Community

The Latest on Hurricane Harvey Support and Response

Welcome to our live blog where we’re collecting updates from our volunteers and associates helping to address the needs of those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Stay tuned to this page and @WalmartNewsroom for the latest info.

North Texas Customers Step Up to Help Their Neighbors
Updated 4:03 p.m. CDT – Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017

We’re seeing a tremendous display of working better together across north Texas. A number of individuals and businesses have stepped forward to make cash donations and buy tens of thousands of dollars in merchandise that’s now bound for Houston.

During the past several days, three Dallas-area businesses have purchased more than $26,000 worth of needed staples for those evacuees left with almost nothing. Below, everyone at our Roanoke, Texas, supercenter is working hard to load trailers and get those necessary items to their neighbors down south.


Ellen Surprises J.J. Watt with $1M Donation from Walmart
Updated 2:30 p.m. CDT – Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017

Last week, J.J. Watt, defensive end for the Houston Texans, set out to raise $200,000 for Hurricane Harvey relief, and started the fund with $100,000 of his own money. As of today, he’s collected more than $10 million. Yesterday, we were honored to work with Ellen to contribute.

When #Texas needed him, JJ Watt was there. I was honored to help make this amazing gift from Walmart possible.

Posted by Ellen DeGeneres on Wednesday, August 30, 2017


Together Through the Storm: Local Associates Care for Communities
Updated 11:40 a.m. CDT – Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Walmart associates all over the country are working around the clock to address the needs of those affected by the storm.

After learning that 150 associates in Corpus Christi, Texas, were impacted and in need of assistance, a group of associates from Store 757 in Pleasanton, Texas, rolled up their sleeves to pitch in and help. Store Manager Rosendo Medina assembled a large team of associates to gather supplies and other essentials.

While some associates prepared hot meals and care packages with basic supplies, others worked together to pack large boxes of snacks and other relief items. Rosendo and his team traveled two hours to Corpus Christi to deliver four truckloads of food and supplies to the impacted associates and their families.

Walmart Associates from Store 447 in Del Rio, Texas, prepared more than 100 care packages for families impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

“Giving back to the community is so important,” said Assistant Manager Lucy Leandro, who helped organize the effort. The care packages included towels, medications, snacks and other essentials. “We want to help those affected by the storm however we can.”

The Del Rio associates plan to distribute the care packages in Houston and other impacted areas.

‘You are Helping Each Other, Our Customers and Communities’
Updated 7:00 p.m. CDT – Aug. 30, 2017

Editor’s Note: Jacqui Canney, Walmart’s EVP of Global People, shared the following message today with associates. The below photo was taken by our Rockport, Texas, supercenter team, who donated the merchandise shown to those in need.

To all of our associates – thank you! I have never been more proud of a team than I am of you. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, you are helping each other, our customers and our communities in ways only we can. You are showing up and living our values during impossible times – and you’re making a difference.

And we are here for you. Thank you to everyone working around the clock in Bentonville and other support offices to get our associates and the stores everything they need. You are getting it done and moving fast, and you, too, are making a difference.

I’m also proud of our company and the $20 million commitment we made today to the relief efforts. Rebuilding will take time and we aren’t going anywhere. We will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you, our associates in the area, so you can keep being there for our customers, first responders and the communities we serve together. #bettertogether

If you’re an associate in need, please call (800) 236-2875. We’re here to help.

Helping the Communities Hit Hardest
Updated 5:09 p.m. CDT - Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017

Across Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana, Walmart associates are out in full force helping communities hit hardest by Harvey. As the storm moves northeast and the waters recede, residents are beginning to get out and survey the damage. At store 5612, located at 2391 S. Wayside Drive in Houston, associates are handing out water for members of the community in need.

Those in the area around store 5612 are welcome to come by and get clean, bottled drinking water, and most importantly – be safe. As of Wednesday afternoon, Walmart has shipped more than 900 truckloads of water to stores and donation sites across the impacted region.

In addition to water, Walmart has donated nearly $1 million in diapers, wipes, infant formula and baby food – as well as more than $10,000 in kayaks. We’re proud to work with organizations such as the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and Convoy of Hope to help those in need.


