Back to top Jump to featured resources
Featured Article filed under Independent Business

Walmart by the Numbers

| Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Nov 8, 2011 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/walmart-by-the-numbers/
mixed-colored-numbers

This is the second article in a special 9-part series written by ILSR’s Stacy Mitchell and published by Grist.  You can read the whole series here.

Walmart’s six-year-old sustainability campaign has helped improve its public image, enabling the company to grow bigger and faster. That growth, ironically, has dramatically increased the retailer’s environmental footprint, and hurt local economies and the U.S. job market along the way.

2005 — year Walmart launched its sustainability campaign

38 — percentage of Americans who had an unfavorable view of Walmart in 20051

20 — percentage of Americans who had an unfavorable view of Walmart in 20102

530 million — total square footage of Walmart’s U.S. stores in 20053

698 million — total square footage of Walmart’s U.S. stores in 20114

641 million — approximate area of the island of Manhattan in square feet

1,587 — number of Walmart stores outside of the U.S. in 20055

4,557 — number of Walmart stores outside of the U.S. in 20116

60,000 — approximate number of acres covered by Walmart’s U.S. stores and parking lots7

0 — number of times since 2007 that Walmart’s annual sustainability reports have referenced the company’s impact on land-use patterns and household driving

152 — number of abandoned Walmart stores in the U.S. listed as available for lease or sale on the company’s realty website8

210 — minimum number of new stores Walmart plans to open in the U.S. in 20129

1.5 million — approximate metric tons of CO2 saved each year by energy-efficiency improvements Walmart has made to U.S. stores built before 200610

3.5-3.9 million — approximate metric tons of CO2 emitted each year by Walmart stores built in the U.S. since 200611

<2 — percentage of Walmart’s U.S. electricity consumption that currently comes from its solar projects and specially purchased wind energy12

300 — approximate number of years it would take for Walmart to reach 100 percent renewable energy at its current pace

1988 — year Walmart opened its first supercenter selling a full line of groceries

25 — percentage of U.S. grocery sales now captured by Walmart13

29 — number of U.S. metro areas where Walmart captures more than half of all grocery spending14

196,000 — number of U.S. jobs lost from 2001 to 2006 as a result of Walmart’s imports from China15

1,940 — number of small retail firms (fewer than 20 employees) per 1 million population in the U.S. in 199216

1,455 — number of small retail firms per 1 million population in the U.S. in 200717

$312 billion — Walmart’s revenue in 200518

$419 billion — Walmart’s revenue in 201019

$8.81 — average hourly wage at Walmart’s U.S. stores20

$943 — average annual cost to taxpayers of providing Medicaid, food stamps, and cash assistance for each Walmart employee, based on data from Ohio21

 

Sources and footnotes:

1. Zogby International poll conducted in November 2005.

2. Walmart data as reported by the American Prospect in May 2011.

3. Walmart 2005 Annual Report [PDF] (figure includes Sam’s Club).

4. Walmart 2011 Annual Report (figure includes Sam’s Club).

5. Walmart 2005 Annual Report [PDF].

6. Walmart 2011 Annual Report.

7. Author’s calculation based on store data in Walmart’s annual reports and the typical number of parking spaces provided per 1,000 square feet of retail store space.

8. Site searched on Oct. 28, 2011.

9. Walmart press release, Oct. 12, 2011.

10. Author’s calculation based on data in Walmart’s annual sustainability reports.

11. Author’s calculation based on data in Walmart’s annual sustainability reports.

12. Author’s calculation based on data reported in Walmart’s annual sustainability reports. A small percentage of the electricity delivered by utilities around the country is also from wind and solar, so Walmart does get some additional renewable power that way, as we all do.

13. Estimates range from 22 to 28 percent.

14. Data reported for the year 2009 by Metro Market Studies, a commercial market share data provider.

15. Robert E. Scott, “The Wal-Mart effect: Its Chinese imports have displaced nearly 200,000 U. S. jobs,” Economic Policy Institute, June 2007.

16. U.S. Census Bureau, Economic Census.

17. U.S. Census Bureau, Economic Census.

18. Walmart 2006 Annual Report [PDF].

19. Walmart 2011 Annual Report.

20. “Is Wal-Mart Worse?Gotham Gazette, Feb 14, 2011, citing wage data supplied by the independent market research firm IBISWorld.

21. Data provided by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and published in a report by Policy Matters Ohio, “Public Benefits Subsidize Major Ohio Employers: A 2008 Update,” July 31, 2008.

Tags: / / /

About Stacy Mitchell

Stacy Mitchell is a senior researcher with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, where she directs initiatives on independent business and community banking. She is the author of Big-Box Swindle and also produces a popular monthly newsletter, the Hometown Advantage Bulletin.  Connect with her on twitter and catch her recent TEDx Talk: Why We Can’t Shop Our Way to a Better Economy. More

Contact Stacy   |   View all articles by Stacy Mitchell