Wal-Mart and Rakuten to launch online grocery delivery service Japan and new eBooks and audiobooks offering in the U.S.

Companies to launch online grocery delivery service in Japan and new eBooks and audiobooks offering in the U.S.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. and TOKYO, Japan, 2018-Jan-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) president and CEO Doug McMillon and Rakuten, Inc. Chairman, president and CEO Hiroshi “Mickey” Mikitani met in Tokyo today ( Jan. 25, 2018) to announce a new strategic alliance that leverages each company’s unique strengths and assets to expand consumer reach and enhance how customers are served in Japan and the U.S.

The collaboration includes the launch of a new online grocery delivery service in Japan beginning in the third quarter of 2018. In addition, Walmart and Rakuten Kobo Inc. have formed an exclusive retail alliance that will enable Walmart to begin selling eBooks and audiobooks, as well as offer Rakuten Kobo eReaders, in Walmart stores and online at Walmart.com in the United States starting later this year.

“Rakuten is a strong e-commerce business and we’re excited to collaborate with the top online shopping destination in Japan,” McMillon said. “Here in Japan and everywhere we operate, we’re constantly exploring new ways to make every day easier for customers by offering great experiences in stores, online, via mobile—no matter how customers want to shop. We look forward to expanding our grocery footprint in Japan and launching a new offering of eBooks and audiobooks for our customers in the U.S.”

Mikitani said, “As global leaders in e-commerce and offline shopping, Rakuten and Walmart are uniquely positioned to empower our customers around the world with innovative services.” He added, “We are excited to partner with Walmart because of its commitment to creating the best solutions to serve customers with low prices.”

Japan online grocery delivery service
Rakuten and Seiyu GK, a subsidiary of Walmart, have reached a basic agreement to establish a joint venture with the aim of launching a new online grocery delivery service in Japan, to be known as “Rakuten Seiyu Netsuper.” The new service is planned to be launched in the latter half of 2018.

Rakuten and Seiyu will launch a new online grocery delivery service leveraging each of the companies’ strengths to offer a more convenient shopping experience that meets the changing needs of customers in Japan. Rakuten Seiyu Netsuper will aim to increase fulfillment capacity, enrich the merchandise offering and improve convenience for the customer. The service will aim to increase capacity in 2018 with the establishment of a dedicated fulfilment center, in addition to offering deliveries from Seiyu stores.

The new service’s merchandise offering will showcase Seiyu’s twin strengths of “quality” and “low prices.” To serve the needs of customers increasingly short on time for preparation, the service will include not only fresh produce and daily consumables but also a rich lineup of convenient items such as cut vegetables, partially-prepared foods and ready-meal kits, as well as popular local gourmet products from merchants on the Rakuten Ichiba marketplace.

Furthermore, the new service will utilize Rakuten’s deep expertise in e-commerce to offer a site with an optimized user experience, as well as leveraging big data and AI to offer a more personalized merchandise offering.

Customers using the new service will enjoy the benefit of being able to earn and use Rakuten Super Points, also allowing them to use their points on more than 70 services within the Rakuten ecosystem.

Rakuten Kobo U.S. eReading Service
As part of this alliance, Walmart will become Rakuten Kobo’s exclusive mass retail partner for the Kobo brand in the U.S., offering Kobo’s nearly six million titles from thousands of publishers and hundreds of thousands of authors to Walmart.com customers. Walmart.com will offer eBooks and audiobooks for sale later this year. Walmart will also sell digital book cards in stores, enabling more than 4,000 stores to carry a broader selection of books for customers.

All eBook content will be accessible through a Walmart/Kobo co-branded app available on all iOS and Android devices, a desktop app and Kobo e-Readers, which will also be sold at Walmart later this year.

“Walmart is one of the top retailers in the world and one of the largest booksellers in the U.S. Our strategy from day one has been to partner with the world’s best retailers, so that they can easily offer their customers the option of reading digitally. This informs the software and devices we create, the books and authors we promote, and also the partnerships we build,” said Rakuten Kobo CEO Michael Tamblyn. “For us, this is another great opportunity to serve book lovers at Walmart, those people who make reading an important part of their lives.”

About Walmart
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. The company’s legal name will become Walmart Inc., effective on Feb. 1, 2018, to reflect its growing status as an omni-channel retailer. Each week, over 260 million customers and members visit our more than 11,600 stores under nearly 59 banners in 28 countries and eCommerce websites in 11 countries. With fiscal year 2017 revenue of $485.9 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2.3 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart.

About Rakuten
Rakuten, Inc. (TSE: 4755) is a global leader in internet services that empower individuals, communities, businesses and society. Founded in Tokyo in 1997 as an online marketplace, Rakuten has expanded to offer services in e-commerce, fintech, digital content and communications to more than 1 billion members around the world. Since 2012, Rakuten has ranked in the top 30 of Forbes Magazine’s annual “World’s Most Innovative Companies” list. The Rakuten Group has over 14,000 employees, and operations in 29 countries and regions. For more information visit https://global.rakuten.com/corp/.

