The Weight of Walmart (Infographic)

After reading your comments about the Amazon Infographic that we released two weeks ago (check it out here if you haven’t seen it), it got me thinking about just how big Walmart could be. So I started researching Walmart and found the information to be unbelievable…but, it makes sense since this Black Friday shoppers turned out to Walmart in record breaking droves. Within hours of Thanksgiving night opening, thousands uploaded videos online of the spectacular struggles over cheap TVs, waffle makers and baby clothes.

In the heat of the holiday shopping season, I’m taking a moment to consider where I spend my hard earned money. You might be familiar with the status: Walmart’s the largest grocery store in the U.S., the largest retailer in the world, the leader in global corporate revenue and the largest employer in existence. Still, these facts don’t do much to demonstrate the reach of this superpower.

Check out our graphic demonstrating the Weight of Walmart, and if you find the statistics as shocking as we do, please share it with everyone you know:

Walmart Infographic


  1. What’s your point? They are successful–so what? I suppose it would be just dandy if the same amount of Chinese goods were imported to this country and sold at “Mom & Pop” stores [that only employ “Mom” and “Pop”] on “Main St.”?

    Wal-Mart is like the abortion business. If you don’t like it don’t spend your money on it but stop agitating one way or the other about it.

    • “No” – do you just not get it? How can you as an individual every hope to have as much say in policies created in our government as this entity?

      What saddens me is the powerlessness of their employees to lobby for better pay, benefits, etc when the company can obviously afford to allow them a fair share of the profits. This is what should scare everyone.

      • And why should they get better pay? If they want more, they should extract themselves from their armchairs of secure wages and start their own businesses if they want more. Why on earth shoudl those who risk nothing get paid any more than the minimum wage? That goes for directors of banks that got America into a mess. Turn on them, not an organisation that cuts costs to American consumers. Turn on the buggers who have reamed this economy!

        • You’re talking about the same people. Industry continues to cut jobs for all but the most menial work, which it now hires robots to do. Yet massive capital holders – like Wal-Mart, the Gateses, George Soros, the Koch Brothers, and both recent candidates for President – are still raising our rents while simultaneously obliterating the economy for all but those who already bought it all up.

          I really hugely disagree that unskilled workers don’t deserve more compensation for their work. I’m talking about people who get jobs with very few qualifications besides a resume with everything on it spelled right – that’s not to say that you don’t develop a skill set in service or retail jobs (I am a vet of both and I somewhat think everyone should be drafted into each for a year). I’m also talking about people who are unable to work at their old professions but still want to support families – disabled workers and veterans among them.

          The argument gets made: “What’s immoral about wealth?” And the answer is Nothing – so long as everybody is getting their basic needs met. Until they are, wealth disparity is a failing of humanity.

      • check out SERIOUSLY. I worked there for three years, and I was paid MORE to start than i was getting after three years as a manager in fast food. I was given benefits after my 90 probation period was up. The people who claim to not have benefits have never signed up for them, and that is their fault. EVEN PART TIME EMPLOYEES ARE ELIGIBLE FOR BENEFITS! Learn more about walmart before you attack. you are showing your ignorance.

    • …hi there, “no”

      You seem to really be missing the point. Walmart is huge. When things are that large, they have more lobbying power (aka power to BUY THEIR WAY WITH YOUR SENATORS/REPRESENTATIVES so they vote how Walmart wants), more legal power (Lawyers usually like working for a WHOPPING LOT OF MONEY), and more control over prices/wages than any one THING should.

      People need to know what they are supporting. If more people knew what goes on behind closed doors, or what goes into that $1 box of stuff at Walmart, they probably would think twice about buying it.

      Walmart is nothing like the medical providers for abortions. Walmart is at no risk of having their funding (aka massive subsidies, which end up being pretty much you paying the government to pay Walmart to set up shop, and Walmart paying no tax to your government).

      Maybe you should get a little more educated about the issue before you comment.

      • Hi

        I understand why many people have an issue with “big business” and their effect on government and thus policy. But surely the main issue is then not a business growing to be successful, but government itself? After all, without government sharing the bed with big business, the only power these big businesses would have is the power to make sure they serve their customers and employees well. So in short, I think the true issue with entities like Wal-Mart is the corporatism of government, not a business being successful.

    • So you just don’t care about greedy business. It must be nice not to be concerned about others in this small planet.
      Does WalMart serve a purpose in the world – is it really needed, or just a figment of marketing. Could we be better off without such a monster?
      Do you shop at WalMart?

      • Oh, boy. Does Walmart serve a purpose in the world? Do you jest? We’re reading an article explaining what a corporate behemoth is, and the best you can come up with is “does Walmart serve a purpose in the world?”

