Infographic Of The Day: Walmart Dwarfs Entire Industries And Nations

Where all that Black Friday money went...

Walmart is always good for destroying your faith in humanity on Black Friday, and this year was no exception: By day’s end, reports emerged from stores across the country of biblical struggles over waffle makers, pepper-spraying, and even at least one shooting. Maybe if shoppers took a closer look at Walmart’s business doings they wouldn’t be so willing to whip out legal airborne torture for a bargain Xbox.

Or maybe they would, I don’t know. Still, what Frugal Dad has strung together in Weight of Walmart above, has to give even the most hardened Black Friday criminals pause. It takes what are by now well-worn statistics about Walmart--it’s America’s largest grocery store, and the world’s largest retailer, employer, and earner of corporate revenue--and puts them into context, comparing the company to other businesses, industries, and even countries, to demonstrate the astounding reach of a corporation that looks more like a superpower every day.

The superpower analogy might sound like a rhetorical device, but Walmart really does resemble a nation (albeit a miserly dictatorship where no one would ever want to live). Consider the evidence: If revenue passed for GDP, Walmart would have the 25th largest economy in the world. It imports as many Chinese goods as the entire nation of Germany and more than Russia and Taiwan combined. And its more than 2 million employees could form the second largest military on the planet--bigger even than that of the United States (but without the top-notch benefits).

Walmart has something else in common with certain nations: astronomical income inequality. In fact, if Walmart were a country, it’d exhibit the largest gap between rich and poor, with CEO Michael Duke earning more in an hour than a sales rep earns in a year. Forget pepper spray. Shoppers should fight with their money--by taking it elsewhere.

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73 Comments

  • zetaacosta

     How often does it need to be said: Revenue is NOT net profit. To design
    an entire article around the question what it would be like if that were
    the case is simply idiotic and VERY misleading.

  • Tereza Martins

    The  Waltons are a gang of nasty scumbags, hit them in the pocket America!

  • Miss Catherine

    At the end of the day, people will go to Walmart because it's inexpensive and convenient (Everything's there). Haters gonna hate.

  • vesey

    I'm just wondering how much money the arms manufacturers that sell the military equipment to Walmart are making. Does that figure include their navy and air force or just their army ?????

  • Pearman57

    Glenda, you and I are total agreement when it comes to Walmart.
    I too shop at as many locally owned businesses as I can.  Local Hardware, local shops on our city market and restaurants. I just wish taht Walmart wouldn't try to takeover every category of the market!....I refuse to shop there and hope I live long enough to see the prices go up once they monopolize every category and to see their stores start to crumble!

  • Glenda Ainsworth

    I agree with Shogun. Walmart employees are not a true army, they are just as vulnerable as the rest of us. I despise Walmart, not because they make a bunch of money, but because they have unfairly driven away competition. I continue to patronize the "small" guy because of the monopoly slowly being created by Walmart. The biggest problem I see is that when Walmart does become the only place to shop they will no longer have the lowest prices. They will raise their prices because they are the only shop in town. And since they have already driven away all the competitors the consumer will have no choice but to pay the higher price. I say the best thing to do is to shop less, save your money and buy American as much as possible. It might not save you money in the long run, but it will keep American businesses in business. Boycott cheap garbage that doesn't last and in the long run costs you more.

  • NC_Progressive

    I have always avoided Walmart--hated how their policies were not women-friendly or little-guy friendly.  I am a major stockholder in a small business that is on the verge of failing in this economy.  I well remember its meeting with Walmart, where they basically wanted us to give the product away to them, simply for the "privilege" of having exposure in their store.  So glad we did not, even though it might have resulted in greater exposure.

    I refuse to shop there--ever.

  • jmco

    Sickening that the Waltons do not donate more to charitable causes to help human kind like Gates, Buffet, and other fortunate souls have done. 
    All those poor people are FUTURE Walmart customers; if only they did not die in childbirth, from disease, poverty, drought, malnutrition, dictatorial governments, neglect, and lack of even basic education. A billion dollars goes a long way in Africa, for medical research to fight disease, and education for the poor. But forget about overseas. The Waltons could do so much to help provide education to the poor in this country. Raising incomes and again, adding to what is now a fast eroding middle class customer base.