About Seiyu
Seiyu operates retail chain stores nationwide from Hokkaido to Kyushu, selling fresh food, groceries, apparel, general merchandise and other products. We are striving to deliver our customers “Our Promise”: Offering everyday needs at unbeatable prices at the quality they want through the channel they prefer to shop, such as stores, and online grocery delivery service, which provides them with highly valuable shopping experience of key attributes for differentiation: “Price Leadership”, “Quality and Freshness”, “Product Assortment” and “Convenience”. Fully leveraging the global network and creditworthiness of our parent company, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., we will actively develop attractive sales floors to better suit the preference and needs of Japanese customers.

About Rakuten Kobo Inc.
Owned by Tokyo-based Rakuten and headquartered in Toronto, Rakuten Kobo Inc. is one of the world’s most innovative eReading services offering nearly 6 million eBooks and audiobooks to millions of customers in 190 countries. Believing that consumers should have the freedom to read any book on any device, Kobo provides people with a choice when reading. Kobo offers an eReader for everyone with a wide variety of E Ink eReaders to suit any Reader’s style including Kobo Aura, Kobo Aura H2O, and Kobo Aura ONE; along with the company’s free top-ranking eReading apps for Apple® and Android®. Kobo’s award-wining eReaders can be found in major retail chains around the world. For more information, visit www.kobo.com.

Media Inquiries:
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Media Relations
+1 (479)273-4314
news.walmart.com/reporter

Rakuten, Inc.
Corporate Communications Department
global-pr@mail.rakuten.com
(+81) 50-5817-1104

Seiyu GK
Public Relations
+81-3-3598-7760

Rakuten Kobo Inc.
PR & Communications
kobo-pr@mail.rakuten.com

Source: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

The fourth annual NRF Foundation Gala raised more than $2.8 million to support its educational and inspirational initiatives

NEW YORK, 2018-Jan-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — The fourth annual NRF Foundation Gala took place Sunday, January 14, at Pier Sixty in New York City, featuring an uplifting awards program and formal dinner that included both silent and live auctions. The star-studded event raised more than $2.8 million to support the Foundation’s programs, including educational and inspirational initiatives, student scholarships and RISE Up, a powerful, industry-backed credentialing program.

“We are so grateful for the retailers and partners who made 2018 another record-breaking year for the Gala,” NRF Foundation Executive Director Ellen Davis said. “Our work is made possible through generous contributions from companies and individuals who believe in the future of retail and see it as the industry that powers America’s workforce. We look forward to putting these funds to work by continuing to execute programs and initiatives that shape retail’s future.”

The Gala was attended by more than 800 retail CEOs and senior executives, industry insiders, celebrities and students who came together to support the future of retail talent and to celebrate The List of People Shaping Retail’s Future. In addition, four-time NBA champion and ESPN sports analyst Shaquille O’Neal presented NRF’s “The Visionary” award to Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Walmart, a recognition for an inspiring leader with a record of spearheading change in the industry.

At the Gala, the NRF Foundation also announced the recipients of its Student Challenge and Next Generation scholarships. Courtney Nash, a senior at the University of Arizona, was the top recipient of the 2018 Next Generation Scholarship. Nash, one of five finalists, was awarded a $25,000 scholarship. In addition, the NRF Foundation named Ashley Cairns, Blake Fortin and Kendall McDermott from Columbia College Chicago as the top team in the Student Challenge competition; each was awarded a $5,000 scholarship.

In addition to members of the National Retail Federation’s Board of Directors and the NRF Foundation’s Board of Directors, other notable guests included Omar Miller from the HBO hit series “Ballers,” super model Niki Taylor, Dorinda Medley and Kristen Taekman from the Bravo hit series “The Real Housewives of New York City,” and E! News celebrity correspondent Alicia Quarles.

The Gala capped off the first day of NRF 2018: Retail’s Big Show, welcoming 36,000 retailers and their business partners from around the world at the Javits Center in New York City, January 15-16, 2018.

About NRF
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.

About NRF Foundation
The NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth among people who work in retail. The NRF Foundation is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit arm of the National Retail Federation and is funded in part by generous donations from retail industry supporters. NRF.com/Foundation.

Contact:
Ana Serafin Smith
(202) 626-8189
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

Source: NRF

Walmart opens training academy in Oklahoma — its 100th in the U.S.

Walmart opens training academy in Oklahoma — its 100th in the U.S.

 

Academies provide better training for associates, create better shopping experience for customers

Edmond, Okla, 2017-Apr-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — Walmart is celebrating the grand opening of its 100th training academy in the U.S. at 1225 West I-35 Frontage, Edmond, Oklahoma, today ( April 17, 2017). Walmart training academies were introduced in 2016 and have expanded to 40 states. A replay of the graduation and grand opening is available on the Walmart Today Facebook page.

“Everything we do begins with our associates,” said Doug McMillon, president and CEO, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. “That’s why we have invested in training academies for associates to further develop the skills they need to better serve customers and succeed in today’s retail environment. Walmart is a place where anyone can fulfill their potential.”

Walmart training academies are dedicated facilities where associates receive instruction on retail fundamentals and area specific skills. Since the program launched, the curriculum has expanded training to cover more than 65 positions, including customer service manager, online grocery pickup, and assistant store manager. Associates are trained through a combination of classroom and sales floor exercises, utilizing technology including tablet computers and cloud storage for training materials.

“These investments are paying off for our customers through cleaner stores, friendlier service and faster check-out times,” added McMillon.