Walmart Drivers Make Their Way to Houston
Updated 3:17 p.m. CDT – Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017

Truck Driver Dennis Northam is part of a convoy that just arrived in Houston to deliver much-needed supplies for those affected by Hurricane Harvey.


Walmart Sets Up Pharmacy Inside Dallas Convention Center
Updated 12:10 p.m. CDT – Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017

Hurricane Harvey evacuees seeking shelter at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center now have pharmacy services available on-site to meet their needs.

Local Walmart stores in the Dallas area will fulfill orders placed through the convention center site. A selection of over-the-counter medications is also available at the center.

Pharmacists from other Walmart locations are coming in to support and offer prescription related counseling to customers as they pick up their prescriptions – the same service they would receive in-store.

Existing Walmart or Sam’s Club pharmacy accounts are not required. For people who do not have the information needed to transfer their prescriptions, the American Red Cross has medical professionals on site to help determine their needs and help get necessary prescriptions.

The Latest on Hurricane Harvey Support and Response
Updated 4:51 p.m. CDT – Monday, Aug. 28, 2017

It is heartbreaking to see the devastation that Hurricane Harvey has brought to our neighbors in Texas. We are working hard to ensure all our associates in the affected area are safe and customers have access to the essential items needed during this difficult time.

Associates have been working closely with the Red Cross and local government officials to understand how we can best help. At this time, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have committed at least $1 million in support, and our local teams will continue to provide extra assistance over the coming days and weeks as we learn more about the damage and what is needed.

Many of you are asking how you can help. Click here to support those affected through a donation to the American Red Cross.

To see if your local store is open, check our frequently updated list of store closures.

Stay tuned to this page and @WalmartNewsroom as we collect updates from our volunteers and associates helping to address the needs of those in storm-distressed areas.

Cuero community standing strong.

Posted by Walmart Cuero on Monday, August 28, 2017

Special Thanks to the all Walmart associates who helped with the truckload of water donated to customers of Corpus...

Posted by Walmart Corpus Christi - Saratoga Rd on Monday, August 28, 2017

Thank you assistant manager Kaitlin for ensuring our fire department in Lake Jackson is taken care of during this hard time.

Posted by Walmart Lake Jackson on Sunday, August 27, 2017

Your Highway 14 Walmart is rolling out to deliver a donation of water, pillows and blankets to the Purple Heart Recreational Center. It's open to those needing shelter from Tropical Storm #Harvey.

Posted by Walmart Lake Charles - Gerstner Memorial Blvd on Monday, August 28, 2017

Had the chance to speak with Texas Governor Greg Abbott this morning as he works to help the people of south Texas. We'...

Posted by Doug McMillon on Sunday, August 27, 2017

Walmart has a long history of providing aid in times of disasters, helping communities prepare and recover by donating emergency supplies, such as food and water, home and personal products. Since 2005, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have donated more than $60 million in cash and in-kind donations in response to disaster events.

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Business

Found: The Story Behind Our New Natural Beauty Routine

If you’ve ever tried shopping for naturally-inspired beauty products, you know the struggle.

They can be expensive. They’re sometimes not as effective. Makeup colors can be limited, and guess what? That means matching skin tones is a challenge.

As a buyer for cosmetics at Walmart, I’d begun noticing an industry trend, both from our customers’ feedback and focus groups: People care more than ever about the ingredients in the products they’re using. But this was also personal. I’m passionate about using natural ingredients in my home, and I was having trouble finding beauty products that looked good, felt good, and wouldn’t break the bank.

That was last year. Little did I know that a solution was soon to be found.

My team started looking into what it would take to develop naturally-inspired skincare and cosmetics, and that’s when we discovered Hatchbeauty, a company specializing in everything from the development to the marketing of innovative beauty products. They were eager to marry their beauty expertise with our retail expertise to create something truly unique and different – Found, a new line of naturally-inspired beauty products exclusive to Walmart.

Every item within Found highlights a “miracle” ingredient used in ancient beauty rituals. For instance, one of my favorite products, the illuminating drops, uses passionfruit oil to lock in moisture and nourish your skin. We’ve brought these ingredients to life to give customers an alternative featuring natural ingredients that can deliver the same results as traditional, high-end beauty products.

