Walmart Inc. engages in the operation of retail, wholesale and other units, as well as eCommerce, located throughout the U.S., Africa, Canada, Central America, Chile, China, India, and Mexico.
The company operates through three segments: Walmart U.S., Walmart International, and Sam's Club.
Walmart U.S. segment
This segment operates in the U.S., including in all 50 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. Walmart U.S. is a mass merchandiser of consumer products, operating under the ‘Walmart’ and ‘Walmart Neighborhood Market’ brands, as well as walmart.com and other eCommerce brands.
This segment provides an omni-channel experience to customers, integrating retail stores and eCommerce, through services, such as pickup and delivery, in-home delivery, ship-from-store, and digital pharmacy fulfillment options. The company’s Walmart+ membership offering provides enhanced omni-channel shopping benefits, including unlimited free shipping on eligible items with no order minimum, unlimited delivery from store, fuel discounts, access to Paramount+ streaming service, and mobile scan & go for a streamlined in-store shopping experience. The company has several eCommerce websites, the largest of which is walmart.com. The company defines eCommerce sales as sales initiated by customers digitally and fulfilled by a number of methods, including its dedicated eCommerce fulfillment centers and leveraging its stores, as well as certain other business offerings that are part of its flywheel strategy, such as its Walmart Connect advertising business.
Walmart U.S. does business primarily in three strategic merchandise units, listed as follows:
Grocery consists of a full line of grocery items, including dry grocery, snacks, dairy, meat, produce, deli & bakery, frozen foods, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, as well as consumables, such as health and beauty aids, pet supplies, household chemicals, paper goods and baby products;
General merchandise includes entertainment (e.g., electronics, toys, seasonal merchandise, wireless, video games, movies, music and books); hardlines (e.g., automotive, hardware and paint, sporting goods, outdoor living and stationery); apparel (e.g., apparel for men, women, girls, boys and infants, as well as shoes, jewelry and accessories); and home (e.g., housewares and small appliances, bed & bath, furniture and home organization, home furnishings, home decor, fabrics and crafts).
Health and wellness include pharmacy, over-the-counter drugs and other medical products, optical services and other clinical services.
Other categories in the Walmart U.S. business include an in-house advertising offering via Walmart Connect, supply chain and fulfillment capabilities to online marketplace sellers via Walmart Fulfillment Services, and newer initiatives, such as B2B last mile delivery services via Walmart GoLocal, and a suite of data products for merchants and suppliers via Walmart Luminate. Additional service offerings include fuel, financial services and related products (including through the company’s digital channels, stores and its fintech venture, ONE), such as money orders, prepaid access, money transfers, check cashing, bill payment, and certain types of installment lending.
Brand name merchandise represents a significant portion of the merchandise sold in Walmart U.S. The company also markets lines of merchandise under its private brands, including brands, such as Allswell, Athletic Works, Eloquii Elements, Equate, Free Assembly, Freshness Guaranteed, George, Great Value, Holiday Time, Hyper Tough, Mainstays, Marketside, No Boundaries, onn., Ozark Trail, Parent's Choice, Sam's Choice, Scoop, Spring Valley, Time and Tru, Way to Celebrate and Wonder Nation. The company also markets lines of merchandise under licensed brands, some of which include Avia, Love & Sports, Better Homes & Gardens, Pioneer Woman and Sofia Jeans by Sofia Vergara.
Periodically, revisions are made to the categorization of the components comprising its strategic merchandise units. When revisions are made, the previous periods' presentation is adjusted to maintain comparability.
Walmart U.S. is available to customers through supercenters, discount stores and neighborhood markets, as well as online or through the mobile application 24 hours a day. Consistent with its strategy, Walmart U.S. continues to develop technology tools and services to better serve customers and help stores operate more efficiently, such as pickup and delivery, Walmart+, ship-from-store and other initiatives which provide convenient and seamless omni-channel shopping experiences.
Seasonal Aspects of Operations
Walmart U.S.'s business is seasonal to a certain extent due to calendar events and national and religious holidays, as well as different weather patterns. Historically, its highest sales volume has occurred in the fiscal quarter (year ended January 2023) ending January 31.