        Well, let’s see. One of the big jokes about Walmart is “I’d like to go to Walmart, but I forgot my pajamas.” Of course, this pokes fun at the folks who patronize Walmart. You may not like Walmart, but the reality is that it serves a HUGE, nearly incalculable purpose…hence it’s success. Do I shop there? Indeed I do…for many things. It may surprise one to know that Walmart’s ice creams are healthier (made with less and more healthy ingredients) than many counterparts. They have their own brand of organic lettuces etc. Their prices are virtually unbeatable, which is why they are so successful. Again, you may not like them., but try and beat them at their game. They’re the best at it. If there is no purpose for them, why do poor people keep shopping there? Because they can get more for their money at Walmart, which in my book is the definition of helping people.

        I’m not saying that Walmart is a phenomenal corporation that never does things wrong. But the economics of the whole corporation are hard to ignore.

    • Agreed. I think it is appalling the way some Americans like to tear down institutions that are in fact iconic of the American dream. I suggest the initiator of this protest comes up for air by removing his head from his behind; clearly he’s suffering from a shitty jaundiced point of view. Those that cannot do are always the critics of those that can. Get a life! Learn to succeed under your own steam; that is, without tearing down your neighbour’s business.

    • You are right, they are like the abortion business, they put out alot of small business owners, that do more for their communities then big box stores, because they have negotiating power with China to get better prices. Its really sad that in this time in our country where so many Americans are loosing their jobs and so fourth that people still dont mind buying all their junk from Walmart which is all bought from China. Just think of the difference people could make in their own Country if they bought from their local small business owners and bought more Made in The USA products rather then Made In China which is what Walmart sells and where they buy from. I don’t shop at Walmart and I support the country I live in and if people want to support China they should live there!

    • The point seems pretty obvious. The graphic seeks to inform consumers about the business practices of Walmart. We can then choose, with our new found knowledge, wether we wish to shop there or not. It must be nice to know you’re always making the right decisions without seeking any information on the subjects.

      Blogs are like abortion clinics. If you don’t like them stop trolling them.

    • The points are these: as such a large employer they contribute to a trend of not paying a living wage to those who actually do the work. The wealth goes to a very few people, who hold on to it. The jobs they do create are not ones that families can live on, even if both parents are working. A second point is that so much concentrated wealth leads to concentration of power that is very hard to control. Walmart has enough money to buy its way out of all opposition; it may be legal to do so but it is not at all necessarily in the public interest. For example, the entry of Walmart into many small towns means that small stores shut down. Third, Walmart’s buying power, when not used in an environmentally sustained way, has a tremendous impact on the planet. Fourth, when we participate in the “buy it cheap, let it break, then buy it again” mentality, we contribute to excess energy use and global warming as well as degradation of our ecosystems. They are not only successful, their success degrades the society at large in many ways.
      If you believe that our purpose on this earth is to profit, and the more the better, and that nothing else matters; if you believe that it’s okay to pay people the miserable wages paid by Walmart even while profiting mightily from their work; if you “don’t believe in global warming,” then probably Walmart is the place for you to shop. I’m not going there.

    • I agree with you no. I shop at Wal-Mart and I have no problem with their practices. The Wal-Mart neighborhood Markets have much lower prices that the other grocery store chains where I live. Why should I pay more for the same product just to support some smaller retail chain?

      If you don’t like Wal-Mart, then please don’t shop there. You will just be in the way of those of us who want to shop there.

      As far as associates wages compared to the CEO’s salary, no one forces these people to work there. I can assure you there are far worse places to work than Wal-Mart and places that treat their employees worse than Wal-Mart. Just try working at the hell hole known as IBM or try working in the mortgage department of any bank.

  2. Sincere question – what exactly is the point of this? How is this supposed to help me save money, earn money, or anything else helpful? What is it you want me to care about more after viewing this?

    • pure and simple: power. Walmart epitomizes corporate might in our 21st century america that is driven by conspicuous material consumption. As an individual, you can make your own decision to warship, feel indifferent, or draw your voice in arms; but every individual should understand how this mammoth power of American capitalism dominates the global economy.

      • Did you know that in 2009, they gave away $288,091,839 in charitable donations? oh, and in 2010, they gave over 100 MILLION pounds of food to “Feed America” but none of that matters, now does it.?

  3. Guess I’m in the 4% that does NOT live within 20 miles of one…. more than 50 miles at least is the closest… maybe closer to 60 miles….

  4. And, I’m guessing I DON’T want them to go out of business, because that many folks out of work would totally break the unemployment bank!

  5. Ed Smith is not the CEO of WalMart, Michael Duke is. And if you read the whole article that you got that from, he only made $28M in 2008. Still a wide gap, but better to be accurate.

