From its beginnings as an Arkansas discount store to its reported placement as the world's largest retailer, Walmart is an iconic American business with more than 11,000 locations worldwide. But there's also plenty you might not know about the corporation. Check out some facts about the superstore below.
Walmart raises -- with a catch
On Jan. 11, 2018, Walmart announced it was boosting starting salaries for employees to $11 an hour, as well as handing out bonuses up to $1,000 to qualified employees. However, the same day, it also closed 63 Sam's Club locations.
Walmart best sellers
In January 2018, Walmart released some of the best-selling items on Walmart.com by state. While Rhode Islanders buy a lot of Christmas lights, Minnesotans buy a lot of Flaming Hot Cheetos, according to the company, New Yorkers ensure Cheerios as a bestseller.
Walmart is going to undergo a name change on Feb. 1, 2018, legally changing from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to Walmart Inc., reflecting the retail giant's shift from physical stores to online and other sales.
Sam Walton's start
Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, took his first step in retailing in the town of Bentonville, Ark., purchasing a store and calling it Walton's 5&10 in 1950. The location now serves as site of the Walmart Museum.
Walmart's first store
The first Walmart store was opened in Rogers, Ark., on July 2, 1962. The chain had 24 locations within 5 years, all of them in Arkansas.
The brand quickly expanded outside of Arkansas, adding locations in Missouri and Oklahoma in 1968, then quickly growing its presence in the Midwest and southeastern United States. It reached $1 billion in sales by 1979, and by the beginning of the 1980s, the chain had 276 stores and 21,000 associates.
The first Sam's Club location opened in Midwest City, Okla., in 1983, and the members-only subsidiary has around 600 locations worldwide today.
Walmart founder Sam Walton was named the wealthiest man in America by Forbes in 1985. It was a distinction he hated, telling Fortune at the time "All that hullabaloo about somebody's net worth is just stupid, and it's made my life a lot more complex and difficult." Walton died in 1992 at the age of 74.
U.S.'s most profitable retailer
Walmart became the most profitable retailer in the United States in 1988, with locations in 27 states at that time. Within three years, it would surpass Sears and Kmart as the retailer with the most sales. The chain still holds both titles to this date.
In 1991, Walmart expanded into New York State and New England. By 1995, the last U.S. state without a location, Vermont, got its first locations.
The largest Walmart Supercenter in the United States opened in Albany's Crossroad Commons in 2008, when the company merged a Walmart and Sam's Club location. The store is nearly 260,000 square feet, about 25 percent larger than a typical location.
Valley Stream death
On Black Friday 2008, Jdimytai Damour, an employee at the Valley Stream Walmart, was trampled to death as the first wave of a crowd of an estimated 2,000 shoppers broke down a door to get to holiday specials. Walmart paid a nearly $2 million settlement with Nassau County as a result of the incident and also paid a $7,000 fine for a "serious violation" of rules to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration -- after spending nearly $1 million over 6 years fighting the fine.
America's biggest retailer
According to an annual survey of America's top retailers by Stores magazine, Walmart far and away has the most sales, recording more than $362 billion in 2016 in the United States -- triple that of the second-place retailer, Kroger.
Walmart has 4,692 locations in the United States, with 3,534 Walmart Supercenters, 412 Walmart Discount Stores, 698 Neighborhood Markets and 48 small-format stores as of April 2017, according to the company website. In addition, there are also 662 Sam's Club locations nationwide. The company says it also employs more than 1.5 million associates in the United States, and is the largest private employer in 22 states, according to 24/7 Wall St.
Walmart in New York
Walmart has 116 retail locations in New York State, according to July 2017 figures from the company's website. That number includes 80 Supercenters, 18 Discount Stores, two Neighborhood Markets and 16 Sam's Club locations. Of all of those, 13 Walmart locations are listed as being on Long Island, including this one in Westbury and a Sam's Club in Medford.
Walmart's New York employees
Walmart lists 37,846 workers in New York as of July 2017, with Empire State workers getting an average wage of $14.10 for regular, full-time employees, as of April 2017. According to New York State's Department of Labor, Walmart is in the Top 10 for private sector employment statewide for 2016, and in the Top 10 of every region's top private sector employers -- except for Long Island and New York City.
States with most, fewest Walmart stores
Texas has more Walmart retail locations than any other state, with 584, as of July 2017, according to company statistics. Florida has the second highest (375), followed by California (301). The state with the fewest Walmart retail locations? Vermont, with 6.
Walmart outside the U.S.
Walmart went international in 1991 when Sam's Club opened in Mexico. The company's presence has grown there to 2,412 total retail locations, including 263 Walmart Supercenters and 161 Sam's Clubs. In all, 28 countries have a Walmart-owned brand, with 11,695 stores worldwide, according to the company.
Bigger than Belgium
Walmart lists its total worldwide revenue in the fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2017, as $485.9 billion. According to the World Bank, the gross domestic product of Belgium $466.3 billion, and Walmart's revenue would place it just below Sweden for 23rd place if it were a country.
As many as Houston
With 2.3 million employees, Walmart has nearly as many people on payroll as the estimated 2016 population of the incorporated place of Houston, Texas -- 4th largest city in the United States. Its U.S. employee total of 1.5 million is about the size of San Antonio, Texas, which is 7th largest in terms of incorporated places for 2016.
As America's largest employer with over 1.5 million workers, Walmart has faced questions and protests over its pay rate. In 2016, the company announced it raised wages to 1.2 million employees -- the company called it one of the largest single-day private-sector pay increases ever. The company listed its current average in 2017 for a full-time hourly wage at $13.85.
260 million shoppers
Walmart says on its website it gets 260 million shoppers each week, which is about the population of Indonesia. That number would be the fifth-largest country in the world by population.
One of the most recognizable signs of Walmart was "Smiley," who was part of the chain's rollback promotions from 1990 to 2006. However, the logo faded away from stores and eventually became part of a trademark lawsuit with a Belgian designer in 2009. The suit was settled in 2011, and it allowed the company to use the logo in stores. "Smiley" was brought back in 2016.