Innovation

Fresh Things are Happening at This Sam’s Club

We’ve long thought of our Bentonville, Arkansas, Sam’s Club like a backyard laboratory. Situated less than two miles from our corporate headquarters, it’s the perfect place to try new ideas and finesse them, learning from members’ responses in real time.

Earlier this year, we used this laboratory in a big way through a remodel with an eye toward excitement, innovation and convenience. While many of the features added don’t appear elsewhere yet, we’ll use our members’ feedback to determine if they’ll become extended to more clubs in the future.

When driving in, you may notice a few dedicated parking spaces for electric cars. Here we offer charging stations that can fit any electric vehicle on the market today. Two chargers are available: One 50-kilowatt charger is the first in the state of Arkansas and can charge a vehicle in less than a half hour. Another charger (7 kW) takes approximately two to four hours to fully charge.

We expanded the Club Pickup parking area to include two drive-thru lanes as well as additional dedicated parking slots. This feature is great for ordering ahead online and swinging by the drive-thru for quick pickup. Small businesses who rely on us for daily ingredients can save their previous orders online and simply repeat or edit. Our associates serve as personal shopping assistants, gathering all the items needed. When you drive up, we’ll bring your order out to your car!

With our new Scan and Go service, members can scan items and pay on their iPhone or Android device utilizing the Scan and Go app. No need to stand in the checkout lane at all. Just simply show your phone screen to the exit attendant on your way out the door! Scan and Go is available at all of our clubs across the country.

At our new, full-service fresh area, you’ll see chefs preparing sushi and sashimi on the spot. If you need to grab something to go, you can choose sushi that was made that same day. This space also includes several high-end offerings such as halibut, mahi-mahi, and ahi tuna, as well as premium prime beef cuts, cattleman cuts and more.

We opened up our walk-in coolers to allow members to shop directly inside. This dual-purpose, 34-degree storage and selling area features air-curtain technology which keeps the cold air in, making it more energy efficient. This update also gives us more space to offer other great items like fresh-squeezed orange juice and lemonade.

Our newly remodeled café features a self-service digital portal allowing users to order directly from the menu, pay at the terminal and wait for their order numbers to pop on the big screen. The menu has also been expanded to include healthier options such as salads, smoothies and made-to-order deli sandwiches along with café favorites like pizza and hotdogs. The newly designed seating area includes charging outlets for convenience.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June 2016 and has been updated to reflect the availability of Scan and Go in all U.S. Sam’s Club locations.

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Opportunity

Introducing the All-New WalmartCareers.com

With more than 4,600 locations in the U.S. – and online shopping, too – odds are most of us have connected with Walmart at some point in the last year.

But helping our customers check off grocery lists and wish lists wouldn’t be possible without one important thing: our people.

Delivering on this expectation every day requires a lot of support not just on the front lines at our stores, but also behind the scenes at our fulfillment and distribution centers and corporate offices. Walmart is a place where anyone can build a career, and it’s my role to ensure job seekers know about the opportunities that exist.

One way we’re doing that is through the recently refreshed WalmartCareers.com. But what else is there to know about working for Walmart? Here’s a short list.

1. Expect the unexpected.
Careers at Walmart are as individual as the people who work here. We employ a wide range of roles from store managers and software engineers to pharmacists and pilots.

Our CEO Doug McMillon is well known for working his way up from unloading boxes in a warehouse to where he is today, and he’s just one of many associates who found their dream job among the many opportunities here at Walmart.

2. Counting on success.
Employing more than 2 million associates worldwide – 1.5 million in the U.S. alone – is a huge responsibility. However, the size of our workforce is just one number worth knowing. Here are several other stats that make us proud:

  • More than 75% of our store management teams started as hourly associates.
  • We promoted 200,000 U.S. associates last year to jobs with more responsibility and higher pay, and more than 9,000 hourly associates were promoted to salaried managers.
  • More than 225,000 associates will graduate from our Academies training program by the end of 2017 – emerging prepared to better serve customers, lead teams and take the next step in their careers.

3. Digital first.
With more than 1.6 million visitors each month, WalmartCareers.com is a first impression for many candidates – and we want it to be a great one. The site was recently redesigned to:

  • Invite visitors to experience our culture.

From day-in-the-life videos to real images of our offices and associates, the site opens our doors and invites visitors to experience Walmart like never before.

  • Make it easy for applicants to find their perfect fit.

With so many opportunities available, finding the perfect role can be challenging. We used this as inspiration for the newly designed site navigation, department pages and job search.

  • Showcase our commitment to innovative digital experiences.

We love the unexpected (and the delightful!), and the refreshed careers site is one way we are showcasing our efforts to create great, immersive experiences for our candidates.

4. The future’s so bright.
Through our physical locations and digital capabilities, we’re committed to creating an easy and time-saving shopping experience for our customers. But whether it’s online grocery pickup or changing our in-store setup, we can’t make that happen without bright people to drive innovation and bring ideas to life.

