Walmart stores stand out as a place where anyone can find just about anything, not just all over the US, but in much of the rest of the world, as well. Although there may be many things about Walmart that you do know, such as where to find the giant bags of M&Ms, or where they stash the ping-pong balls, here are ten crazy things you probably didn´t know about everyone´s favorite megastore.
10. World´s Largest Retailer
Walmart, which started as a single store and has exploded into a global presence in less than 60 years, makes about half a trillion dollars a year and has the largest privately-employed workforce in the world, at an amazing 2.3 million employees. Walmart is far ahead of its competition in revenue, including Amazon and Costco.
9. Richest Family in the US
According to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index, Sam Walton, founder of Walmart, and his family are worth a combined $133 billion, making them the richest family in the US, even ahead of Bill Gates!
8. Locations in All 50 States by 1995
Walmart opened 18 new stores within the first five years after it was founded back in 1962 and has seen rapid growth ever since. By 1995, there was at least one store in each of the 50 states.
In fact, by the time a store was finally opened in Vermont (the last U.S. state to get a Walmart), the firm already had stores in Mexico and Canada. Nonetheless, it is currently estimated that 90% of the US population lives within ten miles of a Walmart store.
7. Not Always Successful
Walmart seems to be successful everywhere it goes, but not every country or region has jumped at the chance to boast of its own store. The U.S., UK, China, and Central and South America have proven to be fertile spots for Walmart to take root.
Despite the many successful Walmart stores around the world, it actually has done poorly in Germany. It eventually had to pull out of the country entirely at a loss of about a billion dollars. Similarly, Norway decided that Walmart had violated certain ethical norms, including employee pay, hours and benefits, and stores were shut down there.
6. What is the Name About?
Walmart is a spin on the company´s founder´s last name, Walton. The first store was actually called Walmart Discount City. However, this isn’t the name that is used for the chain in other countries in an effort to appeal to foreign markets. For example, in the UK, Walmart stores are actually called ASDA stores, and in Japan, they go by the name Seiyu.
5. Electric Idea
In its efforts to save money, both for the company and for its customers, Walmart founded and eventually acquired an energy company called Texas Retail Energy. This company allows the firm to purchase electricity for its stores at wholesale prices, saving it an average of $15 million yearly.
In over 1,500 locations, Walmart uses robots to do everything from washing floors and checking stock to scanning price errors. These robots save Walmart money and add some technologically savvy services to its maintenance and service areas, as well as to give its employees more time to interact with customers.
Within the near future, the retail giant expects to have robotic floor cleaners in nearly 2,000 of its 4,700 U.S. stores, as well as inventory-scanning robots in approximately 350 stores.
3. Price Clues
Believe it or not, you can get more information from a price listed at Walmart than just how much a particular product cost.
According to TipHero, the last digit of the price indicates the following information:
- A price ending in $_._7 indicates an original price.
- A price ending in $_._5 indicates the first markdown.
- A price ending in $_._1 indicates a final markdown. In other words, if you´re on the fence and the price of the item you are considering ends in a 1, don´t wait!
It may seem that the famous “greeters” who welcome you to every Walmart store are there simply to make you feel at home, but that is not the case. Although they can often bring a smile to your face, they´re actually there to limit shoplifting, and it seems to work – the psychology behind the idea is that a friendly face and a warm welcome will encourage shoplifters to reconsider.
1. Weddings and Births
As incredible as it may seem, Walmart has been the location for weddings and a few births over the years. In a North Carolina store, a customer fell in love with a cashier, and since their romance had begun at Walmart, it seemed only fitting that they should tie the knot there.
A couple in Detroit, who met as coworkers at one of the superstores, also walked “down the aisle” and had their reception at their place of work. Women have also gone into labor and even given birth to their children at Walmart.
So, whether you need Pop-Tarts, plastic hangers or plant supplies, you´ll be all the wiser the next time you take a trip to the famous retail giant. And, who knows, maybe you´ll even find your better half waiting for you somewhere between the frozen vegetables and the sports equipment!