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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
___________________________________________
FORM 10-K
___________________________________________ 
Annual report pursuant to section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
For the fiscal year ended January 31, 2021, or
Transition report pursuant to section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
Commission file number 001-06991.
 ___________________________________________ 
 wmt-20210131_g1.jpg
WALMART INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
___________________________________________ 
DE71-0415188
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
(IRS Employer Identification No.)
702 S.W. 8th Street72716
Bentonville,
AR
(Address of principal executive offices)(Zip Code)
Registrant's telephone number, including area code: (479273-4000
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each classTrading Symbol(s)Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock, par value $0.10 per shareWMTNYSE
1.900% Notes Due 2022WMT22NYSE
2.550% Notes Due 2026WMT26NYSE
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
___________________________________________ 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    
Yes  ý    No  ¨
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act.    
Yes  ¨    No  ý



Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for at least the past 90 days.    
Yes  ý    No  ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).    
Yes  ý    No  ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of "large accelerated filer," "accelerated filer," "smaller reporting company" and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large Accelerated Filer   Accelerated Filer 
Non-Accelerated Filer   Smaller Reporting Company 
Emerging Growth Company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).    
Yes      No  
As of July 31, 2020, the aggregate market value of the voting common stock of the registrant held by non-affiliates of the registrant, based on the closing sale price of those shares on the New York Stock Exchange reported on July 31, 2020, was $182,886,052,366. For the purposes of this disclosure only, the registrant has assumed that its directors, executive officers (as defined in Rule 3b-7 under the Exchange Act) and the beneficial owners of 5% or more of the registrant's outstanding common stock are the affiliates of the registrant.
The registrant had 2,817,071,695 shares of common stock outstanding as of March 17, 2021.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Document  Parts Into Which Incorporated
Portions of the registrant's Proxy Statement for the Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held June 2, 2021 (the "Proxy Statement")  Part III




Walmart Inc.
Form 10-K
For the Fiscal Year Ended January 31, 2021



Table of Contents
Page



WALMART INC.

ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10-K
FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED JANUARY 31, 2021
All references in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, the information incorporated into this Annual Report on Form 10-K by reference to information in the Proxy Statement of Walmart Inc. for its Annual Shareholders' Meeting to be held on June 2, 2021 and in the exhibits to this Annual Report on Form 10-K to "Walmart Inc.," "Walmart," "the Company," "our Company," "we," "us" and "our" are to the Delaware corporation named "Walmart Inc." and, except where expressly noted otherwise or the context otherwise requires, that corporation's consolidated subsidiaries.
PART I
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This Annual Report on Form 10-K and other reports, statements, and information that Walmart Inc. (which individually or together with its subsidiaries, as the context otherwise requires, is referred to as "we," "Walmart" or the "Company") has filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") or may file with or furnish to the SEC in the future, and prior or future public announcements and presentations that we or our management have made or may make, include or may include, or incorporate or may incorporate by reference, statements that may be deemed to be "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the "Act"), that are intended to enjoy the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements provided by the Act as well as protections afforded by other federal securities laws.
Nature of Forward-Looking Statements
Such forward-looking statements are not statements of historical facts, but instead express our estimates or expectations for our consolidated, or one of our segment's, economic performance or results of operations for future periods or as of future dates or events or developments that may occur in the future or discuss our plans, objectives or goals. These forward-looking statements may relate to:
the growth of our business or change in our competitive position in the future or in or over particular periods;
the amount, number, growth, increase, reduction or decrease in or over certain periods, of or in certain financial items or measures or operating measures, including our earnings per share, net sales, comparable store and club sales, our Walmart U.S. operating segment's eCommerce sales, liabilities, expenses of certain categories, expense leverage, returns, capital and operating investments or expenditures of particular types and new store openings;
investments and capital expenditures we will make and how certain of those investments and capital expenditures are expected to be financed;
our increasing investments in eCommerce, technology, supply chain, store remodels and other omni-channel customer initiatives, such as same day pickup and delivery;
our workforce strategy;
volatility in currency exchange rates affecting our or one of our segments' results of operations;
the Company continuing to provide returns to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends, the use of share repurchase authorization over a certain period or the source of funding of a certain portion of our share repurchases;
our sources of liquidity, including our cash, continuing to be adequate or sufficient to fund our operations, finance our global investment and expansion activities, pay dividends and fund share repurchases;
cash flows from operations, our current cash position and access to capital markets will continue to be sufficient to meet our anticipated operating cash needs;
the reclassification of amounts related to our derivatives;
our effective tax rate for certain periods and the realization of certain net deferred tax assets and the effects of resolutions of tax-related matters;
the effect of adverse decisions in, or settlement of, litigation or other proceedings or investigations to which we are subject;
the effect on the Company's results of operations or financial position of the Company's adoption of certain new, or amendments to existing, accounting standards; or
our commitments, intentions, plans or goals related to the sustainability of our environment and supply chains, the promotion of economic opportunity or other societal initiatives.
Our forward-looking statements may also include statements of our strategies, plans and objectives for our operations, including areas of future focus in our operations, and the assumptions underlying any of the forward-looking statements we make. The forward-looking statements we make can typically be identified by the use therein of words and phrases such as "aim," "anticipate," "believe," "could be," "could increase," "could occur," "could result," "continue," "estimate," "expansion," "expect," "expectation," "expected to be," "focus," "forecast," "goal," "grow," "guidance," "intend," "invest," "is expected,"
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"may continue," "may fluctuate," "may grow," "may impact," "may result," "objective," "plan," "priority," "project," "strategy," "to be," "we'll," "we will," "will add," "will allow," "will be," "will benefit," "will change," "will come in at," "will continue," "will decrease," "will grow," "will have," "will impact," "will include," "will increase," "will open," "will remain," "will result," "will stay," "will strengthen," "would be," "would decrease" and "would increase," variations of such words or phrases, other phrases commencing with the word "will" or similar words and phrases denoting anticipated or expected occurrences or results.
The forward-looking statements that we make or that are made by others on our behalf are based on our knowledge of our business and our operating environment and assumptions that we believe to be or will believe to be reasonable when such forward-looking statements were or are made. As a consequence of the factors described above, the other risks, uncertainties and factors we disclose below and in the other reports as mentioned above, other risks not known to us at this time, changes in facts, assumptions not being realized or other circumstances, our actual results may differ materially from those discussed in or implied or contemplated by our forward-looking statements. Consequently, this cautionary statement qualifies all forward-looking statements we make or that are made on our behalf, including those made herein and incorporated by reference herein. We cannot assure you that the results or developments expected or anticipated by us will be realized or, even if substantially realized, that those results or developments will result in the expected consequences for us or affect us, our business, our operations or our operating results in the manner or to the extent we expect. We caution readers not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates. We undertake no obligation to revise or update any of the forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances except to the extent required by applicable law.
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ITEM 1.BUSINESS
General
Walmart Inc. ("Walmart," the "Company" or "we") helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – by providing the opportunity to shop in retail stores and through eCommerce. Through innovation, we strive to continuously improve a customer-centric experience that seamlessly integrates our eCommerce and retail stores in an omni-channel offering that saves time for our customers. Each week, we serve over 240 million customers who visit approximately 11,400 stores and numerous eCommerce websites under 54 banners in 26 countries.
Our strategy is to make every day easier for busy families, operate with discipline, sharpen our culture and become digital, and make trust a competitive advantage. Making life easier for busy families includes our commitment to price leadership, which has been and will remain a cornerstone of our business, as well as increasing convenience to save our customers time. By leading on price, we earn the trust of our customers every day by providing a broad assortment of quality merchandise and services at everyday low prices ("EDLP"). EDLP is our pricing philosophy under which we price items at a low price every day so our customers trust that our prices will not change under frequent promotional activity. Everyday low cost ("EDLC") is our commitment to control expenses so our cost savings can be passed along to our customers.
Our operations comprise three reportable segments: Walmart U.S., Walmart International and Sam's Club. Our fiscal year ends on January 31 for our United States ("U.S.") and Canadian operations. We consolidate all other operations generally using a one-month lag and on a calendar year basis. Our discussion is as of and for the fiscal years ended January 31, 2021 ("fiscal 2021"), January 31, 2020 ("fiscal 2020") and January 31, 2019 ("fiscal 2019"). During fiscal 2021, we generated total revenues of $559.2 billion, which was primarily comprised of net sales of $555.2 billion.
We maintain our principal offices in Bentonville, Arkansas. Our common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "WMT."
The Development of Our Company
The businesses conducted by our founders began in 1945 when Sam M. Walton opened a franchise Ben Franklin variety store in Newport, Arkansas. In 1946, his brother, James L. Walton, opened a similar store in Versailles, Missouri. Until 1962, our founders' business was devoted entirely to the operation of variety stores. In 1983, we opened our first Sam's Club, and in 1988, we opened our first supercenter. In 1998, we opened our first Walmart Neighborhood Market. In 1991, we began our first international initiative when we entered into a joint venture in Mexico and, as of January 31, 2021, our Walmart International segment conducted business in 25 countries.
In 2000, we began our first eCommerce initiative by creating both walmart.com and samsclub.com. Since then, our eCommerce presence has continued to grow. In 2007, leveraging our physical stores, walmart.com launched its Site to Store service, enabling customers to make a purchase online and pick up merchandise in stores. To date, we now have approximately 7,300 pickup and 5,200 delivery locations globally. In recent years, we have heavily invested in omni-channel and eCommerce innovation, as well as made several eCommerce acquisitions to better serve our customers. These investments have enabled us to leverage technology, talent and expertise, incubate digitally-native brands, and expand our assortment and service offerings in stores and on walmart.com. We have also continued to enhance our eCommerce initiatives internationally, such as with our acquisition of a majority stake of Flipkart Private Limited ("Flipkart"), which is our ecosystem in India that includes eCommerce platforms of Flipkart and Myntra as well as PhonePe, a digital transaction platform.
In fiscal 2021, we launched Walmart+ in the U.S., a new membership offering with omni-channel shopping benefits that currently include unlimited free shipping on eligible items with no order minimum, unlimited delivery from store, fuel discounts, and mobile scan & go for a streamlined in-store shopping experience. We are enhancing our ecosystem with our omni-channel capabilities, stores, services, eCommerce sites and supply chain combined with our more than 2.3 million associates as of January 31, 2021 to better serve our customers. Together, we believe these elements produce a flywheel effect which creates customer relationships where customers view Walmart as their primary destination.
During fiscal 2021, the world has been, and continues to be, impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. While we have incurred incremental costs associated with operating during a global health crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic has also accelerated our business growth and eCommerce expansion. We have continued to invest in our omni-channel offering which resonates with customers around the world who are increasingly seeking convenience.
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Information About Our Segments
We are engaged in global operations of retail, wholesale and other units, as well as eCommerce, located throughout the U.S., Africa, Canada, Central America, Chile, China, India and Mexico. The Company also engaged in operations in the U.K. and Japan, both of which were classified as held for sale as of January 31, 2021. We also operated in Argentina and Brazil prior to the sale of Walmart Argentina in November 2020 and the majority stake of Walmart Brazil in fiscal 2019. Refer to Note 12 to our Consolidated Financial Statements for information on these divestitures. Our operations are conducted in three reportable segments: Walmart U.S., Walmart International and Sam's Club, which are further described below. Each segment contributes to the Company's operating results differently. However, each has generally maintained a consistent contribution rate to the Company's net sales and operating income in recent years other than minor changes to the contribution rate for the Walmart International segment due to fluctuations in currency exchange rates. Additional information on our operating segments and geographic and product information is contained in Note 13 to our Consolidated Financial Statements.
Walmart U.S. Segment
Walmart U.S. is our largest segment and operates in the U.S., including in all 50 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. Walmart U.S. is a mass merchandiser of consumer products, operating under the "Walmart" and "Walmart Neighborhood Market" brands, as well as walmart.com and other eCommerce brands. Walmart U.S. had net sales of $370.0 billion for fiscal 2021, representing 67% of our fiscal 2021 consolidated net sales, and had net sales of $341.0 billion and $331.7 billion for fiscal 2020 and 2019, respectively. Of our three segments, Walmart U.S. has historically had the highest gross profit as a percentage of net sales ("gross profit rate"). In addition, Walmart U.S. has historically contributed the greatest amount to the Company's net sales and operating income.
Omni-channel. Walmart U.S. provides an omni-channel experience to customers, integrating retail stores and eCommerce, through services such as pickup and delivery, ship-from-store, and digital pharmacy fulfillment options. As of January 31, 2021, we had approximately 3,750 pickup locations and 3,000 delivery locations. Our Walmart+ membership incorporates several service offerings which provide enhanced omni-channel shopping experiences and benefits for members. We have several eCommerce websites, the largest of which is walmart.com. We define eCommerce sales as sales initiated by customers digitally and fulfilled by a number of methods including our dedicated eCommerce fulfillment centers and leveraging our stores. The following table provides the approximate size of our retail stores as of January 31, 2021:
Minimum Square FeetMaximum Square FeetAverage Square Feet
Supercenters (general merchandise and grocery)69,000 260,000 178,000 
Discount stores (general merchandise and limited grocery)30,000 221,000 106,000 
Neighborhood markets(1) (grocery)
28,000 65,000 42,000 
(1)     Excludes other small formats.
Merchandise. Walmart U.S. does business in three strategic merchandise units, listed below:
Grocery consists of a full line of grocery items, including dry grocery, snacks, dairy, meat, produce, deli & bakery, frozen foods, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, as well as consumables such as health and beauty aids, pet supplies, household chemicals, paper goods and baby products;
General merchandise includes:
Entertainment (e.g., electronics, toys, seasonal merchandise, wireless, video games, movies, music and books);
Hardlines (e.g., automotive, hardware and paint, sporting goods, outdoor living and stationery);
Apparel (e.g., apparel for men, women, girls, boys and infants, as well as shoes, jewelry and accessories); and
Home (e.g., housewares and small appliances, bed & bath, furniture and home organization, home furnishings, home decor, fabrics and crafts).
Health and wellness includes pharmacy, over-the-counter drugs and other medical products, optical services and clinical services.

