As part of our commitment to purchase an additional $250
billion in U.S. made products over ten years, Walmart is opening our doors and
you’re invited. On July 8 in
Bentonville, Arkansas, we are hosting the first ever Open Call for U.S. made
We invite our current suppliers that want to present new
products as well as potential suppliers with U.S. manufactured products. They’ll
have a chance to meet with buyers and hear from senior leaders at Walmart and Walmart.com.
While our buyers are always looking for new products for our customers, this is
the first time that we are putting out an open invitation for products Made in
Space is limited. In addition to being domestically
produced, applicants will be evaluated on the ability of their items to meet
Walmart customer needs including:
design, quality and innovation
competitive costing and value
fit within merchandising strategy
execute: production and logistics
Registration is required and is open now through June 6.
Once registered, companies will be asked to provide basic product and company
information. Based upon that information, companies will be notified by June 17
if an appointment will be scheduled.
Are you interested in learning more about Open Call or possibly
attending on July 8? Check out our commitment
to U.S. Manufacturing and learn how to become a Walmart supplier.
At Walmart’s Lab 415-C, we look for disruptive,
innovative technology that has the potential to change the way people shop. But
not just change that part of their lives – make it better.
From augmented reality to robotics, our team discovers
and tests emerging technology that powers the shopping experience our customers
want. In fact, we’re even named after an early innovation in Walmart’s
Walton’s 415-C airplane, which he used to scout real estate
from the sky (a business-growth tactic that was unheard of in the 1950s).
How do we bring these innovations to our customers and
associates? It starts with research. You wouldn’t buy a car without researching
its capabilities, safety and reliability, right? We research between 700-750
technologies a year and make sure we know the technology’s maturity, use cases,
comparisons and how it can improve shopping for customers. We look at
everything from technology that helps associates run stores more efficiently to
capabilities in the internet of
things (connected devices that communicate without human
interaction, such as a smart thermostat).
But what good is research if it isn’t shared with others?
That’s where our showcasing team comes in. More than 5,000 people come through Lab
415-C each year. Our showcasing team helps plan discussions, brainstorms and
events within Walmart and the greater entrepreneurial and academic community to
accelerate how we find innovative technology.
Testing technologies for how they’ll work within Walmart
is another aspect of Lab 415-C’s capabilities. We’ve tested technologies internationally,
at local stores and within our lab at Walmart’s headquarters in Bentonville,
Arkansas. Failing fast is key, so we don’t see failure as a roadblock; we see
it as a way to finesse the solution to fit Walmart’s needs.
An important way we find solutions that fit our
customers’ needs is by sourcing innovations from technology suppliers. This October,
we are doing that in a big way through our Technology
Innovation Open Call, an event where our leaders will meet with companies
creating the latest technology for retail, logistics, big data, security and
Our open call event is a great opportunity for companies
to pitch their innovations to the largest retailer in the world. I can’t wait
to see what ideas and inventions we’ll discover! Together we will transform the
deadline for potential selection in the Technology Innovation Open Call is July
22, 2016, or the first 250 submissions. For details and an application, click here.
Executive Vice President, Consumables and U.S. Manufacturing, Walmart
March 10, 2016
Social Enterprise Conference this weekend, the
topic on top of everyone’s mind was how to solve big problems. Attendees talked
about many ways to create change: whether it’s through launching a startup,
investing in green energy, or innovation in education.
I spoke about Walmart’s commitment
to buy $250 billion over 10 years in products that
support American jobs. Through this commitment, we are empowering our customers
to help create jobs and be agents of change through what they buy.
Since we launched our commitment, we’ve worked with hundreds of
suppliers to encourage them to manufacture or assemble their products here. As
a retailer, we don’t make anything, but we’re big and want to use our strength
to help others. We’ve made good progress.
In some cases we’ve agreed to longer-term contracts to give
suppliers the confidence to grow their business in America such as our commitment
to Wadley Holdings which makes patio furniture in Wadley, Alabama. With a population of just 700, the company
recently added 50 full-time jobs to the region as a result of our commitment
and is planning to add an additional 50 jobs next year.