  6. This is a little deceptive, if not incomplete.

    The full time wage of $6.50 is below the federal minimum wage and I believe the average full time associate wage at Walmart is actually $8.81 ( Going off of national averages in general fails to account for different costs of living in disparate areas. As wages will differ across the nation based on this. A full time associate/cashier in New York makes over $13/hour. A full time associate also gets pretty good benefits (

    Personally, I don’t like Walmart. But they are big and that makes them an easy target. Much the scrutiny is anecdotal, broad generalizations or blatant misinformation.

    Opponents of Walmart should consider the affect of preventing any vendor from setting up shop that provides the essentials cheaper. This contributes to lowering the cost of living in an area. This has a number of affects on the community around the stores. By preventing lower prices they are maintaining a higher cost of living which given inflation (running rampant) and terrible economy hurts lower income households and contributes to gentrification.

    I’d postulate that a war against Walmart is a war against the poor.

    • Dylan,

      You’ve certainly made some interesting points that I hadn’t considered before.

      Is this ‘infographic’ deceptive? Arguably. Incomplete? Absolutely. Biased? Certainly.

      I would like to offer my perspective on the benefits piece you mentioned and the suggestion that a store like Walmart contributes to an affordable community.

      I would consider that offering the essentials at a lower price is not as simple and linear as your statement appears to define it. Small, independent businesses in the community may already offer similar items for similar prices. Other things that should be brought into the equation are the ability to do one-stop shopping and having a place to park. These conveniences could make all the difference in the way people choose to shop. I don’t readily believe that Walmart is providing lower costs and therefore making the community more affordable. I wonder if the opposite may be true. My personal observations suggest that big box stores in a neighborhood make shopping more convenient, especially for those who can afford to own a vehicle, which often leads toward gentrification. (I have no documented research on which to base this but I am open to any that support or oppose my ideas.)

      From people I know personally who are/have been employed at Walmart I have consistently heard an underlying theme regarding benefits:
      They have not been employed full-time to qualify for benefits. Thus, regardless of how sufficient these benefits may appear, the may also be unavailable to the average employee. Also, it is documented that Walmart has the majority of employees using taxpayer-funded healthcare programs, even more than McDonalds: .
      There are a variety of possible meanings for this: Walmart healthcare options are too expensive compared to the pay; workers are not eligible due to their part-time status; Walmart is simply the largest employeer in each state listed. It remains that Walmart employees are major consumers of state funded healthcare. What this means to me is that Walmart doesn’t save people as much money as their motto infers; the company draws an unknown portion of its healthcare funds from the taxpayers, and thus costs us more as a community. I wonder exactly what percentage of Walmart employee and family healthcare is paid for by taxes based upon the dollar amount..

      I foresee employees at Walmart being entrapped as consumers at their place of employment due to what they can afford, especially if they are of the employment status that qualifies them for the 10% discount on their purchases. I’ve never been a fan of Walmart. I may be terribly cynical but I always enjoy further information that could enlighten me.

      • If Walmart takes advantage of state programs… do you blame Walmart or do you blame the state that authorizes this?

        If they are afforded exemptions to property and sales tax collection… do you blame Walmart or do you blame the city/county governments have enticed them to setup shop with these exemptions?

        As far as local businesses being hurt by the arrival of Walmart, there are a few ways to look at this…

        1. These businesses were already failing

        2. Businesses fail, especially if they don’t get the same government benefits and protections. There is a great free market argument here because Walmart probably wouldn’t be as big as they are now if they weren’t given such protections and special treatment.

        3. Customers valued the price point of products at Walmart vs. its quality more so than other offerings.

        In any case, whose at fault?

        “My personal observations suggest that big box stores in a neighborhood make shopping more convenient, especially for those who can afford to own a vehicle, which often leads toward gentrification. (I have no documented research on which to base this but I am open to any that support or oppose my ideas.)”

        This doesn’t make sense to me. Walmart being in a neighborhood would make shopping convenient without car as well. To say that cars are to blame for gentrification is specious. By that same logic you could blame bus routes too. Gentrification is when a populous is displaced because they can’t afford to live in a “restored” area. Often forced to travel to and from work. They can’t work where they live, or live where they work.

        Walmart providing discounts to their employees would seem to cause the opposite affect. Employees cost of living would be deflated due to a reduced price on products they need. Granted on the other hand if the city/local government afforded tax exemptions… when they need more money they will raise property and sales taxes (of which Walmart is momentarily exempt from) to shore up a deficit. The result… higher cost of living… gentrification. Again… do you blame Walmart for this?

        • War on walmart is certainly not war on the poor, except maybe in the very very short term and the very limited view some of the poor within America (as opposed to the global poor).

