Sometimes, when you are lost in the wilds of Wal-Mart, seeking that one elusive item that brought you in, it can feel like you are lost in the midst of an entire country. So let's play pretend and see – what would it be like if Wal-Mart really were its own country?
The capital city would definitely be Bentonville, Arkansas. Its first president was Sam Walton, and the current president is Mike Duke. Wal-Mart first declared independence in 1962.
The Demographics of Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart employs about 1.4 million people in the USA, which is roughly the population of Houston, Texas. It employs an additional 0.7 million people across the rest of the world. 59% are male, 41% are female. The majority of Wal-Mart employees are white, at 65%. The racial breakdown continues with 18% African-American, 12% Hispanic, 3% Asian-American, and 1% Native American. 19% of the total population is over the age of 50.
The Land Area of Wal-Mart
Put all the Wal-Marts together and you have a land area of 108 square miles of parking lot, and 22 square miles of indoor store space. That's the total area of 1,000 discount stores, 2,300 supercenters, 120 neighborhood markets, and 584 Sam's Clubs. If you're wondering what exactly that means in terms of comparison, it's roughly the size of the city of Philadelphia.
The Economics of Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart employees average $17,600 per year, which is approximately the per capita GDP of Croatia. That's based on an average 35 hour work week, comprised of all the production and nonsupervisory employees. The salary breakdown is as follows:
Wal-Mart, averaging $9.68 per hour, or $17,600 per year Sam's Club, averaging $12.00 per hour, or $21,800 per year Costco, averaging $16.00 per hour, or $29,000 per year All retail, averaging $12.28 per hour, or $11,600 per year All workers, averaging $15.90 per hour, or $28,900 per year
The exports of Wal-Mart are diverse, ranging from shoes and clothing to toys and hardware. Practically anything money can buy can be found at one of its stores, including furniture, tires, and electronics, netting approximately $406 billion annually. But surprisingly, Wal-Mart's biggest export is bananas—more bananas are sold at Wal-Mart than any other item.
In terms of tourism, 138 million people shop at Wal-Mart every week. If Wal-Mart were a country, this would be like every human being on Earth visiting Wal-Mart once a year.
So the next time you find yourself lost in the wilds of the Wal-Mart jungle, keep these statistics in mind. Those discount stores really are just like a small nation!