Walmart U.S. recently launched Walmart+, a membership offering providing omni-channel shopping benefits such as unlimited free shipping on eligible items with no order minimums, as well as delivery and other benefits which help customers save more time and money. Walmart U.S. also offers an in-house advertising offering via Walmart Connect, supply chain and fulfillment capabilities to online marketplace sellers via Walmart Fulfillment Services, as well as quality, affordable, and accessible healthcare via Walmart Health. Additional service offerings include fuel and financial services and related products, such as money orders, prepaid cards, money (wire) transfers, check cashing and bill payment. Combined, these offerings did not represent a significant portion of annual segment revenues.
Brand name merchandise represents a significant portion of the merchandise sold in Walmart U.S. We also market lines of merchandise under our private-label brands, including brands such as: "Allswell," "Athletic Works," "Bonobos," "Eloquii,"
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"Equate," "Freshness Guaranteed," "George," "Great Value," "Holiday Time," "Mainstays," "Marketside," "No Boundaries," "Onn," "Ozark Trail," "Parent's Choice," "Sam's Choice," "Scoop," "Spring Valley," "SwissTech," "Time and Tru" and "Wonder Nation." The Company also markets lines of merchandise under licensed brands, some of which include: "Better Homes & Gardens," "Farberware," "Pioneer Woman" and "Russell."
Periodically, revisions are made to the categorization of the components comprising our strategic merchandise units. When revisions are made, the previous periods' presentation is adjusted to maintain comparability.
Operations. Historically, many supercenters, discount stores and neighborhood markets were generally open 24 hours each day. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we reduced store hours to allow for additional cleaning and sanitizing but expanded store hours slightly toward the end of fiscal 2021. Consistent with its strategy, Walmart U.S. continues to develop technology tools and services that help better serve customers and help stores operate more efficiently, such as pickup and delivery, Walmart+, ship-from-store and other initiatives which provide convenient and seamless omni-channel shopping experiences.
Seasonal Aspects of Operations. Walmart U.S.'s business is seasonal to a certain extent due to calendar events and national and religious holidays, as well as different weather patterns. Historically, its highest sales volume and segment operating income have occurred in the fiscal quarter ending January 31. However, the COVID-19 pandemic may have an impact on consumer behaviors that could result in temporary changes in the seasonal fluctuations of our business.
Competition. Walmart U.S. competes with omni-channel retailers operating discount, department, retail and wholesale grocers, drug, dollar, variety and specialty stores, supermarkets, hypermarkets and supercenter-type stores, as well as eCommerce retailers. Our ability to develop and operate units at the right locations and to deliver a customer-centric omni-channel experience largely determines our competitive position within the retail industry. We employ many programs designed to meet competitive pressures within our industry. These programs include the following:
EDLP: our pricing philosophy under which we price items at everyday low prices so our customers trust that our prices will not change under frequent promotional activity;
EDLC: everyday low cost is our commitment to control expenses so our cost savings can be passed along to our customers; and
Omni-channel offerings such as pickup and delivery and our new Walmart+ membership offering, all of which enhance convenience and seek to serve customers in the ways they want to be served.
Distribution. For fiscal 2021, the majority of Walmart U.S.'s purchases of store merchandise were shipped through our 156 distribution facilities, which are located strategically throughout the U.S. The remaining store merchandise we purchased was shipped directly from suppliers. General merchandise and dry grocery merchandise is transported primarily through the segment's private truck fleet; however, we contract with common carriers to transport the majority of our perishable grocery merchandise. We ship merchandise purchased by customers on our eCommerce platforms by a number of methods from multiple locations including from our 32 dedicated eCommerce fulfillment centers, as well as leveraging our ability to ship directly from approximately 3,000 stores.
Walmart International Segment
Walmart International is our second largest segment and operated in 25 countries outside of the U.S as of January 31, 2021. Walmart International operated through our wholly-owned subsidiaries in Canada, Chile, and China, as well as our businesses classified as held for sale in Japan and the United Kingdom as of January 31, 2021. Walmart International also operates through our majority-owned subsidiaries in Africa (which includes Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia), Central America (which includes Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua), India and Mexico. Walmart International previously operated in Argentina and Brazil prior to the sale of Walmart Argentina in fiscal 2021 and the majority stake of Walmart Brazil in fiscal 2019. Refer to Note 12 for discussion of recent divestitures.
Walmart International includes numerous formats divided into three major categories: retail, wholesale and other. These categories consist of many formats, including: supercenters, supermarkets, hypermarkets, warehouse clubs (including Sam's Clubs) and cash & carry, as well as eCommerce through walmart.com.mx, walmart.ca, flipkart.com and other sites. Walmart International had net sales of $121.4 billion for fiscal 2021, representing 22% of our fiscal 2021 consolidated net sales, and had net sales of $120.1 billion and $120.8 billion for fiscal 2020 and 2019, respectively. The segment's net sales were negatively impacted by currency exchange rate fluctuations for all years presented. The gross profit rate is lower than that of Walmart U.S. primarily because of its merchandise mix.
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Walmart International's strategy is to create strong local businesses powered by Walmart which means being locally relevant and customer-focused in each of the markets it operates. We are being deliberate about where and how we choose to operate and continue to re-shape the portfolio to best enable long-term, sustainable and profitable growth. As such, we have taken certain strategic actions to strengthen our Walmart International portfolio for the long-term, which include the following highlights over the last three years:
Acquisition of a majority stake of Flipkart in August 2018.
Divestiture of 80 percent of Walmart Brazil in August 2018. 
Divestiture of the Walmart Chile banking operations in December 2018 and the divestiture of the Walmart Canada banking operations in April 2019.
Divestiture of Walmart Argentina in November 2020.
Divestiture of Asda Group Limited ("Asda”), our retail operations in the U.K., in February 2021.
Divestiture of a majority stake in Seiyu, our retail operations in Japan, in March 2021.
Omni-channel. Walmart International provides an omni-channel experience to customers, integrating retail stores and eCommerce, such as through pickup and delivery services in most of our markets, our marketplaces such as Flipkart in India, and a digital transaction platform anchored in payments such as PhonePe in India. In China, our partnerships with JD.com and JD Daojia provide customers one-hour delivery by leveraging Walmart stores as fulfillment centers.
Generally, retail units' selling area range in size from 1,400 square feet to 186,000 square feet. Our wholesale stores' selling area generally range in size from 24,000 square feet to 156,000 square feet. As of January 31, 2021, Walmart International had approximately 3,000 pickup and 2,200 delivery locations.
Merchandise. The merchandising strategy for Walmart International is similar to that of our operations in the U.S. in terms of the breadth and scope of merchandise offered for sale. While brand name merchandise accounts for a majority of our sales, we have both leveraged U.S. private brands and developed market specific private brands to serve our customers with high quality, low priced items. Along with the private brands we market globally, such as "Equate," "George," "Great Value," "Holiday Time," "Mainstays," "Marketside" and "Parent's Choice," our international markets have developed market specific brands including "Aurrera," "Cambridge," "Lider," "Myntra," and "PhonePe." In addition, we have developed and continue to grow our relationships with regional and local suppliers in each market to ensure reliable sources of quality merchandise that is equal to national brands at low prices.
Walmart International also offers fuel, financial services and related products in various markets. Our businesses in Mexico and Canada, for example, offer prepaid cards and money (wire) transfers, and our PhonePe business in India provides a platform that offers mobile and bill payment, person-to-person (P2P) payment, investment and insurance solutions, financial services and advertising. Combined, these offerings did not represent a significant portion of annual segment revenues.
Operations. The hours of operation for operating units in Walmart International vary by country and by individual markets within countries, depending upon local and national ordinances governing hours of operation. Toward the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, government mandates led to extensive store and operational closures in several of our international markets as well as limitations on certain merchandise sales in select markets. While most closed stores and warehouses resumed operations by the end of fiscal 2021, store hours have been partially reduced or modified in several markets. Additionally, several markets implemented enhanced safety and sanitization protocols, as well as provided increased customer options and capacity for pickup and delivery services.
Seasonal Aspects of Operations. Walmart International's business is seasonal to a certain extent. Historically, its highest sales volume and operating income have occurred in the fourth quarter of our fiscal year. The seasonality of the business varies by country due to different national and religious holidays, festivals and customs, as well as different weather patterns. However, the COVID-19 pandemic may have an impact on consumer behaviors that could result in temporary changes in the seasonal fluctuations of our business.
Competition. Walmart International competes with omni-channel retailers who operate department, drug, discount, variety and specialty stores, supermarkets, hypermarkets and supercenter-type stores, wholesale clubs, home-improvement stores, specialty electronics stores, cash & carry operations and convenience stores, and eCommerce retailers, as well as catalog businesses. Our ability to develop and operate units at the right locations and to deliver a customer-centric omni-channel experience largely determines our competitive position within the retail industry. We believe price leadership is a critical part of our business model and we continue to focus on moving our markets towards an EDLP approach. Additionally, our ability to operate food departments effectively has a significant impact on our competitive position in the markets where we operate.
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Distribution. We utilize a total of 221 distribution facilities located in Canada, Central America, Chile, China, India, Mexico and South Africa, as well as Japan and the United Kingdom, whose operations are classified as held for sale as of January 31, 2021, and subsequently divested in the first quarter of fiscal 2022. Through these facilities, we process and distribute both imported and domestic products to the operating units of the Walmart International segment. During fiscal 2021, the majority of Walmart International's purchases passed through these distribution facilities. Suppliers ship the remainder of Walmart International's purchases directly to our stores in the various markets in which we operate. Across the segment, we have efficient networks connecting physical stores and distribution and fulfillment centers which facilitate the movement of goods to where our customers live. We ship merchandise purchased by customers on our eCommerce platforms by a number of methods from multiple locations including from our 83 dedicated eCommerce fulfillment centers, more than 2,800 eCommerce sort centers and last-mile delivery facilities in India, as well as our physical retail stores.
Sam's Club Segment
Sam's Club operates in 44 states in the U.S. and in Puerto Rico. Sam's Club is a membership-only warehouse club that also operates samsclub.com. Sam's Club had net sales of $63.9 billion for fiscal 2021, representing 11% of our consolidated fiscal 2021 net sales, and had net sales of $58.8 billion and $57.8 billion for fiscal 2020 and 2019, respectively. As a membership-only warehouse club, membership income is a significant component of the segment's operating income. Sam's Club operates with a lower gross profit rate and lower operating expenses as a percentage of net sales than our other segments.
Membership. The following two options are available to members:
Plus MembershipClub Membership
Annual Membership Fee$100$45
Number of Add-on Memberships ($40 each)Up to 16Up to 8
Eligible for Cash RewardsYesNo
All memberships include a spouse/household card at no additional cost. Plus Members are eligible for Cash Rewards, which is a benefit that provides 2% back on qualifying Sam's Club purchases up to a $500 cash reward annually. The amount earned can be used for purchases or redeemed for cash. Plus Members are also eligible for free shipping on the majority of merchandise, with no minimum order size, and receive discounts on prescriptions and glasses.
Omni-channel. Sam's Club is a membership-only warehouse club which provides an omni-channel experience to customers, integrating retail stores and eCommerce through such services as Curbside Pickup, mobile Scan & Go, and ship-from-club. Members have access to a broad assortment of merchandise and services, including those not found in our clubs, online at samsclub.com and through our mobile commerce applications. The warehouse facility sizes generally range between 32,000 and 168,000 square feet, with an average size of approximately 134,000 square feet.
Merchandise. Sam's Club offers merchandise in the following five merchandise categories:
Grocery and consumables includes dairy, meat, bakery, deli, produce, dry, chilled or frozen packaged foods, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, floral, snack foods, candy, other grocery items, health and beauty aids, paper goods, laundry and home care, baby care, pet supplies and other consumable items;
Fuel, tobacco and other categories consists of gasoline stations and tobacco;
Home and apparel includes home improvement, outdoor living, gardening, furniture, apparel, jewelry, tools and power equipment, housewares, toys, seasonal items, mattresses, and tire and battery centers;
Technology, office and entertainment includes consumer electronics and accessories, software, video games, office supplies, appliances, and third-party gift cards; and
Health and wellness includes pharmacy, optical and hearing services and over-the-counter drugs.
In addition, the Member's Mark private label brand continues to expand assortment and deliver member value.
Operations. Operating hours for Sam's Clubs are generally Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Additionally, most club locations offer Plus Members the ability to shop before the regular operating hours Monday through Saturday, starting at 8:00 a.m. While store operating hours generally remained stable during the COVID-19 pandemic, designated “Hero Hours” were also established for first responders, health care workers, and associates. Consistent with its strategy, Sam's Club continues to develop technology tools to drive a great member experience. During the pandemic, Curbside Pickup was launched at all clubs to help provide fast, easy and contact-free shopping for members. Sam's Club also offers "Scan & Go," a mobile checkout and payment solution, which allows members to bypass the checkout line.
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Seasonal Aspects of Operations. Sam's Club's business is seasonal to a certain extent due to calendar events and national and religious holidays, as well as different weather patterns. Historically, its highest sales volume has occurred in the fiscal quarter ending January 31. However, the COVID-19 pandemic may have an impact on consumer behaviors that could result in temporary changes in the seasonal fluctuations of our business.
Competition. Sam's Club competes with other membership-only warehouse clubs, the largest of which is Costco, as well as with discount retailers, retail and wholesale grocers, general merchandise wholesalers and distributors, gasoline stations as well as omni-channel and eCommerce retailers and catalog businesses. At Sam's Club, we provide value at members-only prices, a quality merchandise assortment, and bulk sizing to serve both our Plus and Club members. Our eCommerce website and mobile commerce applications have increasingly become important factors in our ability to compete and recently enabled the launch of Curbside Pickup across all clubs.
Distribution. During fiscal 2021, the majority of Sam's Club's non-fuel club purchases were shipped from Sam's Club's 27 dedicated distribution facilities, located strategically throughout the U.S., or from some of the Walmart U.S. segment's distribution facilities, which service the Sam's Club segment for certain items. Suppliers shipped the remainder of the Sam's Club segment's club purchases directly to Sam's Club locations. Sam's Club ships merchandise purchased on samsclub.com and through its mobile commerce applications by a number of methods including shipments made directly from clubs, 11 dedicated eCommerce fulfillment centers and other distribution centers.
Sam's Club uses a combination of our private truck fleet, as well as common carriers, to transport non-perishable merchandise from distribution facilities to clubs. The segment contracts with common carriers to transport perishable grocery merchandise from distribution facilities to clubs.
Intellectual Property
We regard our trademarks, service marks, copyrights, patents, domain names, trade dress, trade secrets, proprietary technologies, and similar intellectual property as important to our success, and with respect to our associates, customers and others, we rely on trademark, copyright, and patent law, trade-secret protection, and confidentiality and/or license agreements to protect our proprietary rights. We have registered, or applied for the registration of, a number of U.S. and international domain names, trademarks, service marks and copyrights. Additionally, we have filed U.S. and international patent applications covering certain of our proprietary technology. We have licensed in the past, and expect that we may license in the future, certain of our proprietary rights to third parties.
Suppliers and Supply Chain
As a retailer and warehouse club operator, we utilize a global supply chain that includes both U.S. and international suppliers from whom we purchase the merchandise that we sell in our stores, clubs and online. In many instances, we purchase merchandise from producers located near the stores and clubs in which such merchandise will be sold, particularly products in the "fresh" category. Our purchases may represent a significant percentage of the annual sales for a number of our suppliers, and the volume of product we acquire from many suppliers allows us to obtain favorable pricing from such suppliers. Our suppliers are subject to standards of conduct, including requirements that they comply with local labor laws, local worker safety laws and other applicable laws. Our ability to acquire from our suppliers the assortment and volume of products we wish to offer to our customer, to receive those products within the required time through our supply chain and to distribute those products to our stores and clubs determines, in part, our in-stock levels in our stores and clubs and the attractiveness of our merchandise assortment we offer to our customers and members.
Government Regulation
As a company with global operations, we are subject to the laws of the United States and multiple foreign jurisdictions in which we operate and the rules and regulations of various governing bodies, which may differ among jurisdictions. For additional information, see the risk factors herein in "Item 1A. Risk Factors" under the sub-caption “Legal, Tax, Regulatory, Compliance, Reputational and Other Risks".

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Human Capital Management
Our commitment to help people around the world save money and live better is delivered by our associates who make the difference for our customers every day. As of the end of fiscal 2021, we employed more than 2.3 million associates worldwide, with 1.6 million associates in the U.S. and 0.7 million associates internationally. In the U.S., approximately 94% of these associates are hourly and approximately 64% are full-time.
We believe the strength of our workforce is a significant contributor to our success. Walmart is a place of opportunity, not only as a foundational entry point to develop critical skills that are relevant for a variety of careers, but also a place where people can grow in their careers across our global omni-channel business. As customer demands and technology change the nature of work, we need to attract, develop and retain associates to thrive in an ever-changing omni-channel environment. Approximately 75% of our U.S. salaried store, club and supply chain management started their careers in hourly positions. We believe our focus on improving career paths for our associates through robust training, competitive wages, new ways of working, and opportunities for advancement has improved turnover in the U.S. over the past few years.
Our workforce strategy includes the following strategic priorities:
Inclusion - Build a Walmart for everyone: a diverse, equitable and inclusive company, where associates' ideas and opinions matter. We are focused on creating an inclusive culture and a diverse associate base, where all associates believe they belong and are empowered to be themselves, which we believe is important in serving our customers now and in the future. Management provides recurring culture, diversity, equity and inclusion updates to senior leadership, including our President and CEO, and the Compensation, Management and Development Committee of the Board of Directors. Of the more than 2.3 million associates employed worldwide, 54% identify as women. In the U.S., 47% of the 1.6 million associates identify as ethnically diverse.
We review our processes regarding our commitment to fair-pay practices. We are committed to creating a performance culture where associates are rewarded based on meaningful factors such as qualifications, experience, performance and the type of work they do.
To build a company where associates feel valued and heard, we gather and respond to associates’ feedback in a variety of ways, including but not limited to an anonymous, periodic, formal, associate engagement survey, our Open Door process, and one-on-one interactions. Management reviews the results of feedback obtained from our formal associate engagement survey. Feedback and suggestions received through these channels have led to meaningful changes in our business, including a new U.S. attendance policy, for example.
Well-being - Focus on the physical, emotional, and financial well-being of our associates. We invest in our associates by offering competitive wages including bonuses based on Company performance, as well as a broad range of benefits that vary based on customary local practices and statutory requirements and believe these investments in our associates are important to our future. In the U.S., we offer affordable healthcare coverage to our full-time and eligible part-time associates, as well as Company paid benefits such as a store discount card or Sam's Club membership, 401(k) match, maternity leave, a paid parental leave program to all full-time associates, paid time off, Associate Stock Purchase Plan match, life insurance and behavioral health services. Certain information relating to retirement-related benefits we provide to our associates is included in Note 11 to our Consolidated Financial Statements.
In fiscal 2021, we added incremental benefits to support associate health and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. We provided extra pay and benefits, including special cash bonuses totaling $1.6 billion, and the introduction of the COVID-19 Emergency Leave Policy in the U.S. See "COVID-19 Updates" in Management's Discussion and Analysis for additional information regarding our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Growth - Provide ongoing growth, development and learning opportunities for associates and continue to attract talent with new skills. To help associates acquire the experiences and skills needed for success in the jobs of today and tomorrow, we have invested in their development – including new roles and career paths, cross-training, on-the-job coaching, and formal, classroom-style training such as Walmart Academy in the U.S. We also provide access to educational opportunities for our eligible associates through our Live Better U program, which provides a pathway to earn a high school diploma at no cost or a college degree for $1 a day, as well as multiple digital learning opportunities.
Digital - Accelerate digital transformation and ways of working to improve the associate experience and drive business results. To deliver a seamless customer and associate experience, we continue to invest in digital tools to improve associate productivity, engagement, and performance. As more customers shop digitally, we have adapted by adding more roles in eCommerce fulfillment and our home office associates have accelerated tech-based solutions that enhance the customer and associate experiences.
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Information About Our Executive Officers
The following chart names the executive officers of the Company as of the date of the filing of this Annual Report on Form 10-K with the SEC, each of whom is elected by and serves at the pleasure of the Board of Directors. The business experience shown for each officer has been his or her principal occupation for at least the past five years, unless otherwise noted.
NameBusiness ExperienceCurrent
Position
Held Since
Age
Daniel J. BartlettExecutive Vice President, Corporate Affairs, effective June 2013. From November 2007 to June 2013, he served as the Chief Executive Officer and President of U.S. Operations at Hill & Knowlton, Inc., a public relations company.201349 
M. Brett BiggsExecutive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, effective January 2016. From January 2014 to December 2015, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Walmart International. 201652 
Rachel BrandExecutive Vice President, Global Governance, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary, effective April 2018. From May 2017 to February 2018, she served as Associate Attorney General in the United States Department of Justice. From January 2017 to May 2017, Ms. Brand was an Associate Professor of Law at George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School. From August 2012 to February 2017, she served as a board member on the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board of the U.S. government. 201847 
David M. ChojnowskiSenior Vice President and Controller effective January 2017. From October 2014 to January 2017, he served as Vice President and Controller, Walmart U.S. 201751 
John FurnerExecutive Vice President, President and Chief Executive Officer, Walmart U.S. effective November 2019. From February 2017 until November 2019, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer, Sam's Club. From October 2015 to January 2017, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Merchandising Officer of Sam's Club. 201946 
Suresh KumarExecutive Vice President, Global Chief Technology Officer and Chief Development Officer effective July 2019. From February 2018 until June 2019, Mr. Kumar was Vice President and General Manager at Google LLC. From May 2014 until February 2018, he was Corporate Vice President at Microsoft Corporation. 201956 
Judith McKennaExecutive Vice President, President and Chief Executive Officer, Walmart International, effective February 2018. From February 2015 to January 2018, she served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Walmart U.S. 201854 
Kathryn McLay
Executive Vice President, President and Chief Executive Officer, Sam's Club effective November 15, 2019. From February 2019 to November 2019, she served as Executive Vice President, Walmart U.S. Neighborhood Markets. From December 2015 until February 2019, she served as Senior Vice President, U.S. Supply Chain. Ms. McLay originally joined the Company in April 2015 as Vice President of U.S. Finance and Strategy.
201947 
C. Douglas McMillonPresident and Chief Executive Officer, effective February 2014. From February 2009 to January 2014, he served as Executive Vice President, President and Chief Executive Officer, Walmart International.201454 
Donna MorrisExecutive Vice President, Global People, and Chief People Officer, effective February 2020.  From April 2002 to January 2020, she worked at Adobe Inc. in various roles, including most recently, Chief Human Resources Officer and Executive Vice President, Employee Experience.202053 

