U.S. Manufacturing

Making Things – and Making a Difference

Tomorrow, Walmart will welcome hundreds of suppliers and potential suppliers to our headquarters to hear their pitches about new products made, assembled, grown or sourced in the United States. It’s our first Open Call event, and we hope that by opening our doors, we can help open even bigger ones for families and communities across America.
With changes in labor and energy costs overseas, it makes sense to make more products closer to the point of consumption. In the U.S., Walmart has pledged to buy an additional $250 billion over 10 years in products that support American manufacturing. By doing so, not only can we bring our customers more great, local products – but our suppliers can bring their communities more jobs.

Element Electronics recently opened a TV production facility in Winnsboro, S.C., that is a great example of how a community can be revitalized when new jobs are created. Check out the video for more of their story.

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Expanding Your Marketplace of Products on Walmart.com

The internet changed how we shop. It brought the store to our screens. More and more, when it comes to finding the exact product that we want at the best possible price, we search and buy online.

When you visit Walmart.com, my team and I work hard to make sure you can find what you need, every single day. One way we do that is through our Marketplace sellers.

What is Marketplace? I like to explain it like this: Imagine you’re in a shopping mall, and instead of visiting lots of different stores to find what you want, everything you’re looking for is in one store. What’s more, you’ve got a personal shopper helping sort through all the options, morphing the shelves as your preferences change, to find your perfect item at the perfect price.

That’s what’s happening behind the scenes when you visit Walmart.com. When you search for an item, not only do you see options from Walmart.com’s own inventory – your search likely brings up choices from third-party sellers, too. These are third-party sellers that we’ve chosen to work with because they offer a great selection of products at a great price.

Marketplace makes it easier for customers to find a wider range of the items we sell in stores, plus some other brands you might not find at a store, like Toms and Vans shoes.

Since this time last year, we’ve grown the number of Marketplace sellers by more than 30 times. This has helped us triple our assortment on Walmart.com since last year, with more than 20 million items today, and growing.

One of our highest priorities in developing the Marketplace is ensuring the quality of our overall customer experience. We reach out to customers to learn about their experiences, and we’re proactive about checking data to see where we can help Marketplace sellers improve their performance to go above and beyond.

We’ll continue to focus on our Marketplace sellers as they help us help you find exactly what you need. This is just one way Walmart.com is working to make your online shopping experience better across the board.

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U.S. Manufacturing

Watch the American Dream at Work at this Utah Company

If you were watching TV over the weekend, you may have seen a new ad about Walmart’s commitment to U.S. manufacturing. While the music in the background is fairly recognizable, what may not be as well-known is the commercial’s cast: real employees of Lifetime Products, one supplier we’re working with to re-shore production of several items.

Based in Clearfield, Utah, Lifetime manufactures basketball hoops, folding chairs and tables, and picnic tables. They also produce other consumer products, from lawn and garden items to kayaks and paddleboards, for other companies.

The company was founded in 1986 and soon became a Walmart supplier of sports equipment. Fast-forward 30 years and they are providing approximately half of their 300 products to Walmart stores, Walmart.com and Sam’s Club locations across the U.S.

Lifetime began as an idea in a garage in Riverdale, Utah, when a husband and wife team wanted to build a better basketball hoop for their family. Their passion and innovation expanded the project into a business whose name reflects its mission: to build durable, lasting products for consumers and their families.

The company has grown from 15 employees in a partial warehouse to 2,000 employees, making it one of the largest employers in Clearfield, population 30,000, and one of the largest private employers in the state.

In late 2014, we at Walmart reached an agreement with Lifetime for the production of patio furniture and other products re-shored from China. Walmart’s commitment to Lifetime and American-made goods has allowed the manufacturer to establish new production facilities in Mascot, Tennessee, just north of Knoxville. Lifetime hopes to hire 500 employees over the next five years in this new location, which is situated in a town of just 2,500 people.

