Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT), branded as Walmart, is an American multinational retailer corporation that runs chains of large discount department stores and warehouse stores. The company is the world's third largest public corporation, according to the Fortune Global 500 list in 2012. It is also the biggest private employer in the world with over two million employees, and is the largest retailer in the world. Walmart remains a family-owned business, as the company is controlled by the Walton family who own a 48% stake in Walmart. It is also one of the world's most valuable companies.
The company was founded by Sam Walton in 1962, incorporated on October 31, 1969, and publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange in 1972. It is headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas. Walmart is also the largest grocery retailer in the United States. In 2009, it generated 51% of its US$258 billion sales in the U.S. from grocery business. It also owns and operates the Sam's Club retail warehouses in North America.
Walmart has 8,500 stores in 15 countries, under 55 different names. The company operates under the Walmart name in the United States, including the 50 states and Puerto Rico. It operates in Mexico as Walmex, in the United Kingdom as Asda, in Japan as Seiyu, and in India as Best Price. It has wholly owned operations in Argentina, Brazil, and Canada. Walmart's investments outside North America have had mixed results: its operations in the United Kingdom, South America and China are highly successful, whereas ventures in Germany and South Korea were unsuccessful.