          There are good reasons that goods are cheap at Walmart, like economies of scale (ie. if you make more of something, each individual unit is cheaper because of various overhead costs etc). But there are also a lot of bad reasons. Goods at Walmart (and a lot of other places) do not include the entire cost of the good. They do not include the costs that are leveled against the environment from shipping things all over the world (which tend to hurt the poorest of the poor, namely those in third world countries, the most). They do not include the costs of the dehumanizing labour that many people in sweat shops and factories and even retail stores are subject to in order to cut overhead, wages, etc. They do not include costs to communities that lose their culture and identity because Walmart drives them out.

          Walmart goods actually cost a lot, and ironically it tends to be the poor that bear the weight of the majority of that cost.

    • I beg to differ, I work at Wal-Mart currently, full time, the benefits suck, I have to pay $5,000 out of pocket before they even pay anything, the only good thing is the account attached to it that gets a measly $250 a year, so it pays not to get sick. May I also state at this juncture, that they don’t care if you’re dying. An absence is an absence to Wal-Mart and you only get 3 in a rolling 6 month period before they start writing you up and 6 in that same period loses you your job. Even the best that they offer this year is well over $1,000 deductible and you pay around $60 every 2 weeks for it. So don’t tell me they have good healthcare. Some of the other benefits are nice, and I like my job but ever since Sam Walton died, the love of the company died with him. I’ve worked for Wal-Mart for 10 years and watched the company go from one of the best places to work because they really cared about you and your family, and they had no problem working with you to get a fixed schedule if you really needed one, to a corporate giant that cares about nothing but their money, and certainly not their associates. We get less and less of the wonderful benefits that used to be there every year. It’s sad really, I used to tell people that it was a good place to work and recommended them for employment, now I ask my friends and family not to shop there if possible because of the downward spiral.

  7. Some of the comparisons seem cherry picked. Is Kroger is second largest grocery retailer, or just one you think readers will be familiar with? Who has the largest “standing army” and how big is it? Is the US the third largest army (including walmart)? The CEO pay doesn’t actually seem as out of line as some, considering how many employees Mr. Duke oversees.

  8. It seems that Jason’s theme this week is one that I have thought about for a while. A relatively small number of people at a few mega-corps, banks, and politicians have a huge amount of control over what we eat, drink, watch on tv, see and hear on the news, etc. Is it healthy for our country that they have so much control?

    At best, we as individuals are a tiny spec in their big scheme of things. At worst, they think we exist to serve them rather than the other way around.

    It’s not that I think that Walmart, Best Buy, etc. are evil. And I do sometimes shop at the big box stores. But, I prefer to deal with local stores and smaller companies when I can. Just feel that the quality of the goods and services is better. And they seem to value my business more. Plus I like the idea of my money staying local rather than going off to who knows where.

    • “…huge amount of control.” We have control — don’t shop there; don’t buy things that are not healthy; get to know your local, state and federal politicians; belong to or organize groups that support your ideals. We are not helpless. IMHO “occupy” has the right idea but is going about things in the wrong way. Plus, their violence is causing many supporters to withdraw.

  9. I thought the information was interesting, and at least something to think about, if not to take something away from. I don’t agree with 100% of what Walmart is doing, and sure, they may only donate 2% but how much is their 2% compared to Bill & Melinda’s 48% or Warren Buffet’s 81% Would’ve liked to see a bit more info with the comparisons.

    • Really its not what those percents equal that matters. As the second wealthiest family, giving only 2%, even if that is 5x more or 10x more than someone else who gives 48%, is kinda pathetic. to give only 2% really only looks like they are doing it to say they do give.

      • This is a capitalist country so it is none of any of our business what they do with THEIR earnings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • I would be interested to know if they are referring to the donations made by individual members of the family to groups other than the various Walton/Walmart foundations (Walmart Foundation or the Walton Family Foundation). In 2010 the Walton Family Foundation gave 1.49 billion to various projects and the Walmart Foundation gave gifts of about $800 million to various groups and committed $2 billion to hunger relief.

      • I actually can’t stand Walmart, have just never liked the store. But honestly they earned the money, they’ve done the work and they can do whatever the heck they want with their money. Would you prefer that some of their earnings were taken and distributed to the rest of us? Or perhaps dispersed among a Occupy crowd? Yes, I would hope that they want to do good with their wealth, but that is ultimately their decision and frankly, there is nothing wrong with that.

