Understanding the Walmart Calendar

Walmart calendarNote: for information about Walmart’s current fiscal year, go to Walmart Fiscal Year Calendar.

The familiar January to January isn’t the only calendar around. Calendars based on lunar cycles rather than the sun are used in some cultures, and if the French Republicans had had their way, we’d currently be enjoying the month of Ventose.

Walmart also has its own special calendar.The Walmart year begins in February, so first quarter for Walmart is February, March, and April.

Not any old February, March, and April, though. Walmart uses a 4-5-4 calendar, so February has four weeks, March has five, and April has four.

The Walmart week begins at midnight on Saturday and ends at 11:59 p.m. on the following Friday. So the first week of the Walmart year is the week containing February 1, but — unless February 1 happens to be a Saturday — Walmart Week 1 will also contain some January days.

These little quirks mean that the Walmart calendar won’t usually match the calendar on your wall at home, but it means that each quarter contains three months and 13 weeks: a 4 week month, a 5 week month, and another 4 week month.

The four 13-week quarters make up 52 Walmart weeks, and that’s a year — a Walmart year. However, 52 7-day weeks come to just 364 days.

The earth’s year, the time it takes the earth to travel around the sun, is about 365.242199 days at the moment. We’ve never come up with a perfect way to divide the year, so calendars usually start off just fine and then pretty soon they’re celebrating the Winter Solstice in July. The standard solution for that is Leap Year — we tack an extra day onto February every four years.

Walmart does the same, adding an extra week every seven years so that there is a 53-week year to catch everyone up and avoid having the Walmart December in spring.

This can be a little complex. Fortunately, you don’t have to memorize the Walmart year — though most suppliers get used to it after a while. Retail Link always shows you where you are in the Walmart year.