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Walmart is changing its legal name

NEW YORK – Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is changing its legal name effective Feb. 1.

The world’s largest retailer, based in Bentonville, Arkansas, said Wednesday it will change its legal name from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to Walmart Inc.

It said the move underscores its growing emphasis toward online services and mobile shopping. It operates more than 11,600 stores and clubs under 60 different banners worldwide.

“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,” said Doug McMillon, Walmart president and CEO. “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.”

The discounter’s formal legal name when it incorporated on Oct. 31, 1969 was Wal-Mart Inc. It was changed to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on Jan. 9, 1970, the same year it went public. It will continue to trade on the NYSE as WMT. It’s been using the current Walmart logo in its operations since June 2008.