  10. I don’t support the Chinese economy. Sooooo I don’t shop at walmart. I work very hard not to buy anything from China. Last Christmas I did not buy anything that said made in China……….oh yeah there was that Ipad, made totally in China. Well I work hard to find things from anywhere else. This year I’m all about “made in USA”:….or giving local services like a massage or facial. The government won’t do anything about unemployment, but we can. $64 spent on “Made in USA” by each of us ultimately will provide 200,00 jobs. Let’s make this a “Made in America Christmas’. By the way I save a great deal of $$$ not buying Chinese products. A great deal of poorly made goods that I don’t need anyway!!! It’s my personal choice.

    • @bwd, must be nice to be able to afford to keep others employed taking money from your family to help keep someone else’s inefficient company in business. You’re sort of like a one person stimulus package! I can’t afford to do that I need to stretch my $ and Walmart helps me do that.

      • Not everyone who makes more expensive choices is “taking money from their family”. In my family (two working married adults, no one else), money for household expenses is pooled in one account, and remaining money from each individual’s paycheck goes into their individual savings. And that’s OKAY and I refuse to let you make me feel guilty about it. The choices I make with my own savings are in no way “taking money from my family” and I actually kind of resent the idea of trying to make people feel guilty about something they aren’t even doing.

  11. Walmart provides not only those 2mil+ jobs but all of the support companies Walmart uses employ people. Walmart provides affordable food clothing and resources to people in areas who might not otherwise be able to boost their standard of living. I get that applying the evil giant spin to Walmart is easy and humorous because of its size but in my opinion it is clearly an unfair comparison.

  12. Walmart is awesome. I always knew they were awesome, but didn’t realize the vastness of their awesomeness until you posted these facts. Thank you.

  13. The GDP comparison is misleading since GDP only counts value-added.

    As for the discussion about Walmart and the poor, I recommend Jason Furman’s article (pdf).

  14. I live in a very small city and unfortunately or fortunately depending on how views it there is a Walmart. We have very few businesses and some products are simply not available anywhere else. If I am willing I can drive over 100 miles roundtrip to shop at a different store.

    Most of the time I am able to beat the prices that Walmart offers by shopping at small, local stores. When I am not able to locate what I need at a price I can afford I do shop Walmart.

  15. My husband and I have shopped at Walmart about twice in the 20+ years we’ve been together. The reason? The negative effect the store had on down towns and local businesses as they first hit the deck with the big box concept — which is now so commonplace no one notices.Luckily I live in a community that loudly, proudly supports local businesses, and they are, for the most part, thriving even in the midst of the increasing number of big box chains that are being built on the main strip. For the first time ever, I considered a membership at Sam’s Club. The reason? One of my dogs needs a home-cooked diet due to health concerns. She’s a large dog, and I may be able to save more buying her large amounts of chicken there. I’ve got such a long track record of not supporting the Waltons, however, that I bet if I watch out for specials at other grocery stores and continue purchasing intentionally, I can keep up my streak of abstinence. Times are hard, and I think folks need to save wherever they can. As for me and many in my community, we will continue to pay a little bit more in an effort to support our neighbors, to eat the healthiest food we can afford, and to protect our natural resources. Thanks for the provocative graphic, and to those who have posted thoughtful responses.

  16. I’m with one of the first comments — what’s the point of this? Why feature it on a blog about frugality? I’m no lover of Walmart (I do most of my grocery shopping at natural foods stores), but I just found this kind of off-putting. I’m not trying to be snarky or negative or anything, I’m just sincerely wondering why it’s on here.

    The parts I found sort of petulant were about the slaries of the CEO and the workers and the percentage of the owners’ fortune going to charity.

    In regard to the CEO, if that’s how much he earns, that’s how much he earns. If Walmart is as huge as you illustrate it to be (I have no doubt that it is), then I would imagine running such a huge company would be a pretty big job and would merit a high salary. Not saying that sales associates don’t work hard, but when they clock out from work, chances are they don’t have to take much of the stress of their jobs home. (That’s one thing I loved about working in the food service and retail industries while in high school and college — when I clocked out, I didn’t have to take work home with me.)

    Also, if the Waltons don’t want to donate as high of a percentage of their fortune, that’s their perogative. I’m not saying that I would do the same, but that’s their choice (I plan on being financially secure enough someday so I can give like crazy– hence, my reason to live frugally. Thank you, Dave Ramsey).

    These parts just sort of smacked of the whiny, anti-capitalist stuff coming out of the Occupy movement. And if that’s the direction you’re taking this site, I don’t know how often I’ll want to visit or if I’ll still refer readers from my blog (also about frugality) to yours. If I’ve misunderstood, then I hope you’ll clarify your intentions.

