Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., d.b.a. Walmart /ˈwɔːlmɑrt/, is an American multinational retail corporation that operates a chain of discount department stores and warehouse stores. Headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas, United States, the company was founded by Sam Walton in 1962 and incorporated on October 31, 1969. It has over 11,000 stores in 28 countries, under a total of 65 banners. The company operates under the Walmart name in the United States and Canada. It operates as Walmart de México y Centroamérica in Mexico, as Asda in the United Kingdom, as Seiyu in Japan, and as Best Price in India. It has wholly owned operations in Argentina, Brazil, and Canada. It also owns and operates the Sam's Club retail warehouses.
Walmart is the world's largest company by revenue, according to the Fortune Global 500 list in 2014, as well as the biggest private employer in the world with 2.2 million employees. Walmart is a family-owned business, as the company is controlled by the Walton family. Sam Walton's heirs own over 50 percent of Walmart through their holding company, Walton Enterprises, and through their individual holdings. It is also one of the world's most valuable companies by market value, and is also the largest grocery retailer in the U.S. In 2009, it generated 51 percent of its US$258 billion (equivalent to $284 billion in 2015) sales in the U.S. from its grocery business.
The company was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1972. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the company rose from a regional to a national giant. By 1988, Walmart was the most profitable retailer in the U.S. and by October 1989, it had become the largest in terms of revenue. Geographically limited to the South and lower Midwest up to the mid 1980s, by the early 1990s the company's presence spanned from coast to coast — Sam's Club opened in New Jersey in November 1989 and the first California outlet opened in Lancaster in July 1990. A Walmart in York, Pennsylvania opened in October 1990, bringing the main store to the Northeast.
Walmart's investments outside North America have seen mixed results: its operations in the United Kingdom, South America, and China are highly successful, whereas ventures in Germany and South Korea failed.