At 48 years, Wal-Mart Stores is changing the spelling of its name. Not only is it dropping “stores”, but they’re also removing the hyphen. Beginning Feb. 1, 2018, the company will legally be know as simply: Walmart Inc.
Why? They’re looking to focus on sales other than just in stores, like online, mobile devices and through pickup and delivery.
“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,” Doug McMillon, Walmart president and CEO said in a press release. “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.”
This change pretty much doesn’t mean anything for the consumer, as the store name is written “Walmart” in most places anyway, like on their website and on the outside of their buildings.
Every week, more than 260 million customers visit the company’s more than 11,600 stores under 60 banners (like Sam’s Club and Great Value) in 28 countries. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. also owns jet.com, an e-commerce business where you can pretty much buy just about anything—like food, laundry detergent and even furniture.
“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,” McMillon said. “As time goes on, customers will increasingly just think of and see one Walmart.”
And while the name change reflects the companies goals for the future, it is also a bit of a return to the beginning.
When Sam Walton opened the first store in 1962, the name on the front of the building was “Walmart.” It was a few years later that it was incorporated to Wal-Mart, Inc. and then Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in 1970 when the company went public.