  17. Everyone needs to be educated on the difference between revenue and profit. Walmart’s profit is less than 3% of revenue so the family may be ‘worth’ billions, their actual take home from the profits is MUCH lower than Warren or Bill. So, when you put 2% in terms like this, it is already a flawed number due to the mistake in using revenue versus profit. You should post the profits of the top 50 companies and you’ll find most make more profit than Walmart. Especially companies like Microsoft where more than 60% of their revenue is profit. Revenue is how much money passes through the registers BEFORE bills are paid, cost of merchandise is subtracted, people are paid, etc… IN FACT, if all 2.1 million people were given a $1 per hour raise, it would ERASE the profit of the company and make it collapse…

  18. I’m really enjoying these infographic features lately — breaks up the monotony of reading numerous financial blogs every day.

    I really liked this one in particular… something about the little Costco “blob” that reminded me of Calvin and Hobbes for some reason. Made me lol!

  19. “Income inequality” under “Welfare”???

    How the hell has a country gone from “you are free, go pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” to “he makes more money than I do and that’s not fair”? I’m not even going go into why a man responsible for all the _accomplishments_ represented in your “infographic” should make more than an 8 to 5 shelf stocker… I shouldn’t have to.

    And your points about the “paltry” 2% and snide comment about “yes, the blue dot” is SOoooooooo slanted. Warren Buffet gave his 81% to HIS OWN charity (primarily). That “foundation” pays for his and his family’s entire lifestyle. The Gates did the same thing. I’ll grant you that Buffet and Gates really are doing good things with their foundations but please… just because the Waltons haven’t yet jumped on the foundation bandwagon and are instead donating 2% of what is an astronomically large number AND employing 2.1 million people… you want to make them look like Scrooge.

    It used to be that America was where you could accomplish whatever you dreamed and we respected and admired success. Now we castigate it. Somehow you no longer deserve what you work for, you work for what others “deserve”.

    It might be cute and hip to attack those among us that _produce_ but cute and hip don’t put food on the table and it doesn’t employ people either. Now more than ever we need to be praising those among us that provide the jobs and we should be lobbying for government to get out of their way. Unfortunately, I fear, we are headed in the other direction.

    You could have presented the facts as an “INFO” graphic but instead you had to be cute and hip and encourage the same “class envy” type sentiment that is misleading so many into thinking that bitching about what others have will somehow get them somewhere in life.

    Makes me sick.

  20. Sometimes there’s value in starting a conversation. There are obviously strong feelings for and against Walmart and the Walton family, judging by the comments.

    At the end of the day, I agree with some and disagree with other information in the graphic. For example, comparing the “fuel” burned by Walmart’s delivery drivers to oil spills is interesting, but not apples to apples. The oil spills are simply that – oil pouring into the waters. Walmart’s fuel consumption is in connection with its commerce. I wonder what other companies use more oil than some of these spills…. What about FedEx, UPS or the US Postal Service, for example?

    Great post on provoking strong thought though!

  21. Politics aside… please, for the LOVE OF GOD, be more diligent about the proper use of apostrophes in possessives and plurals!

    It’s not: “Kroger’s” (the brand is neither possessive nor plural);
    … it’s not “Safeway’s” (again, the brand is neither possessive nor plural); and…
    …it certainly isn’t “Whole Food’s” (plural, but not possessive).

    The feral apostrophe is literally killing me. And before the chorus pipes up to say that this post is merely the ranting of a crazed Internet grammar pedant, let me say that a) you’re correct, but that b) this particular mistake is the result profound intellectual laziness.

    (Okay, maybe it isn’t profound, but it is lazy).

  22. OK I have read some of the comments. So thought it was time to add mine since i worked for them for 17yrs. what the article did not tell u is how great of an impact that they had on manufacturing in America. hum lets see when i started with the company Sam Walton was still alive and running the company. He had all the buildings painted red white and blue for a reason see how many u can find that are red white and blue now, also he believed in buying from american manufacturing. Just another fact that should have been told was that Hilary Clinton once had a seat on the board of directors for Walmart before and just before Bill Clinton became president and that is when they started importing more and more form overseas. next fact that should have been put on this was how many of those employees are full time and get benefits cause most that worked in the stores when I was there and I worked in allot of different Walmart,s in 17yrs. was part time and was on welfare and food stamps. let me say this i am not against capitalism but i am against unethical global capitalism which one do you think Walmart fits into hum. make no mistake about it mike dukes job is not to protect american manufacturing or the employees of Walmart but return on investment for the share holders of the company. On a positive note Helen Walton who is not still alive was a leading force behind children s miracle network. I do not blame the company’s for the large amount of unethical global capitalism we have today I blame the American people for buying into to it and allowing it.
    greed is what happened and this shows it on a massive level is all.