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Our Website and Availability of SEC Reports and Other Information
Our corporate website is located at www.stock.walmart.com. We file with or furnish to the SEC Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, amendments to those reports, proxy statements and annual reports to shareholders, and, from time to time, other documents. The reports and other documents filed with or furnished to the SEC are available to investors on or through our corporate website free of charge as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file them with or furnish them to the SEC. The SEC maintains a website that contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information regarding issuers, such as the Company, that file electronically with the SEC. The address of that website is www.sec.gov. Our SEC filings, our Reporting Protocols for Senior Financial Officers and our Code of Conduct can be found on our website at www.stock.walmart.com. These documents are available in print to any shareholder who requests a copy by writing or calling our Investor Relations Department, which is located at our principal offices.
A description of any substantive amendment or waiver of Walmart's Reporting Protocols for Senior Financial Officers or our Code of Conduct for our chief executive officer, our chief financial officer and our controller, who is our principal accounting officer, will be disclosed on our website at www.stock.walmart.com under the Corporate Governance section. Any such description will be located on our website for a period of 12 months following the amendment or waiver.
ITEM 1A.RISK FACTORS
The risks described below could, in ways we may or may not be able to accurately predict, materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations, financial position and liquidity. Our business operations could also be affected by additional factors that apply to all companies operating in the U.S. and globally. The following risk factors do not identify all risks that we may face.
Strategic Risks
Failure to successfully execute our omni-channel strategy and the cost of our investments in eCommerce and technology may materially adversely affect our market position, net sales and financial performance.
The retail business continues to rapidly evolve and consumers increasingly embrace digital shopping. As a result, the portion of total consumer expenditures with retailers and wholesale clubs occurring through digital platforms is increasing and the pace of this increase could continue to accelerate.
Our strategy, which includes investments in eCommerce, technology, acquisitions, joint ventures, store remodels and other customer initiatives, may not adequately or effectively allow us to continue to grow our eCommerce business, increase comparable store sales, maintain or grow our overall market position or otherwise offset the impact on the growth of our business of a moderated pace of new store and club openings. The success of this strategy will depend in large measure on our ability to continue building and delivering a seamless omni-channel shopping experience for our customers and is further subject to the related risks discussed in this Item 1A. Failure to successfully execute this strategy may adversely affect our market position, net sales and financial performance which could also result in impairment charges to intangible assets or other long-lived assets. In addition, a greater concentration of eCommerce sales, including increasing online grocery sales, could result in a reduction in the amount of traffic in our stores and clubs, which would, in turn, reduce the opportunities for cross-store or cross-club sales of merchandise that such traffic creates and could reduce our sales within our stores and clubs and materially adversely affect our financial performance.
Furthermore, the cost of certain eCommerce and technology investments, including any operating losses incurred, will adversely impact our financial performance in the short-term and failure to realize the benefits of these investments may adversely impact our financial performance over the longer term.
If we do not timely identify or effectively respond to consumer trends or preferences, it could negatively affect our relationship with our customers, demand for the products and services we sell, our market share and the growth of our business.
It is difficult to predict consistently and successfully the products and services our customers will demand and changes in their shopping patterns. The success of our business depends in part on how accurately we predict consumer demand, availability of merchandise, the related impact on the demand for existing products and the competitive environment. Price transparency, assortment of products, customer experience, convenience, ease and the speed and cost of shipping are of primary importance to customers and continue to increase in importance, particularly as a result of digital tools and social media available to consumers and the choices available to consumers for purchasing products. Our failure to adequately or effectively respond to changing consumer tastes, preferences (including those related to sustainability) and shopping patterns, or any other failure on our part to timely identify or effectively respond to changing consumer tastes, preferences and shopping patterns could negatively affect our reputation and relationship with our customers, the demand for the products we sell or services we offer, our market share and the growth of our business.
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We face strong competition from other retailers and wholesale club operators which could materially adversely affect our financial performance.
Each of our segments competes for customers, employees, digital prominence, products and services and in other important aspects of its business with many other local, regional, national and global physical, eCommerce and omni-channel retailers, wholesale club operators and retail intermediaries.
We compete in a variety of ways, including the prices at which we sell our merchandise, merchandise selection and availability, services offered to customers, location, store hours, in-store amenities, the shopping convenience and overall shopping experience we offer, the attractiveness and ease of use of our digital platforms, cost and speed of and options for delivery to customers of merchandise purchased through our digital platforms or through our omni-channel integration of our physical and digital operations.
A failure to respond effectively to competitive pressures and changes in the retail markets or delays or failure in execution of our strategy could materially adversely affect our financial performance. See "Item 1. Business" above for additional discussion of the competitive situation of each of our reportable segments.
Certain segments of the retail industry are undergoing consolidation or substantially reducing operations, whether due to bankruptcy, consolidation or other factors. Such consolidation, or other business combinations or alliances, or reduction in operation may result in competitors with greatly improved financial resources, improved access to merchandise, greater market penetration than they previously enjoyed and other improvements in their competitive positions. Such business combinations or alliances could result in the provision of a wider variety of products and services at competitive prices by such consolidated or aligned companies, which could adversely affect our financial performance.
General or macro-economic factors, both domestically and internationally, may materially adversely affect our financial performance.
General economic conditions and other economic factors, globally or in one or more of the markets we serve, may adversely affect our financial performance. Higher interest rates, lower or higher prices of petroleum products, including crude oil, natural gas, gasoline, and diesel fuel, higher costs for electricity and other energy, weakness in the housing market, inflation, deflation, increased costs of essential services, such as medical care and utilities, higher levels of unemployment, decreases in consumer disposable income, unavailability of consumer credit, higher consumer debt levels, changes in consumer spending and shopping patterns, fluctuations in currency exchange rates, higher tax rates, imposition of new taxes or other changes in tax laws, changes in healthcare laws, other regulatory changes, the imposition of tariffs or other measures that create barriers to or increase the costs associated with international trade, overall economic slowdown or recession and other economic factors in the U.S. or in any of the other markets in which we operate could adversely affect consumer demand for the products we sell in the U.S. or such other markets, change the mix of products we sell to one with a lower average gross margin, cause a slowdown in discretionary purchases of goods, adversely affect our net sales and result in slower inventory turnover and greater markdowns of inventory, or otherwise materially adversely affect our operations and operating results and could result in impairment charges to intangible assets, goodwill or other long-lived assets.
In addition, the economic factors listed above, any other economic factors or circumstances resulting in higher transportation, labor, insurance or healthcare costs or commodity prices, and other economic factors in the U.S. and other countries in which we operate can increase our cost of sales and operating, selling, general and administrative expenses and otherwise materially adversely affect our operations and operating results.
The economic factors that affect our operations may also adversely affect the operations of our suppliers, which can result in an increase in the cost to us of the goods we sell to our customers or, in more extreme cases, in certain suppliers not producing goods in the volume typically available to us for sale.
The performance of strategic alliances and other business relationships to support the expansion of our business could materially adversely affect our financial performance.
We may enter into strategic alliances and other business relationships in the countries in which we have existing operations or in other markets to expand our business. These arrangements may not generate the level of sales we anticipate when entering into the arrangement or may otherwise adversely impact our business and competitive position relative to the results we could have achieved in the absence of such alliance. In addition, any investment we make in connection with a strategic alliance, business relationship or in certain of our recently divested markets, could materially adversely affect our financial performance.
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Operational Risks
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business, financial position and results of operations is in many respects unpredictable, and we may be unable to sustain our revenue growth rate in the future.
The continuing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are highly unpredictable and volatile, with varying impacts on certain business operations, demand for our products and services, in-stock positions, costs of doing business, access to inventory, supply chain operations, our ability to predict future performance, exposure to litigation, and our financial performance, among other things.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in widespread and continuing impacts on the global economy and on our domestic and international associates, members, suppliers and other people and entities with which we do business. There is considerable uncertainty regarding the extent to which COVID-19 will continue to spread and the extent and duration of measures to try to contain the virus, such as travel bans and restrictions, quarantines, shelter-in-place orders and business and government shutdowns and other restrictions on retailers.
Customer demand for certain products has also fluctuated as the pandemic has progressed and customer behaviors have changed, which has challenged our ability to anticipate and/or adjust inventory levels to meet that demand. These factors have resulted in higher out-of-stock positions in certain products, as well as delays in delivering those products, and could impact inventory levels in the future.
Other factors and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: the severity and duration of the pandemic, including whether there are additional outbreaks or spikes in the number of COVID-19 cases, future mutations or related strains of the virus in areas in which we operate; further increased operational costs associated with operating during a global pandemic; evolving macroeconomic factors, including general economic uncertainty, unemployment rates, and recessionary pressures; unknown consequences on our business performance and initiatives stemming from the substantial investment of time, capital and other resources to the pandemic response; the availability of, and prevalence of access to, effective medical treatments and vaccines for COVID-19; the pace of recovery when the pandemic subsides; and the long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business, including consumer behaviors. These risks and their impacts are difficult to predict and could otherwise disrupt and adversely affect our operations and our financial performance.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to increased revenue growth relative to historic trends, and has particularly accelerated our eCommerce growth. These results, as well as those of other metrics such as net income and other financial and operating data, may not be indicative of results for future periods. Once the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, particularly as vaccines become more widely available, and customers return to work or school or are otherwise no longer subject to the aforementioned containment directives and similar mandates, a failure by us to continue capitalizing on growth opportunities may result in declining revenue and future operating results may fall below expectations.
To the extent that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to adversely affect the U.S. and the global economy, it may also heighten other risks described in this section, including but not limited to those related to consumer behavior and expectations, competition, our reputation, implementation of strategic initiatives, cybersecurity threats, payment-related risks, technology systems disruption, supply chain disruptions, labor availability and cost, litigation, and regulatory requirements.
Natural disasters, climate change, geopolitical events, global health epidemics or pandemics and catastrophic events could materially adversely affect our financial performance.
The occurrence of one or more natural disasters, such as hurricanes, tropical storms, floods, fires, earthquakes, tsunamis, cyclones, typhoons; weather conditions such as major or extended winter storms, droughts and tornadoes, whether as a result of climate change or otherwise; geopolitical events; global health epidemics or pandemics or other contagious outbreaks such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic; and catastrophic events, such as war, civil unrest, terrorist attacks or other acts of violence, including active shooter situations (such as those that have occurred in our U.S. stores), in countries in which we operate or in which our suppliers are located, could adversely affect our operations and financial performance.
Such events could result in physical damage to, or the complete loss of, one or more of our properties, the closure of one or more stores, clubs and distribution or fulfillment centers, limitations on store or club operating hours, the lack of an adequate work force in a market, the inability of customers and associates to reach or have transportation to our stores and clubs affected by such events, the evacuation of the populace from areas in which our stores, clubs and distribution and fulfillment centers are located, the unavailability of our digital platforms to our customers, changes in the purchasing patterns of consumers (including the frequency of visits by consumers to physical retail locations, whether as a result of limitations on large gatherings, travel and movement limitations or otherwise) and in consumers' disposable income, the temporary or long-term disruption in the supply of products from some suppliers, the disruption in the transport of goods from overseas, the disruption or delay in the delivery of goods to our distribution and fulfillment centers or stores within a country in which we are operating, the reduction in the availability of products in our stores, the disruption of utility services to our stores and our facilities, and the disruption in our communications with our stores.
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Furthermore, the long-term impacts of climate change, whether involving physical risks (such as extreme weather conditions or rising sea levels) or transition risks (such as regulatory or technology changes) are expected to be widespread and unpredictable. These changes over time could affect, for example, the availability and cost of certain consumer products, commodities and energy (including utilities), which in turn may impact our ability to procure those certain goods or services required for the operation of our business at the quantities and levels we require.
We bear the risk of losses incurred as a result of physical damage to, or destruction of, any stores, clubs and distribution or fulfillment centers, loss or spoilage of inventory and business interruption caused by such events. These events and their impacts could otherwise disrupt and adversely affect our operations in the areas in which they occur and could materially adversely affect our financial performance.
Risks associated with our suppliers could materially adversely affect our financial performance.
The products we sell are sourced from a wide variety of domestic and international suppliers. Global sourcing of many of the products we sell is an important factor in our financial performance. We expect our suppliers to comply with applicable laws, including labor, safety, anti-corruption and environmental laws, and to otherwise meet our required supplier standards of conduct. Our ability to find qualified suppliers who uphold our standards, and to access products in a timely and efficient manner and in the large volumes we may demand, is a significant challenge, especially with respect to suppliers located and goods sourced outside the U.S.
Political and economic instability, as well as other impactful events and circumstances in the countries in which our suppliers and their manufacturers are located (such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic), the financial instability of suppliers, suppliers' failure to meet our terms and conditions or our supplier standards (including our responsible sourcing standards), labor problems experienced by our suppliers and their manufacturers, the availability of raw materials to suppliers, merchandise safety and quality issues, disruption or delay in the transportation of merchandise from the suppliers and manufacturers to our stores, clubs, and other facilities, including as a result of labor slowdowns at any port at which a material amount of merchandise we purchase enters into the markets in which we operate, currency exchange rates, transport availability and cost, transport security, inflation and other factors relating to the suppliers and the countries in which they are located are beyond our control.
In addition, the U.S. foreign trade policies, tariffs and other impositions on imported goods, trade sanctions imposed on certain countries and entities, the limitation on the importation of certain types of goods or of goods containing certain materials from other countries and other factors relating to foreign trade are beyond our control. These and other factors affecting our suppliers and our access to products could adversely affect our financial performance.
If the products we sell are not safe or otherwise fail to meet our customers' expectations, we could lose customers, incur liability for any injuries suffered by customers using or consuming a product we sell or otherwise experience a material impact to our brand, reputation and financial performance. We are also subject to reputational and other risks related to third-party sales on our digital platforms.
Our customers count on us to provide them with safe products. Concerns regarding the safety of food and non-food products that we source from our suppliers or that we prepare and then sell could cause customers to avoid purchasing certain products from us, or to seek alternative sources of supply for all of their food and non-food needs, even if the basis for the concern is outside of our control. Any lost confidence on the part of our customers would be difficult and costly to reestablish and such products also expose us to product liability or food safety claims. As such, any issue regarding the safety of any food or non-food items we sell, regardless of the cause, could adversely affect our brand, reputation and financial performance. In addition, third-parties sell goods on some of our digital platforms, which we refer to as marketplace transactions. Whether laws related to such sales apply to us is currently unsettled and any unfavorable changes could expose us to loss of sales, reduction in transactions and deterioration of our competitive position. In addition, we may face reputational, financial and other risks, including liability, for third-party sales of goods that are controversial, counterfeit or otherwise fail to comply with applicable law. Although we impose contractual terms on sellers that are intended to prohibit sales of certain type of products, we may not be able to detect, enforce, or collect sufficient damages for breaches of such agreements. Any of these events could have a material adverse impact on our business and results of operations and impede the execution of our eCommerce growth strategy.
We rely extensively on information systems to process transactions, summarize results and manage our business. Disruptions in our systems could harm our ability to conduct our operations.
Given the number of individual transactions we have each year, it is crucial that we maintain uninterrupted operation of our business-critical information systems. Our information systems are subject to damage or interruption from power outages, computer and telecommunications failures, computer viruses, worms, other malicious computer programs, denial-of-service attacks, security breaches (through cyberattacks from cyberattackers and sophisticated organizations including nation states), catastrophic events such as fires, tornadoes, earthquakes and hurricanes, and usage errors by our associates or contractors. Our information systems are essential to our business operations, including the processing of transactions, management of our associates, facilities, logistics, inventories, physical stores and clubs and our online operations. Our information systems are not
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fully redundant and our disaster recovery planning cannot account for all eventualities. If our systems are damaged, breached or cease to function properly, we may have to make a significant investment to repair or replace them, and may experience loss or corruption of critical data as well as suffer interruptions in our business operations in the interim. Any interruption to our information systems may have a material adverse effect on our business or results of operations. In addition, we are constantly updating our information technology processes and systems. The risk of system disruption is increased when significant system changes are undertaken. If we fail to timely integrate and update our information systems and processes, we may fail to realize the cost savings or operational benefits anticipated to be derived from these initiatives.
If the technology-based systems that give our customers the ability to shop with us online do not function effectively, our operating results, as well as our ability to grow our omni-channel business globally, could be materially adversely affected.
Increasingly, customers are using computers, tablets, and smart phones to shop with us and with our competitors and to do comparison shopping. We use social media, online advertising, and email to interact with our customers and as a means to enhance their shopping experience. As a part of our omni-channel sales strategy, we offer various pickup, delivery and shipping programs including options where many products available for purchase online can be picked up by the customer or member at a local Walmart store or Sam's Club, which provides additional customer traffic at such stores and clubs. Omni-channel retailing is a rapidly evolving part of the retail industry and of our operations around the world. We must anticipate and meet our customers' changing expectations while adjusting for technology investments and developments in our competitors' operations through focusing on the building and delivery of a seamless shopping experience across all channels by each operating segment. Any failure on our part to provide attractive, user-friendly secure digital platforms that offer a wide assortment of merchandise at competitive prices and with low cost and rapid delivery options and that continually meet the changing expectations of online shoppers and developments in online and digital platform merchandising and related technology could place us at a competitive disadvantage, result in the loss of eCommerce and other sales, harm our reputation with customers, have a material adverse impact on the growth of our eCommerce business globally and have a material adverse impact on our business and results of operations.
Our digital platforms, which are increasingly important to our business and continue to grow in complexity and scope, and the systems on which they run, including those applications and systems in our acquired eCommerce businesses, are regularly subject to cyberattacks. Those attacks involve attempts to gain unauthorized access to our eCommerce websites (including marketplace platforms) or mobile commerce applications to obtain and misuse customers' or members' information including payment information and related risks discussed in this Item 1A. Such attacks, if successful, in addition to potential data misuse and/or loss, may also create denials of service or otherwise disable, degrade or sabotage one or more of our digital platforms or otherwise significantly disrupt our customers' and members' shopping experience, our supply chain integrity and continuity, and our ability to efficiently operate our business. If we are unable to maintain the security of our digital platforms and keep them operating within acceptable parameters, we could suffer loss of sales, reductions in transactions, reputational damage and deterioration of our competitive position and incur liability for any damage to customers or others whose personal or confidential information is unlawfully obtained and misused, any of which events could have a material adverse impact on our business and results of operations and impede the execution of our strategy for the growth of our business.
Any failure to maintain the security of the information relating to our company, customers, members, associates and vendors, whether as a result of cybersecurity attacks on our information systems or otherwise, could damage our reputation, result in litigation or other legal actions against us, cause us to incur substantial additional costs, and materially adversely affect our business and operating results.
Like most retailers, we receive and store in our information systems personal information about our customers and members, and we receive and store personal information concerning our associates and vendors. Some of that information is stored digitally in connection with our digital platforms. We also utilize third-party service providers for a variety of reasons, including, without limitation, for digital storage technology, content delivery to customers and members, back-office support, and other functions. Such providers may have access to information we hold about our customers, members, associates or vendors. In addition, our eCommerce operations depend upon the secure transmission of confidential information over public networks, including information permitting cashless payments.
Cyber threats are rapidly evolving and those threats and the means for obtaining access to information in digital and other storage media are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Cyber threats and cyberattackers can be sponsored by countries or sophisticated criminal organizations or be the work of hackers with a wide range of motives and expertise. We and the businesses with which we interact have experienced and continue to experience threats to data and systems, including by perpetrators of random or targeted malicious cyberattacks, computer viruses, worms, bot attacks, ransomware or other destructive or disruptive software and attempts to misappropriate customer information, including credit card and payment information, and cause system failures and disruptions. The increased use of remote work infrastructure due to the COVID-19 pandemic has also increased the possible attack surfaces. Some of our systems and third-party service providers' systems have experienced limited security breaches or incidents and although they did not have a material adverse effect on our operating results, there can be no assurance of a similar result in the future.
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Associate error or malfeasance, faulty password management, social engineering or other vulnerabilities and irregularities may also result in a defeat of our or our third-party service providers' security measures and a breach of our or their information systems. Moreover, hardware, software or applications we use may have inherent vulnerabilities or defects of design, manufacture or operations or could be inadvertently or intentionally implemented or used in a manner that could compromise information security.
Any compromise of our data security systems or of those of businesses with which we interact, which results in confidential information being accessed, obtained, damaged, disclosed, destroyed, modified, lost or used by unauthorized persons could harm our reputation and expose us to regulatory actions, customer attrition, remediation expenses, and claims from customers, members, associates, vendors, financial institutions, payment card networks and other persons, any of which could materially and adversely affect our business operations, financial position and results of operations. Because the techniques used to obtain unauthorized access, disable or degrade service, or sabotage systems change frequently and may not immediately produce signs of a compromise, we may be unable to anticipate these techniques or to implement adequate preventative measures and we or our third-party service providers may not discover any security breach, vulnerability or compromise of information for a significant period of time after the security incident occurs. To the extent that any cyberattack, ransomware or incursion in our or one of our third-party service provider's information systems results in the loss, damage, misappropriation or other compromise of information, we may be materially adversely affected by claims from customers, financial institutions, regulatory authorities, payment card networks and others.
Our compliance programs, information technology, and enterprise risk management efforts cannot eliminate all systemic risk. Disruptions in our systems caused by security breaches or cyberattacks – including attacks on those parties we do business with – could harm our ability to conduct our operations, which may have a material effect on us, may result in losses that could have a material adverse effect on our financial position or results of operations, or may have a cascading effect that adversely impacts our partners, third-party service providers, customers, financial services firms, and other third parties that we interact with on a regular basis.
In addition, such security-related events could be widely publicized and could materially adversely affect our reputation with our customers, members, associates, vendors and shareholders, could harm our competitive position particularly with respect to our eCommerce operations, and could result in a material reduction in our net sales in our eCommerce operations, as well as in our stores thereby materially adversely affecting our operations, net sales, results of operations, financial position, cash flows and liquidity. Such events could also result in the release to the public of confidential information about our operations and financial position and performance and could result in litigation or other legal actions against us or the imposition of penalties, fines, fees or liabilities, which may not be covered by our insurance policies. Moreover, a security compromise or ransomware event could require us to devote significant management resources to address the problems created by the issue and to expend significant additional resources to upgrade further the security measures we employ to guard personal and confidential information against cyberattacks and other attempts to access or otherwise compromise such information and could result in a disruption of our operations, particularly our digital operations.
We accept payments using a variety of methods, including cash, checks, credit and debit cards, and our private label credit cards and gift cards, and we may offer new payment options over time, which may have information security risk implications. As a retailer accepting debit and credit cards for payment, we are subject to various industry data protection standards and protocols, such as payment network security operating guidelines and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. We cannot be certain that the security measures we maintain to protect all of our information technology systems are able to prevent, contain or detect cyberattacks, cyberterrorism, security breaches or other compromises from known malware or ransomware or other threats that may be developed in the future. In certain circumstances, our contracts with payment card processors and payment card networks (such as Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover) generally require us to adhere to payment card network rules which could make us liable to payment card issuers and others if information in connection with payment cards and payment card transactions that we process is compromised, which liabilities could be substantial.
Additionally, we offer money (wire) transfer services, digital payment platforms, bill payment, money orders and check cashing and we sell prepaid cards and gift cards. We further offer co-branded credit cards and installment loans through financial services partners. These products and services require us to comply with legal and regulatory requirements, including global anti-money laundering and sanctions laws and regulations as well as international, federal and state consumer financial laws and regulations. Failure to comply with these laws and regulations could result in fines, sanctions, penalties and harm to our reputation.
The Company also has compliance obligations associated with new privacy laws enacted to protect and regulate the collection, use, retention, disclosure and transfer of personal information, which include statutory liability for security breaches. Consequently, cybersecurity attacks that cause a data breach could subject us to fines, sanctions and other legal liability and harm our reputation.
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Changes in the results of our health and wellness business could adversely affect our overall results of operations, cash flows and liquidity.
Walmart has retail pharmacy operations in our Walmart U.S. and Sam's Club segments, as well as the recent addition of Walmart Health Centers in a number of states. A large majority of our retail pharmacy net sales are generated by filling prescriptions for which we receive payment through established contractual relationships with third-party payers and payment administrators, such as private insurers, governmental agencies and pharmacy benefit managers ("PBMs").
Our retail pharmacy operations are subject to numerous risks, including: reductions in the third-party reimbursement rates for drugs; changes in our payer mix (i.e., shifts in the relative distribution of our pharmacy customers across drug insurance plans and programs toward plans and programs with less favorable reimbursement terms); changes in third-party payer drug formularies (i.e., the schedule of prescription drugs approved for reimbursement or which otherwise receive preferential coverage treatment); growth in, and our participation in or exclusion from, pharmacy payer network arrangements including exclusive and preferred pharmacy network arrangements operated by PBMs and/or any insurance plan or program; increases in the prices we pay for brand name and generic prescription drugs we sell; increases in the administrative burdens associated with seeking third-party reimbursement; changes in the frequency with which new brand name pharmaceuticals become available to consumers; introduction of lower cost generic drugs as substitutes for existing brand name drugs for which there was no prior generic drug competition; changes in drug mix (i.e., the relative distribution of drugs customers purchase at our pharmacies between brands and generics); changes in the health insurance market generally; changes in the scope of or the elimination of Medicare Part D or Medicaid drug programs; increased competition from other retail pharmacy operations including competitors offering online retail pharmacy options with or without home delivery options; further consolidation and strategic alliances among third-party payers, PBMs or purchasers of drugs; overall economic conditions and the ability of our pharmacy customers to pay for drugs prescribed for them to the extent the costs are not reimbursed by a third-party; failure to meet any performance or incentive thresholds to which our level of third-party reimbursement may be subject; changes in laws or regulations or the practices of third-party payers and PBMs related to the use of third-party financial assistance to assist our pharmacy customers with paying for drugs prescribed for them; and any additional changes in the regulatory environment for the retail pharmacy industry and the pharmaceutical industry, including as a result of restrictions on the further implementation of or the repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or the enactment and implementation of a law replacing such act, and other changes in laws, rules and regulations that affect our retail pharmacy business.
If the supply of certain pharmaceuticals provided by one or more of our vendors were to be disrupted for any reason, our pharmacy operations could be severely affected until at least such time as we could obtain a new supplier for such pharmaceuticals. Any such disruption could cause reputational damage and result in a significant number of our pharmacy customers transferring their prescriptions to other pharmacies.
One or a combination of such factors may adversely affect the volumes of brand name and generic pharmaceuticals we sell, our cost of sales associated with our retail pharmacy operations, and the net sales and gross margin of those operations or result in the loss of cross-store or cross-club selling opportunities and, in turn, adversely affect our overall net sales, other results of operations, cash flows and liquidity.
Our failure to attract and retain qualified associates, increases in wage and benefit costs, changes in laws and other labor issues could materially adversely affect our financial performance.
Our ability to continue to conduct and expand our operations depends on our ability to attract and retain a large and growing number of qualified associates globally. Our ability to meet our labor needs, including our ability to find qualified personnel to fill positions that become vacant at our existing stores, clubs, distribution and fulfillment centers and corporate offices, while controlling our associate wage and related labor costs, is generally subject to numerous external factors, including the availability of a sufficient number of qualified persons in the work force of the markets in which we operate, unemployment levels within those markets, prevailing wage rates, changing demographics, health and other insurance costs and adoption of new or revised employment and labor laws and regulations. Additionally, our ability to successfully execute organizational changes, including management transitions within the Company's senior leadership, and to effectively motivate and retain associates are critical to our business success. If we are unable to locate, attract or retain qualified personnel, or manage leadership transition successfully, the quality of service we provide to our customers may decrease and our financial performance may be adversely affected.
In addition, if our costs of labor or related costs increase for other reasons or if new or revised labor laws, rules or regulations or healthcare laws are adopted or implemented that further increase our labor costs, our financial performance could be materially adversely affected.
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Financial Risks
Failure to meet market expectations for our financial performance could adversely affect the market price and volatility of our stock.
We believe that the price of our stock generally reflects high market expectations for our future operating results. Any failure to meet or delay in meeting these expectations, including our comparable store and club sales growth rates, eCommerce growth rates, gross margin, or earnings and adjusted earnings per share could cause the market price of our stock to decline, as could changes in our dividend or stock repurchase programs or policies, changes in our financial estimates and recommendations by securities analysts or, failure of Walmart's performance to compare favorably to that of other retailers may have a negative effect on the price of our stock.
Fluctuations in foreign exchange rates may materially adversely affect our financial performance and our reported results of operations.
Our operations in countries other than the U.S. are conducted primarily in the local currencies of those countries. Our Consolidated Financial Statements are denominated in U.S. dollars, and to prepare those financial statements we must translate the amounts of the assets, liabilities, net sales, other revenues and expenses of our operations outside of the U.S. from local currencies into U.S. dollars using exchange rates for the current period. In recent years, fluctuations in currency exchange rates that were unfavorable have had adverse effects on our reported results of operations.
As a result of such translations, fluctuations in currency exchange rates from period-to-period that are unfavorable to us may also result in our Consolidated Financial Statements reflecting significant adverse period-over-period changes in our financial performance or reflecting a period-over-period improvement in our financial performance that is not as robust as it would be without such fluctuations in the currency exchange rates. Such unfavorable currency exchange rate fluctuations will adversely affect the reported performance of our Walmart International operating segment and have a corresponding adverse effect on our reported consolidated results of operations.
We may pay for products we purchase for sale in our stores and clubs around the world with a currency other than the local currency of the country in which the goods will be sold. When we must acquire the currency to pay for such products and the exchange rates for the payment currency fluctuate in a manner unfavorable to us, our cost of sales may increase and we may be unable or unwilling to change the prices at which we sell those goods to address that increase in our costs, with a corresponding adverse effect on our gross profit. Consequently, unfavorable fluctuations in currency exchange rates have and may continue to adversely affect our results of operations.
Legal, Tax, Regulatory, Compliance, Reputational and Other Risks
Our international operations subject us to legislative, judicial, accounting, legal, regulatory, tax, political and economic risks and conditions specific to the countries or regions in which we operate, which could materially adversely affect our business or financial performance.
In addition to our U.S. operations, we operate our retail business in Africa, Canada, Central America, Chile, China, India and Mexico.
During fiscal 2021, our Walmart International operations generated approximately 22% of our consolidated net sales. Walmart International's operations in various countries also source goods and services from other countries. Our future operating results in these countries could be negatively affected by a variety of factors, most of which are beyond our control. These factors include political conditions, including political instability, local and global economic conditions, legal and regulatory constraints (such as regulation of product and service offerings including regulatory restrictions (such as foreign ownership restrictions) on eCommerce and retail operations in international markets, such as India), restrictive governmental actions (such as trade protection measures), antitrust and competition law regulatory matters (such as the competition investigations currently underway in Mexico related to our subsidiary Wal-Mart de Mexico, in Canada related to our subsidiary Wal-Mart Canada and competition proceedings in India related to our Flipkart subsidiary), local product safety and environmental laws, tax regulations, local labor laws, anti-money laundering laws and regulations, trade policies, currency regulations, laws and regulations regarding consumer and data protection, and other matters in any of the countries or regions in which we operate, now or in the future.
21