Or you can start small and grow with us. Take Ed Mueller,
founder of Carolina Gumbaya of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. He started selling
his South Carolina seafood gumbo at 17 area Walmart stores. Today, Ed’s
grown to 137 Walmart stores over five states.
Duncan Berry, founder of Fishpeople knows very well what can happen when you have an idea to create
American jobs. He told the audience about how his seafood company is making a
difference for the fishermen in the Pacific Northwest. Surprisingly, 90% of the
seafood caught in American waters goes overseas for processing. He wanted to
change that. And he has. Starting last year he signed a deal with Walmart to
sell his sustainably caught and processed fish at our stores. He’s created jobs
in Oregon and is doing it sustainably too.
Duncan’s story is inspiring and we’re looking for others to do
For the third year in a row, Walmart is opening its doors June
28 to more than 500 manufacturers and inventors during the company’s “Made
in the USA” Open Call for products made, assembled or grown in the U.S.
There are no hoops to jump through – no phone calls or pre-pitch meetings.
During the event, suppliers will meet with the company’s senior leaders and
buyers at our headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, to pitch their products
for Walmart stores, Sam’s Clubs and Walmart.com. We’ll also have learning
academies for our suppliers on topics ranging from thechanging customer to how best to work
with Walmart. Registration opens March 15 at www.walmart-jump.com.
a year where everyone wants to create opportunity in their communities, we’re
proud to provide customers and entrepreneurs the chance to do that through what
they buy at Walmart.
Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt of Michelle’s post
that was originally published on LinkedIn Pulse.
Editor’s Note: With
this post, we follow up with two associates who previously shared their stories on video.
Proximity brought Nicholas Qualman to Walmart, but his
personal drive has since taken him far.
In 1998, the then 16-year-old was working for a fast-food
chain located in the parking lot of the Walmart store in his hometown of
Marinette, Wisconsin. He was tired of making burgers and wanted to work the
counter, but with no positions open, he had to look elsewhere for a new
He applied at Walmart and was hired as a cashier, and he
hasn’t stopped moving since.
By the time he was featured in this 2011 video, he’d earned
10 promotions. After that, he lost count.
“I’ve had many careers within the same company,” he said, reciting
every title he has held, which comes to about 16.
His ambition has taken him from cashier to department
manager to a role leading education for other associates and many – many – points
in between. In the summer of 2015, he began helping to support the rollout and
day-to-day operations of online
grocery, which includes store
pickup and home
delivery – a job that he says is his favorite thus far.
“It’s a completely new way of us serving the customer,” he
said. “I equate it with being the supercenter of this generation. It’s a game
changer for stores and for our customers.”
As Nick moved up in the company, he also moved around. “One
of the great things is you get to experience different people and the company
in different geographies,” he said.
He transferred from Northeast Wisconsin to Minneapolis for
college, then worked in Sacramento; San Diego; Los Angeles; Princeton, New
Jersey; Boston; and Scottsdale, Arizona. He now calls San Bruno, California,
Like Brother, Like
Nick’s drive can only be matched by that of his sister,
Jessica Crow. It took her only five years to do what he did in 17 years, Nick
said with pride and a bit of brotherly frustration.
“We’re kind of in competition,” he said, “and I’ve got to
tell you, I’m struggling to keep ahead. She’s told me several times she wants
Jessica joined the military after college and served in Iraq
and Afghanistan. When she returned to the States, she toured the country with
the Pentagon to share her experiences.
Despite what she’d gained in the military, finding a
satisfying job in the private sector was difficult, Nick said. She worked in
logistics but didn’t feel happy or challenged. That’s when Nick offered to share
her resume within Walmart. But, he told her he wouldn’t push it: Getting hired
was up to her.
It wasn’t long before Jessica was offered the position of
developmental store manager. She made it to store manager in three months and moved
to a new store after a year and half. A few promotions later, she is now a
divisional manager – also surpassing the story she shared in this 2013 video.
After talking about his sister, Nick was quick to point out,
“My story isn’t unique – it’s one of many, many stories of Walmart associates.
Not everyone has had a chance to tell their story.”
Nick doesn’t want his story to end here. He achieved his
last goal of joining the e-commerce team, and now he’s setting his sights on Walmart
International, the one area he says he hasn’t yet touched. For now, Nick
sees himself sticking with online
grocery for the next five years or more – if he can keep his sister at bay.