Associates who go through training academy programs are able to earn while they learn new skills. Through skills training associates gain an increase in confidence and knowledge — which leads to greater job satisfaction, personal and professional growth and stability. Walmart Academies are providing additional marketable skills that help associates with the job they are in and prepare them for the next level job.

“The Walmart Academy has given me the opportunity to help associates build and grow their careers with the company, but also helped me grow as a leader and an individual,” said Alesha Odenbret, Edmond Walmart academy facilitator. “I have had an incredible experience with the company, and I wanted to be able to share that with other associates.”

Walmart plans to have a total of 200 academies opened across all 50 states by the end of summer. Since 2016, more than 52,000 associates have graduated, with more than 225,000 associates on track to complete training in 2017.

About Walmart
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, over 260 million customers and members visit our 11,695 stores under 59 banners in 28 countries and e-commerce websites in 11 countries. With fiscal year 2017 revenue of $485.9 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2.3 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart.

Source: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

###

Walmart celebrates 10 years of progress towards aspirational sustainability goals at Milestone Meeting

Company celebrates 10 years of progress towards aspirational sustainability goals at Milestone Meeting, announces new commitment to preserve wildlife habitat

BENTONVILLE, Ark., 2015-11-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — In front of an audience of associates, suppliers and nonprofit organizations at its Global Sustainability Milestone Meeting, Walmart today announced the completion of commitments to reduce 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its global supply chain, double fleet efficiency, and expanded an existing commitment to preserve wildlife habitat. The company also highlighted major progress around a pledge to develop a sustainable food system: the completion of several food and nutrition commitments and receipt of an award from Partnership for a Healthier America for its work to open stores in food deserts.

Digital Press Kit

Download high res photos, videos, reports, and infographics

“Today we celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the launch of our sustainability agenda,” said Doug McMillon, president and chief executive officer of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. “We’re proud to recognize the progress we continue to make every day, and we’re excited about what we hope to accomplish in the next ten years and beyond.  Our company has made major strides since we embarked on this journey, and our focus for the next decade will remain the same: doing the right thing for our customers, our communities, people working in the supply chain and the planet. Our approach to global responsibility not only makes sense for the environment, but it’s also good for our customers, and our business.”

A decade ago, Walmart’s then-CEO Lee Scott set forth three aspirational goals outlining the company’s support for environment and people worldwide:

  1. To be supplied by 100% renewable energy;
    2. Create zero waste;
    3. Sell products that sustain people and the environment.

To ensure progress toward these goals, Walmart continually establishes ambitious commitments with definitive timelines, while collaborating with suppliers, nonprofits, industry experts and governments. Walmart today shared progress against several of these commitments:

  • Eliminated 20 million metric tons of GHG emissions from its global supply chain. In 2010, Walmart announced its goal to eliminate 20 million metric tons of GHG emissions from its global supply chain by the end of 2015. Today, the company announced that it has exceeded this commitment early by eliminating 28.2 million metric tons to date, which is the equivalent of taking more than 5.9 million cars off the road for an entire year. Collaborating with EDF, Walmart has achieved this goal by implementing various innovative measures across both its global operations and those of suppliers, including enhanced energy efficiency, the execution of numerous renewable energy projects and collaborating with suppliers on the Sustainability Index to track progress towards reducing overall carbon footprint.
  • Doubled fleet efficiency. In 2005, Walmart committed to doubling the efficiency of its fleet by the end of 2015. Today, the company shared that it has achieved this momentous goal by working with its associates to establish innovative solutions for loading, routing and driving techniques, as well as collaborating with tractor and trailer manufacturers on new technologies. With these new efficiencies, in this fiscal year alone, the company expects to save nearly $1 billion compared to a 2005 baseline, and avoid emissions of almost 650,000 metric tons of CO2.  This contributes to a cleaner environment and lower prices for customers.
  • Permanently preserved acres of wildlife habitat. Today Walmart announced it is renewing its conservation efforts by committing $35 million over the next ten years to Acres for America.  Since 2005, Walmart, in collaboration with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, has helped preserve and restore more than 1 million acres of wildlife habitat through 61 projects in 33 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico through the Acres for America program. This commitment aims to permanently conserve at least one acre of priority wildlife habitat for every developed acre of the company’s current and future footprint, and has already dramatically exceeded the original commitment of 100,000 acres.
  • Advanced the sustainability the company’s biggest product category. In keeping with the goal of selling products that sustain people and the environment, Walmart hascommitted to create a more sustainable food system. This commitment focused on four key pillars: improving food affordability; increasing access to food; making healthier eating easier; and improving safety and transparency in the supply chain. Today, Walmart announced the completion of several key food commitments under these pillars:
    • Affordability: Beginning in 2011, Walmart committed to helping customers save on healthy food, including $1 billion in annual savings on fresh produce. The company has exceeded this commitment year over year, totaling over $4.69 billion in customer savings to date.
    • Accessibility: In July, 2011, Walmart committed to opening up to 300 stores serving USDA-designated food deserts. By the end of January 2015, Walmart had exceeded this goal, a year earlier than planned, by opening 375 stores.  Today Walmart is being recognized for those efforts as a recipient of the Partnership for a Healthier America Award.
    • Health and Transparency: As part of its focus on making healthy eating easier, Walmart committed in 2011 to reduce sodium by 25 percent, added sugars by 10 percent and to eliminate industrially produced transfats in private label and national brand packaged foods sold in the company’s stores. So far, Walmart has reduced sodium in these products by more than 16 percent, reduced added sugars by over 10 percent and ensured that fewer than 6 percent of contain partially hydrogenated oils. Walmart also created a Great For You front-of-pack seal, which is now on more than 30 percent of the company’s private label products, to help customers easily identify more nutritious choices.