The economies of some of the countries in which we have operations have in the past suffered from high rates of inflation and currency devaluations, which, if they occurred again, could adversely affect our financial performance. Other factors which may impact our international operations include foreign trade, monetary and fiscal policies of the U.S. and of other countries, laws, regulations and other activities of foreign governments, agencies and similar organizations, and risks associated with having numerous facilities located in countries that have historically been less stable than the U.S. Additional risks inherent in our international operations generally include, among others, the costs and difficulties of managing international operations, adverse tax consequences and greater difficulty in enforcing intellectual property rights in countries other than the U.S. The various risks inherent in doing business in the U.S. generally also exist when doing business outside of the U.S., and may be exaggerated by the difficulty of doing business in numerous sovereign jurisdictions due to differences in culture, laws and regulations.
In foreign countries in which we have operations, a risk exists that our associates, contractors or agents could, in contravention of our policies, engage in business practices prohibited by U.S. laws and regulations applicable to us, such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or the laws and regulations of other countries. We maintain a global policy prohibiting such business practices and have in place a global anti-corruption compliance program designed to ensure compliance with these laws and regulations. Nevertheless, we remain subject to the risk that one or more of our associates, contractors or agents, including those based in or from countries where practices that violate such U.S. laws and regulations or the laws and regulations of other countries may be customary, will engage in business practices that are prohibited by our policies, circumvent our compliance programs and, by doing so, violate such laws and regulations. Any such violations, even if prohibited by our internal policies, could adversely affect our business or financial performance and our reputation.
Changes in tax and trade laws and regulations could materially adversely affect our financial performance.
In fiscal 2021, our Walmart U.S. and Sam's Club operating segments generated approximately 78% of our consolidated net sales. Significant changes in tax and trade policies, including tariffs and government regulations affecting trade between the U.S. and other countries where we source many of the products we sell in our stores and clubs could have an adverse effect on our financial performance. A significant portion of the general merchandise we sell in our U.S. stores and clubs is manufactured in other countries. Any such actions including the imposition of further tariffs on imports could increase the cost to us of such merchandise (whether imported directly or indirectly) and cause increases in the prices at which we sell such merchandise to our customers, which could materially adversely affect the financial performance of our U.S. operations and our business.
We are subject to income taxes and other taxes in both the U.S. and the foreign jurisdictions in which we currently operate or have historically operated. The determination of our worldwide provision for income taxes and current and deferred tax assets and liabilities requires judgment and estimation. Our income taxes could be materially adversely affected by earnings being lower than anticipated in jurisdictions that have lower statutory tax rates and higher than anticipated in jurisdictions that have higher statutory tax rates, by changes in the valuation of our deferred tax assets and liabilities, or by changes in worldwide tax laws, tax rates, regulations or accounting principles.
We are also exposed to future tax legislation, as well as the issuance of future regulations and changes in administrative interpretations of existing tax laws, any of which can impact our current and future years' tax provision. The effect of such changes in tax law could have a material effect on our business, financial position and results of operations. In the U.S., the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (the "Tax Act") significantly changed federal income tax laws that affect U.S. corporations and additional guidance from the U.S. Treasury Department, the IRS, and other standard-setting bodies is still pending. As further guidance is issued by these taxing authorities, any resulting changes in our estimates will be treated in accordance with the relevant accounting guidance. Compliance with the Tax Act, including collecting information not regularly produced by the Company or unexpected changes in our estimates, may require us to incur additional costs and could affect our results of operations.
In addition, in response to significant market volatility and disruptions to business operations resulting from the global spread of COVID-19, legislatures and taxing authorities in many jurisdictions in which we operate may enact changes to their tax rules. These changes could include modifications that have temporary effect and more permanent changes. The impact of these potential new rules as well as any other changes in domestic and international tax rules and regulations could have a material effect on our effective tax rate.
Furthermore, we are subject to regular review and audit by both domestic and foreign tax authorities as well as subject to the prospective and retrospective effects of changing tax regulations and legislation. Although we believe our tax estimates are reasonable, the ultimate tax outcome may materially differ from the tax amounts recorded in our Consolidated Financial Statements and may materially affect our income tax provision, net income, or cash flows in the period or periods for which such determination and settlement is made.
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Changes in and/or failure to comply with other laws and regulations specific to the environments in which we operate could materially adversely affect our reputation, market position, or our business and financial performance.
We operate in complex regulated environments in the U.S. and in the other countries in which we operate and could be adversely affected by changes to existing legal requirements including the related interpretations and enforcement practices, new legal requirements and/or any failure to comply with applicable regulations.
Our operations in the U.S. are subject to numerous federal, state and local regulations including licensing and other requirements and reimbursement arrangements affecting our health and wellness operations. The regulations to which we are subject include, but are not limited to: federal and state registration and regulation of pharmacies; dispensing and sale of controlled substances and products containing pseudoephedrine; applicable governmental payer regulations including Medicare and Medicaid; data privacy and security laws and regulations including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the Affordable Care Act, laws and regulations relating to the protection of the environment and health and safety matters, including those governing exposure to, and the management and disposal of, hazardous substances; regulations regarding food and drug safety including those of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (the "FDA") and the Drug Enforcement Administration (the "DEA"), trade regulations including those of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, and consumer protection and safety regulations including those of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, as well as state regulatory authorities, governing the availability, sale, advertisement and promotion of products we sell and the financial services we offer; anti-kickback laws; false claims laws; patient inducement regulations; and federal and state laws governing health care fraud and abuse and the practice of the professions of pharmacy, optical care and health care services.
For example, in the U.S., the DEA and various other regulatory authorities regulate the distribution and dispensing of pharmaceuticals and controlled substances. We are required to hold valid DEA and state-level licenses, meet various security and operating standards and comply with the federal and various state controlled substance acts and related regulations governing the sale, dispensing, disposal and holding of controlled substances. The DEA, the FDA and state regulatory authorities have broad enforcement powers, including the ability to seize or recall products and impose significant criminal, civil and administrative sanctions for violations of these laws and regulations.
We are also governed by foreign, national and state laws and regulations of general applicability, including laws and regulations related to working conditions, health and safety, equal employment opportunity, employee benefit and other labor and employment matters, laws and regulations related to competition and antitrust matters, and health and wellness related regulations for our pharmacy operations outside of the U.S. In addition, certain financial services we offer or make available, such as our money transfer agent services, are subject to legal and regulatory requirements, including those intended to help detect and prevent money laundering, sanctions, fraud and other illicit activity as well as consumer financial protection. We are also subject to data privacy and protection laws regulating the collection, use, retention, disclosure, transfer and processing of personal information, such as the California Consumer Protection Act (“CCPA”), which was recently significantly modified by the California Privacy Rights Act (“CPRA”), as well as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”). The potential effects of these laws are far-reaching and may require us to modify our data processing practices and policies and to incur substantial costs and expenses to comply. In the case of non-compliance with a material provision of the GDPR (such as non-adherence to the core principles of processing personal data), regulators have the authority to levy a fine in an amount that is up to the greater of €20 million or 4% of global annual turnover in the prior year. These administrative fines are discretionary and based, in each case, on a multi-factored approach. The CCPA and CPRA give California residents expanded rights to access, correct and require deletion of their personal information, opt out of certain personal information sharing and receive detailed information about how their personal information is used. The CCPA and CPRA provide for civil penalties for violations, as well as a private right of action for data breaches. Furthermore, our marketing and customer engagement activities are subject to communications privacy laws such as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. We may be subjected to penalties and other consequences for noncompliance, including changing some portions of our business. Even an unsuccessful challenge by customer or regulatory authorities of our activities could result in adverse publicity and could require a costly response from and defense by us.
The impact of new laws, regulations and policies and the related interpretations, as well as changes in enforcement practices or regulatory scrutiny generally cannot be predicted, and changes in applicable laws, regulations and policies and the related interpretations and enforcement practices may require extensive system and operational changes, be difficult to implement, increase our operating costs, require significant capital expenditures, or adversely impact the cost or attractiveness of the products or services we offer, or result in adverse publicity and harm our reputation.
23


