You don’t have to be from the U.S. to know of Walmart, the largest retail chain in the world. It is owned by the Walton family (possibly the richest family in the world). It has been around since 1962 and has since grown to unbelievable proportions.
Over the years they have opened stores all over the US, Canada and Mexico. And it doesn?t stop there. The Walton family and the Walmart Corporation own many other retail chains in 28 different countries, including: China, Germany, India, Brazil, and the UK. So even if you don?t live in the United States, you are probably still buying at Walmart, you just don?t know it.
So what makes this such a big deal?
Well the fact of the matter is that Walmart is so big, it’s disturbing. When you hear about the size and the numbers that are attributed to Walmart, it?s hard not to think about things like "monopoly" and "exploitation". Here is some food for thought, I’m willing to bet that neither you nor your loved ones who shop there know all of this:
* Globally, Walmart says it employs 2.2 million people and it’s very likely it employs even more then that. That huge number of people is more than America?s active military personnel (1.43 million) and almost the size of the Chinese army (2.29 million.)
* There are around 4,540 Walmart stores in the United States, more than double the number of stores in other food retail chains. There are even more Walmart International locations, over 6,301 as of March 31st 2015. More than 90% of its international stores operate under names other than Walmart, such as Asda, Bodega Aurrera, Seyiu, Best Price, Trust-Mart Hypermarket, and Todo Dia.
* The net profit of Walmart, after taxes and paying preferred dividends, was around $15.88 billion in 2014. And that?s only profit, not sales!
* Out of the 10 richest Americans, four are members of the Walton family. They?re worth more than $30 billion each, just six members of the family combined would hold more wealth than the bottom 40% of the American people.
* Walmart?s CEO, Douglas McMillon, is presumed to be paid 1,034 times more than the average Walmart worker. That is by far one of the biggest top-to-bottom differences I have ever heard about.
* Walmart says it’s visited by almost 140 million shoppers a week in their U.S. stores. That?s the equivalent of about 44% of the American population.
* If you take the size of all the Walmart stores and combine it, it will exceed the size of Manhattan.
* Since Walmart is one of the biggest US gun retailers, it’s no shock that it’s a frequent scene for shooting incidents. It is estimated that there were 92 shooting incidents last year, and 83 in 2013.
* The Walmart Corporation and Foundation have donated $1.4 billion in cash and in-kind contributions around the world last year, which makes it one of the most charitable companies in absolute terms. And yet this is less than 0.1% of the net worth of the Walton Family Foundation and rumored to actually be a legal loophole to avoid taxing.