Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (), doing business as Walmart, is an American multinational retail corporation that operates as a chain of hypermarkets, discount department stores, and grocery stores. Headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas, the company was founded by Sam Walton in 1962 and incorporated on October 31, 1969. It also owns and operates Sam's Club retail warehouses. As of January 31, 2017, Walmart has 11,695 stores and clubs in 28 countries, operating under 63 different names. The company operates under the name Walmart in the United States and Canada. It operates as Walmart de México y Centroamérica in Mexico and Central America, as Asda in the United Kingdom, as the Seiyu Group in Japan, and as Best Price in India. It has wholly-owned operations in Argentina, Chile, Brazil, and Canada.
Walmart is the world's largest company by revenue – approximately US$480 billion according to the Fortune Global 500 list in 2016 – as well as the largest private employer in the world with 2.3 million employees. It is a publicly traded family-owned business, as the company is controlled by the Walton family. Sam Walton's heirs own over 50 percent of Walmart through their holding company, Walton Enterprises, and through their individual holdings. Walmart is also one of the world's most valuable companies by market value, and is also the largest grocery retailer in the U.S. In 2016, 62.3 percent of Walmart's US$478.614 billion sales came from its U.S. operations.
The company debuted on the New York Stock Exchange in 1972. By 1988, Walmart was the most profitable retailer in the U.S., and by October 1989, it had become the largest in terms of revenue. Geographically limited to the South and lower Midwest, by the early 1990s, the company had stores from coast to coast: Sam's Club opened in New Jersey in November 1989 and the first California outlet opened in Lancaster in July 1990. A Walmart in York, Pennsylvania opened in October 1990: the first main store in the Northeast.
Walmart's investments outside North America have seen mixed results: its operations in the United Kingdom, South America, and China are highly successful, whereas ventures in Germany and South Korea failed.
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