According to America’s largest retailer, 90% of Americans live within 10 miles of one of its stores. The claim seems absurd, but a close examination of Walmart’s figures shows the number may be right. Walmart has 4,717 stores in the US. The company also employs over 1.6 million people in its home market.
Walmart had only one store in 1962. It was located in Rogers, AR, Sam Walton, the company’s founder, took that total to 24 stores in 1967. In 1980, the number was 276. In 1992, the figure reached 1,928. In 2000, it reached 3,989.
Over the same period, older retailers fell apart by the mid-2000s. JCPenney, Sears, and Kmart were in trouble. Walmart has flanked them with “everyday low prices.” It gained market share by helping to keep the daily cost of living for tens of millions of Americans low.
Walmart was able to offer shoppers a huge number of items under one roof. A typical Walmart superstore covers 187,000 square feet and employs 350 people The inventory at these locations ranges from clothing to sporting goods to groceries. Groceries are among the best-selling items at Walmart, which has hurt the sales of grocery chains like Kroger.
Walmart’s success has been so amazing that it has become America’s largest business. Atop the Fortune 500, its annual sales top $500 billion.
Walmart, despite its size, is a regional retailer. Its locations are concentrated in the South, Midwest, and California, especially compared to the population. Walmart’s largest store counts are in North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Ohio, Illinois, and Texas.
The only retailer that can claim it competes with Walmart is Target. However, it is much smaller than Walmart in revenue and has a store count of only 1,948. For a decade, there was a concern that Amazon would eat into Walmart’s sales. That has not happened. As a matter of fact, Walmart.com has become one of the most successful e-commerce sites in America.
Does Walmart need to add more stores? Not if it has America blanketed with locations the way it claims it does.
These are 29 things you should never buy at Walmart.
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