Wal-Mart Stores announced in a statement Wednesday that after 47 years, it’s changing its legal name.
The retailer has officially removed the hyphen in Wal-Mart to become Walmart. It’s also shedding the “Stores” in its corporate name.
The move is meant to reflect the retailer’s migration away from a store-bound business to an omnichannel one (and hyphens are horrible in URLs).
“The name change 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,” reads the statement.
“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 president and CEO Doug McMillon added in the same statement.
In an effort to run down chief competitor Amazon in cyberspace, Walmart has been investing heavily in its online presence. The retailer acquired Jet.com last year and recently partnered with Lord & Taylor to give the department store dedicated space on Walmart.com.
Walmart’s formal legal name when it incorporated on Oct. 31, 1969, was Wal-Mart, Inc. It was changed to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., on Jan. 9, 1970, and that moniker has remained in place the past 47 years (Walmart went public that same year). The company has been using the current Walmart logo in its operations since June 2008.
“Changing our corporate name to Walmart is a way of better reflecting our company’s path to win the future of retail,” reads an article posted today on Walmart’s investor’s page. “It’s also a bit about returning to the company’s roots.
“You might be surprised to learn that, when Sam Walton opened the first store in 1962, the name on the front of the building was simply, ‘Walmart.’ A few years later, we incorporated as Wal-Mart, Inc., and amended the name to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., when we went public in 1970.”
(Top: A Walmart store on Black Friday, courtesy of Walmart)