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14 Mind-Blowing Facts About Walmart Not Even Employees Know

Here are some facts about Walmart you may want to know!

Walmart has been the country’s No. 1 retailer by sales for several decades, and based on the company’s latest earnings report, it still holds that title.

The bad news for Walmart is that competitors are increasingly threatening its dominance. For instance, Amazon is attracting online customers with very convenient delivery options while coming up with a brick-and-mortar strategy (Amazon Go, Whole Foods).

Recent statements issued by Walmart executives, including the retail giant’s results for the last quarter and year, have pointed out the company’s growing pains and shifting priorities while reaffirming its formidable size.

This being said, here are 14 facts about Walmart that show how far the retail chain has come and where it’s headed. Let’s get started!

facts about walmart
Photo by Tada Images from Shutterstock

1. Before Walmart, there was a five-and-dime store

It seemed obvious to have No. 1 on our list of facts about Walmart be something related to the retail giant’s beginnings. In 1950, founder Sam Walton opened a store named Walton’s 5 & 10 cent type store in downtown Bentonville, Arkansas. His next big move was the first Walmart opening in Rogers, Arkansas, in 1962.

Eight years later, the company went public, and by 1980, it had reached $1 billion in annual sales. Walmart Supercenter and Sam’s Club stores emerged in the ’80s.

2. Sam Walton once danced the hula on Wall Street

We have many facts about Walmart here, and some of them are quite funny. Here’s one of them!

The giant retailer’s founder had made a promise to his employees (the company calls them associates) that he would dance the hula on Wall Street if the business reached a pre-tax profit of 8% for the fiscal year.

And this did happen in 1983. On March 15, 1984, Walton did the celebratory dance. He went all out, even wearing a grass skirt and leis. David Glass, who was the CFO at the time, hired a truckload of real ukulele players and hula dancers and let the media know about the stunt.

3. Walton was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Here’s one of the most known facts about Walmart: in 1992, Walton was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his remarkable service-based retail philosophy, with former President George H. W. Bush himself awarding it.

“If we work together, we will lower the cost of living for everyone,” the company’s founder said in his acceptance speech. He also pointed out that the retail chain commits to giving the world a chance to see what it’s like to save money and have a better life.

In fact, the same idea can also be found in Walmart’s slogan, “Save money. Live better.”

4. The company’s annual revenue reached the half-trillion milestone in 2018

Some interesting facts about Walmart include its financial journey, which surprised everyone. For example, in 1993, the company’s total revenue exceeded $500 billion for the first time in its 56-year history for the 2018 fiscal year.

Moreover, the total revenue went up by 3.1%, or $15.1 billion (without taking into account the currency fluctuations), year over year.

5. Walmart has beaten its own sales records multiple times

Next on our list of facts about Walmart is another record-breaking achievement: the retail giant broke its own sales records time and again. In 1993, the company celebrated its first $1 billion sales week. Four years later, it had its first $100 billion sales year.

Then, in 2002, the chain became the No. 1 company on the Fortune 500. In 2009, Walmart reached $400 billion in annual sales.

Photo by Sergei Elagin from Shutterstock

6. Walmart has boosted its e-commerce efforts in the past two years

In 2016, Walmart bought the nascent but fast-growing discount retail startup The chain’s CEO, Doug McMillon, stated at the time of the acquisition that Walmart was looking for methods to broaden its assortment, lower prices, and provide the simplest, easiest shopping experience to match the customer’s needs and desires.

Also that year, the company partnered with e-commerce giant to launch in the Chinese market.

In 2017, it started offering free two-day shipping on over 2 million products in an attempt to compete with the giant Amazon’s fast delivery turnarounds. Walmart also bought Bonobos, ModCloth, Parcel, and Moosejaw that year.

Keep reading to discover other facts about Walmart!

7. Walmart is striving to shorten delivery turnarounds

Next on our list of facts about Walmart, we have something you may want to know if you’re a loyal customer: the company is aggressively working to shorten delivery turnarounds.