The company continues to invest in supply chain automation and utilize distribution facilities, which are located strategically throughout the U.S. For fiscal 2023, the majority of Walmart U.S.'s purchases of store merchandise were shipped through these facilities, while most of the remaining store merchandise the company purchased was shipped directly from suppliers. General merchandise and dry grocery merchandise is transported primarily through the segment's private truck fleet; however, the company contracts with common carriers to transport the majority of its perishable grocery merchandise. The company ships merchandise purchased by customers on its eCommerce platforms by a number of methods from multiple locations, including from its dedicated eCommerce fulfillment centers, as well as leveraging its ability to ship or deliver directly from stores.
Walmart International segment
This segment operated in 19 countries outside of the U.S. as of January 31, 2023. This segment operates through its wholly-owned subsidiaries in Canada, Chile, China, and Africa (which includes Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, and Zambia), and its majority-owned subsidiaries in India, as well as Mexico and Central America (which includes Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua). This segment previously operated in Argentina prior to the sale of Walmart Argentina in fiscal 2021 and operated in the United Kingdom and Japan prior to the sale of those operations in the first quarter of fiscal 2022.
This segment includes numerous formats divided into two major categories: retail and wholesale. These categories consist of many formats, including supercenters, supermarkets, hypermarkets, warehouse clubs (including Sam's Clubs) and cash & carry, as well as eCommerce through walmart.com.mx, walmart.ca, flipkart.com, walmart.cn and other sites.
Walmart International's strategy is to create strong local businesses powered by Walmart which means being locally relevant and customer-focused in each of the markets it operates. The company is being deliberate about where and how it chooses to operate and continue to re-shape the portfolio to best enable long-term, sustainable and profitable growth. As such, the company has taken certain strategic actions to strengthen its Walmart International portfolio for the long-term, which include the following highlights over the last three years:
Divested of Asda Group Limited (Asda), the company’s retail operations in the U.K., in February 2021.
Divested of a majority stake in Seiyu, the company’s retail operations in Japan, in March 2021.
Bought out the noncontrolling interest shareholders of the company’s Massmart subsidiary in November 2022 and exited operations in certain countries in Africa in December 2022.
Increased the company’s ownership in PhonePe, its digital transaction platform in India, as part of the separation from Flipkart in December 2022.
This segment provides an omni-channel experience to customers, integrating retail stores and eCommerce, such as through pickup and delivery services in most of its markets and its marketplaces, such as Flipkart in India. The company’s financial services offerings continue to expand with its digital transaction platform anchored in payments at PhonePe in India. The company has expanded its marketplace in Mexico and Canada, which unlocks fulfillment and advertising services, and in China, its partnerships with JD.com and JD Daojia continue to drive ecommerce growth.
The company’s wholesale stores' selling areas generally range in size from 24,000 square feet to 158,000 square feet.
The merchandising strategy for Walmart International is similar to that of the company’s operations in the U.S. in terms of the breadth and scope of merchandise offered for sale. While brand name merchandise accounts for a majority of its sales, the company has both leveraged the U.S. private brands and developed market specific private brands to serve its customers with high quality, low priced items. Along with the private brands the company markets globally, such as Equate, George, Great Value, Holiday Time, Mainstays, Marketside and Parent's Choice, its international markets have developed market specific brands, including Aurrera, Lider, and PhonePe. In addition, the company has developed and continues to grow its relationships with regional and local suppliers in each market to ensure reliable sources of quality merchandise that is equal to national brands at low prices.
Consistent with its strategy, Walmart International continues to build mutually reinforcing businesses in areas, such as advertising, marketplace and fulfillment services, healthcare and financial services. The company’s businesses in Mexico and Canada, for example, offer prepaid cards and money transfers, and its PhonePe business in India continues to grow, providing a platform that offers mobile and bill payment, person-to-person (P2P) payment, investment and insurance solutions, financial services and advertising. In Mexico, the company also offers a value-based internet and telephone service allowing customers to enjoy digital connectivity, and in India it launched Flipkart Health+ enabling it to increase access to affordable care in that country. Combined, these offerings did not represent a significant portion of annual segment revenues.
The hours of operation for operating units in Walmart International vary by country and by individual markets within countries, depending upon local and national ordinances governing hours of operation. Consistent with its strategy, Walmart International continues to develop technology tools and services to better serve customers and help its various formats operate more efficiently, as well as to provide convenient and seamless omni-channel shopping experiences.
Seasonal Aspects of Operations
Walmart International's business is seasonal to a certain extent. Historically, its highest sales volume has occurred in the fourth quarter of the company’s fiscal year. The seasonality of the business varies by country due to different national and religious holidays, festivals and customs, as well as different weather patterns.