“While our journey is far from over, it’s clear that we are on the right path. Even as Walmart grows, we are continuing to leverage our scale and enhancing our supply chain for the good of people and the planet,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, chief sustainability officer for Walmart.  “The progress we have achieved would not be possible without the passion and the hard work of associates across the company, as well as the partnership of our suppliers and the NGOs who have helped us drive our work forward.”

For more details and to watch the replay of Walmart’s Global Sustainability Milestone Meeting, please visit: http://news.walmart.com/events/fall-sustainability-milestone-meeting

###

About Walmart 
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, nearly 260 million customers and members visit our 11,554 stores under 72 banners in 28 countries and e-commerce websites in 11 countries. With fiscal year 2015 revenue of $485.7 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart.

Media and Journalists

Email Media Relations

Call 1-800-331-0085 from 8am to 5.30pm Central, Monday-Friday

International Journalists dial 1-800-123-1234

SOURCE: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Walmart announces the completion of commitments to reduce 20m metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and expanded commitment to preserve wildlife habitat

Company celebrates 10 years of progress towards aspirational sustainability goals at Milestone Meeting, announces new commitment to preserve wildlife habitat

BENTONVILLE, Ark., 2015-11-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — In front of an audience of associates, suppliers and nonprofit organizations at its Global Sustainability Milestone Meeting, Walmart today announced the completion of commitments to reduce 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its global supply chain, double fleet efficiency, and expanded an existing commitment to preserve wildlife habitat. The company also highlighted major progress around a pledge to develop a sustainable food system: the completion of several food and nutrition commitments and receipt of an award from Partnership for a Healthier America for its work to open stores in food deserts.

Digital Press Kit

Download high res photos, videos, reports, and infographics

“Today we celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the launch of our sustainability agenda,” said Doug McMillon, president and chief executive officer of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. “We’re proud to recognize the progress we continue to make every day, and we’re excited about what we hope to accomplish in the next ten years and beyond.  Our company has made major strides since we embarked on this journey, and our focus for the next decade will remain the same: doing the right thing for our customers, our communities, people working in the supply chain and the planet. Our approach to global responsibility not only makes sense for the environment, but it’s also good for our customers, and our business.”

A decade ago, Walmart’s then-CEO Lee Scott set forth three aspirational goals outlining the company’s support for environment and people worldwide:

  1. To be supplied by 100% renewable energy;
    2. Create zero waste;
    3. Sell products that sustain people and the environment.

To ensure progress toward these goals, Walmart continually establishes ambitious commitments with definitive timelines, while collaborating with suppliers, nonprofits, industry experts and governments. Walmart today shared progress against several of these commitments:

  • Eliminated 20 million metric tons of GHG emissions from its global supply chain. In 2010, Walmart announced its goal to eliminate 20 million metric tons of GHG emissionsfrom its global supply chain by the end of 2015. Today, the company announced that it has exceeded this commitment early by eliminating 28.2 million metric tons to date, which is the equivalent of taking more than 5.9 million cars off the road for an entire year. Collaborating with EDF, Walmart has achieved this goal by implementing various innovative measures across both its global operations and those of suppliers, including enhanced energy efficiency, the execution of numerous renewable energy projects and collaborating with suppliers on the Sustainability Index to track progress towards reducing overall carbon footprint.
  • Doubled fleet efficiency. In 2005, Walmart committed to doubling the efficiency of its fleet by the end of 2015. Today, the company shared that it has achieved this momentous goal by working with its associates to establish innovative solutions for loading, routing and driving techniques, as well as collaborating with tractor and trailer manufacturers on new technologies. With these new efficiencies, in this fiscal year alone, the company expects to save nearly $1 billion compared to a 2005 baseline, and avoid emissions of almost 650,000 metric tons of CO2.  This contributes to a cleaner environment and lower prices for customers.
  • Permanently preserved acres of wildlife habitat. Today Walmart announced it is renewing its conservation efforts by committing $35 million over the next ten years to Acres for America.  Since 2005, Walmart, in collaboration with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, has helped preserve and restore more than 1 million acres of wildlife habitat through 61 projects in 33 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico through the Acres for America program. This commitment aims to permanently conserve at least one acre of priority wildlife habitat for every developed acre of the company’s current and future footprint, and has already dramatically exceeded the original commitment of 100,000 acres.
  • Advanced the sustainability the company’s biggest product category. In keeping with the goal of selling products that sustain people and the environment, Walmart hascommitted to create a more sustainable food system. This commitment focused on four key pillars: improving food affordability; increasing access to food; making healthier eating easier; and improving safety and transparency in the supply chain. Today, Walmart announced the completion of several key food commitments under these pillars:
    • Affordability: Beginning in 2011, Walmart committed to helping customers save on healthy food, including $1 billion in annual savings on fresh produce. The company has exceeded this commitment year over year, totaling over $4.69 billion in customer savings to date.
    • Accessibility: In July, 2011, Walmart committed to opening up to 300 stores serving USDA-designated food deserts. By the end of January 2015, Walmart had exceeded this goal, a year earlier than planned, by opening 375 stores.  Today Walmart is being recognized for those efforts as a recipient of the Partnership for a Healthier America Award.
    • Health and Transparency: As part of its focus on making healthy eating easier, Walmart committed in 2011 to reduce sodium by 25 percent, added sugars by 10 percent and to eliminate industrially produced transfats in private label and national brand packaged foods sold in the company’s stores. So far, Walmart has reduced sodium in these products by more than 16 percent, reduced added sugars by over 10 percent and ensured that fewer than 6 percent of contain partially hydrogenated oils. Walmart also created a Great For You front-of-pack seal, which is now on more than 30 percent of the company’s private label products, to help customers easily identify more nutritious choices.

