×

Wal-Mart Stores to change name to Walmart, as it shifts its focus to e-commerce

  • Wal-Mart Stores is dropping the hyphen and the word "stores" in its corporate name.
  • The name comes as Walmart is increasingly focusing on digital.
  • The name change will be effective Feb. 1.

Wal-Mart Stores is dropping a 48-year-old habit, the hyphen in its name. It's also ditching the word "stores."

Wal-Mart said Wednesday it is changing its legal name to Walmart, as the company looks to emphasize its shift from a company that sells in stores to one that sells online and off.

"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," said President and CEO Doug McMillon in a statement.

The name change comes as Walmart been investing in its digital initiatives, propelled by its acquisition of Amazon competitor Jet.com last year. Through Jet, Walmart has been building a coterie of online brands, which now includes Modcloth and Bonobos.

The retailer also recently struck a deal with Lord & Taylor, giving the department store dedicated space on Walmart.com.

Hyphen aside, the retailer expects to maintain its famous cheer. McMillon said in a company blog post on Wednesday that employees who incorporate the Walmart "squiggly" into their cheers, may continue to do so. "It's important to have some fun at work, so for our associates in countries where your cheer calls for the squiggly, keep doing it!"

Walmart's formal legal name when it incorporated in 1969 was Wal-Mart, Inc. It changed its name to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in 1970 and kept that name in place until now. The legal change to Walmart Inc. will be effective in February.

WATCH: Cramer Remix: Wal-Mart is Amazon's only long-term challenger in retail