Walmart's entry into case-ready meats dates back to March 1996. Walmart meat executives and representatives of one of its ground beef suppliers traveled to the United Kingdom to observe the production and marketing of case-ready meat prepared with a process known as modified air packaging (MAP). Robert Reiser & Company Inc., Canton, MA, developed this process. Today, case-ready drives Walmart's ground beef and muscle-meat merchandising.

Case-ready technology eliminates the need for in-store processing. Meat is packaged in rigid foam or plastic box-shaped containers at a packing plant or processor.

The retail product is sealed in a highly oxygenated mix of gases injected into the container. Before the package is placed in the sales case, the outer, non-permeable layer of film is removed, leaving a gas-permeable layer of film beneath, allowing the meat to “breathe” and “bloom,” and assume the colors associated with fresh meat.

Walmart DATA SHEET April 2003

Wal-Mart Stores 1,555
Wal-Mart Supercenters 1,288
SAM'S Clubs 525
Wal-Mart Neighborhood Markets 50
Wal-Mart International Units 1,293


  • First Walmart opened in 1962 (Rogers, AR)
  • First SAM'S Club opened in 1983 (Midwest City, OK)
  • First Supercenter opened in 1988 (Washington, MO)
  • First International unit opened in 1991 (Mexico City)

Company Trade Territory

Walmart serves more than 100 million customers weekly in 50 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, China, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, United Kingdom, Argentina and South Korea.

Total Associates

  • United States — more than 1 million
  • Internationally — more than 300,000
  • Total associates — more than 1.3 million worldwide

Distribution Centers

105 locations


  • Fiscal year ended 1/31/03: $244.5 billion
  • For the month of March 2003, $23.175 billion; a 7.8% increase over the same period last year