“Lifetime’s relationship with Walmart and Sam’s Club has been vital to our expansion,” their president and CEO, Richard Hendrickson, recently said. “As a company, we will continue to fight hard to keep jobs and manufacturing technologies and expertise right here in the United States of America.”

When we visited Lifetime to shoot the commercial, we also got the chance to meet several of their employees and chat about their work. In addition to Mike’s story here, you can watch others – and read more about our commitment to U.S. manufacturing – at walmart.com/americanjobs.

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The Pumpkin Spy: Your Handpicked Guide to a Seasonal Favorite

When I was a kid, pumpkins were for carving, baking into pies, or … well, that’s about it. Now, there are hundreds of pumpkin-flavored foods and pumpkin-scented products on the market.

According to Nielsen data, last year, 37% of U.S. consumers purchased a pumpkin-flavored product, and sales from pumpkin-flavored products grew 79% between 2011 and 2015. Luckily, I have combed through the shelves to find the latest and greatest #pumpkinspice products available at your local Walmart.

From breakfast foods to home goods, there is enough to keep your pantry stocked at least until you are ready to move on peppermint in December. Obviously, there are a lot of coffee-related products, but even if you aren’t a coffee drinker, there is a pumpkin spice product for you.

Pumpkin Spice Cheerios
Take one of America’s most popular cereals and combine it with the fairy tale magic of pumpkin spice. My only question: What took you guys so long?

Quaker Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal
Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal will make an excellent comfort food on a chilly autumn morning, while you’re snuggled in a big comfy chair, trying to remember why you got out of bed in the first place.

Fresh-Fall Pumpkin Febreze Air Effects
To get insight into the proliferation of pumpkin items beyond food, I spoke to Tifanie Van Laar-Wagner, Walmart’s senior buyer for air care products. “Customers see pumpkin as a signal to the beginning of family gatherings and celebrations of the season,” she said.

Lindt Lindor Pumpkin Spice Truffles
Milk chocolate + pumpkin spice = <3

Thomas Pumpkin Spice English Muffins
Just add a bit of butter and honey, and you’ve made your regular breakfast feel indulgent and – dare I say – hip!

Little Debbie Pumpkin Spice Rolls
You know that great pumpkin bread that someone in your office makes around the holidays? It’s like that, only smaller.

Predictions for fall 2017: pumpkin spice deodorant, pumpkin spice popsicles, and pumpkin spice oil changes at our Auto Care Center (just kidding). As you can see, when it comes to pumpkin spice, there’s a proliferation of possibilities.

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Meet Your Holiday Helpers for a Fast, Friendly Checkout

As the holidays grow nearer, our shopping lists begin to lengthen.

Among the party essentials, children’s wishes and groceries, there’s one precious item many of us find ourselves wanting at the same time: a few extra moments in our schedules.

While the gift of time isn’t something that can be plucked off the shelves, there’s one way we’re working to ensure you can find it this year at Walmart. It’s introducing our Holiday Helpers, who will be helping to grant you a few extra minutes all season.

Decked out in bright yellow vests, jingling hats and a colorful satchel full of goodies, our Holiday Helpers will be stationed near the registers to provide an extra fast, friendly checkout experience. When lines are looking long, a Helper will open a new line to serve customers and help get everyone out the door in a snap.

Even better: If you’re in line, and you happen to remember a last-minute item you forgot, like milk, they’ll go and pick it up for you.

The idea to introduce Holiday Helpers came from customer feedback and Walmart’s store associates paying close attention to shoppers’ habits. As more customers shop during peak hours, Holiday Helpers step in with a smile to enhance the checkout experience, helping ensure that everyone can pay and be on their way quickly.

Customers will start seeing Holiday Helpers in stores beginning Nov. 4, and a new 30-second commercial that’s set to air in the coming days will offer a taste of what’s to come.

It’s our hope that these new helpers will become busy customers’ heroes when it comes to squeezing a little extra time out of a packed schedule this season.

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