U.S. Manufacturing

How ‘California Cool’ is Changing Decatur, Georgia

In Decatur, Georgia, there’s a new company producing the Ozark Trail coolers sold exclusively at Walmart and Walmart.com. It’s called California Innovations, and it’s making waves as it creates new jobs for people across the county.

How does something as simple as a cooler change a community? We sat down with Georgia State Rep. Vernon Jones to get his thoughts.

What kind of impact has California Innovations had on DeKalb County?

Too many American cities have faced losses and hardship after a lot of local manufacturing work moved overseas. In 2016, California Innovations opened their new facility in Decatur, Georgia, and with it they created 150 new jobs for American workers. When you create opportunities like that for families and workers, you pump life back into the heartbeat of their communities. I’m excited to hear that in addition to the 150 jobs already created in DeKalb County, 150 more are projected to support the growth of the facility.

Why are local manufacturing jobs important for your district?

Throughout my career as a former DeKalb County executive and now a Georgia State House representative for the 91st district, I have been – and always will be­ – interested in job creation. It’s important for both smaller communities and the entire state to take advantage of opportunities like this one, which will have a lasting impact on the growth of the community.

Although the recession is behind us and unemployment is down, there are still many people out there who lack the skills or training to find meaningful work. California Innovations is a company that has proven to understand this, embrace it and embody it in the treatment of their employees.

What are some of the ways you helped the people of Decatur prepare for this opportunity?

In many towns, most jobs are created by small businesses. To keep these businesses – and job opportunities ­– strong, they need tools and resources that can help them thrive. When new employers come to our district, they’re looking for a trained workforce with the necessary skills to do the job. When I learned California Innovations was coming to our district and planned on investing in our workforce, I wanted to pitch in right away and introduce them to organizations that could help them out.

For instance, Ozark Trail coolers are formed by roto molding, a process that creates a vacuum inside the walls of the cooler so it can keep ice frozen for hours, even on a hot day. DeKalb County Workforce Development, which helps workers in the county gain skills and resources to find meaningful work, teamed up with California Innovations to help them find and train a workforce who can do this type of job. The result is a facility that uses the highest-level technology and a team of skilled, knowledgeable workers who possess a deep understanding of their field.

What does it looks like when communities are positively impacted by job creation?

I believe there is nothing like the confidence and self-esteem of someone who is working. It’s a virtuous circle: as the factory grows, it feeds the pool of employment opportunities, its employees can clearly define a career path and the benefits ripple throughout the community and local economy. It’s important that California Innovations knows how much our community appreciates the opportunities they bring to our neighborhoods, and we wholeheartedly support them.

From the expression on the employees’ faces to the quality of products they’re making, it’s evident that the people of California Innovations have a true appreciation for what U.S. manufacturing is doing in their state and their communities.

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Life

12 Days, 12 Ways We’re Helping You Holiday Easier

Eggnog, inflatable Santas, bath bombs, video games – ever feel like the shopping list will never end? No matter how you want to shop – whether in our stores, on our apps or online – we’re here to help. For the next 12 days, we’ll highlight different ways to nail every detail of the holidays so you can rock this Christmas.

Day 6: Save time using grocery delivery

Don’t let a frantic holiday schedule leave you with an empty fridge. When you’re pressed for time or worst of all, can’t make the trip, our delivery service in select cities will bring groceries and more straight to your door. Place an order on Walmart.com and a driver will retrieve your items and escort them to your home. It’s another way we’re helping you shop when and how you want.

So, give it a try - enter your zipcode here to see if this service is available in your area.

Day 5: Shop millions of online items across our brands

We’ve expanded the Walmart family a lot over the last year, which means you have more shopping options than ever at Walmart, Jet.com, Hayneedle, Shoes.com, Moosejaw, Modcloth and Bonobos. Find just the right item for everyone on your list, or check out Jet's Uniquely J line of everyday goods and keep your home stocked for the holiday season.


Day 4: Voice order items on Google Home

“Hey, Google, add baby wipes from Walmart to my cart.”

“Alright, your order history has 500-count Parent's Choice Fragrance-Free Baby Wipes. I can get it from Walmart on Google Express for $8.97. Should I add that to your cart?"

That’s right: shopping just got easier than ever with Google Home's virtual assistant, one of this season’s hottest items. The voice shopping option, coupled free two-day shipping and the Pickup Discount, makes getting what you need at low prices effortless. And just in time for the holidays, when you buy your Google Home or Google Home Mini from Walmart, you can receive up to $25 off when you link your Walmart account to Google Express. Think of it as a little Christmas present to celebrate all your hard work this season.

Day 3: Get groceries quick with your own personal shopper

Our certified personal shoppers are time savers and miracle makers. They have a passion for people, products and exceptional service. Need veggies for dinner tonight? Milk for breakfast tomorrow? With Online Grocery Pickup, our expertly trained associates are standing by in more than 1,100 locations, ready to select the freshest items on your list. Choose from more than 40,000 items and we’ll do the rest. Best of all, we offer same-day service with no price mark-up, no subscription and no fees. Santa's elves will even load your car.

