Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates retail stores in various formats around the world and is committed to saving people money so they can live better. We earn the trust of our customers every day by providing a broad assortment of quality merchandise and services at every day low prices (“EDLP”) while fostering a culture that rewards and embraces mutual respect, integrity and diversity. EDLP is our pricing philosophy under which we price items at a low price every day so that our customers trust that our prices will not change under frequent promotional activity. Our fiscal year ends on January 31. During the fiscal year ended January 31, 2009, we had net sales of $401.2 billion.
Our operations comprise three business segments: Walmart U.S., International and Sam’s Club.
Our Walmart U.S. segment is the largest segment of our business, accounting for 63.7% of our fiscal 2009 net sales and operates stores in three different formats in the United States, as well as Wal-Mart’s online retail operations, walmart.com. Our Walmart U.S. retail formats include:
• Discount stores, which average approximately 108,000 square feet in size and offer a wide assortment of general merchandise and a limited variety of food products;
• Supercenters, which average approximately 186,000 square feet in size and offer a wide assortment of general merchandise and a full-line supermarket; and
• Neighborhood Markets, which average approximately 42,000 square feet in size and offer a full-line supermarket and a limited assortment of general merchandise.
At January 31, 2009, our International segment consisted of retail operations in 14 countries and Puerto Rico. This segment generated 24.6% of our fiscal 2009 net sales. The International segment includes numerous different formats of retail stores and restaurants, including discount stores, supercenters and Sam’s Clubs that operate outside the United States.
Our Sam’s Club segment consists of membership warehouse clubs in the United States and the segment’s online retail operations, samsclub.com. Sam’s Club accounted for 11.7% of our fiscal 2009 net sales. Our Sam’s Clubs average approximately 133,000 square feet in size.
We maintain our principal offices at 702 S.W. 8th Street, Bentonville, Arkansas 72716, USA.
The Development of Our Company
Although Wal-Mart was incorporated in Delaware in October 1969, the businesses conducted by our founders began in 1945 when Sam M. Walton opened a franchise Ben Franklin variety store in Newport, Arkansas. In 1946, his brother, James L. Walton, opened a similar store in Versailles, Missouri. Until 1962, our founders’ business was devoted entirely to the operation of variety stores. In that year, the first Wal-Mart Discount City, which was a discount store, opened in Rogers, Arkansas. In fiscal 1984, we opened our first three Sam’s Clubs, and in fiscal 1988, we opened our first supercenter. In fiscal 1999, we opened our first Neighborhood Market.
In fiscal 1992, we began our first international initiative when we entered into a joint venture in Mexico, in which we owned a 50% interest along with Cifra S.A. de C.V. (“Cifra”). In fiscal 1998, we acquired the controlling interest in Cifra, and in February 2000, Cifra officially changed its name to Wal-Mart de Mexico, S.A. de C.V. Since fiscal 1992, our international presence has continued to expand. At January 31, 2009, our International segment was comprised of our wholly-owned subsidiaries operating in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom, our majority-owned subsidiaries operating in five countries in Central America, and in Chile and Mexico, our joint ventures in India and China and our other controlled subsidiaries in China.
At January 31, 2009, we operated 891 discount stores, 2,612 supercenters, 153 Neighborhood Markets and 602 Sam’s Clubs in the United States. At the end of fiscal year 2009, our International segment operated units in Argentina (28), Brazil (345), Canada (318), Chile (197), Costa Rica (164), El Salvador (77), Guatemala (160), Honduras (50), Japan (371), Mexico (1,197), Nicaragua (51), Puerto Rico (56) and the United Kingdom (358). We also operated 243 stores in China through a combination of joint ventures and other controlled subsidiaries at January 31, 2009. At January 31, 2009, our Indian business consisted of wholesale cash-and-carry and back-end supply chain management operations through our joint venture with Bharti Enterprises and technical support to the retail stores of Bharti Retail through a franchise agreement.
Our Business Segments
Our retail operations serve our customers through three segments. The Walmart U.S. segment includes our discount stores, supercenters and Neighborhood Markets in the United States as well as walmart.com. The Sam’s Club segment includes the warehouse membership clubs in the United States as well as samsclub.com. The International segment consists of our operations in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom. You will find information concerning the financial results of our segments and the total and long-lived assets of each of those segments in Note 11 to the Consolidated Financial Statements and in Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations. We have incorporated by reference in this Annual Report on Form 10-K our Consolidated Financial Statements as of January 31, 2009, and for the year then ended, the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements, and Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations that are contained in our Annual Report to Shareholders, portions of which are included as an exhibit hereto.
