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Wal-Mart really is that huge

Company's size is mind-boggling.

By Karen Datko Oct 7, 2009 3:27AM

Have you seen the e-mail making the rounds that says Wal-Mart's size is so immense that it's mind-boggling and scary? (The e-mail concludes with the statement, "Let Wal-Mart bail out Wall Street.")

It lists some amazing statistics about the recession-proof retail behemoth and, according to Snopes, almost all of them are true, including this one: "Wal-Mart will sell more from Jan. 1 to St. Patrick's Day (March 17) than Target sells all year."

And, in terms of sales, Wal-Mart truly is bigger than Home Depot, Kroger, Target, Sears, Costco and Kmart combined.

But is Wal-Mart truly the biggest company in the history of the world? (Imagine Keith Olbermann saying that.)

It depends, Snopes says. Fortune lists Wal-Mart as No. 1 in the world in gross revenues, ahead of three oil companies. Forbes, which evaluates four factors, puts it at No. 16. (Snopes doesn't directly address the "history of the world" part of the question.)

Wal-Mart actually has more U.S. stores than the number cited in the e-mail. (Snopes counts 4,253). And it appears that Wal-Mart's U.S. profit per minute might exceed the e-mail's claim of $20,928.

Do 90% of all Americans really live within 15 miles of a Wal-Mart? Snopes isn't sure but says "The Wal-Mart Effect" says it's so.

Related articles:

Target to slash prices as sales slide

The price of Wal-Mart coming to town

Wal-Mart moves more upscale

Published Dec. 11, 2008

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