Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is being renovated.
Your new name: Walmart.
The change, which will take place officially starting in February, is part of a year – a prolonged effort by the world's largest retailer to make customers think beyond their 11,600 stores. The company has spent billions buying websites such as Jet.com and Bonobos, and encourages customers to shop online, as well as through voice activated devices such as Google Home.
"We felt it was better to have a name that was consistent with the idea that you can buy us as you wish as a customer," Doug McMillon, president and CEO of the company, said in a statement. "As time goes by, customers will think and see more and more of a Walmart."
As online shopping becomes more popular, many retailers try to distance themselves from physical stores, which for many have become costly remnants of the past. Major companies such as Sears and Macy's closed hundreds of stores this year, and others, such as Limited and Filene & # 39; s Basement, now operate online.
Approximately 95 percent of Walmart's sales continue to be generated in its stores, but executives say there are indications that it is changing. The company has invested heavily in online groceries and same-day delivery programs, and says online sales have increased 50 percent in recent quarters. Last year, the company bought several specialized e-commerce sites, including ModCloth, Moosejaw, Bonobos and ShoeBuy, and has started to bring high-end brands such as KitchenAid and Bose on its website.
"This is a company that seeks to communicate a sense of ubiquity," said Phillip Davis, president of Tungsten Branding, North Carolina. company that provides services of company names. "Walmart is saying that it will no longer be defined by bricks and mortar."
Walmart, based in Bentonville, Arkansas, was incorporated as Wal-Mart, Inc., in 1969. The following year, it went public and changed its name to Wal-Mart Stores. Currently, the company operates businesses with almost 60 banners, including Massmart in Africa, Asda in the United Kingdom and Seiyu in Japan.
The name change, Davis said, is the next logical step for a company that is working to quickly update its image. He compared the step to an instance similar to a decade ago, when Apple Computers shortened its name to Apple.
"As a business grows, sometimes you have to rethink your approach," Davis said. "Where you get in trouble is with names identified by the product: Comp USA, Books-A-Million, Linens & # 39; n Things, RadioShack."
The name of a company, he added, is important: Make it too specific, and you limit your scope Too broad, and people do not know what it represents.
The parent company of bag maker Coach changed its name to Tapestry earlier this year after acquiring Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman. Tribune Publishing, the media company that owns the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times, was changed last year to Tronc, which the company said was short for "Tribune online content."
I'm not going to let the evil win & # 39 ;: Patagonia's billionaire owner says he plans to sue Trump
Everlane is opening its first stores, after years of swearing I would not do it
Stitch Fix is made public in the first IPO technology led by a woman this year
Move, ugly Christmas sweaters. Famjams are here.