Walmart to Boost Sourcing of U.S. Products by $50 Billion Over the Next 10 Years
New York (WFXG) -
Walmart today announced bold commitments to increase domestic sourcing
of the products it sells and help veterans find jobs when they come off
active duty. Speaking at the National Retail Federation's annual BIG
Show, Walmart U.S. President and CEO Bill Simon also announced the
company is helping part-time associates who want to be full time, make
"We want all of our associates to find the career opportunities they
want with Walmart," said Simon. "We will make sure part-time associates
have full visibility into full-time job openings in their stores and
nearby stores, and that they always have first shot at those jobs. We
will also bring more transparency to our scheduling system so part-time
workers can choose more hours for themselves."
On domestic sourcing, Walmart and Sam's Club
will buy an additional $50 billion in U.S. products over the next 10
years. The company will grow U.S. manufacturing on two fronts: by
increasing what it already buys here – in categories like sporting
goods, apparel basics, storage products, games, and paper products, and
by helping to onshore U.S. production in high potential areas like
textiles, furniture and higher-end appliances.
"At the heart of our national political conversation today is one
issue: creating jobs to grow the economy," said Simon. "We are meeting
with our suppliers on domestic manufacturing and are making a strong
commitment to move this forward."
A popular misconception about Walmart is where the majority of the
products on its shelves are sourced. According to data from its
suppliers, items that are made here, sourced here, or grown here account
for about two-thirds of what the company spends to buy products at
Walmart U.S. The company sees room to do more.
To help achieve this commitment, Walmart has created a senior team
within the company to lead this effort and it will sign longer term
purchase agreements to give suppliers more certainty.
"We can do so much more by working in partnership – as an industry
and with governments," said Simon. "I've talked with a number of
governors, including the incoming chair of the National Governors
Association, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, about how governors and
retailers and manufacturers can drive this issue together. Governors
from both sides of the aisle are enthusiastic about getting their
constituents back to work."
This summer, Walmart will help convene a manufacturing summit for
stakeholders to work together and help accelerate these changes.
Beginning Memorial Day, Walmart will offer a
job to any honorably discharged veteran in his or her first 12 months
off active duty. Most of these jobs will be in Walmart stores and clubs,
and some will be in distribution centers and the Home Office.
"Hiring a veteran can be one of the best business decisions you
make," said Simon. "Veterans have a record of performance under
pressure. They're quick learners and team players. They are leaders with
discipline, training, and a passion for service. There is a seriousness
and sense of purpose that the military instills, and we need it today
more than ever."
Walmart's pledge is not the end of this effort; it's the beginning.
The company projects it will hire more than 100,000 veterans during the
next five years.
"We believe Walmart is already the largest private employer of
veterans in the country, and we want to hire more," added Simon. "I can
think of no better group to lead in revitalizing our economy than those
who have served in uniform. Through their service, veterans give us a
land of freedom. When they return, it must be to a land of possibility."
Walmart has spoken with the White House about this commitment. The
First Lady's team immediately expressed an interest in working with
Walmart and with the entire business community to join forces to build
upon this commitment. In the next several weeks, the White House will
convene the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense, and
major American employers to encourage businesses to make significant
commitments to train and employ America's returning heroes.
"This is exactly the kind of act we hoped would be possible when we
started Joining Forces - a concrete example of our nation's love and
support that our troops, veterans, and their families can feel in their
lives every day," said First Lady Michelle Obama. "As our wars come to
an end and our troops continue to come home, it's more important than
ever that all of us - not just government, but our businesses and
nonprofits as well - do our part to serve those who have served us so
bravely. So today, my challenge is simple: for every business in
America to follow Walmart's lead by finding innovative solutions that
both make sense for their workplaces and make a difference for our
veterans and their families. Given what we've seen from Walmart and so
many other companies over the past two years, we know that they will."
Simon also called on the retail industry to work together to provide greater career opportunities for veterans.
"Imagine what retail could do together," said Simon. "We could leave
an incredible legacy as an industry. We can be the ones who step up for
our heroes. And we can do this now."
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