Eye on Retail: Walmart alters name

The retailer drops 'stores' from its legal name in a move to emphasize its position as an omnichannel retailer.

Walmart is ending a 48-year habit by removing word "stores" from of its legal name.

The discounter on Wednesday announced that it is changing its legal name from Wal-Mart Stores to Walmart Inc., effective Feb. 1, 2018. The move reflects the chain's growing emphasis on e-commerce and its positioning as a retailer with integrated online and offline operations.

"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."

In a blog post on the company's website, McMillon said the change not only reflects the company's strategy to win the future of retail, but is also a bit about returning to the company’s roots.

"You might be surprised to learn that when Sam Walton opened the first store in 1962, the name on the front of the building was simply, 'Walmart,'" McMillon wrote. "A few years later, we incorporated as Wal-Mart Inc. and amended the name to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. when we went public in 1970."

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. It will continue to trade on the NYSE as WMT.

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