“While our journey is far from over, it’s clear that we are on the right path. Even as Walmart grows, we are continuing to leverage our scale and enhancing our supply chain for the good of people and the planet,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, chief sustainability officer for Walmart.  “The progress we have achieved would not be possible without the passion and the hard work of associates across the company, as well as the partnership of our suppliers and the NGOs who have helped us drive our work forward.”

For more details and to watch the replay of Walmart’s Global Sustainability Milestone Meeting, please visit: http://news.walmart.com/events/fall-sustainability-milestone-meeting

###

About Walmart 
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, nearly 260 million customers and members visit our 11,554 stores under 72 banners in 28 countries and e-commerce websites in 11 countries. With fiscal year 2015 revenue of $485.7 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart.

SOURCE: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Walmart plans $20 billion share repurchase program over two years

  • The company provided a three-year strategic framework intended to strengthen its U.S. and e-commerce businesses.
  • Net sales growth is expected to range between 3 and 4 percent annually over the next three years, translating to $45 to $60 billion over the period.
  • Investments in people and technology to drive strong shareholder returns over time.
  • Capital investments will be approximately $11.0 billion for fiscal year 2017 and will remain flat in fiscal years 2018 and 2019.  This is below the revised fiscal year 2016 estimate of approximately $12.4 billion, primarily due to a moderation of physical store expansion.
  • Investments in e-commerce and digital initiatives are expected to total approximately $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2017.

BENTONVILLE, Ark., 2015-10-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) today provided its strategic outlook and growth plans for the future at the company’s 22nd annual meeting for the investment community. The investments outlined today are part of a framework designed to drive sales growth by strengthening the U.S. and e-commerce businesses. This framework is intended to enhance the experience in stores, leverage Walmart’s unique supply chain capabilities to lower costs and build deep digital relationships with customers.

Digital Press Kit

Read related press releases, meeting agenda and watch the webcast

“These are exciting times in retail given the pace and magnitude of change. We have strengths and assets to build on and are making progress to position the company for the future,” said Doug McMillon president and CEO, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.  “We’re encouraged by recent customer feedback and will continue to get stronger. Our investments in our people, our stores and our digital capabilities and e-commerce business are the right ones. We will be the first to build a seamless customer experience at scale to save our customers not only money but also time.”

Financial Outlook

The company also indicated that as a result of a stronger than anticipated impact from currency exchange rate fluctuations, it now expects net sales growth for the current fiscal year to be relatively flat.  Excluding the impact of currency exchange fluctuations, net sales growth would be approximately 3 percent for fiscal year 2016.  In February, the company indicated that it expected net sales growth of between 1 and 2 percent.

Charles Holley, Walmart’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, outlined the company’s financial priorities for growth and detailed the investment and expansion plans for fiscal year 2017.

“Our sales growth over the next three years is estimated to range between 3 to 4 percent annually, which will add approximately $45 to $60 billion in sales. Within the last year, we have experienced traffic and comp sales improvements in our Walmart U.S. business, and our plan reflects that positive momentum continuing,” said Holley.

McMillon said Walmart is bringing a disciplined approach to managing the company’s financial resources and portfolio. “We are actively reviewing our portfolio to ensure our assets are aligned with our strategy.  But we will be thoughtful in our approach, recognizing our responsibility to drive shareholder value,” he said.

Holley also discussed the company’s profitability over the long-term and provided more insight into certain financial metrics.

“Fiscal year 2017 will represent our heaviest investment period. Operating income is expected to be impacted by approximately $1.5 billion from the second phase of our previously announced investments in wages and training as well as our commitment to further developing a seamless customer experience,” said Holley.  “As a result of these investments, we expect earnings per share to decline between 6 and 12 percent in fiscal year 2017, however by fiscal year 2019 we would expect earnings per share to increase by approximately 5 to 10 percent compared to the prior year.”

Share repurchase

The company also announced that its board of directors has authorized a new $20 billion share repurchase program and retired the $8.6 billion remaining on its 2013 authorization.

“We remain committed to our strong balance sheet and have said that we would only use it for strategic purposes. Last year and this current year, we have not utilized that capacity as we felt it was not the right time to drive a larger volume of share repurchase.  We expect over the next three years to generate around $80 billion in cash. Given the current landscape, we have a strategic opportunity, and our intent would be to utilize this new $20 billion authorization over the next two years,” said Holley.