The company utilizes a total of 188 distribution facilities located in Canada, Central America, Chile, China, India, Mexico and South Africa. Through these facilities, the company processes and distributes both imported and domestic products to the operating units of the Walmart International segment. During fiscal 2023, the majority of Walmart International's purchases passed through these distribution facilities. Suppliers ship the remainder of Walmart International's purchases directly to the company’s stores in the various markets in which it operates. Across the segment, the company has efficient networks connecting physical stores and distribution and fulfillment centers which facilitate the movement of goods to where its customers live. The company ships merchandise purchased by customers on its eCommerce platforms by a number of methods from multiple locations including from its dedicated eCommerce fulfillment centers, eCommerce sort centers and last-mile delivery facilities in India, as well as its physical retail stores.
Sam's Club segment
This segment operates in 44 states in the U.S. and in Puerto Rico. Sam's Club is a membership-only warehouse club that also operates samsclub.com. As a membership-only warehouse club, membership income is a significant component of the segment's operating income.
All memberships include a spouse/household card at no additional cost. Plus Members are also eligible for free shipping on the majority of merchandise, with no minimum order size, and receive discounts on prescriptions and glasses. Beginning in fiscal 2023, Sam's Club launched a single loyalty rewards currency called Sam's Cash which merges and replaces existing Cash Rewards for Plus members and Cash Back for Sam's Club Mastercard holders. Members may redeem Sam's Cash on purchases in the club and online, to pay for membership fees or for cash in clubs. Sam's Cash does not expire and is available for monthly redemption.
Sam's Club provides an omni-channel experience to members, integrating warehouse clubs and eCommerce through such services as Curbside Pickup, mobile Scan & Go, ship-from-club, and delivery-from-club. Members have access to a broad assortment of merchandise and services, including those not found in the company’s clubs, online at samsclub.com and through its mobile commerce applications.
Sam's Club offers merchandise in the following five merchandise categories:
Grocery and consumables include dairy, meat, bakery, deli, produce, dry, chilled or frozen packaged foods, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, floral, snack foods, candy, other grocery items, health and beauty aids, paper goods, laundry and home care, baby care, pet supplies and other consumable items;
Fuel, tobacco and other categories;
Home and apparel include home improvement, outdoor living, gardening, furniture, apparel, jewelry, tools and power equipment, housewares, toys, seasonal items, mattresses, and tire and battery centers;
Health and wellness include pharmacy, optical and hearing services and over-the-counter drugs; and
Technology, office and entertainment include consumer electronics and accessories, software, video games, office supplies, appliances, and third-party gift cards.
Within the categories above, the Member's Mark private label brand continues to expand its assortment and deliver member value.
Sam's Club is available to members through warehouse club locations, as well as online or through the mobile application 24 hours a day. Club locations offer Plus Members the ability to shop before regular operating hours. Consistent with its strategy, Sam's Club continues to develop technology tools to drive a great member experience. Curbside Pickup is available at all clubs to help provide fast, easy and contact-free shopping for members. Sam's Club also offers Scan & Go, a mobile checkout and payment solution, which allows members to bypass the checkout line.
Seasonal Aspects of Operations
Sam's Club's business is seasonal to a certain extent due to calendar events and national and religious holidays, as well as different weather patterns. Historically, its highest sales volume has occurred in the fiscal quarter ending January 31.
The company utilizes dedicated distribution facilities located strategically throughout the U.S., as well as some of the Walmart U.S. segment's distribution facilities which service the Sam's Club segment for certain items. During fiscal 2023, the majority of Sam's Club's non-fuel club purchases were shipped from these facilities, while the remainder of the company’s purchases were shipped directly to Sam's Club locations by suppliers. Sam's Club ships merchandise purchased on samsclub.com and through its mobile commerce applications by a number of methods, including shipments made directly from clubs, dedicated eCommerce fulfillment centers and other distribution centers.
Sam's Club uses a combination of the company’s private truck fleet, as well as common carriers, to transport perishable and non-perishable merchandise from distribution facilities to clubs.
The company’s strategy is to make every day easier for busy families, operate with discipline, sharpen its culture and become digital, and make trust a competitive advantage.
The company was founded in 1945. It was incorporated in Delaware in 1969. The company was formerly known as Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and changed its name to Walmart Inc. in 2018.