to online sales, bringing in $2 billion in sales, according to Supermarket News’ 2017 Digital Top 10. Walmart ranked only behind Amazon with $6.2 billion in sales.
Walmart’s name change could be a reaction to Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods earlier this year. Walmart saw a need to up its online presence in 2016 with the purchase of jet.com for $3.3 billion.