“This share repurchase program, combined with our annual dividends, reinforces our continued commitment to delivering increased value to shareholders. We remain committed to maintaining a strong balance sheet and financial position that enables us to continue focusing on growth-oriented opportunities,” continued Holley.

Capital expenditure details

Projected capital expenditures are as follows and exclude the impact of future acquisitions, if any:

Capital Expenditure Detail

(US$ billions)

Segment FY 15 Actual FY 16 Original FY 16 Revised FY 17 Projected
Walmart U.S. $6.3 ~$6.1 – 6.6 ~$7.0 ~$6.2
Walmart International $3.5 ~$3.7 – 4.2 ~$3.5 ~$3.0
Sam’s Club $0.8 ~$0.8 ~$0.8 ~$0.8
Total segments $10.6 ~$10.6 – 11.6 ~$11.3 ~$10.0
Corporate & support $1.2 ~$1.0 – 1.3 ~$1.1 ~$1.0
Total $11.8 ~$11.6 – 12.9 ~$12.4 ~$11.0

The capital expenditures listed below provide the breakdown between the company’s physical, e-commerce and digital initiatives provided above.

Capital Expenditure Detail

(US$ billions)

FY 15

Actual

FY 16

Original

FY 16

Revised

FY 17

Projected

Physical $11.1 ~$10.4 – 11.4 ~$11.5 ~$9.9
E-commerce & digital $0.7 ~$1.2 – 1.5 ~$0.9 ~$1.1

Projected Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club U.S. units include new stores, expansions and relocations. Given the conversion of Walmart discount stores to supercenters, the total number of supercenter units will continue to increase, as the number of discount stores declines. Unit growth in the United States is projected as follows:

Total U.S. Unit Growth

(Gross)

Segment FY 15

Actual

FY 16

Original

FY 16

Revised

FY 17                           Projected
Supercenters* 119 ~60 – 70 ~60 – 70 ~50 – 60
Small format stores** 235 ~180 – 200 ~160 – 170 ~85 – 95
Total Walmart U.S. 354 ~240 – 270 ~220 – 240 ~135 – 155
Sam’s Club 21 ~9  – 12 ~11  – 12 ~7  – 10
Total 375 ~249 – 282 ~231 – 252 ~142 – 165

*Existing supercenters average approximately 178K square feet.
** Existing Neighborhood Markets and rebranded Walmart Express stores range between 12K and 66K square feet.

About Walmart
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices.  Each week, nearly 260 million customers and members visit our 11,532 stores under 72 banners in 28 countries and e-commerce websites in 11 countries.  With fiscal year 2015 revenue of $485.7 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2.2 million associates worldwide.  Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity.  Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart.

Cautionary statement regarding forward-looking statements

This release contains certain forward-looking statements that are intended to enjoy the safe harbor protections of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended, including statements regarding forecasts and expectations of Walmart’s management of or for:

  • the dollar amount and percentage growth of Walmart’s consolidated net sales in fiscal years 2017, 2018 and 2019;
  • investment in people and technology driving strong shareholder returns over time;
  • Walmart’s total capital expenditures in fiscal years 2016 through 2019 and the fiscal year 2017 capital expenditures reflecting moderation of physical store expansion;
  • Walmart’s total net sales in fiscal year 2016 to be flat compared to fiscal year 2015 and the growth of Walmart’s total net sales excluding the effect of currency exchange rate fluctuations in fiscal year 2016 over fiscal year 2015;
  • fiscal year 2017 to be Walmart’s heaviest investment period;
  • the dollar amount of the impact on Walmart’s fiscal year 2017 operating income of Walmart’s investment in associate wages and training and its commitment to further developing a seamless customer experience;
  • the range of the percentage decrease in Walmart’s fiscal year 2017 earnings per share and the range of the percentage increase of Walmart’s fiscal year 2019 earnings per share;
  • Walmart’s use of its $20 billion new share repurchase authorization over the next two years;
  • the generation of around $80 billion in cash over the next three years;
  • the capital expenditures to be made in fiscal year 2016 and fiscal year 2017 by each of Walmart’s operating segments, by Walmart’s operating segments in total, and by Walmart in total for corporate and support, physical, and e-commerce and digital initiatives;
  • Walmart’s total U.S. unit growth, Walmart U.S.’s total unit, supercenter and small format store growth and Sam’s Club’s total unit growth in each of fiscal years 2016 and 2017; and
  • statements regarding Walmart’s plans, objectives and operating frameworks and assumptions on which some forward-looking statements are based.

Walmart’s actual results may differ materially from the guidance, projections, estimates and expectations discussed in or implied by such forward-looking statements as a result of changes in circumstances, assumptions not being realized or other risks, uncertainties and factors, whether globally or in one or more of the markets in which we operate, including:

Economic factors:

  • economic, geo-political, capital markets and business conditions, trends and events, including such factors as unemployment levels, inflation, deflation and commodity prices;
  • currency exchange rate fluctuations and changes in market interest rates;
  • consumer confidence, disposable income, credit availability, debt levels, spending levels, shopping patterns, and demand for certain merchandise; and
  • consumer enrollment in health and drug insurance programs and such programs’ reimbursement rates.