  23. I’ve never been a fan of Walmart or any big corporate store – they are killing the global economy by indulging the lazy, greedy ignorant population with cheap unnecessary crap. We need to get back to basics, live in balance with nature, support our local independent retailers, grow our own food, trade goods and services within our community, reduce our ecological footprint by limiting consumption and being conscious of where we spend our $.

  24. I have shopped at Walmart several times and their chinese products are not all that good, but where else can you shop? Food is good and cheap, products are mostly crap and fall apart after a year, but where else do you get products that are made in the US.

    I will say Walmart has destroyed a lot of small businesses selling this junk and I have stopped shopping there because they treat their employees so poorly!

  25. Wow, really sobering stats!!!! Mind boggling that the Waltons’ give back so little but perhaps plowing it back in is how they have built such a behemoth of a company. What about the CEO @ $55 mil a year? Hats off to Warren Buffet!

    I tell you though, I do not know how I would survive this recession without Walmart….

  26. This is a really amazing infographic.

    Too bad things are so crappy with this recession that so many folks have to shop at Walmart to afford food.

    I avoid shopping at Walmart unless I’m literally stranded or dying or something. After I watched a documentary about how they treat both their Chinese employees (that make their stuff) and their retail employees in the United States. It made me sick. And the Waltons are a disgrace.

  27. This is very misleading. No chance the CEO of Walmart works only 2100 hours/year.

    The hourly rate for the CEO is incorrect

  28. Is it walmart or american style wayward capitalism that sucks.
    While japan and germany emphasized on the quality of product, american companies went with “win at any cost” attittude, not thinking about the future generations.

    In the name of freedom, cruel men and women in dark blue suits were allowed to create any “product” or “service” that titillated their fantasies. Look at “derivatives” of Banks. Look at the fatty semi-poisonous food that is legally sold.

    Walmart, KFC etc are mere symptoms. The disease is unplanned resource utilisation which is indeed capitalism. Frankly, communism never really got a chance in Russia. It got in China and it won. Reasonable freedom to do anything , people are happier and china is the real economic super power.

  29. Interesting information graphic and data. I would like to see what the impact is on the economy and how this stimulates growth across the country. Your slant on the behemoth of the company does not take into account that capitalism works. This is a great study, however, companies like Walmart employee and stimulate the economy that reaches far beyond your design date.

  30. Where I live in MT Walmart tried to open a store here about 3-4 years ago, they had the land and everything, the people in our community and County fought it, sure it would have brought more jobs and such, but, we also knew that should we allow Walmart to move in, our small business owners would suffer greatly. Which Small business is the heartbeat of our communities, they give more and they care more about their communities then Walmart Giants ever would. People here knew that, hence why Walmart fought like crazy to open a store here, but, lost in Hamilton MT.

    I will also say that in order to change our economy around, consumers need to buy more Made in the USA products. Its not a political issue but rather an American issue. It doesn’t matter what your political beliefs are at all.

    When people decide that investing in American Jobs, Investing in the future of our Country, Investing in our communities and protecting the few remaining American manufacturers left in this country before they too become victims of outsourcing is more important to them, I think Walmarts’ status would change entirely, just my opinion, beings they do all their purchasing and price negotiating from China not American Manufacturers.

    I know, through my research alot of people are taking notice and paying attention because you never know when its going to be you and your family loosing your jobs and being directly affected.

    In my opinion, you shouldn’t “whine” about the economy or lost American jobs and so fourth, if you did nothing on your part to create or keep Americans working and try to do your part as a consumer to help the economy.

    So be part of the solution not the problem for our Countries future, Creation of Jobs and a Better Economy. We want our Children to have a better America Dont we? That can only happen by every Americans choices. If everyone keeps buying Made In China well what do you think that is going to leave for our children? Just a thought

    Peace out and Happy Holidays to everyone.

    I am sure I will get some nasty replies to this but thats quite alright because we are all entitled to our opinions and we are Blessed to live in this Country that allows us to voice our opinions whether right or wrong.

    I am a proud American and YES I am doing my part because I know doing something small is better then doing nothing at all 🙂

    Be Safe & Always Be Kind To Yourself

  31. Aside from your slant and bias issues, which I really don’t care about, I’m never posting that as a JPEG. If you’d made it a PNG (the obvious choice for cartoonish graphics) it wouldn’t have any of those compression artifacts or blurry bits.

  32. Ireland €206 billion? ……a…..we’re broke mate. try -€43 billion. was this from 2007? love to know. interesting. Walmart isn’t here Ireland yet (i think)

  33. There is something that is not mentioned here. How do the manufacturing companies and agricultural companies treat their employees that provide these inexpensive items?

