As of the end of last year, Walmart had 4,711 stores in the U.S. The huge retailer continues to lead all other companies in the U.S. based on both revenue and the number of employees. In fact, Walmart is the largest employer in 24 states, although its locations are not spread evenly across the U.S. based on population. Some of America’s largest cities have very few Walmarts or none at all.
The heaviest concentration of Walmart stores is in the South and California. While Texas is not the largest state in the U.S. (it is a distant second to California), it ranks first in the number of Walmart locations with 571. And, San Antonio, Texas’ second-largest city tops all U.S. cities for Walmart locations with 33. Houston, the largest city in Texas, comes in second among U.S. cities with the most Walmarts, 24. Dallas ranks seventh for Walmart stores, 19, and El Paso is tied for eighth with 17.
Among the reasons for the concentration, on a percentage basis, of Walmarts in big cities in Texas and elsewhere in the South is that the largest cities and states in the Northeast have so few. New York State ranks 19th in Walmart locations with 100, barely ahead of Kentucky at 97. No city in New York makes the list of the top 20 cities with Walmart locations. New Jersey is not on the list of the top 20 states with a location, although it ranks 11th in total population. Connecticut has few Walmart locations, as do Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.
One of the primary theories about why Walmart has so many stores in the South is that the company started in Arkansas. A huge number of Walmart stores are either in states that share a border with Arkansas — like Texas — or are only a few hundred miles away. The company’s founder liked to fly his own airplane to make surprise visits to locations close to the Bentonville, Arkansas, main office.
Like the company’s store count, it shows the extent to which Walmart is a huge regional company more than one that spreads out in line with the U.S. population. It is the world’s top retailer by several measures and among the 50 most valuable brands globally.
Walmart also generates more than $500 billion in sales annually. Its sales for 2018 (fiscal year 2019) were $514.4 billion. Refinitiv has a consensus expectation of more than $526 billion this year and more than $543 billion next year. That is currently double the sales figures of Apple of Amazon.