Who we are
Walmart has grown from a rural store in Bentonville, Ark., to an international operation, achieving far more than anyone could have imagined. It began in 1962 with Sam Walton's vision of saving people money so they can live better.
Today, we are reaching across the globe – improving lives through economic, social and environmental empowerment – while upholding the highest ethical standards.
We operate in an era of transparency where advancing technology is erasing boundaries between individuals, nations and organizations. We are interconnected and interdependent. In such an environment, we are uniquely positioned to thrive because of our company's culture.
As we grow and continue to fulfill our purpose of helping people live better, we must work together with our associates, customers, suppliers and communities to build the Next Generation Walmart…responsibly.
Understanding our business
We serve our customers and members more than 200 million times per week at more than 8,900 retail units under 60 different banners in 15 countries. With fiscal year 2011 (FY11) sales of $419 billion, we employ more than 2 million associates worldwide.
Walmart U.S.Today, there are more than 3,800 total stores in 50 states offering a convenient shopping experience across the United States. Walmart Supercenters have a full offering of grocery and general merchandise under one roof for a one-stop shopping experience. We now operate more than 2,900 supercenters with an average size of approximately 185,000 square feet.
We also operate more than 700 discount stores and more than 180 Neighborhood Markets. Discount stores carry a wide variety of general merchandise, and Neighborhood Markets offer a quick and convenient shopping experience for customers who need groceries, pharmaceuticals and select general merchandise. Customers can also purchase a broad assortment of merchandise and services online at www.walmart.com.
Walmart InternationalIn 1991, Walmart became an international company when we opened a Sam's Club near Mexico City. Just two years later, Walmart International was created. We operate retail units with many different formats to fit in with local customer needs, desires and customs. Today, Walmart International is the fastest-growing part of our overall business, with more than 4,500 stores and more than 700,000 associates in 14 countries outside the U.S. and Puerto Rico. While more than 75 percent of our international stores operate under a different banner than Walmart, they all share a common goal: Saving people money, so they can live better.
Sam's ClubThe first Sam's Club opened in Midwest City, Okla., in 1983, and has grown to include more than 600 locations nationwide. Our warehouse membership format offers name-brand products with a broad selection of general merchandise and large-volume items. Clubs on average are approximately 133,000 square feet.
Our governance structure helps us succeed in fulfilling the purpose of saving people money so they can live better, by integrating our commitments into our organizational framework. Our CEO is responsible for the general management, oversight, supervision and control of the business and affairs of our company, including the execution of all board directives and resolutions. Our chairman is responsible for presiding over all meetings of the board and shareholders and providing advice and counsel to the CEO and other officers regarding our business and operations. We believe our separate CEO/chairman structure is the most effective leadership structure for our company and shareholders.
Walmart's board of directors assumes the overall responsibility for Walmart's performance and vitality as a leading global retailer. Our directors take interest in our business and hold us to a high standard of integrity and transparency in our service to our customers, associates and shareholders. In addition, our board is committed to diversity as to its membership and our company's associates. Board members oversee and advise our top management and guide our company's strategic planning and key business decisions. Board members exercise their business judgment in fulfilling their duties of care and loyalty to our company and shareholders.
The directors participate in and oversee functions of five committees. They are: (1) the Audit Committee, (2) the Compensation, Nominating and Governance Committee, (3) the Global Compensation Committee, (4) the Executive Committee and (5) the Strategic Planning and Finance Committee. Each committee has a commitment to helping Walmart achieve its business goals, deliver value to our shareholders, uphold the highest ethical standards and fulfill its responsibilities as a global corporate citizen. Although the board oversees this process, the day-to-day responsibility of running our business rests with our senior management around the world.