Walmart U.S. Segment
As a mass merchandiser of consumer products, the Walmart U.S. segment operates retail stores in all 50 states, with discount stores in 47 states, supercenters in 48 states and Neighborhood Markets in 16 states. Our discount stores range in size from 30,000 square feet to 219,000 square feet, with an average size of approximately 108,000 square feet. Supercenters range in size from 94,000 square feet to 260,000 square feet, with an average size of approximately 186,000 square feet. Neighborhood Markets range in size from 36,000 square feet to 62,000 square feet, with an average size of approximately 42,000 square feet. From time to time, Walmart U.S. tests different store formats to meet market demands and needs. Customers can also purchase a broad assortment of merchandise and services online at www.walmart.com.
The Walmart U.S. segment also offers financial services and products, including money orders, wire transfers, check cashing and bill payment.
Nationally advertised merchandise represents a significant portion of sales in the Walmart U.S. segment. We also market lines of merchandise under our private-label store brands including “Great Value,” “Equate,” “Ol’ Roy,” “Sam’s Choice,” “Spring Valley,” “Parent’s Choice,” “Everstart,” “Faded Glory,” “No Boundaries,” “George,” “Athletic Works,” “Secret Treasures,” “Puritan,” “Durabrand,” “HomeTrends,” “Mainstays,” “Ozark Trail,” “White Stag” and “Canopy.” The Company also markets lines of merchandise under licensed brands, some of which include “General Electric,” “Disney,” “McDonald’s,” “Better Homes & Gardens,” “OP,” “Starter,” “Danskin Now” and “Just My Size.”
Operations. Hours of operation for nearly all supercenters and an increasing number of discount stores and Neighborhood Markets are 24 hours each day. Hours of operation for the remaining discount stores, supercenters and Neighborhood Markets vary by location, but are generally 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 or 11:00 p.m., seven days a week. We accept a variety of payment methods including credit cards, debit cards and a private-label store credit card issued by a third-party provider. In addition, our pharmacy and optical departments accept payments for products and services through our customers’ health benefit plans.
Seasonal Aspects of Operations. The Walmart U.S. segment’s business is seasonal to a certain extent. Generally, its highest volume of sales occurs in the fourth fiscal quarter, which includes the holiday season, and the lowest volume occurs during the first fiscal quarter.
Competition. Our discount stores compete with other discount, department, drug, variety and specialty stores and supermarkets, many of which are national or regional chains. Our supercenters compete with other supercenter-type stores, hypermarts, discount stores, supermarkets, department, drug, variety and specialty stores, many of which are national or regional chains. We also compete with internet-based retailers and catalog businesses and with other retailers for new store sites.
Our ability to develop the right locations and offer value and service to our customers largely determines our competitive position within the retail industry. We employ many programs designed to meet competitive pressures within our industry. These programs include the following:
• EDLP – our commitment to price leadership and our pricing philosophy under which we price items at a low price every day so that our customers trust that our prices will not change under frequent promotional activity;
• Rollbacks – our commitment to continually pass cost savings on to the customer by lowering prices on selected goods;
• Store Within a Store – a program to provide accountability to assistant and department managers as to merchandise planning and overall department performance;
• Store of the Community – a program to ensure that the merchandise assortment in a particular store fits the demographic needs of the local community in which that store is located;
• Clean, Fast and Friendly – our commitment to deliver a great customer experience through fast, friendly service in a clean environment;
• Win, Play and Show – a strategy to select a merchandise assortment based on our growth potential, economies of scale and customer credibility in each business; and
• Save Even More – a strategy to meet or be below a competitor’s advertised price on key value items.
In addition to these programs, we believe our broad assortment of merchandise that provides one-stop shopping, our in-stock levels that provide confidence to our customers that we will have what they need, and our long operating hours that allow customers to shop at their convenience, provide us with additional competitive advantages.
Our Walmart U.S. segment operations are supported by 121 distribution facilities as of January 31, 2009, located strategically throughout the continental United States. Of these 121 distribution facilities, we owned and operated 106. Third parties owned and operated the remaining 15 distribution facilities. During fiscal 2009, the Company opened one food import distribution center and closed one walmart.com distribution center. In addition to servicing the Walmart U.S. segment, some of our Wal-Mart distribution centers also service our Sam’s Club segment for certain items.
