Walmart Inc. (WMT), is the largest brick-and-mortar retailer in the world. As of 2019, Walmart has roughly 11,300 store locations. However, Walmart got its start as a single discount store. Sam Walton opened the first Walmart in 1962 in Rogers, Arkansas. Following early success, the company went public in 1970 and rapidly expanded.
In 2019, Walmart’s executive leadership includes Doug McMillon (President and CEO of Walmart), Greg Foran (President and CEO, Walmart U.S.), Judith McKenna (President and CEO, Walmart International), John Furner (President and CEO, Sam’s Club) and Marc Lore (President and CEO, Walmart eCommerce U.S.).
Walmart’s Revenue Growth
For fiscal year 2018, Walmart reported $500.3 billion in total revenue. In fiscal year 2019, the company’s total revenue increased by just under 3% to $514.4 billion.
The vast majority of Walmart stores operate under the Walmart name, including large-format Walmart Supercenters and small-format Walmart Neighborhood Markets. Walmart also operates stores under the domestic and international subsidiary companies described below. Let us take a deeper look at some of Walmart’s key subsidiaries and what they contribute to the brand.
1. Sam’s West, Inc.
Sam’s West, Inc., a wholly owned Walmart subsidiary, operates the Sam’s Club chain of membership warehouse stores. Launched in 1983, it has grown into one of the biggest membership warehouse operators in the United States. In fact, Sam’s Club is the second-largest warehouse club behind Costco Wholesale Corporation in terms of net sales. As of Jan. 2018, Sam’s West has 599 Sam’s Club locations in 44 U.S. states. It also operates stores in Mexico, Brazil and China, and e-commerce websites in the United States and Mexico.
Walmart reported net sales of $57.84 billion from Sam’s Club during the 2019 fiscal year. Walmart does not report separate operating results for the subsidiary’s international operations. Aside from promotional periods and certain local exceptions, shopping at a Sam’s Club location requires a Sam’s Club membership. As of May 2018, annual Sam’s Club memberships were available in the United States at two price levels: $45 and $100. Walmart reported global membership revenue of nearly $4.6 billion in the 2018 fiscal year, an increase of more than 0.6% over the previous year.
2. Walmart de México y Centroamérica
Walmart de México y Centroamérica, also known as Walmex, operates Walmart’s Mexican and Central American businesses. It is the largest retailer in Latin America, with more than 2,400 locations as of January, 2019. Walmex’s predecessor company was established in 1952 under the name Cifra. Walmart entered a joint venture with the publicly traded Cifra in 1991 to open Walmart branded stores in Mexico. In 1997, Walmart acquired a majority stake in Cifra itself, with the remainder of the company’s shares remaining on the Mexican Stock Exchange. At the end of the 2015 fiscal year, Walmart Inc. reported a controlling 70% stake in Walmart de México y Centroamérica.
In addition to Walmart and Sam’s Club stores, Walmart de México y Centroamérica operates supermarkets under the Bodega Aurrerá and Superama brands. Walmart de México y Centroamérica reported revenue of nearly 617 billion Mexican pesos in 2018.
3. ASDA Stores, Ltd.
ASDA Stores, Ltd., is a retailer based in England. ASDA was founded in 1949 and was acquired by Walmart in 1999 for a reported £6.7 billion. As of 2017, ASDA had 525 store locations across the United Kingdom. It operates grocery stores and general merchandise stores, as well as large-format superstores selling food and general merchandise.
While ASDA stores carry products from a wide range of brands, ASDA’s private-label products make up the majority of its inventory. ASDA manufactures thousands of packaged food products and household products for sale in its stores. It sells clothing under the George brand, homeware under the Elegant Living brand and children’s products under the Little Angels brand. It also operates a financial services division, ASDA Money. Walmart does not report separate operating results for its ASDA Stores business.
In April of 2018, it was reported that Walmart was in talks with British ASDA rival Sainsbury’s about a possible merger. As of March of 2019, the merger is under review by British regulators. If approved, Walmart is slated to own 42% of the combined supermarket chain, which will be the largest in the U.K.
Founded in 2014, Jet.com is one of the fastest-growing U.S. e-commerce companies. Walmart acquired Jet.com for about $3.3 billion in 2016 in an attempt to compete with Amazon.com (AMZN) for a larger share in the e-commerce market. As part of the acquisition, Jet.com founder Marc Lore joined the Walmart executive leadership team. Walmart’s acquisition of Jet.com is the second-largest e-commerce acquisition in U.S. history, following PetSmart’s $3.35 billion acquisition of Chewy in 2017. Walmart reported in February of 2019 that its U.S. e-commerce sales had grown by about 40% for fiscal year 2019, likely driven in large part by its acquisition of Jet.com and Jet.com’s infrastructure.
5. Vudu, Inc.
Vudu is a media technology company specializing in content delivery. Utilizing a peer-to-peer platform, Vudu offers internet distribution of movies to televisions across the U.S. and Canada. With both hardware and software offerings, access to Vudu is available via a number of different platforms, including TiVo, Roku, Apple TV, PlayStation and more.
Walmart revealed plans to acquire Vudu for approximately $100 million in February of 2012. The purchase allowed Walmart to expand its digital content offerings via a movie streaming and download service.
Since its founding, Walmart has acquired dozens of additional companies besides the ones listed above. One of its most recent acquisitions was Moosejaw, an outdoor recreation apparel retailer. Walmart acquired Moosejaw in February of 2017 for a reported $51 million in cash.
Although Walmart does not have a stated acquisition strategy available as of this writing, observers of the company’s past acquisitions may note that Walmart appears to prefer to subsume its targets under its preexisting umbrella brands. In recent years, Walmart has adopted a fairly aggressive acquisition approach in an effort to challenge major e-commerce rivals like Amazon.