Stores are disappearing all over — and now the word is going to be stricken from Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s legal paperwork.
In a bid to reflect its omnichannel approach with both bricks and clicks, the company said it would officially change its name to Walmart Inc. starting Feb. 1.
“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, the company’s president and chief executive officer. “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 e-commerce capabilities as we help save customers’ time and money. As time goes on, customers will increasingly just think of and see one Walmart.”
This is a half-return to the legal roots of the company, which was incorporated in 1969 as Wal-Mart Inc. and picked up its current moniker in 1970.
Consultant Jonathan Low, partner at Predictiv, said the change was symbolically important, “but probably less momentous than Macy’s — arguably now regrettable — decision to eliminate all the names of the merchants it acquired from the Seventies to the early Aughts.”
“I’m guessing most customers won’t even notice — or care — but it does create an opportunity for Walmart to communicate with another important constituency: securities analysts,” Low said. “They can talk even more with that specific community about the advances they’ve made since the Jet.com acquisition. And it sends a message to their supply chain to be prepared for further, more far-reaching changes as the evidence grows that the company is mounting a credible challenge to Amazon.”