While we strive to adhere our practices and procedures to these laws, they are subject to evolving regulations, interpretations and regulator discretion. To the extent a regulator or court disagrees with our interpretation of these laws and determines that our practices are not in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, we could be subject to civil and criminal penalties that could adversely affect the continued operation of our businesses, including: suspension of payments from government programs; loss of required government certifications; loss of authorizations to participate in or exclusion from government programs, including the Medicare and Medicaid programs in the U.S.; loss of licenses; termination from contractual relationships, including those with our drug suppliers and third-party payers; and significant fines or monetary damages and/or penalties. In addition, failure to comply with applicable legal or regulatory requirements in the U.S. or in any of the countries in which we operate could result in significant legal and financial exposure, damage to our reputation, and have a material adverse effect on our business operations, financial position and results of operations.
We are subject to risks related to litigation and other legal proceedings that may materially adversely affect our results of operations, financial position and liquidity.
We operate in a highly regulated and litigious environment. We are involved in legal proceedings, including litigation, arbitration and other claims, and investigations, inspections, audits, claims, inquiries and similar actions by pharmacy, healthcare, tax, environmental and other governmental authorities. We may also have indemnification obligations for legal commitments of certain businesses we have divested. Legal proceedings, in general, and securities, derivative action and class action and multi-district litigation, in particular, can be expensive and disruptive. Some of these suits may purport or may be determined to be class actions and/or involve parties seeking large and/or indeterminate amounts, including punitive or exemplary damages, and may remain unresolved for several years. For example, we are currently a defendant in a number of cases containing class or collective-action allegations, or both, in which the plaintiffs have brought claims under federal and state wage and hour laws, as well as a number of cases containing class-action allegations in which the plaintiffs have brought claims under federal and state consumer laws.
The Company has also been responding to subpoenas, information requests and investigations from governmental entities related to nationwide controlled substance dispensing and distribution practices involving opioids and is also a defendant in numerous litigation proceedings related to opioids including the consolidated multidistrict litigation entitled In re National Prescription Opiate Litigation (MDL No. 2804), currently pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. Similar cases that name the Company have also been filed in state courts by state, local and tribal governments, health care providers and other plaintiffs. Plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages, as well as injunctive relief including abatement. On October 22, 2020, the Company filed a declaratory judgment action in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas against the U.S. Department of Justice (the “DOJ”) and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, asking a federal court to clarify the roles and responsibilities of pharmacists and pharmacies as to the dispensing and distribution of opioids under the Controlled Substances Act (the “CSA”). The Company’s action was dismissed and the Company is appealing the decision. On December 22, 2020, the DOJ filed a civil complaint against the Company in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware alleging that the Company unlawfully dispensed controlled substances from its pharmacies and unlawfully distributed controlled substances to those pharmacies in violation of the CSA. The DOJ is seeking civil penalties and injunctive relief. The Company filed a motion to dismiss the DOJ complaint on February 22, 2021. In addition, the Company is the subject of two securities class actions alleging violations of the federal securities laws regarding the Company’s disclosures with respect to opioids filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware on January 20, 2021 and March 5, 2021 purportedly on behalf of a class of investors who acquired Walmart stock from March 30, 2016 through December 22, 2020. A derivative action was also filed by one of the Company's shareholders in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware on February 9, 2021 alleging breach of fiduciary duties against certain of its current and former directors with respect to oversight of the Company’s distribution and dispensing of opioids.
The Company cannot predict the number of such claims that may be filed, and cannot reasonably estimate any loss or range of loss that may arise from such claims and the related opioid matters.
We discuss these cases and other litigation to which we are party below under the caption "Item 3. Legal Proceedings" and in Note 10 in the "Notes to our Consolidated Financial Statements," which are part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
24


Our amended and restated bylaws designate the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware as the sole and exclusive forum for certain types of actions and proceedings that may be initiated by our shareholders, which could increase the costs for our shareholders to bring claims, discourage our shareholders from bringing claims, or limit our shareholders’ ability to obtain a favorable judicial forum for disputes with us or our directors, officers, associates or shareholders in such capacity.
Our bylaws provide that, unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware will, to the fullest extent permitted by law, be the sole and exclusive forum for claims, including derivative claims that are based upon a violation of a duty by a current or former director, officer, associate or shareholder in such capacity or as to which the Delaware General Corporation Law confers jurisdiction upon the Court of Chancery. The exclusive forum provision may increase the costs for a shareholder to bring a claim or limit a shareholder’s ability to bring a claim in a judicial forum that the shareholder finds favorable for disputes with us or our directors, officers, associates or shareholders in such capacity, which may discourage such lawsuits against us and such persons. Alternatively, if a court were to find these provisions of our bylaws inapplicable to, or unenforceable in respect of, the claims as to which they are intended to apply, then we may incur additional costs associated with resolving such matters in other jurisdictions, which could adversely affect our business, financial position or results of operations. While the exclusive forum provision applies to state and federal law claims, our shareholders will not be deemed to have waived our compliance with, and the exclusive forum provision will not preclude or contract the scope of exclusive federal or concurrent jurisdiction for actions brought under, the federal securities laws, including the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder.
ITEM 1B.UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
None.
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ITEM 2.PROPERTIES
United States
The Walmart U.S. and Sam's Club segments comprise the Company's operations in the U.S. As of January 31, 2021, unit counts for Walmart U.S. and Sam's Club are summarized by format for each state and territory as follows:
Walmart U.S.Sam's Club
State or TerritorySupercentersDiscount StoresNeighborhood Markets and other small formatsClubsGrand Total
Alabama101 29 13 144 
Alaska— — 
Arizona83 28 12 125 
Arkansas76 37 127 
California142 71 78 29 320 
Colorado70 18 17 109 
Connecticut12 21 35 
Delaware— 10 
Florida232 98 46 385 
Georgia154 35 24 215 
Hawaii— 10 — 12 
Idaho23 — 27 
Illinois139 15 12 25 191 
Indiana97 11 13 127 
Iowa58 — 69 
Kansas58 16 85 
Kentucky78 103 
Louisiana88 34 14 138 
Maine19 — 25 
Maryland30 18 11 62 
Massachusetts27 21 — 52 
Michigan90 23 125 
Minnesota65 12 81 
Mississippi65 11 86 
Missouri112 18 19 158 
Montana14 — — 16 
Nebraska35 — 47 
Nevada30 11 50 
New Hampshire19 — 28 
New Jersey35 27 71 
New Mexico35 53 
New York80 17 12 118 
North Carolina143 45 22 216 
North Dakota14 — — 17 
Ohio139 27 174 
Oklahoma81 35 13 136 
Oregon29 10 — 46 
Pennsylvania116 20 24 163 
Puerto Rico13 12 37 
Rhode Island— — 
South Carolina84 — 26 13 123 
South Dakota15 — — 17 
Tennessee117 20 14 152 
Texas392 18 110 82 602 
Utah41 — 13 62 
Vermont— — 
Virginia110 21 15 150 
Washington52 10 — 67 
Washington D.C.— — 
West Virginia38 — 44 
Wisconsin83 10 99 
Wyoming12 — — 14 
U.S. total3,570 374 799 599 5,342 
Square feet (in thousands)
634,154 39,464 29,414 80,239 783,271 
26


International
The Walmart International segment comprises the Company's operations outside of the U.S. Unit counts as of January 31, 2021(1) for Walmart International are summarized by major category for each geographic market as follows:
Geographic MarketRetailWholesale
Other(2)
Total
Square feet(3)
Africa(4)
332 91 — 423 24,537 
Canada408 — — 408 52,976 
Central America(5)
855 — — 855 13,724 
Chile352 — 358 15,932 
China403 31 — 434 69,312 
India— 29 — 29 1,569 
Japan(6)
328 — — 328 19,570 
Mexico2,470 164 — 2,634 101,993 
United Kingdom(6)
614 — 18 632 37,660 
International total5,762 321 18 6,101 337,273 
(1)Walmart International unit counts, with the exception of Canada, are as of December 31, 2020, to correspond with the balance sheet date of the related geographic market. Canada unit counts are as of January 31, 2021.
(2)Other includes stand-alone gas stations.
(3)Square feet reported in thousands.
(4)Africa unit counts primarily reside in South Africa, with other locations in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
(5)Central America unit counts reside in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
(6)As of January 31, 2021, the Company's operations in Japan and the United Kingdom were classified as held for sale. Refer to Note 12.

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Owned and Leased Properties
The following table provides further details of our retail units and distribution facilities, including return facilities and dedicated eCommerce fulfillment centers, as of January 31, 2021:
Owned
Leased(1)
Total
U.S. properties
    Walmart U.S. retail units4,067 676 4,743 
    Sam's Club retail units513 86 599 
            Total U.S. retail units4,580 762 5,342 
    Walmart U.S. distribution facilities108 48 156 
    Sam's Club distribution facilities11 16 27 
Total U.S. distribution facilities119 64 183 
Total U.S. properties4,699 826 5,525 
International properties
    Africa37 386 423 
    Canada124 284 408 
    Central America358 497 855 
    Chile188 170 358 
    China432 434 
    India27 29 
    Japan(2)
54 274 328 
    Mexico700 1,934 2,634 
    United Kingdom(2)
433 199 632 
            Total International retail units1,898 4,203 6,101 
International distribution facilities32 189 221 
Total International properties1,930 4,392 6,322 
Total properties6,629 5,218 11,847 
Total retail units6,478 4,965 11,443 
Total distribution facilities151 253 404 
Total properties6,629 5,218 11,847 
(1)Also includes U.S. and international distribution facilities which are third-party owned and operated.
(2)As of January 31, 2021, the Company's operations in Japan and the United Kingdom were classified as held for sale. Refer to Note 12,
We own office facilities in Bentonville, Arkansas, that serve as our principal office and own and lease office facilities throughout the U.S. and internationally for operations as well as for field and market management. The land on which our stores are located is either owned or leased by the Company. We use independent contractors to construct our buildings. All store leases provide for annual rentals, some of which escalate during the original lease or provide for additional rent based on sales volume. Substantially all of the Company's store and club leases have renewal options, some of which include rent escalation clauses.
For further information on our distribution centers, see the caption "Distribution" provided for each of our segments under "Item 1. Business."