Day 2: Shop millions of items on Walmart.com

We've tripled our assortment on Walmart.com as compared to last holiday season. What does that mean for you? More than 70 million potential gifts for your family and friends alongside the essentials you need every day, from paper towels to hot new electronics and great deals on smart TVs. Best of all, Walmart.com continues to offer free, two-day shipping — no membership required.

Day 1: Use the Walmart app to power through your to-do list

What can you do on the Walmart app this holiday season that’ll save you time and money? Just about anything. Shop for dry groceries, reorder everyday items, refill prescriptions, transfer money, even send last-minute gifts. For quick help, search an item in-store to find the aisle number, or check out featured items to get gift ideas for your family and friends. Even Santa isn’t this good!

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U.S. Manufacturing

Take a ‘Topeka’ the Mars Candy Factory in Kansas

When you open a package of M&M’s and pour the colorful candy-shelled chocolates into your hand, you may not give much thought to where the candy was made.

Neither did I, until I had the chance to meet some of the people who create these delicious little treats at the Mars Wrigley Confectionery in Topeka, Kansas.

The Topeka facility specializes in creating filled M&M’s ─ like the brand-new M&M’s Caramel, as well as Snickers candy bars. Next year it will add Twix candy bars to the list. And they’re adding 70 new jobs to help take on the expanded production. Over 95% of Mars Wrigley Confectionery products sold in the U.S. are made locally by the company’s team of over 5,000 associates working across 12 domestic sites. More than 300 associates work at the Topeka facility.

Walmart is proud to work with companies like Mars Wrigley to bring locally-made products to customers. That’s why we’ve committed to buy an additional $250 billion in products through 2023, creating new jobs across communities like Topeka.

Check out this video to meet the people who make your favorite candy.

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Business

We’re Updating Our Legal Name to Reflect How Customers Want to Shop - Here's Why

Today we announced that we are changing our name from Wal-Mart Stores to Walmart. Why the change? Because of our growing presence as a retailer who serves customers no matter how they choose to shop.

Most of us, and I’d guess all our customers, refer to our company as Walmart and still will. Changing our corporate name from Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., to Walmart Inc. is just a symbol of how customers are shopping us today and how they’ll increasingly shop us in the future. Whether it’s in our stores, on our sites, with our apps, by using their voice or whatever comes next, there is just one Walmart as far as our customers are concerned. When they shop with us, they expect it to be an easy and seamless experience.

Changing our corporate name to Walmart is a way of better reflecting our company’s path to win the future of retail. It’s also a bit about returning to the company’s roots. You might be surprised to learn that, when Sam Walton opened the first store in 1962, the name on the front of the building was simply, “Walmart.” A few years later, we incorporated as Wal-Mart, Inc., and amended the name to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., when we went public in 1970.

For our associates, while our new legal name removes the dash, we’re not planning to change the Walmart cheer. Getting our blood flowing and choosing not to take ourselves too seriously is still part of our culture. It’s important to have some fun at work, so for our associates in countries where your cheer calls for the squiggly, keep doing it!

We began with great stores and steadily expanded to include clubs and distribution centers. In 1991, we became a global retailer when we opened our first international location in Mexico City, and we launched Walmart.com in 2000. Today we operate under almost 60 different banners around the world, including eCommerce sites, and have more than 11,600 stores and clubs in 28 countries.

Now, we are focused on strengthening stores and clubs around the world to make sure customers continue to have a great experience every time they walk through the door. At the same time, we’re also building our eCommerce and digital capabilities, and we’re putting them together in a way that makes every day easier for busy families. Sam Walton said, “To succeed in this world, you have to change all the time.” He wouldn’t have known that customers in the future would shop on their smart phones or with their voices, but he did know that retail would continue to change. He taught us that, and that for a company to succeed, it has to be agile and innovative.

Even though our corporate name has changed, what won’t change is that Walmart will be there for customers—saving them money and time and helping make every day just a little bit easier.

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Innovation

At Store No. 8, a Look Toward Retail’s Future

These days, if something is convenient, it’s probably been made possible by technology.

Over the past few years, the possibilities of what we can do, obtain, expect – have all shifted drastically. That’s especially true when it comes to retail. We now live in a time when we can simply tap our fingers on a smartphone screen to order almost anything and have it delivered, for free, in two days or less. And not too far off is the ability to experience shopping in a virtual setting without leaving the comfort of our homes.

These digitally enabled experiences are shaping the future of commerce. My team, Store No. 8, works to pinpoint the ideas, people and innovations that will be a part of that. We’re a standalone incubation arm within Walmart, which means we get to do things from a unique position: Not only do we have the benefit of Walmart’s vantage point into the heart of America, but by operating somewhat apart from the corporation, we have the freedom to develop new ideas that can thrive outside existing definitions of retail.

Today’s consumers have rapidly evolving expectations. To keep up, you’ve got to constantly be on watch for what’s new. At the same time, you have to be comfortable with those new things always changing. Building new horizons in the context of a company like Walmart is pretty amazing, because new technologies and business models can impact so much – from everyday things like making grocery shopping a little more convenient, to the extraordinary: changing key ways the retail world works.

So, just as the mouse has given way to touchscreens, there are all sorts of possibilities for the changes that lie waiting in the future. At Store No. 8, our job is to get ahead of those shifts, by continually spotting and seizing the technologies that get us there.

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