In October 2017, Walmart stated that it could ship products to 99% of the US in a matter of two days. When it comes to ground overnight shipping, geographic coverage goes down slightly to 87% of the country.

Walmart doesn’t require customers to pay for its membership to get two-day shipping.

8. Walmart employs 2.3 million store associates.

According to the latest reports, Walmart employs about 2.3 million associates globally. This isn’t one of the most interesting facts about Walmart, but it’s still a surprising number. Around three-quarters of the retail giant’s store managers started their careers at Walmart as hourly associates.

9. Walmart is cheaper than Amazon in most of their categories

Information is power, and so is knowing some facts about Walmart! It can help you save more money! A recent study conducted by LendEDU discovered that, when it comes to food prices, Amazon beats Walmart.

However, for all other categories, the average item available from Walmart is 34% cheaper than if bought via Amazon. But food purchased from Amazon is 23% cheaper than food purchased from Walmart. You really should take a look at the food options available via Amazon!

Amazon has surprisingly managed to keep food costs down, even with its acquisition of the premium organic supermarket chain Whole Foods. The parent company has drastically cut Whole Foods prices and offered special deals to Amazon Prime members who shop there.

10. The company is constantly increasing wages and benefits for associates

Walmart wouldn’t be what it’s today without its associates so it’s only fair to include in our list of facts about Walmart how much do its employees make. The average Walmart associate’s hourly pay in the US is about $15.

The company also recently distributed $400 million in $1,000 one-time cash bonuses to employees, as well as expanded paternity (six leaves) and maternity (10 weeks) leave, and started offering $5,000 to associates adopting a child.

11. Walmart has doubled the number of products available on its website in the past few years

Next on our list of facts about Walmart, we have something you may be interested in if you’re more of an online customer. According to the company’s CEO, you can now find on a selection of almost 75 million products (SKUs).

An especially influential factor in increasing sales has been the option to order groceries online and pick them up in-store.

“It’s really all about offering more convenience for customers,” McMillon pointed out in a statement.

12. The company is building a portfolio of brands that have different customer bases

We have a couple more facts about Walmart. The retail giant’s earnings statements for the last few years clarified the role of and other startups the company acquired in the past five years.

According to Walmart’s CEO, the online store is and has been the main driver of the company’s e-commerce growth, and the strategy is meant to stay in place. The Jet brand overindexed with urban, millennial customers with higher incomes when the acquisition was made, and Walmart intends to build on that strength going forward.

McMillion has further explained that while the retail giant has a national reach, it’s investing its marketing dollars in Jet to also reach urban areas. Growth is expected to be slower going forward, but targeted.

Meanwhile, brands like Modcloth and Bonobos bring unique, private-brand items to Walmart’s selection to extend the chain’s reach to new demographics.

Photo by XanderSt from Shutterstock

13. Walmart makes double from omnichannel customers

Next on our list of facts about Walmart, we have something that may surprise you. If you’re a Walmart customer who shops both online and in stores, then you should know that you’re spending nearly twice as much as those who only shop in stores.

In other words, online grocery is a very lucrative business for the chain, and customers have the option to pick up in-store their grocery purchases made online.

Starting on Jan. 31, 2018, Walmart made the online grocery pickup option available at over 1,100 store locations. That number has increased since then by almost doubling.

14. Walmart took a stand against tobacco, and experts say its sales took a hit

Last but not least, here’s one of the most interesting facts about Walmart: a few years ago, the retail giant announced it would shut down 63 underperforming Sam’s Club store locations. These closures reduced Sam’s Club sales, but this decision wasn’t the only one that limited the brand’s revenue.

But the most impressive thing is that the retail giant has also decided to take a stand against tobacco at many Sam’s Club stores. According to the company’s representatives, the decision to remove tobacco products from certain locations and close clubs is expected to have a negative impact on sales of around $6.3 billion.

If you liked our article with facts about Walmart, you may also like 10 Most Disgusting Ingredients in Fast Food You Didn’t Know About.

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