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ITEM 3.LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
I. SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: We discuss certain legal proceedings in Note 10 to our Consolidated Financial Statements, which is included in "Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data." We refer you to that discussion for important information concerning those legal proceedings, including the basis for such actions and, where known, the relief sought.
We provide the following additional information concerning those legal proceedings, including the name of the lawsuit, the court in which the lawsuit is pending, and the date on which the petition commencing the lawsuit was filed.
Asda Equal Value Claims: Ms S Brierley & Others v ASDA Stores Ltd (2406372/2008 & Others - Manchester Employment Tribunal); ASDA Stores Ltd v Brierley & Ors (A2/2016/0973 - United Kingdom Court of Appeal); ASDA Stores Ltd v Ms S Brierley & Others (UKEAT/0059/16/DM - United Kingdom Employment Appeal Tribunal); ASDA Stores Ltd v Ms S Brierley & Others (UKEAT/0009/16/JOJ - United Kingdom Employment Appeal Tribunal).
National Prescription Opiate Litigation: In re National Prescription Opiate Litigation (MDL No. 2804) (the "MDL"). The MDL is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio and includes over 2,000 cases as of March 5, 2021, some of which cases are in the process of being transferred to the MDL. A trial previously scheduled to begin on May 10, 2021 against a number of parties, including the Company, regarding opioid dispensing and distribution claims has been postponed and rescheduled for October 4, 2021. A separate trial in the MDL that had been expected to start in November 2020 against a number of parties, including the Company, regarding opioid distribution claims has been postponed indefinitely. There is one case in which the Company is named as a defendant that was remanded from the MDL court to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma. In addition, there are over 200 state court cases pending as of March 5, 2021, some of which may be removed to federal court to seek MDL transfer. The case citations for the state cases are listed on Exhibit 99.1 to this Form 10-K.
DOJ Opioid Litigation: On October 22, 2020, the Company filed a declaratory judgment action in the Eastern District of Texas against the U.S. Department of Justice (the “DOJ”) and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, asking a federal court to clarify the roles and responsibilities of pharmacists and pharmacies as to the dispensing and distribution of opioids under the Controlled Substances Act (the “CSA”). The Company’s action, Walmart Inc. v. U.S. Department of Justice et al., USDC, Eastern Dist. of Texas, 10/22/20, was dismissed and the Company is appealing the decision. A civil complaint pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware has been filed by the DOJ against the Company, in which the DOJ alleges violations of the CSA related to nationwide distribution and dispensing of opioids. U.S. v. Walmart Inc., et al., USDC, Dist. of DE, 12/22/20. The Company filed a motion to dismiss the DOJ complaint on February 22, 2021.
Opioids Related Securities Class Actions and Derivative Litigation: A derivative complaint and class action lawsuits drawing heavily on the allegations of the DOJ complaint have been filed in Delaware naming various current and former directors and certain officers as defendants. The plaintiff in the derivative suit (in which the Company is a nominal defendant) alleges, among other things, that the defendants breached their fiduciary duties in connection with their oversight of opioids dispensing and distribution. The securities class actions, alleging violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended regarding the Company’s disclosures with respect to opioids were purportedly filed on behalf of a class of investors who acquired Walmart stock from March 30, 2016 through December 22, 2020.
Derivative Lawsuit: Abt v. Alvarez et al., USDC, Dist. of DE, 2/9/21.
Securities Class Actions: Stanton v. Walmart Inc. et al., USDC, Dist. of DE, 1/20/21; Martin v. Walmart Inc. et al., USDC, Dist. of DE, 3/5/21.
II. CERTAIN OTHER MATTERS: The Company has received grand jury subpoenas issued by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania seeking documents regarding the Company’s consumer fraud program and anti-money laundering compliance related to the Company’s money transfer services, where Walmart is an agent. The most recent subpoena was issued in August 2020. The Company has been responding to these subpoenas and is cooperating with the government’s investigation. The Company has also responded to civil investigative demands from the United States Federal Trade Commission (the “FTC”) and is cooperating with the FTC’s investigation related to money transfers and the Company’s anti-fraud program in its capacity as an agent. The Company is unable to predict the outcome of the investigations or any related actions by the governmental entities regarding these matters at this time. While the Company does not currently believe that the outcome of these matters will have a material adverse effect on its business, financial position, results of operations or cash flows, the Company can provide no assurance as to the scope and outcome of these matters and whether its business, financial position, results of operations or cash flows will not be materially adversely affected.
III. ENVIRONMENTAL MATTERS: Item 103 of SEC Regulation S-K requires disclosure of certain environmental matters when a governmental authority is a party to the proceedings and such proceedings involve potential monetary sanctions that the Company reasonably believes will exceed an applied threshold not to exceed $1 million. Applying this threshold, there are no environmental matters to disclose for this period.
29


ITEM 4.MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES
Not applicable.



PART II
ITEM 5.
MARKET FOR REGISTRANT'S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
Market for Common Stock
The principal market on which Walmart's common stock is listed for trading is the New York Stock Exchange. The common stock trades under the symbol "WMT."
Holders of Record of Common Stock
As of March 17, 2021, there were 214,673 holders of record of Walmart's common stock.
Stock Performance Chart
This graph compares the cumulative total shareholder return on Walmart's common stock during the five fiscal years ended through fiscal 2021 to the cumulative total returns on the S&P 500 Retailing Index and the S&P 500 Index. The comparison assumes $100 was invested on February 1, 2016 in shares of our common stock and in each of the indices shown and assumes that all of the dividends were reinvested.

wmt-20210131_g2.jpg
*Assumes $100 Invested on February 1, 2016
Assumes Dividends Reinvested
Fiscal Year ended January 31, 2021
Fiscal Years Ended January 31,
201620172018201920202021
Walmart Inc.$100.00 $103.50 $169.56 $156.05 $190.21 $237.33 
S&P 500 Index100.00120.04151.74148.23180.37211.48
S&P 500 Retailing Index100.00120.09174.49186.29219.46316.05
Issuer Repurchases of Equity Securities
From time to time, we repurchase shares of our common stock under share repurchase programs authorized by the Company's Board of Directors. All repurchases made during fiscal 2021 were made under the $20.0 billion share repurchase program approved in October 2017, of which authorization for $3.0 billion of share repurchases remained as of January 31, 2021. On February 18, 2021, the Board of Directors approved a new $20.0 billion share repurchase program which, beginning February 22, 2021, replaced the previous share repurchase program. Any repurchased shares are constructively retired and returned to an unissued status.
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Share repurchase activity under our share repurchase programs, on a trade date basis, for each month in the quarter ended January 31, 2021, was as follows:
Fiscal PeriodTotal Number of
Shares Repurchased
Average Price Paid
per Share
(in dollars)
Total Number of
Shares Repurchased
as Part of Publicly
Announced Plans or
Programs
Approximate Dollar Value of
Shares that May Yet Be
Repurchased Under the
Plans or Programs(1)
(in billions)
November 1 - 30, 20201,827,372 $148.91 1,827,372 $4.2 
December 1 - 31, 20204,334,315 146.33 4,334,315 3.6 
January 1 - 31, 20213,926,701 145.80 3,926,701 3.0 
Total10,088,388 10,088,388 
(1) Represents the approximate dollar value of shares that could have been repurchased at the end of the month.
ITEM 6.SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
This Item is reserved as a result of the Company’s early adoption of Item 301 of Regulation S-K, as deleted pursuant to SEC Release No. 33-10890; 34-90459 (Management’s Discussion and Analysis; Selected Financial Data, and Supplementary Financial Information) adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission on November 19, 2020.
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ITEM 7.MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
Overview
This discussion, which presents our results for the fiscal years ended January 31, 2021 ("fiscal 2021"), January 31, 2020 ("fiscal 2020") and January 31, 2019 ("fiscal 2019"), should be read in conjunction with our Consolidated Financial Statements and the accompanying notes. We intend for this discussion to provide the reader with information that will assist in understanding our financial statements, the changes in certain key items in those financial statements from period to period and the primary factors that accounted for those changes. We also discuss certain performance metrics that management uses to assess the Company's performance. Additionally, the discussion provides information about the financial results of each of the three segments to provide a better understanding of how each of those segments and its results of operations affect the financial position and results of operations of the Company as a whole.
Throughout this Item 7, we discuss segment operating income, comparable store and club sales and other measures.  Management measures the results of the Company's segments using each segment's operating income, including certain corporate overhead allocations, as well as other measures. From time to time, we revise the measurement of each segment's operating income and other measures as determined by the information regularly reviewed by our chief operating decision maker.
Management also measures the results of comparable store and club sales, or comparable sales, a metric that indicates the performance of our existing stores and clubs by measuring the change in sales for such stores and clubs, including eCommerce sales, for a particular period from the corresponding period in the previous year. Walmart's definition of comparable sales includes sales from stores and clubs open for the previous 12 months, including remodels, relocations, expansions and conversions, as well as eCommerce sales. We measure the eCommerce sales impact by including all sales initiated digitally, including omni-channel transactions which are fulfilled through our stores and clubs. Sales at a store that has changed in format are excluded from comparable sales when the conversion of that store is accompanied by a relocation or expansion that results in a change in the store's retail square feet of more than five percent. Sales related to divested businesses are excluded from comparable sales, and sales related to acquisitions are excluded until such acquisitions have been owned for 12 months. Comparable sales are also referred to as "same-store" sales by others within the retail industry. The method of calculating comparable sales varies across the retail industry. As a result, our calculation of comparable sales is not necessarily comparable to similarly titled measures reported by other companies.
In discussing our operating results, the term currency exchange rates refers to the currency exchange rates we use to convert the operating results for countries where the functional currency is not the U.S. dollar into U.S. dollars. We calculate the effect of changes in currency exchange rates as the difference between current period activity translated using the current period’s currency exchange rates and the comparable prior year period’s currency exchange rates. Additionally, no currency exchange rate fluctuations are calculated for non-USD acquisitions until owned for 12 months. Throughout our discussion, we refer to the results of this calculation as the impact of currency exchange rate fluctuations. Volatility in currency exchange rates may impact the results, including net sales and operating income, of the Company and the Walmart International segment in the future.
Our business is seasonal to a certain extent due to calendar events and national and religious holidays, as well as weather patterns. Generally, our highest sales volume and operating income have occurred in the fiscal quarter ending January 31; however, the COVID-19 pandemic may have an impact on consumer behaviors that could result in temporary changes in the seasonal fluctuations of our business.
We have taken certain strategic actions to strengthen our Walmart International portfolio for the long-term, including the following highlights over the last three years:
Acquisition of 81 percent of the outstanding shares, or 77 percent of the diluted shares, of Flipkart Private Limited ("Flipkart") in August 2018. Refer to Note 12 for additional information on the transaction.
Divestiture of 80 percent of Walmart Brazil in August 2018, for which we recorded a pre-tax loss of $4.8 billion in fiscal 2019. Refer to Note 12 for additional information on the transaction.
Divestiture of banking operations in Walmart Chile and Walmart Canada in December 2018 and April 2019, respectively.
In October 2020, we agreed to sell Asda for net consideration of $9.4 billion and recognized an estimated non-cash loss in fiscal 2021 of $5.7 billion, after tax, which includes the loss associated with the expected derecognition of the Asda pension plan. In February 2021, we completed the sale of Asda. Refer to Note 11 and Note 12.
In November 2020, we completed the sale of Walmart Argentina and recorded a non-cash loss of $1.0 billion, after-tax, primarily due to cumulative foreign currency translation losses. Refer to Note 12.
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In November 2020, we agreed to sell a majority stake in Seiyu for net consideration of approximately $1.2 billion and recognized an estimated non-cash loss of $1.9 billion, after-tax, in fiscal 2021. In March 2021, we completed the sale of Seiyu. Refer to Note 12.
We operate in the highly competitive omni-channel retail industry in all of the markets we serve. We face strong sales competition from other discount, department, drug, dollar, variety and specialty stores, warehouse clubs and supermarkets, as well as eCommerce businesses. Many of these competitors are national, regional or international chains or have a national or international omni-channel or eCommerce presence. We compete with a number of companies for attracting and retaining quality associates. We, along with other retail companies, are influenced by a number of factors including, but not limited to: catastrophic events, weather, global health epidemics including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, competitive pressures, consumer disposable income, consumer debt levels and buying patterns, consumer credit availability, cost of goods, currency exchange rate fluctuations, customer preferences, deflation, inflation, fuel and energy prices, general economic conditions, insurance costs, interest rates, labor costs, tax rates, the imposition of tariffs, cybersecurity attacks and unemployment. Further information on the factors that can affect our operating results and on certain risks to our Company and an investment in its securities can be found herein under "Item 1A. Risk Factors."
COVID-19 Updates
Throughout fiscal 2021, we have operated with a clear set of priorities to guide our decision making through the COVID-19 pandemic. These priorities are:
Supporting our associates on the front lines in terms of their physical safety, financial health and emotional well-being. We are providing extra pay and benefits, including special cash bonuses to associates and the introduction of a COVID-19 Emergency Leave Policy in the U.S.
Serving our customers as safely as possible and keeping our supply chain operating. We reduced our store operating hours at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and have expanded store hours slightly toward the end of the year.
Helping others which includes waiving or discounting rent for in-store tenants in April and May 2020 as well as hiring more than 500,000 new associates.
Managing the business well both operationally and financially and driving our long-term strategy. We are maintaining our everyday low-price discipline while investing in our omni-channel offering which continues to resonate with customers around the world who are increasingly seeking convenience.
While we incurred incremental costs of $4.0 billion during fiscal 2021 associated with operating during a global health crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in overall net sales growth during fiscal 2021 with strong comparable sales in the U.S. and the majority of our international markets. Sales trends were positively affected by eCommerce growth acceleration and we also saw customers consolidate shopping trips and purchase larger baskets. For a detailed discussion on results of operations by reportable segment, refer to "Results of Operations" below.
We expect continued uncertainty in our business and the global economy due to the duration and intensity of the COVID-19 pandemic; the duration and extent of economic stimulus; timing and effectiveness of global vaccines; and volatility in employment trends and consumer confidence which may impact our results.
Company Performance Metrics
We are committed to helping customers save money and live better through everyday low prices, supported by everyday low costs.  At times, we adjust our business strategies to maintain and strengthen our competitive positions in the countries in which we operate.  We define our financial framework as:
strong, efficient growth;
consistent operating discipline; and
strategic capital allocation.
As we execute on this financial framework, we believe our returns on capital will improve over time.

