FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today Walmart U.S. CEO Greg Foran and COO Judith McKenna outlined
associate-focused steps to drive greater simplicity, provide associates
the tools they need to serve customers and continue to listen to and act
upon associate ideas. The Walmart U.S. leaders spoke to nearly 3,000
associates from around the country as part of the week-long events
surrounding Walmart’s annual shareholders meeting.
“The best part of my job is getting out in stores and learning from
associates. There is nothing I like better than hearing about your jobs,
your ideas, your hopes and dreams, your frustrations and listening to
how we can make your lives easier,” said Foran.
Remembering one of his early days in retail, Foran ended his shift full
of ideas about how things could be done better. “One of the most
important parts of my job is to listen to our associates. You are
closest to the customer and you make a difference for our customers
every day. I learned very early on that you have great ideas.”
In February, Walmart announced a $1 billion investment in its U.S.
workforce, including raising its minimum wage to $9 an hour,
implementing new training programs and giving associates more control
over their schedules. In addition, the company’s U.S. leadership has
committed that stores will be cleaner, faster, and friendlier and have
better in stock by the start of the holiday season. The U.S. business
has recorded three consecutive quarters of positive comp sales and solid
growth in store traffic, which has been positive the past two quarters.
Shoppers are also starting to take notice, over the last quarter,
customer experience scores improved across all Walmart formats.
McKenna, a 20-year associate who became COO of Walmart U.S. in December,
has spent a lot of time in the stores listening and said she is hearing
that associates, while excited about the changes they are seeing with
pay, training and scheduling, also want leadership to reduce the
complexity that has gradually been added to store jobs.
“You told us we’ve made it harder for you to do what you do best, which
is serving our customers. Your feedback is helping us understand how we
support you better and remove the distractions that get in your way,”
said McKenna. “Taking care of our customers begins with taking care of
you. It’s that simple. My commitment to you is that we will continue to
listen, and, more importantly, act on what we hear.”
To underscore this commitment to its workforce, McKenna announced the
company is making a small, but significant change to its name badges, to
make sure everyone knows who makes the difference at Walmart. “I’m proud
to say that we’re bringing back ‘Our People Make the Difference’ on our
badges. These words are just as important today, and to our future, as
they ever were.” Every associate in the U.S. stores will have the new
badge by the end of the year.
Foran pledged to continue working for associates to make it easier for
them to serve customers. “We know you need the tools to do your job
well. You make a difference for customers, so our job in Bentonville is
to get you what you need. We will win one customer at a time and if we
work together, we will get the army that is Walmart to march and we can
make a difference for our customers.
“Thanks for everything you do,” he concluded
For more information or to watch the shareholders meeting webcast,
please visit stock.walmart.com
and join the conversation.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save
money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online,
and through their mobile devices. Each week, more than 250 million
customers and members visit our 11,462 stores under 71 banners in 27
countries and e-commerce websites in 11 countries. With fiscal year 2015
sales of nearly $486 billion, Walmart employs more than 2 million
associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in
sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity.
Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com on
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Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Kory Lundberg, 1-800-331-0085