A Walmart store in Miami, Florida
What's in a name? Walmart is changing its legal name. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

WalMart Stores Inc. is changing its legal name effective 1 February, as the retail giant shifts away from physical stores in the age of Amazon's increasing dominance.

The world's largest retailer, based in Bentonville, Arkansas, said Wednesday (6 December) it will change its legal name to 'Walmart Inc.' from 'Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'

The company said the move underscores its growing emphasis toward online services and mobile shopping.

It operates more than 11,600 stores and clubs under 60 different banners worldwide.

The discounter's formal legal name when it incorporated on 31 October, 1969 was Wal-Mart Inc. It was changed to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on 9 January, 1970, the same year it went public.

It will continue to trade on the NYSE under code WMT. It's been using the current Walmart logo in its operations since June 2008.