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Strong, Efficient Growth
Our objective of prioritizing strong, efficient growth means we will focus on the most productive growth opportunities, increasing comparable store and club sales, accelerating eCommerce sales growth and expanding omni-channel initiatives while slowing the rate of growth of new stores and clubs. At times, we make strategic investments which are focused on the long-term growth of the Company.
Comparable sales is a metric that indicates the performance of our existing stores and clubs by measuring the change in sales for such stores and clubs, including eCommerce sales, for a particular period over the corresponding period in the previous year. The retail industry generally reports comparable sales using the retail calendar (also known as the 4-5-4 calendar). To be consistent with the retail industry, we provide comparable sales using the retail calendar in our quarterly earnings releases. However, when we discuss our comparable sales below, we are referring to our calendar comparable sales calculated using our fiscal calendar, which may result in differences when compared to comparable sales using the retail calendar.
Calendar comparable sales, including the impact of fuel, for fiscal 2021 and 2020, were as follows:
 Fiscal Years Ended January 31,
 2021202020212020
 With FuelFuel Impact
Walmart U.S.8.7%2.9%(0.2)%0.0%
Sam's Club8.7%1.6%(3.4)%0.8%
Total U.S.8.7%2.7%(0.6)%0.1%
Comparable sales in the U.S., including fuel, increased 8.7% and 2.7% in fiscal 2021 and 2020, respectively, when compared to the previous fiscal year. Walmart U.S. comparable sales increased 8.7% and 2.9% in fiscal 2021 and 2020, respectively. For fiscal 2021, comparable sales growth was driven by growth in average ticket primarily resulting from increased demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic, partially offset by a decline in transactions as customers consolidated shopping trips. For fiscal 2020, comparable sales growth was driven by growth in average ticket and transactions. Walmart U.S. eCommerce sales positively contributed approximately 5.4% and 2.1% to comparable sales for fiscal 2021 and 2020, respectively, as we continue to focus on a seamless omni-channel experience for our customers.
Sam's Club comparable sales increased 8.7% and 1.6% in fiscal 2021 and 2020, respectively. For fiscal 2021, Sam's Club comparable sales benefited from growth in transactions and average ticket resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, partially offset by both our decision to remove tobacco from certain club locations and by lower fuel sales. Sam's Club comparable sales for fiscal 2020 benefited from growth in transactions and higher fuel sales, which were partially offset by lower average ticket due to our decision to remove tobacco from certain club locations. Sam's Club eCommerce sales positively contributed approximately 2.2% and 1.8% to comparable sales for fiscal 2021 and 2020, respectively.
Consistent Operating Discipline
We operate with discipline by managing expenses, optimizing the efficiency of how we work and creating an environment in which we have sustainable lowest cost to serve. We invest in technology and process improvements to increase productivity, manage inventory and reduce costs. We measure operating discipline through expense leverage, which we define as net sales growing at a faster rate than operating, selling, general and administrative ("operating") expenses.
Fiscal Years Ended January 31,
(Amounts in millions, except unit counts)20212020
Net sales$555,233 $519,926 
Percentage change from comparable period6.8 %1.9 %
Operating, selling, general and administrative expenses$116,288 $108,791 
Percentage change from comparable period6.9 %1.5 %
Operating, selling, general and administrative expenses as a percentage of net sales20.9 %20.9 %
For fiscal 2021, operating expenses as a percentage of net sales was flat when compared to the previous fiscal year. Operating expenses as a percentage of net sales benefited from strong growth in comparable sales and lapping the $0.9 billion business restructuring charges from the prior year described below. These benefits were offset by $4.0 billion of incremental costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic and a $0.4 billion business restructuring charge in the Walmart U.S. segment recorded in the second quarter of fiscal 2021.
For fiscal 2020, operating expenses as a percentage of net sales decreased 8 basis points compared to the previous fiscal year due to our focus on expense management combined with our growth in comparable store sales. These improvements were partially offset by $0.9 billion in business restructuring charges consisting primarily of non-cash impairment charges for certain trade names, acquired developed technology, and other business restructuring charges due to strategic decisions that resulted in the write down of certain assets in the Walmart U.S. and Walmart International segments.
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Strategic Capital Allocation
Our strategy includes improving our customer-facing initiatives in stores and clubs and creating a seamless omni-channel experience for our customers. As such, we are allocating more capital to eCommerce, technology, supply chain, and store remodels and less to new store and club openings. Total fiscal 2021 capital expenditures decreased slightly compared to the prior year. The following table provides additional detail:
(Amounts in millions)Fiscal Years Ended January 31,
Allocation of Capital Expenditures20212020
eCommerce, technology, supply chain and other$5,681 $5,643 
Remodels2,013 2,184 
New stores and clubs, including expansions and relocations134 77 
Total U.S.$7,828 $7,904 
Walmart International2,436 2,801 
Total capital expenditures$10,264 $10,705 
Returns
As we execute our financial framework, we believe our return on capital will improve over time. We measure return on capital with our return on assets, return on investment and free cash flow metrics. We also provide returns in the form of share repurchases and dividends, which are discussed in the Liquidity and Capital Resources section.
Return on Assets and Return on Investment
We include Return on Assets ("ROA"), the most directly comparable measure based on our financial statements presented in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the U.S. ("GAAP"), and Return on Investment ("ROI") as metrics to assess returns on assets. While ROI is considered a non-GAAP financial measure, management believes ROI is a meaningful metric to share with investors because it helps investors assess how effectively Walmart is deploying its assets. Trends in ROI can fluctuate over time as management balances long-term strategic initiatives with possible short-term impacts. ROA was 5.6% and 6.7% for fiscal 2021 and 2020, respectively. The decrease in ROA was primarily due to the losses on certain international operations held for sale or sold, partially offset by the fair value change in our equity investments as well as the increase in operating income. ROI was 14.0% and 13.4% for fiscal 2021 and 2020, respectively. The increase in ROI was primarily due to the increase in operating income.
We define ROI as adjusted operating income (operating income plus interest income, depreciation and amortization, and rent expense) for the trailing twelve months divided by average invested capital during that period. We consider average invested capital to be the average of our beginning and ending total assets, plus average accumulated depreciation and average amortization, less average accounts payable and average accrued liabilities for that period. For fiscal 2020, lease related assets and associated accumulated amortization are included in the denominator at their carrying amount as of that balance sheet date, rather than averaged, because they are not directly comparable to the prior year calculation which included rent for the trailing 12 months multiplied by a factor of 8. A two-point average was used for leased assets beginning in fiscal 2021, after one full year from the date of adoption of ASU 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842) ("ASU 2016-02").
Our calculation of ROI is considered a non-GAAP financial measure because we calculate ROI using financial measures that exclude and include amounts that are included and excluded in the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure. For example, we exclude the impact of depreciation and amortization from our reported operating income in calculating the numerator of our calculation of ROI. As mentioned above, we consider ROA to be the financial measure computed in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles most directly comparable to our calculation of ROI. ROI differs from ROA (which is consolidated net income for the period divided by average total assets for the period) because ROI: adjusts operating income to exclude certain expense items and adds interest income; adjusts total assets for the impact of accumulated depreciation and amortization, accounts payable and accrued liabilities to arrive at total invested capital. Because of the adjustments mentioned above, we believe ROI more accurately measures how we are deploying our key assets and is more meaningful to investors than ROA. Although ROI is a standard financial measure, numerous methods exist for calculating a company's ROI. As a result, the method used by management to calculate our ROI may differ from the methods used by other companies to calculate their ROI.
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The calculation of ROA and ROI, along with a reconciliation of ROI to the calculation of ROA, the most comparable GAAP financial measure, is as follows:
 Fiscal Years Ended January 31,
(Amounts in millions)20212020
CALCULATION OF RETURN ON ASSETS
Numerator
Consolidated net income$13,706 $15,201 
Denominator
Average total assets(1)
$244,496 $227,895 
Return on assets (ROA)5.6 %6.7 %
CALCULATION OF RETURN ON INVESTMENT
Numerator
Operating income$22,548 $20,568 
+ Interest income121 189 
+ Depreciation and amortization11,152 10,987 
+ Rent2,626 2,670 
ROI operating income$36,447 $34,414 
Denominator
Average total assets(1), (2)
$244,496 $235,277 
+ Average accumulated depreciation and amortization(1), (2)
94,351 90,351 
- Average accounts payable(1)
48,057 47,017 
- Average accrued liabilities(1)
30,131 22,228 
Average invested capital$260,659 $256,383 
Return on investment (ROI)14.0 %13.4 %
 As of January 31,
 202120202019
Certain Balance Sheet Data
Total assets$252,496 $236,495 $219,295 
Leased assets, netNP21,841 7,078 
Total assets without leased assets, netNP214,654 212,217 
Accumulated depreciation and amortization94,187 94,514 87,175 
Accumulated amortization on leased assetsNP4,694 5,682 
Accumulated depreciation and amortization, without leased assetsNP89,820 81,493 
Accounts payable49,141 46,973 47,060 
Accrued liabilities37,966 22,296 22,159 
(1) The average is based on the addition of the account balance at the end of the current period to the account balance at the end of the corresponding prior period and dividing by 2. Average total assets as used in ROA includes the average impact of the adoption of ASU 2016-02.
(2) For fiscal 2020, as a result of adopting ASU 2016-02, average total assets is based on the average of total assets without leased assets, net plus leased assets, net as of January 31, 2020. Average accumulated depreciation and amortization is based on the average of accumulated depreciation and amortization, without leased assets plus accumulated amortization on leased assets as of January 31, 2020.
NP = Not provided.
Free Cash Flow
Free cash flow is considered a non-GAAP financial measure. Management believes, however, that free cash flow, which measures our ability to generate additional cash from our business operations, is an important financial measure for use in evaluating the Company’s financial performance. Free cash flow should be considered in addition to, rather than as a substitute for, consolidated net income as a measure of our performance and net cash provided by operating activities as a measure of our liquidity. See "Liquidity and Capital Resources" for discussions of GAAP metrics including net cash provided by operating activities, net cash used in investing activities and net cash used in financing activities.
We define free cash flow as net cash provided by operating activities in a period minus payments for property and equipment made in that period. We had net cash provided by operating activities of $36.1 billion, $25.3 billion and $27.8 billion for fiscal 2021, 2020 and 2019, respectively. We generated free cash flow of $25.8 billion, $14.6 billion and $17.4 billion for fiscal 2021, 2020 and 2019, respectively. Net cash provided by operating activities for fiscal 2021 increased when compared to fiscal 2020 primarily due to the impact of the global health crisis which accelerated inventory sell-through, as well as the timing and payment of inventory purchases, incremental COVID-19 related expenses and certain benefit payments. Free cash flow for fiscal 2021 increased when compared to fiscal 2020 due to the same reasons as the increase in net cash provided by operating activities, as well as $0.4 billion in decreased capital expenditures. Net cash provided by operating activities for fiscal 2020 declined when compared to fiscal 2019 was primarily due to the contribution to the Asda pension plan in anticipation of its
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future settlement, the inclusion of a full year of Flipkart operations, and the timing of vendor payments. Free cash flow for fiscal 2020 declined when compared to fiscal 2019 due to the same reasons as the decline in net cash provided by operating activities, as well as $0.4 billion in increased capital expenditures.
Walmart's definition of free cash flow is limited in that it does not represent residual cash flows available for discretionary expenditures due to the fact that the measure does not deduct the payments required for debt service and other contractual obligations or payments made for business acquisitions. Therefore, we believe it is important to view free cash flow as a measure that provides supplemental information to our Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows.
Although other companies report their free cash flow, numerous methods may exist for calculating a company's free cash flow. As a result, the method used by management to calculate our free cash flow may differ from the methods used by other companies to calculate their free cash flow.
The following table sets forth a reconciliation of free cash flow, a non-GAAP financial measure, to net cash provided by operating activities, which we believe to be the GAAP financial measure most directly comparable to free cash flow, as well as information regarding net cash used in investing activities and net cash used in financing activities.
 Fiscal Years Ended January 31,
(Amounts in millions)202120202019
Net cash provided by operating activities$36,074 $25,255 $27,753 
Payments for property and equipment(10,264)(10,705)(10,344)
Free cash flow$25,810 $14,550 $17,409 
Net cash used in investing activities(1)
$(10,071)$(9,128)$(24,036)
Net cash used in financing activities(16,117)(14,299)(2,537)
(1) "Net cash used in investing activities" includes payments for property and equipment, which is also included in our computation of free cash flow.
Results of Operations
Consolidated Results of Operations
Fiscal Years Ended January 31,
(Amounts in millions, except unit counts)202120202019
Total revenues$559,151 $523,964 $514,405 
Percentage change from comparable period6.7 %1.9 %2.8 %
Net sales$555,233 $519,926 $510,329 
Percentage change from comparable period6.8 %1.9 %2.9 %
Total U.S. calendar comparable sales increase8.7 %2.7 %4.0 %
Gross profit rate24.3 %24.1 %24.5 %
Operating income$22,548 $20,568 $21,957 
Operating income as a percentage of net sales4.1 %4.0 %4.3 %
Consolidated net income$13,706 $15,201 $7,179 
Unit counts at period end(1)
11,443 11,501 11,361 
Retail square feet at period end(1)
1,121 1,129 1,129 
(1) Unit counts and associated retail square feet are presented for stores and clubs generally open as of period end, and includes stores associated with operations classified as held for sale as of January 31, 2021. Permanently closed locations are not included.
Our total revenues, which includes net sales and membership and other income, increased $35.2 billion or 6.7% and $9.6 billion or 1.9% for fiscal 2021 and 2020, respectively, when compared to the previous fiscal year. These increases in revenues were due to increases in net sales, which increased $35.3 billion or 6.8% and $9.6 billion or 1.9% for fiscal 2021 and 2020, respectively, when compared to the previous fiscal year. For fiscal 2021, the increase was primarily due to strong positive comparable sales for the Walmart U.S. and Sam's Club segments as well as positive comparable sales in the majority of our international markets resulting from increased demand stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall net sales growth was strong despite certain operating limitations in several international markets in the second quarter of fiscal 2021 due to government regulations and precautionary measures taken as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The net sales increase was partially offset by negative fluctuations in currency exchange rates of $5.0 billion. For fiscal 2020, net sales were positively impacted by overall positive comparable sales for Walmart U.S. and Sam's Club segments, along with the addition of net sales from Flipkart, which we acquired in August 2018, and positive comparable sales in the majority of our international markets. These increases were partially offset by $4.1 billion of negative impact from fluctuations in currency exchange rates in fiscal 2020 and our sale of the majority stake in Walmart Brazil in August 2018.
Our gross profit rate increased 20 basis points and decreased 40 basis points for fiscal 2021 and 2020, respectively, when compared to the previous fiscal year. For fiscal 2021, the increase was primarily due to strategic sourcing initiatives, strong sales in higher margin categories, and fewer markdowns. This was partially offset in the Walmart U.S. segment by carryover of prior year price investment as well as the temporary closure of our Auto Care Centers and Vision Centers in response to the
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COVID-19 pandemic. For fiscal 2020, the decrease was primarily due to price investment in the Walmart U.S. segment and the addition of Flipkart in the Walmart International segment, partially offset by favorable merchandise mix including strength in private brands and less pressure from transportation costs in the Walmart U.S. segment.
For fiscal 2021, operating expenses as a percentage of net sales was flat when compared to the previous fiscal year. Operating expenses as a percentage of net sales benefited from strong growth in comparable sales and lapping the $0.9 billion business restructuring charges from the prior year described below. These benefits were offset by $4.0 billion of incremental costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic and a $0.4 billion business restructuring charge in the Walmart U.S. segment recorded in the second quarter of fiscal 2021.
For fiscal 2020, operating expenses as a percentage of net sales decreased 8 basis points, when compared to the previous fiscal year, due to our focus on expense management combined with our growth in comparable store sales. These improvements were partially offset by $0.9 billion in business restructuring charges consisting primarily of non-cash impairment charges for certain trade names, acquired developed technology, and other business restructuring charges due to strategic decisions that resulted in the write down of certain assets in the Walmart U.S. and Walmart International segments.
Other gains and losses consisted of net gains of $0.2 billion and $2.0 billion for fiscal 2021 and 2020, respectively. The gain in fiscal 2021 primarily reflects $8.7 billion in net gains associated with the fair value changes of our equity investments, partially offset by the $8.3 billion pre-tax loss related to the divestiture of certain international operations classified as held for sale or sold in fiscal 2021. The gain in fiscal 2020 was primarily the result of a $1.9 billion increase in the market value of our investment in JD.com.
Our effective income tax rate was 33.3% for fiscal 2021, 24.4% for fiscal 2020, and 37.4% for fiscal 2019. The increase in our effective tax rate for fiscal 2021 as compared to fiscal 2020 is primarily due to the loss related to the divestiture of certain international operations classified as held for or sold in fiscal 2021, which provided minimal realizable tax benefit. The decrease in our effective tax rate for fiscal 2020 as compared to fiscal 2019 was primarily due to the fiscal 2019 loss on sale of a majority stake in Walmart Brazil, which increased the previous comparative fiscal year's effective tax rate, as it provided minimal realizable tax benefit. Our effective income tax rate may also fluctuate as a result of various factors, including changes in our assessment of certain tax contingencies, valuation allowances, changes in tax law, outcomes of administrative audits, the impact of discrete items and the mix and size of earnings among our U.S. operations and international operations, which are subject to statutory rates that, beginning in fiscal 2019, are generally higher than the U.S. statutory rate. The reconciliation from the U.S. statutory rate to the effective income tax rates for fiscal 2021, 2020 and 2019 is presented in Note 9.
As a result of the factors discussed above, we reported $13.7 billion and $15.2 billion of consolidated net income for fiscal 2021 and 2020, respectively, which represents a decrease of $1.5 billion and an increase of $8.0 billion for fiscal 2021 and 2020, respectively, when compared to the previous fiscal year. Diluted net income per common share attributable to Walmart ("EPS") was $4.75, $5.19 and $2.26 for fiscal 2021, 2020 and 2019, respectively.
Walmart U.S. Segment
 Fiscal Years Ended January 31,
(Amounts in millions, except unit counts)202120202019
Net sales$369,963 $341,004 $331,666 
Percentage change from comparable period8.5 %2.8 %4.1 %
Calendar comparable sales increase8.7 %2.9 %3.7 %
Operating income$19,116 $17,380 $17,386 
Operating income as a percentage of net sales5.2 %5.1 %5.2 %
Unit counts at period end4,743 4,756 4,769 
Retail square feet at period end703 703 705 
Net sales for the Walmart U.S. segment increased $29.0 billion or 8.5% and $9.3 billion or 2.8% for fiscal 2021 and 2020, respectively, when compared to the previous fiscal year. The increases in net sales were primarily due to increases in comparable sales of 8.7% and 2.9% for fiscal 2021 and 2020, respectively. Comparable sales in fiscal 2021 were driven by growth in average ticket primarily resulting from meeting the increased demand due to economic conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic while transactions decreased as customers consolidated shopping trips. Comparable sales in fiscal 2020 were driven by both average ticket and transaction growth for fiscal 2020. Walmart U.S. eCommerce sales positively contributed approximately 5.4% and 2.1% to comparable sales for fiscal 2021 and 2020, respectively, as we continue to focus on a seamless omni-channel experience for our customers.
Gross profit rate was flat and decreased 14 basis points for fiscal 2021 and 2020, respectively, when compared to the previous fiscal year. While fiscal 2021 gross profit rate was flat, it benefited from strategic sourcing initiatives and fewer markdowns, offset by a change in merchandise mix, the carryover effect of prior year price investment and the temporary closure of our Auto Care and Vision Centers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For fiscal 2020, the decrease was primarily the result of continued price investments which were partially offset by better merchandise mix, including strength in private brands, and less pressure from transportation costs.
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Operating expenses as a percentage of segment net sales decreased 15 and 4 basis points for fiscal 2021 and 2020, respectively, when compared to the previous fiscal year. We leveraged operating expenses in fiscal 2021 primarily as a result of strong sales, which were partially offset by $3.2 billion of incremental costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic including special bonuses, expanded sick and emergency leave pay, costs associated with outfitting our stores and associates with masks, gloves and sanitizer, and expanded cleaning practices. Fiscal 2021 operating expenses as a percentage of net sales was also slightly aided by lapping the $0.5 billion business restructuring charges from the prior year described below, offset by a $0.4 billion business restructuring charge recorded in the second quarter of fiscal 2021 resulting from changes to Walmart U.S. support teams to better support its omni-channel strategy. The decrease in fiscal 2020 was primarily due to strong sales and productivity improvements which were mostly offset by business restructuring charges of $0.5 billion consisting primarily of non-cash impairment charges for certain trade names, acquired developed technology and other business restructuring charges due to decisions that resulted in the write down of certain eCommerce assets.
As a result of the factors discussed above, segment operating income increased $1.7 billion and decreased $6 million for fiscal 2021 and 2020, respectively, when compared to the previous fiscal year.
Walmart International Segment
 Fiscal Years Ended January 31,
(Amounts in millions, except unit counts)202120202019
Net sales$121,360 $120,130 $120,824 
Percentage change from comparable period1.0 %(0.6)%2.3 %
Operating income$3,660 $3,370 $4,883 
Operating income as a percentage of net sales3.0 %2.8 %4.0 %
Unit counts at period end6,101 6,146 5,993 
Retail square feet at period end337 345 344 
Net sales for the Walmart International segment increased $1.2 billion or 1.0% and decreased $0.7 billion or 0.6% for fiscal 2021 and 2020, respectively, when compared to the previous fiscal year. For fiscal 2021, the increase was primarily due to positive comparable sales growth in the majority of our markets driven by changes in consumer behavior in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, partially offset by negative fluctuations in currency exchange rates of $5.0 billion. The pandemic led to significant economic pressures and channel and mix shifts due to changes in consumer behavior, including accelerated growth in eCommerce in several markets. While several of our markets experienced extensive store and operational closures in the second quarter as a result of government mandates, most closed stores and warehouses had resumed operations by the third quarter.
For fiscal 2020, the decrease was primarily due to negative fluctuations in currency exchange rates of $4.1 billion as well as a reduction in sales due to our sale of the majority stake in Walmart Brazil in August 2018, offset by a full year of net sales from Flipkart and positive comparable sales growth in the majority of our markets.
Gross profit rate increased 50 basis points and decreased 136 basis points for fiscal 2021 and 2020, respectively, when compared to the previous fiscal year. For fiscal 2021, the increase was primarily due to Flipkart's improved margin mix and reduced fuel sales in the U.K. For fiscal 2020, the decrease was primarily due to Flipkart, as well as a change in merchandise mix.
Operating expenses as a percentage of segment net sales increased 14 basis points and decreased 13 basis points for fiscal 2021 and 2020, respectively, when compared to the previous fiscal year. The increase in operating expenses as a percentage of segment net sales for fiscal 2021 was primarily due to $0.5 billion of incremental costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic, partially offset by positive comparable sales in the majority of our markets and lapping the impairment charges in the prior year discussed below. Fiscal 2020 decreased primarily due to positive comparable sales in the majority of our markets as well as cost discipline across multiple markets, partially offset by $0.4 billion in impairment charges primarily due to the write-off of the carrying value of one of Flipkart's two fashion trade names, Jabong.com, as a result of a strategic decision to focus our efforts on a single fashion platform in order to simplify the business and customer proposition.
As a result of the factors discussed above, segment operating income increased $0.3 billion and decreased $1.5 billion for fiscal 2021 and 2020, respectively, when compared to the previous fiscal year.
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Sam's Club Segment
 Fiscal Years Ended January 31,
(Amounts in millions, except unit counts)202120202019
Including Fuel
Net sales$63,910 $58,792 $57,839 
Percentage change from comparable period8.7 %1.6 %(2.3)%
Calendar comparable sales increase8.7 %1.6 %5.4 %
Operating income$1,906 $1,642 $1,520 
Operating income as a percentage of net sales3.0 %2.8 %2.6 %
Unit counts at period end599 599 599 
Retail square feet at period end80 80 80 
Excluding Fuel (1)
Net sales$59,184 $52,792 $52,332 
Percentage change from comparable period12.1 %0.9 %(3.9)%
Operating income$1,645 $1,486 $1,383 
Operating income as a percentage of net sales2.8 %2.8 %2.6 %
(1) We believe the "Excluding Fuel" information is useful to investors because it permits investors to understand the effect of the Sam's Club segment's fuel sales on its results of operations, which are impacted by the volatility of fuel prices. Volatility in fuel prices may continue to impact the operating results of the Sam's Club segment in the future. Management uses such information to better measure underlying operating results in the segment.
Net sales for the Sam's Club segment increased $5.1 billion or 8.7% and $1.0 billion or 1.6% for fiscal 2021 and 2020, respectively, when compared to the previous fiscal year. Our 8.7% growth in comparable sales for fiscal 2021 benefited from growth in transactions and average ticket resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, partially offset by both our decision to remove tobacco from certain club locations and by lower fuel sales. Sam's Club eCommerce sales positively contributed approximately 2.2% to comparable sales. For fiscal 2020, the increase was primarily due to comparable sales, including fuel, of 1.6%. Comparable sales benefited from growth in transactions and higher fuel sales, which were partially offset by lower ticket due to our decision to remove tobacco from certain club locations. Sam's Club eCommerce sales positively contributed approximately 1.8% to comparable sales.
Gross profit rate increased 65 basis points and decreased 11 basis points for fiscal 2021 and 2020, respectively, when compared to the previous fiscal year. The increase in gross profit rate was due to favorable sales mix, including lower fuel and tobacco sales, and improvement in inventory losses which was partially offset by price investment and higher eCommerce fulfillment costs. For fiscal 2020, gross profit rate decreased due to price investment and higher eCommerce fulfillment costs, partially offset by reduced tobacco sales.
Membership and other income increased 6.8% and 4.7% for fiscal 2021 and 2020, respectively, when compared to the previous fiscal year. For fiscal 2021 and 2020, the increases were primarily due to growth in total members, which benefited from higher overall renewal rates, and higher Plus Member penetration. Fiscal 2021 growth was also positively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Fiscal 2020 was also benefited by gains on property sales and other income.
Operating expenses as a percentage of segment net sales increased 42 and decreased 19 basis points for fiscal 2021 and 2020, respectively, when compared to the previous fiscal year. Despite increased net sales from the strong demand resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, fiscal 2021 operating expenses as a percentage of net sales increased primarily due to $0.3 billion of incremental costs related to the pandemic, which included additional costs such as special bonuses, expanded cleaning practices and security, expanded sick and emergency leave pay, and outfitting our associates with masks and gloves. Additionally, the increase in operating expense as a percentage of segment net sales was affected by reduced tobacco and fuel sales. For fiscal 2020, the decrease was primarily the result of lower labor-related costs and a charge of approximately $50 million related to lease exit costs in the prior comparable period. These benefits were partially offset by a reduction in sales of tobacco and a higher level of technology investment.
As a result of the factors discussed above, segment operating income increased $0.3 billion and $0.1 billion for fiscal 2021 and 2020, respectively, when compared to the previous fiscal year.
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Liquidity and Capital Resources
Liquidity
The strength and stability of our operations have historically supplied us with a significant source of liquidity. Our cash flows provided by operating activities, supplemented with our long-term debt and short-term borrowings, have been sufficient to fund our operations while allowing us to invest in activities that support the long-term growth of our operations. Generally, some or all of the remaining available cash flow has been used to fund dividends on our common stock and share repurchases. We believe our sources of liquidity will continue to be adequate to fund operations, finance our global investment and expansion activities, pay dividends and fund our share repurchases for the foreseeable future.
Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities
Fiscal Years Ended January 31,
(Amounts in millions)202120202019
Net cash provided by operating activities$36,074 $25,255 $27,753 
Net cash provided by operating activities was $36.1 billion, $25.3 billion and $27.8 billion for fiscal 2021, 2020 and 2019, respectively. Net cash provided by operating activities for fiscal 2021 increased when compared to the previous fiscal year primarily due to the impact of the global health crisis which accelerated inventory sell-through, as well as the timing and payment of inventory purchases, incremental COVID-19 related expenses and certain benefit payments. The decrease in net cash provided by operating activities for fiscal 2020, when compared to the previous fiscal year, was primarily due to the contribution to our Asda pension plan in anticipation of its future settlement, the inclusion of a full year of Flipkart operations, and the timing of vendor payments.
Cash Equivalents and Working Capital Deficit
Cash and cash equivalents were $17.7 billion and $9.5 billion as of January 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively. We maintained more cash at January 31, 2021 compared to January 31, 2020 in order to provide us with enhanced financial flexibility due to the uncertainties related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our working capital deficit, defined as total current assets less total current liabilities, was $2.6 billion and $16.0 billion as of January 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively. The decrease in working capital deficit as compared to the previous fiscal year is primarily driven by the increase in cash and cash equivalents as well as the increase in current assets and current liabilities due to the classification of the Company's operations in the U.K. and Japan as held for sale. We generally operate with a working capital deficit due to our efficient use of cash in funding operations, consistent access to the capital markets and returns provided to our shareholders in the form of payments of cash dividends and share repurchases.
We use intercompany financing arrangements in an effort to ensure cash can be made available in the country in which it is needed with the minimum cost possible. Additionally, from time-to-time, we repatriate earnings and related cash from jurisdictions outside of the U.S.  Historically, U.S. taxes were due upon repatriation of foreign earnings. Due to the enactment of U.S. tax reform, repatriations of foreign earnings will generally be free of U.S. federal tax, but may incur other taxes such as withholding or state taxes. While we are awaiting anticipated technical guidance from the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") and the U.S. Treasury Department, we do not expect current local laws, other existing limitations or potential taxes on anticipated future repatriations of cash amounts held outside the U.S. to have a material effect on our overall liquidity, financial position or results of operations.
As of January 31, 2021 and 2020, cash and cash equivalents of $2.8 billion and $2.3 billion, respectively, may not be freely transferable to the U.S. due to local laws or other restrictions. Of the $2.8 billion as of January 31, 2021, approximately $1.0 billion can only be accessed through dividends or intercompany financing arrangements subject to approval of the Flipkart minority shareholders; however, this cash is expected to be utilized to fund the operations of Flipkart.
Net Cash Used in Investing Activities
 Fiscal Years Ended January 31,
(Amounts in millions)202120202019
Net cash used in investing activities $(10,071)$(9,128)$(24,036)
Net cash used in investing activities was $10.1 billion, $9.1 billion and $24.0 billion for fiscal 2021, 2020 and 2019, respectively, and generally consisted of payments for business acquisitions and to expand our eCommerce capabilities, invest in other technologies and supply chain, remodel existing stores and clubs and add new stores and clubs. Net cash used in investing activities increased $0.9 billion for fiscal 2021 when compared to the previous fiscal year primarily as a result of lapping the net proceeds received from the sale of our banking operations in Walmart Canada and the change in other investing activities, partially offset by decreased capital expenditures. Net cash used in investing activities decreased $14.9 billion for fiscal 2020 when compared to the previous fiscal year, primarily as a result of the $13.8 billion payment for the acquisition of Flipkart, net of cash acquired, as well as payments for other, smaller acquisitions in fiscal 2019.
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Additionally, refer to the "Strategic Capital Allocation" section in our Company Performance Metrics for capital expenditure detail for fiscal 2021 and 2020.
Growth Activities
For the fiscal year ending January 31, 2022 ("fiscal 2022"), we project capital expenditures will be approximately $14 billion, with a focus on supply chain, automation, customer-facing initiatives and technology.
Net Cash Used in Financing Activities
 Fiscal Years Ended January 31,
(Amounts in millions)202120202019
Net cash used in financing activities$(16,117)$(14,299)$(2,537)
Net cash used in financing activities generally consists of transactions related to our short-term and long-term debt, financing obligations, dividends paid and the repurchase of Company stock. Transactions with noncontrolling interest shareholders are also classified as cash flows from financing activities. Fiscal 2021 net cash used in financing activities increased $1.8 billion when compared to the same period in the previous fiscal year. The increase is primarily due to the timing of issuances and repayments of long-term debt, partially offset by both a reduction in cash used to pay down short-term borrowings as well as share repurchases as we manage our financial position during the current economic environment. Fiscal 2020 net cash used in financing activities increased $11.8 billion for fiscal 2020 when compared to the same period in the previous fiscal year. The increase was primarily due to the $15.9 billion of net proceeds received in fiscal 2019 from the issuance of long-term debt to fund a portion of the purchase price for Flipkart partially offset by $5.5 billion of additional long-term debt in the fiscal 2020 to fund general business operations.
Short-term Borrowings
We generally utilize the liquidity provided by short-term borrowings to provide funding for our operations, dividend payments, share repurchases, capital expenditures and other cash requirements. The following table includes additional information related to the Company's short-term borrowings for fiscal 2021, 2020 and 2019:
 Fiscal Years Ended January 31,
(Amounts in millions)202120202019
Maximum amount outstanding at any month-end$4,048 $13,315 $13,389 
Average daily short-term borrowings1,577 7,120 10,625 
Annual weighted-average interest rate3.1 %2.5 %2.4 %
We also have $15.0 billion of various undrawn committed lines of credit in the U.S. as of January 31, 2021 that provide additional liquidity, if needed. Additionally, we maintain access to various credit facilities outside of the U.S. to further support our Walmart International segment operations, as needed.
Long-term Debt
The following table provides the changes in our long-term debt for fiscal 2021:
(Amounts in millions)Long-term debt due within one yearLong-term debtTotal
Balances as of February 1, 2020$5,362 $43,714 $49,076 
Repayments of long-term debt(5,382)— (5,382)
Reclassifications of long-term debt3,126 (3,126)— 
Other606 615 
Balances as of January 31, 2021$3,115 $41,194 $44,309 
Dividends
Our total dividend payments were $6.1 billion, $6.0 billion and $6.1 billion for fiscal 2021, 2020 and 2019, respectively. The Board of Directors approved, effective February 18, 2021, the fiscal 2022 annual dividend of $2.20 per share, an increase over the fiscal 2021 annual dividend of $2.16 per share. For fiscal 2022, the annual dividend will be paid in four quarterly installments of $0.55 per share, according to the following record and payable dates:
Record DatePayable Date
March 19, 2021April 5, 2021
May 7, 2021June 1, 2021
August 13, 2021September 7, 2021
December 10, 2021January 3, 2022

