At the company’s Annual Shareholders Meeting, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. President and CEO Doug McMillon reaffirmed Walmart’s mission and outlined new ways the company will serve customers through three core principles.
“First, we will be a customer-driven company. We've always said the customer is our boss and we'll make decisions based on how we can serve them better,” said McMillon. “Second, we will invest in our people. As we change and grow, it will be our associates who will make the difference. Finally, we need to be at the forefront of innovation and technology. We will lead with urgency to get ahead of change.”
McMillon said Walmart is picking up the pace of change to serve the customer better. “Customers will increasingly expect and require the best of both worlds. They want the excitement and the immediacy of shopping in a physical store and the freedom to shop whenever, however and wherever they want. They want an experience that seamlessly adapts to their life. Walmart can bring together our stores with new digital commerce capabilities to help customers save money, save time, and have access to what they want and need. Walmart will exceed their expectations,” McMillon said.
McMillon continued, “Our stores, 11,000 and growing, will provide access and convenience. If you need it right here, right now, we've got it. We will run great stores and clubs with great associates. We'll keep adding services and pick-up points to our stores to become even more convenient. We’ll also strive to have collection points wherever our customers want us to be, and we’ve seen the demand for food delivery in places like the U.K., Mexico and China. And of course, we'll keep improving our traditional e-commerce offering of ordering online and shipping to customers' homes.”
McMillon also discussed how Walmart would run better stores today to drive same-store sales. He called for: “Price leadership. Strong in stock. Friendly customer service and compelling merchandise. Items that surprise and delight. Merchandise that is presented aggressively. When we’re at our best, the features in our stores anticipate what our customers want and need,” he said.
President and CEO of Sam’s Club Rosalind Brewer spoke about the importance of personalizing the customer and member experience. “Today at Walmart, our data is more organized, more analyzed and more visualized than ever,” said Brewer. “This is helping us make faster and smarter business decisions. But most important, it's helping personalize our service to customers and members. Retailers that lead on data and personalization will be the retailers of the future.”
Investing in Our Associates
McMillon also emphasized the importance of Walmart’s associates and said they are the company’s competitive advantage. “To bring all of this to life, we're investing in our people,” he said. “I'm proud of the jobs and opportunities we offer, and we can do an even better job of creating opportunities to learn and grow. We'll prepare our associates to serve customers better, while building the careers you want at Walmart.”
President and CEO of Walmart U.S. Bill Simon said the company is investing in new programs that will give associates even more opportunity. “We're re-defining what it means to work at Walmart and we're going to be even clearer about what it takes for associates to advance. We're working to create more flexible work schedules to support you and the needs of all our associates, now and in the future,” Simon said.
Leading at the Forefront of Technology and Innovation
“We will also develop new capabilities to serve customers in new ways. It is important that we all understand the shift that has happened in technology and retail, what it means for us and what we’re doing to win. There’s a lot of innovation and opportunity available to us.” McMillon said.
President and CEO of Walmart International David Cheesewright focused on how customers are changing and how associates are innovating to exceed their expectations. “Wherever we operate, everything starts with the customer, and I see customers’ shopping habits changing more rapidly than I can remember,” said Cheesewright. “Customers are shopping more online, with mobile devices, and they really like convenience. If our customer changes fast, we have to change even faster if we want to continue to exceed her expectations.”
President and CEO of Walmart Global eCommerce Neil Ashe highlighted the strong growth of e-commerce sales and how Walmart is bringing together digital and physical retail to serve customers better. “We are integrating digital retail and physical retail to create one seamless, customer-driven Walmart experience. This is providing our shoppers with more value, more time, and greater access,” said Ashe. “We are helping people save money in new and convenient ways so they can live a better life. And we’re doing it by bringing together the best of e-commerce and the best of retail.”
Keeping Its Culture Strong, Always
McMillon reaffirmed Walmart’s commitment to its purpose, culture and values. “Our values won’t change. Integrity, service, respect and excellence – these are our guiding beliefs and our behaviors will support those beliefs. Our culture is what makes us special,” McMillon said.
“We believe in Walmart's responsibility to lead on big issues, in big ways. It’s one of the reasons many of us love being part of Walmart. There are so many ways that Walmart can make a difference around the world. We're committed to doing just that. We will strengthen the trust we've established with customers and the communities we serve,” said McMillon.
For more information or to watch a replay of the shareholders meeting webcast, please visit http://news.walmart.com/events/walmart-shareholders-meeting-2014.
Source: Walmart Inc.