Our International segment is comprised of our wholly-owned subsidiaries operating in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom, our majority-owned subsidiaries operating in five countries in Central America, and in Chile and Mexico, our joint ventures in India and China and our other controlled subsidiaries in China.
During fiscal 2009, the Company disposed of Gazeley Limited (“Gazeley”), an ASDA commercial property development subsidiary in the United Kingdom. Consequently, the results of operations associated with Gazeley and the gain on disposal are presented as discontinued operations in our Consolidated Statements of Income and Consolidated Balance Sheets for all periods presented. The cash flows related to this operation were insignificant for all periods presented.
During the third quarter of fiscal 2009, the Company initiated a restructuring program under which the Company’s Japanese subsidiary, The Seiyu Ltd., will close 23 stores and dispose of certain excess properties. This restructuring will involve incurring costs associated with lease termination obligations, asset impairment charges and employee separation benefits, although any additional costs are not expected to be material. The costs associated with this restructuring and the results of operations of the affected stores and properties are presented as discontinued operations in our Consolidated Statements of Income and Consolidated Balance Sheets for all periods presented. The cash flows and accrued liabilities related to this restructuring were insignificant for all periods presented.
In January 2009, the Company completed a tender offer for the shares of Distribución y Servicio D&S S.A. (“D&S”), acquiring approximately 58.2% of the outstanding D&S shares (the "First Offer"). D&S has 197 stores, 10 shopping centers and 85 PRESTO financial services branches throughout Chile. The purchase price for the D&S shares in the First Offer was approximately $1.55 billion. As of January 31, 2009, assets recorded in the acquisition after the First Offer, were approximately $3.6 billion, including approximately $1.0 billion in goodwill, liabilities assumed were approximately $1.7 billion and minority interest was approximately $395 million. Under the Chilean securities laws, the Company was required after the First Offer to initiate a second tender offer (the "Second Offer") for the remaining outstanding shares of D&S on the same terms as the First Offer. The Company completed the Second Offer in March 2009, acquiring approximately 16.4% of the outstanding D&S shares for approximately $430 million, resulting in the Company owning approximately 74.6% of the D&S shares. In connection with the transaction, the former D&S controlling shareholders were each granted a put option that is exercisable beginning in January 2011 through January 2016. During the exercise period, the put option allows each former controlling shareholder the right to require the Company to purchase up to all of their shares of D&S (approximately 25.1%) owned following the Second Offer at fair market value at the time of an exercise, if any. The consolidated financial statements of D&S, as well as the allocation of the purchase price as of January 31, 2009, are preliminary.
Merchandise. The merchandising strategy for the International segment is similar to that of our operations in the United States in terms of the breadth and scope of merchandise offered for sale. While brand name merchandise accounts for a majority of sales, numerous store brands not found in the United States have been developed to serve customers in the different markets in which the International segment operates. In addition, steps have been taken to develop relationships with local suppliers in each country to ensure reliable sources of quality merchandise.
Operations. The hours of operation for operating units in the International segment vary by country and by individual markets within countries, depending upon local and national ordinances governing hours of operation. We accept a variety of payment methods including credit cards, debit cards and private-label store credit cards issued by third-party providers. Other consumer finance programs exist in certain markets to facilitate the purchase of goods by the customer.
Across the International segment, we are leveraging best practices, lessons from multiple store formats and global procurement practices. In addition, relationships with key global suppliers continue to help us leverage our volumes across countries.
Seasonal Aspects of Operations. The International segment’s business is seasonal to a certain extent. Generally, the highest volume of sales occurs in the fourth fiscal quarter. The seasonality of the business varies by country due to different national and religious holidays, festivals and customs, as well as different climatic conditions.
Competition. The International segment competes with a variety of local, national and international chains in the supermarket, discount, department, drug, variety and specialty stores, supercenter-type stores, hypermarts, wholesale clubs, internet-based retailers and catalog businesses in each of the countries in which we operate and, in Mexico, with local, national and international restaurant chains. Our ability to offer our customers low prices on quality merchandise that offers exceptional value in the International segment determines, to a large extent, our competitive position. In our international units, our ability to operate the food departments effectively has a major impact on the segment’s competitive position in the markets where we operate.
