Business

New or Noteworthy: Quick Facts on 11 of Our Favorite Products

We’re always searching for products that we think customers will love – items with great prices and amazing quality.

We’re also listening to feedback from customers and working with suppliers to make items found in our Ozark Trails, Parent’s Choice and Hotel Style product lines better than ever. We’ve pulled out 11 of our new favorites for you to check out. Give them a look and we hope you’ll be well on your way to finding your next unexpectedly delightful item.

1. Sam’s Choice Coffee
Looking for single origin coffee? Check! Prefer organic? We’ve got that too. You can find new Sam’s Choice ground and whole bean coffees from unique origins across the globe. With four of these coffees coming from the top 1% of coffee beans in the world, you can be sure your morning jolt will be top-notch (and totally affordable).

2. Hotel Style Bath Towels
Hotel Style towels are larger and heavier than standard towels, making them our new favorite bathroom accessory. They’re low lint, fade-resistant and super soft to the touch. Add in the highest absorbency rating, and you’ve got a towel that’s comparable to those you’d find in your favorite home specialty store.

3. Krups Coffee Accessories
Krups coffee grinders are just one of the Krups kitchen accessories recently added to Walmart’s lineup. Krups is a market leader in coffee grinders, so you can be sure you’re getting a great product at an incredible price. Plus, it’s a perfect accessory for that bag of Sam’s Choice coffee!

4. Ladies’ Avia Capri Pants
We’ve completely reimagined athletic apparel. From soft, stretchy fabric to a flat elastic waistband and inner draw cords, these pants are the perfect workout partner. Dri-More fabrics, reflective accents, fade- and snag-resistant materials and flat seams round out the long list of reasons why these pants should be in everyone’s workout bag.

5. Mainstays Patio Umbrella
What happens when a patio product is built based on real customer reviews? The fabric is extensively tested to ensure fade resistance. The crank mechanisms hold up to some major wear and tear. And the umbrella stands up to those spring rains and summer winds. Combine this with inspired style and you’ve got the recipe for a beautiful outdoor space.

6. Marketside Sandwiches
Ever tried a Marketside sandwich? They are delicious – every sandwich is made from premium meats and cheeses, they’re each inspired by real chefs and you’ll find a label that contains only clean ingredients. So go ahead! Grab a sandwich and see why we’re raving about our newest recipes.

7. Ozark Trail Tent
Ever been on a camping trip where it rained the entire time? We have, too. So we worked hard on these Ozark Trail tents to ensure they were crafted from quality materials and thoroughly tested to withstand some serious wind, rain, wear and tear. Designed for quick and easy setup, this is sure to be a camping fan favorite.

8. Parent's Choice Wipes
Parent’s Choice Cotton Wipes are made in the USA, created from 25% recycled cotton (like your favorite old t-shirts!), pH balanced and 99% water plus naturally derived ingredients.

9. Yes To Masks
Beauty gurus rejoice! The same brand and quality you’ll find at popular beauty boutiques is available at your local Walmart and on Walmart.com, with a great selection of Yes To products all at an amazing price. Made with 96% natural ingredients, this is the easiest beauty decision you’ll ever make.


10. Better Homes and Gardens Mid-Century Chair
The Better Homes and Gardens line, which features more than 3,000 items, offers incredible quality, style and value. The mid-century modern chair, available on Walmart.com, features linen upholstery and a wood frame.

11. Pioneer Woman Bedding (coming Fall 2017)
No pics yet, but for Pioneer Woman fans, we’ve got an insider’s tip on a new product line arriving online this October. Pioneer Woman bedding will be available beginning this fall with a whimsical mix and match of patterns, 300 thread count percale sheets, 100% washed cotton and beautiful details like pompoms and fringe. Ree Drummond has spent a lot of time developing this new line to create these beautiful pieces…so mark your calendars!

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Innovation

Uncovering How We’ll Shop in the Future

As new technology brings new possibilities, there’s been an explosion of ways to shop – smartphone apps, online grocery shopping and Scan & Go for easier checkout, to name just a few. To serve customers better, we need to stay ahead of the research that helps form the ideas that will continue to revolutionize how we shop.

I’m part of a small team that’s delving deep into research to improve the shopping experience for everyone. I’m a data scientist for Sam’s Club Technology, and I like to compare what we do to building a car: You have to start with the engine.

My day-to-day work is all about staying on top of new methods to build that engine. I look at ways we can incorporate emerging research in object recognition, detection and segmentation – technology that can make things like our Scan & Go app even smarter. For instance, instead of scanning a bar code, the app will be able to recognize products using photos taken by your phone’s camera.

Because this is such a fast-moving field, the research I work with is in its earliest stages. I might work with one algorithm today, and a couple months from now use a completely new model that’s even better than what we had before.