Operating factors:

  • the amount of Walmart’s net sales denominated in the U.S. dollar and foreign currencies;
  • the financial performance of Walmart and each of its segments;
  • factors affecting Walmart’s effective tax rate;
  • traffic and average ticket in and on Walmart’s stores, clubs and e-commerce websites;
  • Walmart’s mix of merchandise sold, its cost of goods sold and its inventory shrinkage;
  • transportation, energy and utility costs and the selling prices of gasoline and diesel fuel;
  • disruptions in Walmart’s supply chain and in seasonal buying patterns;
  • consumer acceptance of and response to Walmart’s stores and clubs, e-commerce websites, mobile apps, initiatives, programs and merchandise offerings;
  • Walmart’s casualty- and accident-related costs and insurance costs;
  • the seasonality of Walmart‘s business and of consumer buying patterns;
  • the availability of attractive e-commerce acquisition or investment opportunities;
  • Walmart’s workforce size and turnover, labor costs, healthcare cost and other benefit costs;
  • market, legal and other factors limiting or delaying Walmart’s ability to build, staff, open and operate new and relocated stores, clubs and other facilities;
  • effects on Walmart’s operations of weather conditions and events, climate change, catastrophes, disasters, public health emergencies, civil disturbances or terrorist attacks;
  • disruption in the availability of Walmart’s online shopping sites;
  • cyber attacks on Walmart’s information systems and any costs and liabilities relating thereto;
  • developments in, the outcome of, and costs and expenses relating to, Walmart’s legal and regulatory proceedings and its FPCA-related matters and compliance program;
  • unexpected changes in accounting principles, estimates and judgments; and
  • unanticipated restructurings and the related expenses.

Regulatory and other factors:

  • competitive pressures, including competitive initiatives of other retailers;
  • adoption of new, and changes in existing, laws and changes in tax rates;
  • the level of public assistance payments and eligibility requirements for such payments; and
  • trade restrictions and tariff rates.

In addition, the risks discussed in Walmart’s most recent annual report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC may cause actual results to differ materially from the guidance, projections, estimates and expectations discussed in or implied by the forward looking statements herein.  You should consider the forward-looking statements in this release in conjunction with that annual report on Form 10-K and Walmart’s quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K filed with the SEC. Walmart urges you to consider all of the risks, uncertainties and factors identified above or discussed in such reports carefully in evaluating the forward-looking statements in this call.  Walmart cannot assure you that the results discussed in or implied by any forward-looking statement will be realized or, even if substantially realized, that those results will have the forecasted or expected consequences and effects for or on Walmart, its operations or its financial performance. The forward-looking statements made herein are as of the date of this release.  Walmart undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

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SOURCE: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Wal-Mart Stores CEO Doug McMillon challenged the company’s more than 2 million associates to win the future of retail “one customer at a time.”

Retailer Vows to Win “One Customer at a Time”

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark., 2015-6-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — At the company’s Annual Shareholders Meeting, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. President and CEO Doug McMillon challenged the company’s more than 2 million associates to win the future of retail “one customer at a time.” McMillon laid out his strategy.

“We’ll save customers money on their everyday needs with an easy shopping experience powered by people and technology. We’ll offer: Value – everyday low prices. Convenience – we’ll be there when and where they want us. Merchandise – we’ll have the items they want and continue to be great merchants. An easy experience – simple and fun. We’ll win one customer at a time.”

Our Associates are Our Heroes

In front of more than 14,000 associates and shareholders, McMillon reinforced the integral role Walmart associates play in serving customers every day and the company’s commitment to providing opportunities for them to grow and advance their careers.

Referencing the company’s recent announcements on scheduling, pay, benefits and training, McMillon said, “With hard work and determination, you can exceed your highest expectations here. I’m so proud of the work we’ve done this year to demonstrate how we’ve always felt about our own associates, our team.”

He described associates as the company’s heroes: “In our story, the hero is you – our associates. We aren’t more powerful than a locomotive or able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. We do have super powers though and they are real. They’re our passion, our commitment to our customers, our caring for one another. Really, our superpowers are those that help us make someone’s day better; their life better.”

Serving Customers in New Ways

McMillon discussed the evolving needs of Walmart customers and how technology is offering new ways to serve them. “We’ve always said we run our business one store a time. That’s still true. But it’s becoming more than that. It’s now one customer at a time. One customer can shop with us in so many different ways – in stores, on their phones, at homes, a pick-up point. But they just think they’re shopping at Walmart, at ASDA, at Sam’s Club.”

He continued, “I want us to stop talking about digital and physical retail as if they’re two separate things. The customer doesn’t think of it that way, and we can’t either. Customers just want us to solve their everyday problems with an easy, seamless shopping experience.”

McMillon said Walmart is uniquely positioned to define the future of retail, “We have strong competitors, but they don’t have what we do. They don’t have you – 2 million associates who want make a difference. Think about the map of our locations. No one else has that incredible network around the world. Now, think about our supply chain and experienced logistics team. I get excited about what our technology team is now capable of. As we add new capabilities and join these unique assets together effectively, we’re going to have something special.”

He added, “We’re approaching this work with both urgency and determination. We’re moving fast to exceed our customers’ expectations, while making purposeful choices that will position us for the long haul. This is a turning point in our story, and the investments we’re making today will set the stage for strong and sustainable growth.”

Making a Difference, Acting with Integrity

McMillon also shared his expectations for Walmart leaders as they work to execute his vision, including acting with integrity, leading on social and environmental issues and making a difference in local communities.

