After years of investment in its technology and stores, Walmart has indisputably emerged as a strong No. 2 to Amazon in U.S. e-commerce, with sales up 37% last year. But as the novel coronavirus pandemic showed, Walmart’s 4,600 U.S. stores have proved to be an effective weapon in its largest market by allowing curbside pickup for online orders at a time when shoppers want to limit time in stores—but who still want their orders quickly. (That sentiment is not likely to change anytime soon: In the first quarter of fiscal year 2021, the company reported “unprecedented demand” for goods that drove up U.S. comp sales by 10% and U.S. e-commerce sales by 74%.) The company’s Sam’s Club division is finding renewed energy, too. Walmart is benefiting from focusing on select overseas markets, such as India and China, rather than competing everywhere.
As of 2/1/21
C. Douglas McMillon
Market Value ($M)
Figures are for the latest twelve months ended Oct. 31, 2020. Market value as of Jan. 20, 2021. Sources: Bloomberg; S&P Global.
Key Financials (Last Fiscal Year)
Total Stockholder Equity ($M)
Profit as % of Revenues
Profits as % of Assets
Profits as % of Stockholder Equity
Earnings Per Share (Last Fiscal Year)
Earnings Per Share ($)
EPS % Change (from 2018)
EPS % Change (5 year annual rate)
EPS % Change (10 year annual rate)
Total Return to Investors (2019)
Total Return to Investors (5 year, annualized)
Total Return to Investors (10 year, annualized)
Change the World
Prior Year Rank
World’s Most Admired Companies
As of 2/1/21
Stores and Distributors
Current All-Star Rank
Previous All-Star Rank
Previous Industry Rank
Use of Corporate Assets
Quality of Management
Long-Term Investment Value
Quality of Products/Services
Walmart Inc. ( /ˈwɔːlmɑːrt/; formerly Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.) is an American multinational retail corporation that operates a chain of hypermarkets, discount department stores, and grocery stores from the United States, headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas. The company was founded by Sam Walton in nearby Rogers, Arkansas in 1962 and incorporated under Delaware General Corporation Law on October 31, 1969. It also owns and operates Sam’s Club retail warehouses. As of January 31, 2021, Walmart has 11,443 stores and clubs in 26 countries, operating under 54 different names. The company operates under the name Walmart in the United States and Canada, as Walmart de México y Centroamérica in Mexico and Central America, it is affiliated with Asda in the United Kingdom, as the Seiyu Group in Japan, and as Flipkart Wholesale in India. It has wholly owned operations in Argentina, Chile, Canada, and South Africa. Since August 2018, Walmart holds only a minority stake in Walmart Brasil, which was renamed Grupo Big in August 2019, with 20 percent of the company’s shares, and private equity firm Advent International holding 80 percent ownership of the company.
Walmart is the world’s largest company by revenue, with US$548.743 billion, according to the Fortune Global 500 list in 2020. It is also the largest private employer in the world with 2.2 million employees. It is a publicly traded family-owned business, as the company is controlled by the Walton family. Sam Walton’s heirs own over 50 percent of Walmart through both their holding company Walton Enterprises and their individual holdings. Walmart was the largest United States grocery retailer in 2019, and 65 percent of Walmart’s US$510.329 billion sales came from U.S. operations.
Walmart was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1972. By 1988, it was the most profitable retailer in the U.S., and it had become the largest in terms of revenue by October 1989. The company was originally geographically limited to the South and lower Midwest, but it had stores from coast to coast by the early 1990s. Sam’s Club opened in New Jersey in November 1989, and the first California outlet opened in Lancaster, in July 1990. A Walmart in York, Pennsylvania, opened in October 1990, the first main store in the Northeast.
Walmart’s investments outside the U.S. have seen mixed results. Its operations and subsidiaries in Canada, the United Kingdom, Central America, South America, and China are highly successful, but its ventures failed in Germany and South Korea.
Number of locations
|11,443 stores worldwide (January 31, 2021)|
|North America (United States and Canada) Also serves other countries under other names (for example, Asda.)|
|Revenue||US$559.2 billion (FY2021)|
|US$22.55 billion (FY2021)|
|US$14.88 billion (FY2020)|
|Total assets||US$252.5 billion (FY2021)|
|Total equity||US$74.66 billion (FY2020)|
|Owner||Walton family (50.85%)|
Number of employees
|Subsidiaries||List of subsidiaries|