Tech is constantly evolving, which makes innovation essential for retailers. We have to continually adapt our business to our shoppers’ lifestyles. There’s a lot of coding, engineering and algorithm testing that goes into building something that works better than what people are used to. It’s challenging, but that’s why I’m lucky to work with such talented people.

Until I joined the team last year, I never realized the strong sense of pride that associates in the Walmart and Sam’s Club family have in what our business does. After studying at Yale, I worked in financial engineering in New York – I didn’t expect to find an opportunity to do such innovative work in Bentonville, Arkansas.

I’ve found that in the corporate world, it’s rare for a business to invest in cutting-edge research. But, from the start, Walmart has chosen to invent some of our own solutions instead of waiting for someone else to come up with them. In this new age of tech, we’re still evolving and inventing better ways to get from Point A to Point C.

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Business

Why Smarter Inventory Means Better Customer Service

When you’re getting ready to head to Walmart, you expect everything on your list will be ready and waiting on our shelves.

With millions of items for sale, ensuring that happens – for everything, every time – is quite a complex process behind the scenes.

Managing back room inventory – products that are stored in back rooms for days, sometimes weeks, before they reach shelves – can be a challenge. It requires constant monitoring, and can sometimes take associates away from the sales floor where they would otherwise be helping customers. So recently we’ve been experimenting with new and better ways to improve the process for everyone.

Top Stock is one of these new systems that we’re testing in stores. With it, we’ve moved a great deal of our back stock inventory to somewhere else very simple: the top shelves on our sales floor. By keeping additional merchandise closer to where it’s sold, we can maintain fuller shelves while keeping a better in-the-moment read on inventory.

I spent the first 12 years of my three decades with Walmart in replenishment and supply chain roles, so I understand the significance firsthand of how this makes storage and stocking so much easier. But there’s also quite a bit more that directly benefits customers:

  • All the extra space we’re opening up in our back rooms is making it easier for us to integrate services like online grocery pickup. While the demand for grocery pickup is obvious, finding adequate space within our existing stores had sometimes been a challenge.
  • Need something you don’t immediately see on the shelf? Waiting for an associate to check our back room during peak holiday shopping periods could soon be a thing of the past. By improving our inventory management processes, we’re bringing the products and services that customers need one step closer. In fact, the implementation of Top Stock has helped reduce our rental of temporary inventory trailers to a small fraction of what it was just a few years ago.
  • Our improvements in inventory management are getting more associates out of the back room and onto the sales floor, where they can help and interact with customers.
  • Perhaps best of all, our associates can use open back room space for career-building education. When one store in Morrisville, North Carolina, implemented Top Stock inventory management, they reduced back room inventory by 75% in two months, allowing enough new space to open an Academy for associate training.

What’s worked for our business in the past isn’t always what’s best for today’s shopper. When we commit to coming up with unexpected ways to do the small things better, we not only become smarter and more efficient, but create a big win for our customers at the same time.

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Innovation

5 Ways Walmart Uses Big Data to Help Customers

In many industries, big data provides a way for companies to gain a better understanding of their customers and make better business decisions.

Walmart relies on big data to get a real-time view of the workflow in the pharmacy, distribution centers and throughout our stores and e-commerce.

Check out the infographic below to see how Walmart uses big data to make the company’s operations more efficient and improve the lives of customers.

Whether it’s analyzing the transportation route for a supply chain or using data to optimize pricing, big data analytics will continue to be a key way for Walmart to enhance the customer experience.

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Business

Millennials Make Waves in This Episode of ‘Outside the Box’

Millennials are making waves.

They are now leaders of industry, business, media and retail. They are shaping the way we get information and goods. They can also be a bit controversial.

But whatever you think of them, you definitely can’t ignore them -- especially millennials as successful as Mic.com co-founder Chris Altchek and Natasha Case, co-founder of ice cream company Coolhaus. In Episode 4 of our podcast, Outside the Box, we sat down with them both to discuss their respective businesses, millennials and the stereotypes of that generation.

Chris, after years of taking wildly different political jobs, realized he was really passionate about finding solutions to people’s problems. So he decided to become a journalist – a job where he could come in without bias and help share the truth. Today, Chris manages a successful news site that reaches 60 million people – a lot of them millennials – a month, in an environment where he says trust in the news is at an all-time low.

Natasha, whose goal was to make architecture cool and accessible, found that mixing food and architecture did the trick. Starting with a broken-down food truck at Coachella, her business Coolhaus now sells architecture-themed ice cream at over 6,000 locations across the U.S.

As with any stereotype, it’s dangerous to lump everyone into one bucket. So what do Chris and Natasha think about the labels some have put upon their generation? Check out the episode to hear for yourself.

Listen to previous episodes and subscribe, and tell us what you think in the comments below.

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