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

More Than a Store: The Tech Bringing You Even More Items

I can’t count how many times I’ve started to shop on my phone or in an app, then moved over to my laptop so I could see everything better.

Shopping on a phone is super convenient, but sometimes that small screen doesn’t give me the in-depth detail I need for certain types of purchases.

Turns out, a lot of customers do that, too. “Our electronics department associates noticed that customers were using store display laptops and tablets to purchase from Walmart.com,” Nicole Clendeninn, a senior project manager of merchant technology at Walmart Labs, recalled. Just like me, they wanted to use something bigger than a phone screen to shop. Others used the store displays because they didn’t have a smart device with them. From these simple observations, came an even simpler idea: Walmart.com in-store kiosks.

The solution launched in just five stores almost a year ago and has since grown to 50 locations. Each of these stores has 1-2 kiosks, usually near customer service or the electronics department. The kiosks allow customers to shop all products on Walmart.com (minus Marketplace items), pay how they want – even cash, if they like – and ship it to store or their home.

Nicole’s team didn’t stop there. They used this same technology to enable associates to help customers make online purchases from anywhere in the store. Associates already use a handheld device for their daily tasks, so Nicole’s team added a new app that allows them to assist customers with Walmart.com merchandise on the spot.

Let’s say you’re looking for a laptop. With this new app, an associate can pull up reviews on his or her handheld device so you can see which one has the best reviews. Once you’ve made your choice, that associate can check you out right there or take you to a kiosk to let you pay without a card. Same thing goes if you can’t find what you’re looking for in the store – they can help you find it online, show you the reviews and help you check out.

Not every store will get a kiosk, but the team is working to get the associate-facing app on all their handheld devices.

Watch this video to see how the kiosk came to life.

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Business

These Back-to-School Tools Add Up to Easier Shopping

Going back to school with confidence is as easy as 1, 2, 3 … 4.

Whether you’re shopping for a kindergartner or a college student, Walmart is making it easier than ever to get all the supplies you need in-store and online with a variety of new tools and products.

The best part: You don’t have to sacrifice style for convenience or saving money. Around 25% of our school supply assortment is new this year, and you’ll find these on-trend items offered at our everyday low prices.

Study the graphic below on some of the ways we can help you ace back-to-school shopping.


*Free two-day shipping is available on orders over $35 without a membership fee.

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Community

An Amazing Way to Add STEAM to Girls’ Career Dreams

It might just be that I am a mom of three children (ages 8, 4 and 2) who is always looking for fun yet affordable things to do, but I am noticing more and more hands-on learning opportunities such as “maker spaces” popping up in schools and institutions throughout the country.

Northwest Arkansas is no different. It's exciting to see so many STEAM – an acronym for science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics – concepts embodied in current popular culture, inspiring confidence in young women in particular.

Learning becomes deeper and longer lasting when it involves creativity, discovery and community. That’s why I’m so excited to help support Walmart and the Walmart Foundation in their giving efforts. Through my job as a senior grant manager for the Walmart Foundation, I get to be part of helping organizations like the Scott Family Amazeum, who are working to break down the intimidation factors of STEAM in hopes of inspiring the next generation of engineers, coders, scientists and beyond.

Just this last month, at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, Proctor & Gamble and Walmart joined the Amazeum and other local organizations to host the first Always Live #LikeAGirl STEAM Day for 100 young girls from the region, who were encouraged to explore STEAM careers.

But let me share a little bit more about the impact STEAM education is having on my own daughter, Kenzy. This past spring, like many children in Northwest Arkansas, she and her 2nd grade class attended an Amazeum Unfield Trip, which is a program supported by a $1 million grant over three years from the Walmart Foundation to fund admission for students in Benton and Washington counties.

This wasn’t your traditional school museum visit, but rather a hands-on learning experience for both the students and teachers, inspiring curiosity and discovery at every turn. Kenzy loved exploring the world of water at the Nature Valley Water Amazements, but being able to create something uniquely her own in the 3M Tinkering Hub renewed her interest in her school’s afterschool coding club. Who knows? It might have even ignited a lifelong interest in a STEAM career.

Innovation is all around us and sometimes it takes us slowing down to see it or be inspired by it. Watching my kids discover has encouraged me to incorporate more STEAM into my own lifelong learning. STEAM education develops life skills like logical reasoning, collaboration, creativity and communication while building character traits like confidence, self-esteem, imagination, persistence and motivation. These are the very life skills and character traits I am seeing my daughter develop through her interactions with STEAM education.

Without creativity, the world would be a lot less interesting, and without the curiosity to discover, we wouldn’t push ourselves a little more or strive for the impossible. In a world being transformed by innovation, I’m grateful for my kids who are a constant reminder for me to not be afraid to embrace my own creativity, be a little more willing to go down the journey of discovery but most importantly to foster community with those around me.

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Life

#IShannanYou: The Associate Love Story That Has Netflix Viewers Swooning

It’s a classic love story: Boy meets girl, falls madly in love and proposes to her in front of millions on one of 2018’s most popular Netflix shows.

Okay, so that’s probably not how it happens for most of us. But, for William and Shannan Mahnken, it’s all part of their real-life love story that started five years ago after they met at a Walmart assistant store manager training session in Woodstock, Georgia.

The Netflix reality show reboot, “Queer Eye,” has taken pop culture by storm. The show’s “Fab Five” – Jonathan, Karamo, Tan, Antoni and Bobby – have won over viewers’ hearts across America by taking the show beyond its basic premise and diving into conversations about identity and self-confidence that inspire viewers and participants alike.

Before Shannan submitted William to be one of the makeover contestants on the show’s second season, the grocery department manager was a shy aspiring actor and screenwriter who named ’90s sitcom character Frasier Crane as his style icon. In his own words, “I was hiding behind my beard and all that hair.”

It’s not always easy to embrace your full self or wear your heart on your sleeve, but despite William’s reserved personality, he had a great time on set. “The guys are all so great,” William said. “They just walk up to you like they’ve been friends with you forever. I felt so comfortable.”

Bonding with the Fab Five even helped William feel comfortable enough to seek their help in planning his proposal to Shannan. He set to work with Karamo, the “Queer Eye” culture consultant, to craft a grand proposal that would sweep her off her feet.

“I was trying to think of a word that meant more than love,” said William, “and eventually I realized that there was no single word or phrase that could describe how I feel about Shannan. I decided that the only way I could describe it was with her name.”

That’s right. William invented a new way to say, “I love you” – and he did it using his future bride’s name. “I Shannan you.” If you haven’t seen the episode yet, I highly suggest grabbing a box of tissues beforehand.

Last month, William and Shannan finally tied the knot in a small sunrise ceremony on the beaches of Amelia Island in Florida. Since the show aired, the lovebirds say that although married life is a little different, the couple have stayed pretty true to who they are. They now work together as department managers at the same Walmart store in Cornelia, Georgia, and William continues to create short films and act when he can.

So, what was the biggest lesson he learned on the show?

“Confidence is a big one,” he said. “I learned how to open up to people. I don’t feel hidden anymore; I feel like I can open up to people about who I am. If I feel myself reverting back into that old pattern, I remember something that Tan said to me: ‘You’re not doing this for yourself, you’re doing it for her – the person you love.’ I think about that and it inspires me to be the best version of myself.”

Photos courtesy of Netflix.

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