Retail charity – Donations tied to sales

BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Sales at the world’s biggest retailer have a big impact on its charity.

Last year, sales at Bentonville-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. grew 26 percent from a year earlier – and the amount the company gave to communities grew 28 percent, the Associated Press reports.

Wal-Mart says it raised and donated $164 million throughout the U.S. last year.

Of the total, Wal-Mart gave $80 million to local stores to distribute based on the size of each store. Local stores contributed the remainder.

And the local Wal-Mart stores that sold the most also contributed the most.

In year-end sales data, Wal-Mart reported that the 100 stores with the highest sales contributed three times as much to their communities as the stores with the lowest sales.

“I think there is definitely a connection and it has been proven year after year,” said Betsy Reithemeyer, director of the Wal-Mart Foundation and the company’s community affairs office.

The company says that 97 percent of its contributions are directed by officials at local stores.

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