  • Concerned

    in reply to Alexdom22. The reason we buy abroad is because the people who make it are willing to work way cheaper then 7.25 and hour which currently is the legal minimum wage. EVERYTHING is sooo over priced right now that you cant afford to work cheaply in America. Currently people making less then 10 and 11 bucks an hour are struggling hard to stay afloat in this economy. If you live alone 10 bucks an hour isnt to bad but you have to work your ass off for everything you have. especially if you want to drive your self to work. so understandably we want to buy cheap things and save what little money we have. So walmart in turn is good to buy from. If wal mart DID in fact buy what WE do MAKE HERE they wouldnt be able to pay rock bottem prices for it because the company selling needs to make enough money to pay its employees at the minimum wage.NOT to mention management and bosses and higher ups etc. There for walmart wouldnt be able to sell what they get for low prices because the price would need to be jacked up to make wal mart profits.NOw if they bought better products and treated their employees better and paid them a little more it wouldnt be as successful as it is and you see how they would feel about that. who wants to loose money? no one. but sadly if people that have money werent selfish and cared more for there employees/or whatever they are obviously in charge of seeing as how they make a ton of cash. money would be a little more evenly distributed and people wouldnt freak out as much as they do over not having enough. but due to inflation and buying and selling and producers and all the people we buy and sell goods with we dont have any money...and OUR COUNTRY is in debt to so many other countries that they could buy us out. never know we may become the 2nd peoples republic of China. we definitely owe them over half the stuff we have and use. BUT Wal Mart being the controlling MONOPOLY that it has indeed become, destroys more then it gives.

  • Jazziebart

    I think the post from Izz is a brilliant idea!  In fact, I too have written letters to newspapers urging the Occupy Wall Street organizers to go after an imminently bigger fish and go Occupy Wall Mart!  I appreciate that I'm not the only one that thinks someone has to do something about the growth of this huge fungus known as Walmart!   And this would be the absolute BEST time of the year to get this movement started.   GO, IZZ!!  Let's help save the "Little Man" in the 99%...

  • Izz

    this is a really good intro to the inner workings of walmart. this corp. is evil in more ways than one. after reading this you should go look up their associate benefits and how some stores are encouraging employees to go on gov. assistance  programs. more people should know how truly devious this company is. it almost makes me want to start my own movement: OWM (Occupy WalMart)

  • Fadi El-Eter

    Exxon by the way is the #1 US company when it comes to market capitalization (Walmart is #15, see here).

    Walmart's stock is probably on the most stable in the stock market these days, and it's always a buy, just like MCD (McDonald's).

    By the way, I think the #1 of WalMart employees is a bit exaggerated.

  • Shogun

    This is an excelent info graphic but one thing about it is bugging me. Comparing Wal-Mart's employees to an army seems a bit too  sensationalistic and an inaccurate  analogy to boot. If we are comparing Wal-Mart to a country than it's employees would be it's population. I mean realistically what percentage of Wal-Mart employees do you really think are willing to fight for their bosses either litterally or figuratively. Middle management would probably be the army.

  • Renate123

    The one thing that really upsets me , is: WHYDO THE GREETERS WHO ARE USSUALY OLDER PEOPLE STAND UP. what is the purpose of this, I have written to Walmart several times to complain about this , one lonely woman called me back from the store , but nothing from corporate, so sad to see an old Lady first of all still have to work, but leaning on a Cart to stand up as greeter, come on Walmart give the greeters a Chair so sit down.

  • Lrmillsaps

    Totally agree that shoppers should take their money elsewhere.  Terrible employment policies, Chinese merchandise - Walmart has just about single-handedly lowered quality of goods across the board in our country.  Other companies / manufacturers have cut and cut and cut to try to keep up - and all of us pay the price for the throw-away $6 toaster - which you can buy at Walmart.

    Heaven help us.

  • Alexdom22

    Man, I cannot believe what I am reading, is this still the USA? The land of the Free? I love Walmart, and I am not poor. Walmart just offers what we are looking for, great prices, convenient locations and hours of operation. Now, a lot of the products offered may come from abroad, but this is capitalism. Walmart as a duty to create wealth for its shareholders and then to take care of its customers. Well i think it's succeeding on both fronts. Now, if we want Walmart to buy more made in the USA products, then we need to roll our sleeves and get cranking, we cannot blame them if the US supply cannot compete with the cheaper imports. We cant have everything!!!
    And with the state of globalisation of the manufacturing industry, can you tell with a high level of certainty what US brand product is truly made in the US??