“I’m just worried about my job,” he joked.
The following conversation with Walmart CEO Doug
McMillon is excerpted from our 2016 Annual Report, which was released today.
Read the report.
now living in a new period of retail disruption, largely driven by rapid
technological advances, and that change is likely to accelerate even further. What
does the future look like for Walmart?
work starts and ends with the customer. Technology has changed customer
expectations. Customers used to compare us with the store down the street; now
they compare us with the best online shopping experience. And beyond retail, they
compare us with every business they interact with in their lives. They compare
our pickup experience to the speed and friendliness of the best drive-through.
They compare our checkout process to the ease of paying with an app.
Customers should be able to shop on
their own terms – in a great store or club, with a quick pickup stop on the way
home from work, or with items reliably arriving at the front door. And
customers want to have some money left over to put toward their priorities: an
experience together as a family, a special gift every once in a while, or
savings for a rainy day.
Retail is not just about putting items
on a shelf anymore. It’s about fighting for our customers, cutting out the
hassles and advocating for them on price, too. We’re moving beyond just selling
products to being the brand customers rely on to make their lives simpler and
more meaningful as they save money.
mentioned “seamless shopping” before. What does that mean, and how will Walmart
A: It starts with unparalleled assets
that only Walmart has – our 2.3 million people; more than 11,500 retail locations;
e-commerce websites and apps; and a dynamic, optimized supply chain. But it
also requires new capabilities and fresh thinking.
This includes new digital tools for
customers and frontline associates, as well as back-end software and platform
work that benefits the entire enterprise. The use of data, algorithms, advanced
forecasting capabilities – and more – is of extreme strategic significance.
We will put these pieces together in a
way no one else can.
Ultimately, customers don’t care about
what channel they’re shopping in, or about how we deliver them a product or
service. They simply know they’re shopping with Walmart.
Q: What is
Walmart already doing to make progress against this seamless shopping strategy?
help our associates succeed and better serve our customers, we’ve made big
changes – including investing approximately $2.7 billion over two years in
higher wages, education and training to make Walmart U.S. a better place to work
and shop. We’re already seeing positive results: our fourth quarter of fiscal
2016 marked six consecutive quarters of positive comps and five straight
quarters of positive traffic at Walmart U.S. Everything we’re doing in
omnichannel depends on customers having great interactions with us in our
We're also accelerating e-commerce and
technology advances globally. We expanded Online Grocery shopping to new
markets, ramped up in-store and in-club pickup, fully acquired the Chinese online
retailer Yihaodian, and began to add new mobile services such as Walmart Pay.
We developed a technology platform that we can scale across the business. We
improved our fulfillment capabilities with new centers that are helping us get
orders to customers’ doors faster and more efficiently.
clear what these strategic investments mean for customers. How will they affect
associates and the communities where Walmart operates?
A: As we work to win with our customers, we will also create a great place to
work. We will create tremendous opportunities for people from all walks of
life, with all kinds of skill sets and education levels. We’re striving to
create a true meritocracy. No matter where you start from or what your unique
and special characteristics are, you can fulfill your potential here. We
believe in opportunity and that hard work, dedication and talent should be
We will also use our size, mindset and
policies and help make the world a better place. We create opportunity
throughout our global supply chain – on farms and in factories, by buying more
from women-owned businesses, by hiring veterans and by strengthening the retail
We work to be more sustainable, both
in our own operations and in our supply chain. We have three big goals:
creating zero waste, running on 100 percent renewable energy and selling products
that sustain people and the environment. And we give back to the communities we
serve – supporting American manufacturing, preparing for and responding to
natural disasters and fighting hunger.
does this growth plan mean for investors?
A: We will win with a differentiated, disruptive strategyand a foundation
of operational excellence. As we do, we believe shareholders will benefit by
receiving above-average returns.
Although this will be another year of foundational
investments, we believe we will soon be growing faster than the retail market.
We are a growth company; we just happen to be a large one.
The road ahead will not always be
easy, but by being customer focused, hungry, fast and accountable, we will win
and have a good time doing it.