> Stores Per 1 Million People: 21.13
> Total No. of Stores: 101
> Median Income: $40,489 (5th Lowest)
> Pct. Living Below The Poverty Line: 17.5% (6th Highest)
There are 101 Walmart stores in Alabama, 92 of which are Supercenters. Unlike similar states, growth in Alabama has continued at a strong pace. Since the first Alabama store opening in 1979, a new store has opened in the state almost every year. There are currently plans to open a new Supercenter in Huntstville this summer. As evidence of the company’s popularity, most of the Walmart stores in the state which were not originally Supercenters have been converted into Supercenters, the largest type of Walmart store.
> Stores Per 1 Million People: 21.38
> Total No. of Stores: 61
> Median Income: $47,817 (23rd Lowest)
> Pct. Living Below The Poverty Line: 13.4% (25th Lowest)
Kansas presence on this list suggests that a state’s proximity to Arkansas may be more important to Walmart’s success than the number of low-income shoppers. While the average income of its residents is close to the national average, its proximity to Walmart’s central distribution network secures its place on this list. Access to the Arkansas hub makes it more efficient to open stores. Although growth slowed in the early 2000’s, Walmart is finding other ways to boost sales. According to the Wall Street Journal, Kansas stores which had stopped selling guns five years ago will start selling them again.
> Stores Per 1 Million People: 22.24
> Total No. of Stores: 66
> Median Income: $36,646 (Lowest)
> Pct. Living Below The Poverty Line: 21.9% (Highest)
Walmart has a huge presence in Mississippi. Mississippi is located along Arkansas’ eastern border. It is the poorest state in the nation. The company employs just under 2 percent of Mississippi’s total labor force. In the 2011 fiscal year, the company paid more than $39.7 million in state and local taxes. In April, Walmart donated a meager $1 million to support relief efforts for recent natural emergencies, including the storms, and subsequent flooding, which hit the state. A.J. Holloway, Mayor of Biloxi, told a local news station that he expected “some big things” following the opening of a Walmart Superstore in the city.
> Stores Per 1 Million People: 27.46
> Total No. of Stores: 103
> Median Income: $41,664 (6th Lowest)
> Pct. Living Below The Poverty Line: 16.2% (15th Highest)
Oklahoma, which sits on Arkansas’ western border, is in a similar position to Mississippi. More than 32,000 residents of the state work at Walmart, just under 2 percent of the labor force. Oklahomans are also doing a large amount of shopping at the chain. Between July 2009 and March 2011, $506 million out of $1.2 billion in food stamps spent in the state were spent at Walmart, according to the AP. Unfortunately for residents of Oklahoma, they do not receive all of the same Walmart deals as the rest of the country. Due to a law in the state, which requires stores to sell items at at least 6 percent above cost, many deals offered by Walmarts across the country will not be found in Oklahoma as they would make products illegally inexpensive.
> Stores Per 1 Million People: 30.87
> Total No. of Stores: 90
> Median Income: $37,823 (3rd Lowest)
> Pct. Living Below The Poverty Line: 18.8% (2nd Highest)
Walmart has an extraordinary presence in its home state. There are over 30 Walmart stores for every million people in the state, by far the largest ratio in the country. There are more than 48,000 Walmart employees in the state, making up approximately 3.5% of Arkansas’ labor force. Walmart works hard to maintain a positive relationship with the state. According to the company, it donated almost 4,000 tons of food last year to Arkansas residents. The Walton Family Foundation, started by Walmart founders Sam and Helen Walton, recently announced it will be giving $800 million to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas, which was founded by their daughter Alice. This February, after Walmart was given an award by the National Governors Association, Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe showed his appreciation for the company, saying “Walmart has demonstrated a commitment to philanthropic efforts across the nation, but its efforts here in Arkansas have been particularly generous and noteworthy.”