Did you know that Walmart isn’t known as Walmart in all parts of the world?
For example, in the UK, Walmart owns a chain of stores called Asda. 81% of stores are based in England, and with over 600 stores in the UK, it is the second biggest supermarket in Great Britain. Like Walmart, it is famous for its bargains and competitive prices.
In Japan, Walmart owns a grocery store chain called Seiyu, which operates over 300 stores throughout the country.
But why do people call Walmart “Wally World”? Let’s find out…
Where Did The Name Wally World Originate?
Believe it or not, it comes from a well-known fictional family, The Griswalds. The 1983 comedy movie National Lampoon’s Vacation featured a visit to a made-up amusement park called “Walley World,” which inspired people to begin calling Walmart “Wally World” and dropping the ‘e.’
It’s a nickname that’s still popular today, perhaps more so with the older generation.
What Other Nicknames Does Walmart Have?
Depending on where you live, you’ve probably heard several different quirky names for Walmart, and not all are very flattering. Walmart has stores across all 50 States, which means there are probably many names you won’t have heard before either.
Let’s take a look at some of the popular nicknames:
- Wally World
As you can see, some of these may come over as a little offensive. There are multiple social media pages dedicated to the people of Walmart and the customers in-store. This is a page that mimics the behaviors and appearance of people doing their daily shopping. Some may find this funny. Others may find it mean.
There is even an official website, People of Walmart, which posts daily pictures of things customers have witnessed that they may find strange in store. The hashtag #peopleofWalmart has over 10,000 posts on Facebook.
Does Wally World Exist?
Unfortunately not. You may think you are in luck if you have conducted a Google Search and Wally World appeared; it’s just other businesses running with the same name. The theme park was a fictional park made for the 80s comedy.
However, don’t be too disheartened; you can find some of the best theme parks situated throughout the states that probably beat Walley World. The movie focuses on a disastrous road trip from Chicago to California. If you haven’t seen National Lampoon’s Vacation, it’s one to watch. Gaining 7.3 out of 10 on IMDB and 93% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Why do People Call Walmart “Wally World”? – What Does Walmart Stand For?
The name Walmart is a play on the founder of Walmart, Sam Walton. His assistant came up with the name Wal-Mart, and that’s how the stores have been known ever since.
What Was Walmart Called Before?
Believe it or not, Walmart wasn’t the original name. However, it wasn’t far off. When the store first opened was called Wal-Mart Discount City. In 1962 that may have been okay.
However, some may think a little long for a store name, especially in 2023, when most stores are short and snappy. Amazon, Walmart, Target, Publix, Walgreens, you get the gist. By 1969 the company was incorporated. They rebranded their name to Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
Dropping the hyphen…
Before even changing its name officially, Walmart began dropping the hyphen in its name and logo on business items such as storefronts, grocery bags, and on their own products. They replaced the hyphen with a star.
By 2008, there was no stars or hyphens insight. Walmart had a logo rebranding, and the store officially became Walmart. The name changed formally from Wal-Mart Stores Inc to Walmart Inc in 2008.
Why Did Walmart Change Its Name?
It is important to stand out in a highly-populated market with so much competition. Therefore, having a short name that’s easy and uncomplicated is an excellent option for a business. The late 2000s began the online shopping saga where companies put their businesses online and watched their profits grow.
Walmart wanted to prove that they were a key player in online shopping, mobile sales, and introducing pickup and delivery options. This kept them current. Also, changing their store name reflected their growing status. Walmart has a history timeline on its website, highlighting all its accomplishments and changes over the years.
What Does Walmart’s New Logo Mean?
Looking at the logo at first glance, people may assume it’s a flower or perhaps a sun? However, they are mistaken!
The logo is, in fact, sparks. Apparently, the idea of Walmart came to Walton as a spark of inspiration. The half spark or six yellow sparks in the form of asterisks symbolize the founder Sam Walton’s original spark of innovation and inspiration.
Each spark represents a word. The sparks, or ‘sparklets,’ represent Walmarts values and principles.
Walmart’s new logo is fresh and aims to give a friendly look. The CEO explained that the new logo wanted to inspire a sense of helping people save money so they can live better.
Additional Information On Walmart
If you’re thinking of working in retail, then check out my Walmart Vision And Mission Statement Analysis, along with my Walmart Application as well as my Walmart Stocker Job Description, to see if the position would suit you, and my Walmart Interview Questions and my Walmart Cashier Interview Questions to help you fully prepare.
If you have a criminal record, then please check out our How Does Walmart Track Shoplifting and Does Walmart Hire Felons.
Lastly, for some interesting reads, take a look at The Walmart Book of the Dead, and How to Not Have Your Car Explode in a Walmart Parking Lot: A Car Care Pocket-Guide, along with Hola Papi: How to Come Out in a Walmart Parking Lot and Other Life Lessons, the all available online in 2023.
Why Do People Call Walmart “Wally World”? – Final Thoughts
Walmart is known by various names, some not so nice but others a play on the name itself. But people call Walmart Wally World due to the very popular 80s movie National Lampoon’s Vacation. Perhaps those who haven’t even seen the movie have picked up the slang from their parents or grandparents.
Slang words for stores aren’t uncommon, and the origin isn’t always known. The area you live and socialize in can also determine the nickname of your favorite stores. Wally World is a widely accepted name for Walmart, and it just shows that popular culture can impact the things we say and what sticks, even more than 40 years later!
Good luck, and enjoy shopping at Wally World!