Distribution. We utilize a total of 146 distribution facilities located in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom and two export consolidation facilities in the United States. Through these facilities, we process and distribute both imported and domestic products to the operating units of the International segment. During fiscal 2009, approximately 74% of the International segment’s purchases flowed through these distribution facilities. Suppliers ship the balance of the International segment’s purchases directly to our stores in the various countries in which we operate. Of these 146 distribution facilities, we owned and operated 34 and leased and operated 34. Third parties owned and operated the remaining 78 distribution facilities.
Sam’s Club Segment
As a membership club warehouse, we operate Sam’s Clubs in 48 states. Facility sizes for Sam’s Clubs generally range between 71,000 and 190,000 square feet, with the average Sam’s Club facility being approximately 133,000 square feet. Sam’s Club also provides its members with a broad assortment of merchandise and services online at www.samsclub.com.
Operations. Operating hours for Sam’s Clubs are Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Additionally, all club locations offer a Gold Key program that permits business members to shop before the regular operating hours Monday through Saturday, starting at 7:00 a.m.
Sam’s Clubs are membership-only operations. A variety of payment methods are accepted at our clubs, including debit cards, some types of credit cards, and a private label and co-branded Discover credit cards issued by a third-party provider. In addition, our pharmacy and optical departments accept payments for products and services through our customers’ health benefit plans.
Members include both small business owners and individual consumers. Individual consumers are referred to as Advantage members. The annual membership fee for an individual Advantage member is $40 for the primary membership card, with a spouse/household card available at no additional cost. The annual membership fee for business members is $35 for the primary membership card, with a spouse/household card available at no additional cost. In addition, business members can add up to eight business associates (add-ons) to their business account for $35 each. Businesses can also purchase Advantage memberships for their employees under a Group Membership Program. Group rates are $30 per group Advantage membership when purchasing 50 - 999 memberships and $25 per group Advantage membership when purchasing 1,000 or more memberships. Sam’s Club PLUS is a premium membership program that offers additional benefits and services. The annual fee for a Primary PLUS member (Business or Advantage) is $100. In addition, Business Plus primary members can add up to 16 business associates (add-ons) to their business membership for $35 each.
Seasonal Aspects of Operations. The Sam’s Club segment’s business is seasonal to a certain extent. Generally, its highest volume of sales occurs in the fourth fiscal quarter, which includes the holiday season, and the lowest volume occurs during the first fiscal quarter.
Competition. Sam’s Club competes with other warehouse clubs, as well as with discount retailers, retail and wholesale grocers, general merchandise wholesalers and distributors, internet-based retailers and catalog businesses. Sam’s Club competes with other retailers and warehouse clubs for desirable new club sites. Our ability to offer low prices and quality merchandise to meet the needs of small business members largely determines our competitive position in the warehouse club industry.
Distribution. During fiscal 2009, approximately 65% of the Sam’s Club segment non-fuel purchases were shipped from the Sam’s Club segment’s dedicated distribution facilities and some of the Walmart U.S. segment’s distribution centers for certain items. Suppliers shipped the balance of the Sam’s Club purchases directly to Sam’s Club locations. As of January 31, 2009, our Sam’s Club segment operations were supported by 26 distribution facilities located strategically throughout the continental United States. Of these 26 distribution facilities, we owned and operated 8. Third parties owned and operated the remaining 18 distribution facilities.
The principal focus of our Sam’s Club’s distribution operations is on crossdocking merchandise, while stored inventory is minimized. Crossdocking is a distribution process under which shipments are directly transferred from inbound to outbound trailers. Shipments typically spend less than 24 hours in a crossdock facility, sometimes less than an hour.
Sam’s Club uses a combination of our private truck fleet as well as common carriers to transport non-perishable merchandise from distribution centers to clubs. We contract with common carriers to transport perishable grocery merchandise from distribution centers to clubs.
As of January 31, 2009, the Company and its subsidiaries employed over 2.1 million employees (“associates”) worldwide, with approximately 1.4 million associates in the United States and approximately 694,000 associates internationally. Like almost all retailers, the Company has a large number of part-time, hourly or non-exempt employees and experiences significant turnover in employees each year. In the United States, the Company offers a broad range of company-paid benefits to our associates, including the Wal-Mart Profit Sharing and 401(k) Plan, store discount cards or Sam’s Club memberships, bonuses based on Company performance, matching a portion of purchases in the Associate Stock Purchase Program, and life insurance. The Company also offers health-care benefits to eligible full-time and part-time associates. The Company’s medical plan has no lifetime maximum benefit for most expenses.
In our operations outside the United States, the Company provides a variety of associate benefits that vary based on customary local practices and statutory requirements.