Helping develop Found has been one of the most meaningful achievements in my career, because it has been an intersection where my personal passion and my professional purpose collide. Walmart is committed to selling more products that benefit people and the planet. Found’s 130-product line is never tested on animals, and there’s even a Not Found list featuring what you won’t find in the products, like parabens and phthalates. Every product is 90-99% natural, and the percent of natural ingredients is front and center on every product.

Working with Tracy Holland, founder and CEO, Diana Madrid, COO, and Ben Bennet CCO, was a phenomenal experience, but I was impressed with the engagement from everyone on their team. From the owners to the brand managers to the chemists and product developers, everyone encouraged diversity of thought and inclusion, which made it possible for the customer to be the focus of our development process. I can’t count the number of times we changed direction on formulas, shade range or packaging based on customer feedback. For instance, we received customer feedback that skincare can be a confusing category to shop, so we broke down every item into one of three steps: cleanse, treat and hydrate. Found demystifies the process and helps customers focus on key items to build their regimens.

When I gave my first presentation to our leadership team, I asked them how my makeup looked, and they couldn’t believe everything I was wearing was from our naturally-inspired line. It’s one thing to develop these products – but it’s another thing entirely to actually wear the products and love them! Found has truly been a chance for me to help our customers save money and live better.

You can find Found products at select Walmart locations, Walmart.com and coming soon to Jet.com.

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Community

How Walmart is Supporting Associates Impacted by Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma hit the Walmart family hard.

For Cassie Bell and the associate support team in Walmart’s Emergency Operations Center, the priority this weekend and in the days to come is making sure associates are safe and that their immediate needs are being met.

Continuing an effort that began in the wake of Hurricane Harvey last month, Walmart has mobilized its Associate Resource Call Center to check in on associates in impacted areas, help get them to safety and give them the support information they need. To date, volunteers at the call center have conducted more than 5,200 calls and spoken with thousands of associates on the ground in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.

“Communication is critical during these events,” said Bell, Sr. Human Resources Manager. “We’re staying in contact with our store and club management teams, distribution centers and call centers, reminding them of emergency procedures and what to do during and after the storm.”

Walmart has mobilized a special call center focused on associate needs. Above, volunteers take calls from associates in hurricane affected areas.

But associate support doesn’t end with communication. Bell outlined a number of additional measures Walmart is taking to help associates who live and work in Irma’s path:

  • Walmart is offering Disaster Displacement Assistance (DDA), a grant that helps pay personal, family and living expenses resulting from a disaster. DDA helps get associates and their families out of harm’s way before the storm hits. It also helps them get back home once they are allowed to return.
  • Associates whose stores are forced to close outside their normal operating schedule due to the disaster or mandatory evacuation ordered by a governmental authority are eligible for up to four days of disaster support pay.
  • Using new technology the company recently implemented in its compensation department, Walmart is providing near-instant access to earned wages as an extra effort of relief. This program allows eligible associates to receive earned pay prior to their actual payday, giving them additional resources as they prepare for, and recover from, the storm.
  • Walmart is setting up support centers inside Training Academy facilities near impacted areas, providing hot meals to families and proactively calling associates to conduct wellness checks.
  • Associates wanting to work in other facilities are able to find openings by reaching out to their Human Resources Manager. Post-storm, Walmart will be identifying additional opportunities for associates to work in another store if theirs is closed due to the storm.

To help ease the minds of impacted associates who are worried about how they’re going to get back to work, Bell said absences for eligible associates have been approved throughout the storm and recovery.

“Our primary concern is the safety and wellbeing of our associates — taking care of them and their families,” Bell said. “We are working hard to re-open stores as soon as it is safe to do so, and we want to help associates get back to work as soon as they are ready.”

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Business

Walmart's Secret Advantage to Serving You This Holiday Season

The holiday season is a busy time of year at Walmart.

From October through December, hundreds of millions of Americans will visit more than 5,000 Walmart locations to shop for gifts, grab last-minute items for holiday meals and take advantage of special deals that come but once a year.

