Ahhh, Walmart. Where else can you go for a pair of socks and a can of beans and come out with a cart full of items and a bill for $200? Remember the giggles you’d get on a late night run to Walmart in your pajamas in your teens? Or what about the stress of navigating a cart piled high with groceries around wild, unsupervised children and cranky old people hunting for a bargain? If you’re familiar with the big box giant, and you think you know everything about Walmart, then get ready to get your socks rocked with these 42 crazy facts about Walmart. They’ll totally change the way you see everyone’s favorite chain store!
42. Walmart's Hourly Wage
This might shock you, but while employees are getting paid a minimum wage salary, Walmart could be earning $54.3 million by the hour—that is, if all the stores worked 24 hours a day all year round without taking a break. Who knew? Well—now you do!
41. Making Millions Online
As of 2017, the number of items available at Walmart online skyrocketed from 700,000 to a whopping 60 million. That's not including Jet.com, the e-commerce website that the corporation integrated into its empire recently. It's safe to safe that that number has grown exponentially since 2017, making us much less likely to get off the couch when we need to go shopping—why would we?
40. Pop Tarts Before a Storm
Did you know that Walmart stocks up their shelves with strawberry flavor Pop-Tarts right before a hurricane strikes? That's because according to their data statistics, folks go out and buy approximately 7 times more of these items before a storm. I mean, if you get the kind with icing, that’s 3 out of 4 food groups right there. Now you know exactly what to buy before the zombie apocalypse hits.
39. Stop Theft With a Smile
It might sound weird, but those Walmart greeters aren't just there to put a smile on your face. Nope. They're actually placed there because they believe that a friendly face and a warm welcome will tug at a shoplifter's heartstrings and make then reconsider stealing. Who knew a greeting could prevent unlawful activities? Walmart did!
38. Walmart's Dad Danced The Hula
If Walmart hit an 8 percent pre-tax profit for 1983, Walmart founder Sam Walton promised to celebrate the successful win by doing the hula on Wall Street. He probably regretted making that promise when the company ended up being a mega-hit. He even went out on March 15, 1983, wearing a grass skirt and a lei.
37. Walmart Goes Bananas
In 2015, Walmart's top-selling item was—drumroll please—bananas. In fact, they sold 1.5 billion pounds of this tasty fruit. All the way from Latin America and straight into our kitchens! Wonder how many got eaten fresh and how many turned brown, only to sit in the freezer for a few months before becoming banana bread? I guess we’ll never know.
36. The Waltons Are L-o-a-d-e-d
According to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index, the Walton family is worth a combined $133 billion, which makes them the richest family in the United States. They're even richer than Bill Gates, believe it or not! This just leaves one burning question in our minds: Are they looking to adopt anyone?
35. Are You Hiring?
You can pretty much find Walmart stores anywhere in the world, which means that Walmart is currently employing a ton of people. They currently have 2.2 million employees across the globe. That's over a million more folks than the city of San Francisco, California, which only has 864,816 people.
34. Bigger Than Big
Walmart seems to be growing by leaps and bounds. They're already grown beyond the combined total of huge companies like K-Mart, Sears, Target, Kroger, Costco, and Home Depot.
33. They're so Attractive
Walmart is like one giant fish hook that reels us in more and more. In fact, in 2016, US stores alone saw nearly 140 million people walk through the sliding doors of Walmart, which is almost half of the nation's population.
32. Workforce? More Like Armed Strength
Walmart asserts that it has employed 2.2 million people globally, indicating that the staff count for Walmart exceeds the 1.43 million individuals who serve in America’s armed forces. But let's not go arming Walmart employees, okay?
31. Employees are Forced Heroes
In 2006, a Walmart in Montreal, Canada received a potential explosive-related menace. Did this make the employees run for the door, grab their keys and hightail it out of there? Nope. The employees were informed that they were required to assist in the on-going search for the explosive device - a surprising truth - and it appeared as if they had little say in the matter. Here’s hoping they got a bonus or at least some overtime for that.
30. CEOs Get all the Moolah
Walmart associates, AKA the hard workers that have to bust their chops to get the work done, don’t get paid nearly enough, according to Payscale. But CEOs have nothing to complain about, as they earn 1,034 times as much as a regular employee. Here’s hoping that changes in 2018.
29. Walmart is in Hot Water
They might be making billions of dollars out there, but Walmart gets sued 17 times per day, more or less, which means they have to deal with about 5,000 lawsuits per year. And why is the corporation getting slapped with so many suits? You guessed it! Workplace fairness or…lack thereof.