    As Americans, we perpetuate the desire for cheaper and cheaper products. However, do we ever really stop and think about how these products are making their way to our store shelves? If we were privy to the research regarding how these companies treat their employees, it might make some of us think twice before going in to a “Wal-Mart” type establishment. On the flip side, this information might not ever effect some people’s spending habits, but at least they would know before they spent $4 on a T-shirt. Would it matter to any of us if we knew that the T-shirt company located in China, or Central America, paid less than a livable wage and required 16-18 hour work days of their employees with little or no breaks? That would make for an article as well. Let’s trace a clothing company’s products all the way back to the cotton farm in which that cotton is raised and see what we find.

    • I am from Bangladesh, where I live. I have worked in the Ready Made Garments industry here for many years. Let me assure you in just about every factory where US companies such as Walmart & Gap Inc place orders, despite all their big talk & assurances, the workers are made to work up to 19 hours daily, without days off & paid the bare minimum.
      Of course, I admit the factory owners & management are as much to blame for the situation as the ‘buyers’ ie Walmart, etc. But as consumers of these goods & products, those of you living in the ‘developed world’ need to be far more aware & make better choices.

  34. Stupid, lazy, and apathetic Americans will reap what they sow. Go watch some more of the Kardashians as you kill off what is left of this once great nation. If you can’t see what is wrong with this business model in regards to the working man, I just don’t get how you think. Buy American!

  35. Defending Walmart? Really!? What’s the weather like in Stockholm this time of year?

    “In regard to the CEO, if that’s how much he earns, that’s how much he earns. ”

    Please be a little more skeptical and a little less accepting. Ask yourself what one person could possibly do that is so profitable that one hour of his/her labor is worth 800 times more than what the average employee makes. Does he sh*t gold bricks? Ask yourself how much more of the $20 million Walmart pays one person in a year would get into our struggling economy if it were spread among a much larger pool of recipients. More money in the hands of more people equals more growth. Great wealth concentrated in the hands of the few may not be morally bad, but it’s bad for the economy.

    “…capitalism works”

    It works at redistributing wealth from the have nots to the haves. Unfettered capitalism transfers wealth from the people who must buy things to the people who own things, which leads to great concentrations of wealth and capital in the hands of relatively few people. This leads to the vast gulf between the haves and the have nots that we see today in this country, which is bad for a number of reasons, not least because it destroys the incentive for regular people to work hard, since most of the benefits of their labor accrues to the haves. I wouldn’t work for $12/hour to pay the salary of a guy who makes $5000/hour, and I can’t understand why anyone would.

    Further, wealth and capital being transferred by inheritance to people who produce nothing with it is inefficient, and destroys the equality of opportunity “to accomplish what they dream” that people claim exists, or used to exist in this country. Christy Walton is the richest woman on the planet because she married the wealthy son of a successful businessman, not because she did anything to earn the money herself.

    Raw capitalism rewards greed at the expense of thrift; it rewards what is popular but useless at the expense of what is necessary; it caters to selfish, short-sighted and immature… just look at the people willing to fall on their swords to protect Michael Duke’s huge payday in the deluded hope that one day they can earn that much.

    Two words: as if.

  36. i worked at walmart for nearly 10-years. i always got excellent reviews and notices for great customer service. then we got a new manager who was extremely severely verbally abusive. i even saw him bash a mentally handicapped female employee so badly she could not continue working and was sent hysterically crying to the break room to recover. the manager heard i was reporting this and fired me. then the NLRB filed charges on walmart. i had to drop the charges in exchange for getting my job back, but when i went back i was consistently retaliated on and fired again. this time the NLRB told me walmart got there lawyers in it and the dissmiissed it. i have a document from Wash. D.C. NLRB Inspector general Lafe Solomon, who was hand appointed by the Pres. himself, which is full of slanderous lies about me told to them by walmart. i am so disgusted. i was told by people before i began reporting the manager that i would be fired and i was naive if i thought the government would protect me, but i thought those beliefs shameful and i went ahead and did the right thing to attempt to secure a reasonable workplace for me and my colleagues and trusted my government. in case you don’t know, this is illegal company retaliation, a very unethical and highly illegal work practice,but even the government offices paid by our taxes to protect us would not even attempt to stand up to walmart lawyers

    • So you can imagine the clout they have around the globe. Nothing this big can ever be any good for anyone but the 1% at the top.

  37. Sam Walton always advocated a “made in America” policy . . . American flags displayed throught the stores, a focus on treating their employees with respect & decency.
    As soon as he died his kids decided being multi-billionaires wasn’t enough, the American flags came down, & within just a few years WalMart became the biggest customer of “China Inc”.
    Like it or not, I think companies have a social obligation to do as sam did — that is treat your employees with respect & decency. That’s what WalMart has lost as greed of the few has replaced the need to treat their own employees decently.