Now, more than ever, Walmart and its associates will be ready for them.

Based on the success of a similar effort in 2016, the company announced it will be offering extra hours available this time of year to our current associates, rather than hiring thousands of seasonal workers.

“Our associates make the holidays come to life in our stores, and we are thankful for everything they do,” said Judith McKenna, Chief Operating Officer. “As we head into our busiest time of the year, we know associates are ready to deliver for our customers and help give them a memorable and affordable Christmas.”

These extra hours will help staff traditional roles like cashier and stocker, as well as newly created, technology-empowered positions in Walmart’s growing online pickup department.

Here are three big reasons why the company is investing in its people for Holiday 2017:

  1. The way customers shop is rapidly changing. Walmart expects new services like Online Grocery Pickup to take off with the holiday cooking crowd, making the company’s specially trained personal shoppers an even more indispensable part of the team.
  2. The company’s Holiday Helpers program was a huge success last year, and in 2017 Walmart is increasing the number of Helpers across its fleet of stores. These associates are dedicated to helping customers get through stores faster by finding the shortest checkout line and opening registers as needed. They’ll even run to grab items customers may have forgotten, so they don’t lose their place.
  3. Walmart has increased its focus on service through new training, tools and technology. Thousands of associates have completed the company’s Pathways and Academy programs, which prepares them to more effectively serve customers during this busy season.

“The holidays are a special time of year for our customers and associates,” McKenna said. “This is what working in retail is all about, and we know our people have the passion to do even more this year.”

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Business

One Year Ago, We Welcomed Jet … and the Winners are Our Customers

When the Jet.com deal closed one year ago, many people asked, “Why Jet.com?”

At the time, we’d strengthened our e-commerce capabilities and were looking for the right partner to accelerate our efforts. So while it was a logical question to ask, the answer was really quite simple: Jet was the right partner at the right time. Both Walmart and Jet have a deep commitment to serving customers, and saving them money and time. By coming together, we could do all these things, better.

That’s exactly what we’re doing. In August, we partnered with Google for voice shopping. Earlier in the year, we launched Easy Reorder, a feature in our mobile app that helps customers easily access a list of items they purchase most frequently. We also launched free two-day shipping on millions of items – without a membership fee. And we’ve steadily expanded our merchandise assortment. This time last year, we had just reached 15 million items available on Walmart.com and today that number is 67 million items and rising.

We’ve welcomed other innovative online retailers to the Walmart family, including Bonobos, Hayneedle, Modcloth, Moosejaw and Shoes.com. Each of these acquisitions has helped strengthen our expertise in key product categories, provide an expanded assortment and a way to reach new customers. We’re able to provide these new companies the benefit of Walmart’s scale to lower their operating costs, which allows each to invest in the customer experience and grow the business.

We’re also seeing the power of our stores and e-commerce coming together to serve customers. We’re removing friction from our shopping experience – focused on making it fast, easy and fun for customers. Walmart customers now receive a discount for store pickup rather than home delivery, which we can offer by using our vast supply chain and store network to create efficiencies. With stores located within 10 miles of nearly 90 percent of the U.S. population, it’s convenient for many of our customers, and saves them money.

In addition to 1,000 grocery pickup locations in the U.S., we’re testing associate delivery of Walmart.com orders in a few stores. By the end of the year, we’ll have approximately 100 automated pickup towers in stores across the country, where customers can pick up their orders within a matter of minutes. And we’re excited about the growth we’re seeing across our e-commerce portfolio. One important metric, Gross Merchandise Value, grew 69 percent in the first quarter this year, and was just as robust the next quarter at 67 percent. That’s proof customers are responding.

Marc Lore, who founded Jet, and now leads our U.S. e-commerce efforts, has proven to be the digital embodiment of Walmart. He has a fanatical focus on serving customers and creating the next generation of everyday low prices. It’s energizing how he and Greg Foran, CEO of Walmart U.S., and their teams continue to partner closely to delight customers in new ways across our apps, sites and stores.

I’m excited about how far we’ve come together, and even more excited about what’s ahead. Here’s to another great year of finding more ways to save our customers time and money, and delivering an easy and enjoyable shopping experience.

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