28. Box Office Flop
The 2008 film Proud American is a bio-drama that contains five stories that allegedly embody the American spirit. In fact, two of those stories show the creation of Coca-Cola and Walmart. However, the movie did not succeed and some people felt it was a little too patriotic. Whatever the reason, it didn't exactly end up on anyone's list of best movies of the 2000s.
27. It Pays to Be a CEO
Do you know who Michael Duke is? Neither did we, but it turns out he's the CEO of Walmart, and in 2010, he earned $16,826.92 in a single hour. An hour! That’s 35 million per year. Even full-time employees don't make nearly that much money in a lifetime.
26. Not as Easy as You Thought
Walmart thought the Scan & Go app, which allowed customers to scan items with their phones, would be easy for anyone to use. The customer would then head to the self-check-out line and they'd be done, but customers at the 200 stores that tested the idea didn't have a clue how it worked, and Walmart had to scrub the concept.
25. They Don't Always Make Money
Maybe it's a higher power from above, or it could just be bad luck, but it seems that despite the fact that Walmart earns billions, they also lose billions, to the tune of $3 billion per year. Oh, and it's not because of lawsuits or taxes, though we're sure they hemorrhage money there too. It's actually all from theft.
24. The Time Walmart Wasn't Fine
Walmart may be huge, but it's not above the law. Walmart was fined more than $100 million when it was discovered that they were disposing of bleach, pesticide, fertilizer and other items into the nation's sewage system. Naturally, the Clean Water Act nailed them for the infraction.
23. Got Milk?
In 2011, an 18-year-old guy, costumed as a cow, illicitly acquired 26 gallons of milk from a Walmart in Virginia. Now, how he managed to leave the store with so many gallons still baffles us, and to this day, law enforcement officers aren't clear as to why he even did it in the first place. Vegan protest stunt gone wrong? Maybe he was just suffering from some serious calcium deficiency?
22. Walmart Wanted to go Social
Given how insanely popular MySpace had been in the early 2000s, higher-ups wanted to create a Walmart social media site to attract a younger crowd into their store. It even tried calling users, ‘hubsters,’ but most teens just weren't into it ‘cause it wasn't cool enough. Even the site's web address, “walmart.com/schoolyourway,” sounded dull as heck.
21. Stop That Guard
In 2015, a man resembling a security guard sauntered into a Walmart in Bristow, Oklahoma and executed an Ocean's Eleven-style heist, making away with $75,000 in cash. When the real guards from Loomis Personnel showed up to pick up the money, the store realized that they'd been had.
20. People of Walmart
If you're looking for the oddest-looking people dressed in the most, shall we say, interesting clothes ever, then you should check out the website People of Walmart. This hilarious site features pictures of all the craziest and most uniquely style-challenged customers ever.
19. Check Out the Best-Selling Items by State
Have you ever wondered what people buy the most on Walmart.com? Well, in 2018, the store released data from their 2017 sales, and it turns out that in Florida, sparkling cider was a huge hit, while protein powder was a top seller in California. Meanwhile, folks in Pennsylvania seemed to have a thing for plastic hangers. They’re right—I may not be from Pennsylvania, but you can never have too many hangers.
18. Enjoy Your Purge
Black Friday is awful, but no one had it worse than one employee named Jdimytai Damour in 2008. The young man was trampled over when about 2,000 shoppers took the door down and started rushing into the Valley Stream Walmart. Damour lost his life, resulting in Walmart having to pay nearly $2 million to Nassau County and additional thousands for violating workplace safety laws.
17. Norway Says No Way
When Norway decided that Walmart had violated certain ethical norms—most likely related to employee wages, hours, and benefits—they decided to cut the major corporation off financially in 2011. But we doubt that the Walmart CEOs sweated over it too much.
16. Solidarité Forever
Canadian Walmart employees in Jonquière, Quebec decided to try and unionize at their store, which protects associates when it comes to hours, working conditions, and wages. But in 2004, Walmart closed the store altogether because the whole union thing wasn't something the CEOs could stomach.
15. There's Something About ASDA
Did you know that in the UK, Walmart stores are known as ASDA? It turns out that they don't always retain the same name. In Japan, they're called Seiyu. But why do they do this? It's so they can appeal to foreign markets who will relate to a name that's more familiar to them.