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Company Share Repurchase Program
From time to time, the Company repurchases shares of its common stock under share repurchase programs authorized by the Company's Board of Directors. All repurchases made during fiscal 2021 were made under the $20 billion share repurchase program approved in October 2017, of which authorization for $3.0 billion of share repurchases remained as of January 31, 2021. On February 18, 2021, the Board of Directors approved a new $20.0 billion share repurchase program which, beginning February 22, 2021, replaced the previous share repurchase program. Any repurchased shares are constructively retired and returned to an unissued status.
We regularly review share repurchase activity and consider several factors in determining when to execute share repurchases, including, among other things, current cash needs, capacity for leverage, cost of borrowings, our results of operations and the market price of our common stock. We anticipate that a majority of the ongoing share repurchase program will be funded through the Company's free cash flow. The following table provides, on a settlement date basis, the number of shares repurchased, average price paid per share and total amount paid for share repurchases for fiscal 2021, 2020 and 2019:
Fiscal Years Ended January 31,
(Amounts in millions, except per share data)202120202019
Total number of shares repurchased19.453.979.5
Average price paid per share$135.20 $105.98 $93.18 
Total amount paid for share repurchases$2,625 $5,717 $7,410 
Capital Resources
We believe cash flows from operations, our current cash position and access to capital markets will continue to be sufficient to meet our anticipated operating cash needs, which include funding seasonal buildups in merchandise inventories and funding our capital expenditures, acquisitions, dividend payments and share repurchases.
We have strong commercial paper and long-term debt ratings that have enabled and should continue to enable us to refinance our debt as it becomes due at favorable rates in capital markets. As of January 31, 2021, the ratings assigned to our commercial paper and rated series of our outstanding long-term debt were as follows:
Rating agency  Commercial paper  Long-term debt
Standard & Poor's  A-1+  AA
Moody's Investors Service  P-1  Aa2
Fitch Ratings  F1+  AA
Credit rating agencies review their ratings periodically and, therefore, the credit ratings assigned to us by each agency may be subject to revision at any time. Accordingly, we are not able to predict whether our current credit ratings will remain consistent over time. Factors that could affect our credit ratings include changes in our operating performance, the general economic environment, conditions in the retail industry, our financial position, including our total debt and capitalization, and changes in our business strategy. Any downgrade of our credit ratings by a credit rating agency could increase our future borrowing costs or impair our ability to access capital and credit markets on terms commercially acceptable to us. In addition, any downgrade of our current short-term credit ratings could impair our ability to access the commercial paper markets with the same flexibility that we have experienced historically, potentially requiring us to rely more heavily on more expensive types of debt financing. The credit rating agency ratings are not recommendations to buy, sell or hold our commercial paper or debt securities. Each rating may be subject to revision or withdrawal at any time by the assigning rating organization and should be evaluated independently of any other rating. Moreover, each credit rating is specific to the security to which it applies.
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Contractual Obligations
The following table sets forth certain information concerning our obligations to make contractual future payments, such as debt and lease agreements, and certain contingent commitments as of January 31, 2021:
  Payments Due During Fiscal Years Ending January 31,
(Amounts in millions)Total20222023-20242025-2026Thereafter
Recorded contractual obligations: