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Industry News

Stores are key to retail, no matter what they’re called

Walmart will no longer have two names. Up to now, the corporation has gone by Wal-Mart Stores Inc., while the stores have simply been called Walmart. Now Walmart will serve as the name for both company and stores.

The decision is tied up with the retailer’s omni-channel ambitions, the company told The Washington Post. Roughly 95 percent of Walmart’s sales continue to be generated in its stores, but the company has snapped up several big online operators, including Jet.com and Bonobos, to burnish its e-commerce business. The company, which is spending big to add online grocery and same-day delivery services, says online transactions are surging.

“This is a company looking to communicate a sense of ubiquity,” Phillip Davis, president of Tungsten Branding, a North Carolina firm that provides company-naming services, told the newspaper.

Walmart was incorporated as Wal-Mart, Inc., in 1969 and became Wal-Mart Stores the following year when it went public.

Other companies have changed their names to reflect evolution in their own growth or in the market: Apple Computer, for one, became simply Apple. Developers have renamed shopping centers using such monikers as “town square” to encourage people to think of the centers as more than just places to shop.

Meanwhile, despite its efforts to develop omni-channel operations, Walmart apparently still has preferences for how it prefers that customers should shop: Prices for merchandise ordered online are lower for those who opt to go and pick the items up at the store, rather than having them delivered.

By Edmund Mander

Director, Editor-In-Chief/SCT