It goes without saying that Walmart is nothing short of a corporate giant. It’s the world’s largest company by revenue, the world’s largest private employer, and also the world’s largest grocery store. But whether you’re a regular shopper or a vocal critic, we bet that there are a lot of things you don’t know about this business behemoth.
The data relating to Walmart, which can trace its roots to a discount store founded in Arkansas in 1945, are nothing short of mild-boggling. There are nearly 11,700 stores worldwide. The company brought in $486 billion in revenue in 2016 and $14.7 billion in profit. One hundred forty million shoppers visit U.S. Walmarts every week, equivalent to about 44 percent of the American population. It has 1.4 million employees in the U.S. and 2.3 million in total worldwide. And about 90 percent of the U.S. population has a Walmart location less than 10 miles from where they live.
Food sales account for more than half of Walmart’s revenue, according to The Washington Post; it sells nearly $200 billion in groceries annually, making it the country’s largest grocery chain by far, and in 2017 Walmart’s food sales reached their highest level in five years. To stay competitive with Amazon, more than 900 U.S. locations offer online grocery sales, and Walmart.com offers more than 67 million products in total. You might have noticed that the store has exclusive rights to sell some in-demand snacks, like Oreo O’s Cereal and Cookies & Crème Oreos; especially eagle-eyed shoppers might have noticed that they’re selling a cantaloupe that stays super-sweet in both winter and summer. They designed that fruit in house; the company is also working on developing a more flavorful tomato.
It certainly hasn’t been all sunshine and roses for Walmart, especially when it comes to how much its employees are paid; in some states, it’s said that they have more employees on food stamps than any other company. And it might have been a bad PR move for the company to set out donation bins in its stores… for its own employees. But as with every giant company, you have to take the bad with the good, and when it comes to the food it sells, the arrow seems to be pointing in the direction of good, for the most part, and the company is actively working to reinvent how America buys its groceries. Read on for 20 things you didn’t know about Walmart.