Technology will continue to change the world around us, and associates at all levels are helping us change with it. As I’ve heard our CEO say, “Bring it on.”

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Innovation

Two-Day Free Shipping: Just the Beginning

Since joining Walmart, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about what’s next for Walmart.com.

For me, the road ahead is pretty simple: We’ll keep our fanatical commitment to saving customers money – it’s who we are. And, we’re going to be equally obsessed with saving our customers time.

I’ve been here for four months and I couldn’t be more excited about how fast we are moving. It feels like a startup.

We’ve rolled out a new leadership team and organizational structure that’s highly customer centric. We’ve got everybody working on new ways to serve our customers.

Today we’re announcing free two-day shipping to home and to stores on more than two million items, without a membership fee. These items make up the vast majority of what customers buy online. In today's world of e-commerce, two-day free shipping is table stakes. It no longer makes sense to charge for it. We believe this is the most compelling all-around value proposition for customers looking for low prices, a broad assortment and quick shipping.

Obviously, with this announcement, there is no longer a need for ShippingPass. ShippingPass was a great way to test what we ultimately wanted to offer customers – free two-day shipping. All current ShippingPass members will receive a refund on their membership.

This is just the beginning. Now that we’ve checked the two-day shipping box, my focus is on leveraging our unique assets and network to serve customers in innovative ways that only Walmart can. Stay tuned…you won’t be waiting long.

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Life

Iconic Brawny Man Steps Aside for Women’s History Month

What does it mean to be strong? To be resilient? As the makers of Brawny paper towels, it’s our job to make sure the iconic Brawny Man – and the product he represents – embodies these traits.

And that’s why, in honor of Women’s History Month, The Brawny Man is temporarily stepping aside this March to showcase strong women and their impact on history (yesterday and today).

This might not seem like a big deal, but it’s a real change for a brand whose toughness has been represented by a plaid-clad guy for more than 40 years. So we are excited to bring this limited edition packaging design to Walmart customers. Who says a woman can’t take the place of the Brawny Man? Not us.

While simple, the idea that being strong isn’t limited to men was a new way for us to think about Brawny. And in that thinking, we found a connection with consumers that goes way beyond paper towels. As a result, the #StrengthHasNoGender initiative was born last year as an extension of the “Stay Giant” campaign for our paper towels.

This year, we found more inspirational stories to share. From the first African-American female combat pilot to a college student who developed an app that detects breast cancer, strong women are making a difference and breaking barriers in so many different fields. You can view these films on our website, and I encourage you to do so. These achievements inspire us all to reach higher and push further – no matter what barriers we may face. They’re truly inspiring stories, and they get to the core of what our brand is about.

But why these stories? Because we know that women are currently underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Empowering women and girls in STEM seemed like a great way to inspire young women with our campaign. That’s why we partnered with Girls Inc., to encourage girls to participate in hands-on activities, explore, ask questions and solve problems. And because someday we want these same girls to consider a STEM job with a manufacturing company like ours, making Brawny stronger.

#StrengthHasNoGender is part of the evolution in the way we talk about our brand: that strength goes way beyond paper towels. Overall, we hope the campaign and packaging change promotes a conversation about what it means to be strong and resilient. We hope women and girls everywhere are inspired to pursue their dreams no matter what obstacles they face. And finally, we hope that one day, the notion that Strength Has No Gender will be universal – understood and accepted by everyone.

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Opportunity

Why I’m Confident About Being a Catalyst for Change

I am a woman of Walmart. There are more than a million of us across the globe. We're a part of everything this company does.

From producing and stocking your Great Value morning coffee to designing the systems that allow you to order from your couch while finishing a cup with a loved one, we are there.

Celebrating International Women's Day yesterday was the perfect time to reflect on the opportunities I've had here. The list is long and it grows every day. In my six years with this company, my coolest opportunities have been working with our stores and clubs. Because my job is based at Walmart’s home office, having the opportunity to work side-by-side with our people on the front line (more than a million in the U.S. alone!) is enlightening and empowering. And it has certainly helped build my confidence as a female leader. I've met many women of Walmart in various roles from Bentonville, Arkansas, to Shenzhen, China. One thing they've all had in common is confidence. Confidence to represent the No. 1 company in the Fortune 500, confidence to make a difference in people’s lives, confidence to think differently and confidence to challenge the status quo.

We still have diversity and inclusion work ahead of us to ensure every woman at Walmart feels the same way. This week we took another step in that journey, by announcing our commitment to continuing to accelerate diversity, inclusion and gender equality as our CEO Doug McMillon joined Catalyst CEO Champions for Change. This is an important transformational opportunity for Walmart and the more than 40 other companies on board, as not only are they making bold organizational and personal commitments to continue to accelerate inclusion, but they also will transparently report their companies’ collective progress.

So yesterday I added another cool opportunity as a woman of Walmart to my list: The opportunity to help transform our company by making a personal commitment to diversity and inclusion. And I'm feeling pretty confident about the journey ahead.

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