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Beyond Brick and Mortar: Walmart Changes Legal Name in Nod to E-Commerce
Maybe it was the fact that Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway dumped $900 million of Walmart stock earlier this year, leaving it with almost no shares left in the megastore chain – and affirming Buffett’s growing pessimism about the retail industry in the face of Amazon’s global dominance – but Walmart announced on Tuesday that it was changing its legal name that reflects the growing influence of the e-commerce market.
The company has changed its legal name from Walmart Stores, Inc. to Walmart Inc., dropping the reference to its brick and mortar retail outlets. The change is effective on Feb. 1, 2018.
In a statement explaining the change, the company acknowledged the changing shopping habits of consumers.
“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,” said Doug McMillon, Walmart president and CEO. “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, which was founded in 1969, operates more than 11,600 stores in 28 countries. Its online sales grew 50 percent in the last quarter.