US retail powerhouse Walmart is changing its legal name from Wal-mart Stores Inc to Walmart Inc, in a move that emphasises the company's shift from store-based retailing to bricks and clicks.

Walmart said it made the decision to switch because of its growing presence as a retailer that serves consumers no matter how they choose to shop.

Doug McMillon, Walmart president and CEO, released a statement on Wednesday announcing the news. He suggested it is a symbol of the changing retail world, underlining the company’s commitment to cater for customers in stores, on web, via mobile, by using their voice, “or whatever comes next”.

“Our customers know us as Walmart and today they shop with us not only in our stores but online and with our app as well,” he noted.

“While our legal name is used in a limited number of places, we felt it was best to have a name that was consistent with the idea that you can shop us however you like as a customer.”

Far from meaning an end of focus on the traditional store, Walmart plans to invest in and leverage its physical portfolio alongside its inevitable digital development in the years ahead. Indeed, recent initiatives by the US grocer include encouraging online shoppers to collect their orders in store for a cheaper price than if they received home delivery.

McMillon added: “Looking ahead, we’ll continue to invest in and strengthen our stores around the world and expand our eCommerce capabilities as we help save customers’ time and money.

“As time goes on, customers will increasingly just think of and see one Walmart.”

Walmart operates under nearly 60 different banners around the world, including online, and it has over 11,600 stores and clubs in 28 countries.

Following the change of name, the company will continue to trade on the New York Stock Exchange as WMT. Walmart’s formal legal name when it incorporated in 1969 was Wal-Mart Inc, but it was changed to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in 1970.