“There’s no business result that’s worth more than your personal integrity or our company’s. We’d rather have a bad financial result than take a shortcut,” he said.

He added, “We want to show that a business can grow in size and reduce its environmental impact at the same time.”

A Focus on Associates

Today’s meeting followed a week of events in Northwest Arkansas that celebrated the company’s associates. The company shared a series of initiatives in its U.S. stores to respond to associate feedback and provide greater career opportunity. The company announced:

  • ·Raising the starting wage for more than 100,000 department managers and specialists;
  • Changes to its dress code;
  • Improvements to the in-store experience for both associates and customers, including the return of Walmart Radio and changes to store temperatures.
  • New technology for all department managers; and
  • New associate badges that read: “Our People Make the Difference.”

For more information or to watch a replay of the shareholders meeting, please visit www.walmartshareholders.com.

Walmart commits to create more sustainable food system

Company will focus on four pillars to advance the sustainability of its biggest product category

BENTONVILLE, Ark., 2014-10-6— /EPR Retail News/ — In front of hundreds of associates, suppliers and nonprofit organizations at its Global Sustainability Milestone Meeting, Walmart today announced its commitment to create a more sustainable food system. The company will reach this goal through four key pillars: improving the affordability of food for both customers and the environment, increasing access to food, making healthier eating easier, and improving the safety and transparency of the food chain.

“The future of food is absolutely critical for both our society and for our business, which means we have a huge opportunity to make a difference here,” said Doug McMillon, president and chief executive officer of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.  “We’ve learned on our sustainability journey that we’re most successful when our initiatives create social and environmental value and business value at the same time.  Food is our number one category worldwide, and we are going to do even more in our grocery business in the years ahead.  Paving a sustainable future for food is necessary for society and our business.”

The four pillars outlined in Walmart’s sustainable food system commitment aim to address major issues and threats facing today’s global food system, including how to address the food needs of a growing population while reducing environmental impact; meeting an increasing consumer demand for greater food transparency; providing more options for healthier eating; and alleviating global hunger. While Walmart has already made significant progress across the four pillars, today’s announcement outlines new steps towards a more sustainable food system:

  • Affordable: Continuing to reduce the “true cost” of food.  Working collaboratively with suppliers, Walmart has the opportunity to lower the “true cost” of food – not only by providing everyday low costs for customers, but also by decreasing the environmental impact of agricultural practices. The company has already made enhancements in the area of sustainable agriculture, and will advance this work through the launch of its Climate Smart Agriculture Platform. The Platform is designed to provide increasing visibility over the next ten years to agricultural yields, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and water usage, while driving adoption of best practices in sustainable agriculture. Working with suppliers and others, these efforts will improve environmental outcomes, as well as the well-being of farmers and consumers.
  • Accessible: Fighting hunger by providing for those in need.  Walmart believes that everyone should have access to affordable, nutritious, sustainably-grown food.  That means making it easy for customers to buy food through the company’s network of thousands of stores around the world, and increasingly through home delivery and convenient collection points.  Yet for too many, even this access may be out of reach. Since announcing its “Fighting Hunger Together” commitment in 2010, Walmart and Sam’s Club facilities have donated more than 1.58 billion pounds of food, surpassing the initial goal of 1.1 billion over five years, a year early. In addition, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation will elevate their commitment to accessibility by aiming to provide 4 billion healthier meals to those who need them in the U.S. over the next five years.
  • Healthier: Making eating healthy easier.  Walmart is committed to ensuring that eating healthier is easy and affordable.  The company has reduced sodium by 13 percent and sugar levels by 10 percent in Great Value, Marketside and nationally branded products, and launched its “Great for You” icon to empower consumers to identify healthier food options on store shelves. Moreover, to help more consumers to adopt healthier eating habits,starting in 2015, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation will provide nutrition education to 4 million U.S. households.
  • Safe and Transparent: Showing consumers where food comes from.  A transparent food chain fosters improved food safety, worker safety, and animal welfare. Walmart will work to provide more information and transparency about the products on its shelves so customers can see where an item came from, how it was made, and decode the ingredient label.

As with all of its sustainability initiatives, Walmart will continue to collaborate with its suppliers to track and report the progress of creating a truly sustainable food system, and will take additional steps in the years ahead to advance the affordability, accessibility, healthier eating, safety and transparency of the food supply system.

“Walmart has made major progress since we set out to achieve our three ambitious sustainability goals to create zero waste, be powered by 100 percent renewable energy, and sell products that sustain people and the environment.  We believe it’s especially critical to focus our time and effort on advancing the sustainability of our food products and practices,” said McMillon.  “Grocery is a very personal category – it’s about what you feed your kids and how you take care of yourself.  It’s about your health and wellbeing.  And it all comes down to trust.  Customers have to trust us on food. When we focus on food, we are doing right by our customers, our communities, and our planet.”

For more details and to watch the replay of Walmart’s Global Sustainability Milestone Meeting, please visit:http://news.walmart.com/events/global-sustainability-milestone-meeting.

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About Walmart 
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better — anytime and anywhere — in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, more than 250 million customers and members visit our 11,053 stores under 71 banners in 27 countries and e-commerce websites in 11 countries. With fiscal year 2014 sales of over $473 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart.