Walmart changing legal name as its digital strategy ramps up

Wal-Mart to Walmart: The retail giant is booting "Stores" from its legal name as e-commerce grows.

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Walmart on Wednesday announced it will change the company's legal name from Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. to Walmart Inc effective Feb. 1, 2018.

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The move is to reflect that shopping doesn't just take place in retail stores, but customers also want to shop online, on their mobile device, or through pickup and delivery.

"Whether it's in our stores, on our sites, with our apps, by using their voice or whatever comes next, there is just one Walmart as far as our customers are concerned," Doug McMillon, president and CEO at Walmart, wrote in a blog post.

Walmart says each week, over 260 million customers visit its 11,600 stores in 28 countries and eCommerce websites. In October, the retailer revealed it expects its US ecommerce business to grow sales by roughly 40 percent in the upcoming fiscal year.

Walmart has made major investments in its e-commerce strategy as it tries to compete with Amazon, including its $3 billion acquisition last year of

"Our customers know us as Walmart and today they shop with us not only in our stores but online and with our app as well," McMillon said in a statement. "While our legal name is used in a limited number of places, we felt it was best to have a name that was consistent with the idea that you can shop us however you like as a customer. Looking ahead, we'll continue to invest in and strengthen our stores around the world and expand our eCommerce capabilities as we help save customers' time and money. As time goes on, customers will increasingly just think of and see one Walmart."

Walmart's digitally focused growth strategy includes an aggressive push into online grocery and increased capital spending on digital supply chain capabilities and in-store technology. Walmart's e-commerce site now sells more than 50 million different types of items, up five times more that it offered just one year ago.

Past digital investments, Walmart said it will continue to strengthen its retail stores.

Walmart will continue to trade on the NYSE as WMT and the company name should be referenced as Walmart, the company said.