Walmart has decided to change its corporate name to … Walmart.
America’s largest retailer is formally known as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. at the corporate level, while its consumer-facing retail brand is Walmart, although it has been Wal-Mart at times in its past. Part of the confusion stems from the historic evolution of its consumer-facing store brand: from Walmart (1962) to Wal-Mart (1964-1992) to Wal*Mart (1992) to Walmart (2008 to present).
While its corporate brand stayed behind in the Wal-Mart era, “Walmart” has been used since 2008 in its stores, website, signage and marketing, as its Wikipedia entry shows visually.
CEO Doug McMillon says the chain is legally changing its corporate name to “Walmart Inc.” on February 1, 2018, so it matches the name that consumers know it by. The move essentially creates a “One Walmart” and a seamless brand, as investors, analysts, lawyers and its corporate partners can now bid Wal-Mart farewell and welcome Walmart.
Not only does this clean up any usage clunkiness between its corporate and consumer branding, a press release notes that the name change and removal of hyphen and awkward punctuation “chiefly demonstrates the company’s growing emphasis on serving customers seamlessly however they want to shop: in stores, online, on their mobile device, or 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,” McMillon said. “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.”
Walmart adopted “Wal-Mart, Inc.” as its corporate name when it incorporated in 1969 and changed it to “Wal-Mart Stores Inc.” a year ater. It’s been using the current Walmart logo in its stores and website since 2008.