BENTONVILLE, Ark. — The world’s largest retailer is officially changing its legal name from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to Walmart Inc.
Walmart said Wednesday that the change, which takes effect with the start of its new fiscal year on Feb. 1, is meant to reflect the company’s shift from an operator of stores to one that increasingly lets its customers shop online, in stores or via mobile devices.
With Walmart’s legal name change, the company will continue to trade on the NYSE as WMT and be referenced as Walmart.
“Our customers know us as Walmart and today they shop with us not only in our stores but online and with our app as well,” Doug McMillon, Walmart president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. “While our legal name is used in a limited number of places, we felt it was best to have a name that was consistent with the idea that you can shop us however you like as a customer. Looking ahead, we’ll continue to invest in and strengthen our stores around the world and expand our eCommerce capabilities as we help save customers’ time and money. As time goes on, customers will increasingly just think of and see one Walmart.”
Walmart operates under nearly 60 different banners around the world, including e-commerce sites, and has more than 11,600 stores and clubs in 28 countries. The company opened its first international location in Mexico City in 1991 and launched Walmart.com in 2000.
Walmart’s formal legal name when it incorporated on Oct. 31, 1969, was Wal-Mart Inc. That changed to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on Jan., 9, 1970, and has remained in place the past 47 years since Walmart went public that same year. The company said it has been using the current Walmart logo in its operations since June 2008.