14. Walmart’s Army
Aside from China's defense forces, which include 2.29 million active members, Walmart could potentially create the largest group of trained personnel globally, if they decide to instill rigorous training among their employees. Now that's a pretty frightening concept. Hopefully, Walmart isn't a corporation of sleeper cells.
13. Sued for Smiling
Walmart's signature logo is the "Smiley," AKA the smiley face that rolls back prices in the commercials. The smiley icon was used in promos from the ‘90s until 2006. But in 2009, a Belgian designer sued them claiming that he held the rights to the smiley icon. Walmart and the designer settled in 2011, and the signature character returned to stores in 2016.
12. And Your Total is…
Did you know that on average, a household consisting of four people will end up spending a total of $4,000 per year at Walmart? Come to think of it, that's not bad for a year’s worth of groceries!
11. Can You See a Walmart?
Alright, so maybe you can't look out the window and find a Walmart, but you're never more than 15 miles away from one. It turns out that 90 percent of people living in the US will only have to travel a short distance to save money—unless you’re from LA, of course.
10. Everyone's Searching for Walmart
You'd think that Disney World, Six Flags, or the nearest mall would be a popular destination to search for on a GPS. But It turns out Walmart was the most sought out destination using a Telenav GPS system.
9. Bye-Bye Superstore
Walmart CEOs are aware that the incredible size of the typical superstore can be a bit intimidating for some people. So in lieu of their usual 200,000 square feet stores, they're leaning towards producing smaller stores called “Neighborhood markets,” which would only be 40,000 square feet, and sell groceries. But how will I get my 10,000 steps in for the day that way? Go to the park? Pshhh.
8. Single? Come to Walmart
Unless you have a time machine, you're a few years too late, but back in 2005, Walmart did a “Singles Night” event in Germany. Every Friday night, people who were looking for romance showed up to Walmart. They were given a red bow they could attach to their carts, signifying that they were single and ready to mingle.
7. Adam Alert
Walmart created “Code Adam” in 1994, which is a system where store employees are placed on alert and have to follow certain procedures in case a child goes missing. The program was put in place in stores in Canada and the US. It was such a hit in finding lost kids that later on it became a law.
6. But Do They Haunt It?
In 2007, Walmart employees in Mesa, Arizona were shocked when they found the remains of two animals while digging the ground to plant a citrus tree. The fossils were examined and believed to be the 10,000-year-old remains of two camels, which were affectionately dubbed the “Walmart Camels.”
5. Not in Our Town
In Saranac Lake, New York, locals felt that their town was no place for a Walmart. They preferred a mom and pop-style store, so in lieu of a superstore, they opened a store that was community-owned in 2011. It took years to gather the capital, but about 600 people donated an average of $800 each, for a total of $500,000. See, there are alternatives!
4. Who Needs a Church, or Even Vegas?
Where's the church or the steeple? Neither could be found at the Walmart wedding that took place in North Carolina. A customer named Wayne Brandenburg fell in love with a cashier, and the two dated for a while before getting engaged. Since they fell in love at a Walmart, it only made sense that they would end up getting married in one.
3. This Sister's Got Billions
We already knew that the Waltons, who founded Walmart, were loaded, but even those who choose not to join the business, like the youngest sister, Alice Walton, do pretty well. She has no kids or husband, and no desire to be part of the business. Instead, she decided to dedicate herself to painting, but her net worth is still $43.7 billion.
2. A Disturbing Pattern
Walmart is facing a growing issue with unlawful activities, primarily initiated by shoplifting. In recent years, Walmart has reduced expenses by employing fewer workers, leading to an increase in shoplifting of their products. This situation is so prevalent that in areas like Tulsa, a security office is even maintained within a Walmart store by law enforcement. Indeed, law enforcement authorities were summoned to one Walmart in Tulsa 5,000 times within a span of only five years. But it doesn't end there: At the same Walmart, there were also five armed robberies in one year, a suspect involved in a fatal incident in a parking lot, and a deadly shootout. This pattern holds for other Walmarts, and indicates a serious and disturbing problem for the franchise.
1. Big Box Breaking Bad
If you've ever gone shopping at a Walmart after midnight, you'll probably agree that it's a madhouse full of questionable characters. However, a bit of craziness was nothing compared to the events of 2011, when on at least four separate instances, people were discovered producing a particular banned substance inside one of the stores. There are also numerous—numerous—stories from Walmart employees detailing customers who peed and/or pooped in clothing sections. There's even a Walmart that had to deal with someone writing on the store's bathroom walls in their own excrement. On multiple occasions.