Content about Connecting Northwest Arkansas

April 17, 2014

William Blair & Company analyst Mark Miller has followed Walmart for a long time, but he didn’t have much good to say about the company when he issued a downgrade this week.

William Blair & Company analyst Mark Miller has followed Walmart for a long time, but he didn’t have much good to say about the company when he issued a downgrade this week.

Miller lowered his rating on Walmart to underperform from market perform and cited some familiar and unfamiliar concerns. For example, one of his main concerns related to Walmart’s size and complexity which he contends reduces dynamism and growth.

April 17, 2014

A $1 million donation from Walmart CEO Doug McMillion and his wife Shelley to the University of Arkansas will help kick start the creation of a new School of Global Retail Operations and Innovation.

A $1 million donation from Walmart CEO Doug McMillion and his wife Shelley to the University of Arkansas will help kick start the creation of a new School of Global Retail Operations and Innovation.

April 17, 2014

A new low cost money wiring service from Walmart saves customers money and showcases the thought process the company applies to disrupt high margin businesses and generate store traffic.

A new low cost money wiring service from Walmart saves customers money and showcases the thought process the company applies to disrupt high margin businesses and generate store traffic.

The new service is called Walmart-2-Walmart and when it launches on April 24 customers will be able to wire up to $900 for only $9.50. between Walmart’s 4,000 U.S. locations. The service is intended to complement Walmart’s existing relationship with MoneyGram which offers a broader range of financial services including international transfers.

April 15, 2014

Sam’s Club worked with SquareTrade, a leading protection plan provider, to launch a new program that expands members’ technology and electronics services and support, and helps reduce the cost of owning the latest technology.

Sam’s Club worked with SquareTrade, a leading protection plan provider, to launch a new program that expands members’ technology and electronics services and support, and helps reduce the cost of owning the latest technology.

From smartphones and tablets to cameras and televisions, Sam’s Club membership now includes exclusive warranty services available in clubs and at SamsClub.com that aim to simplify the technology purchasing, protection and upgrade experience.

April 14, 2014

Levi Strauss & Co. has named former Walmart executive Marc Rosen as EVP and president of global e-commerce, effective May 5. Rosen will report to president and CEO Chip Bergh.

Levi Strauss & Co. has named former Walmart executive Marc Rosen as EVP and president of global e-commerce, effective May 5. Rosen will report to president and CEO Chip Bergh.

April 11, 2014

Guy Hayward was named CEO of Massmart to fill a position currently held by Grant Pattison, the executive who engineered the sale of a majority stake of the South African retailer to Walmart.

Guy Hayward was named CEO of Massmart to fill a position currently held by Grant Pattison, the executive who engineered the sale of a majority stake of the South African retailer to Walmart.

Pattison joined Massmart in 1998 and served as CEO since 2007, helping to engineer the sale of a majority stake in the company to Walmart several years ago. Assuming the CEO role on June 1 will be current COO Guy Hayward. He joined Massmart in 2000 as CFO and was later named COO and also played a key role in the Walmart and Massmart transaction.

April 10, 2014

Sam’s Club is breaking new ground in the world of health screenings this weekend with the company’s first ever oral health screening.

Sam’s Club is breaking new ground in the world of health screenings this weekend with the company’s first ever oral health screening.

To reinforce the basics of a good oral routine and general wellness, Sam’s Club is hosting free oral care and vital health screenings on Saturday, April 12 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at its 589 clubs which contain a pharmacy. The event features tests valued at up to $100 including a dental tablet test for plaque and tests for glucose levels, total cholesterol, blood pressure, body mass index and vision.

April 10, 2014

The Wild Oats brand will begin appearing on Walmart shelves this month as the retailer plans to offer 100 low priced organic dry grocery items.

The Wild Oats brand will begin appearing on Walmart shelves this month as the retailer plans to offer 100 low priced organic dry grocery items.

April 9, 2014

First it was signage and then came the freezer case and parking lots. Now Walmart and GE are moving forward with their biggest lighting initiative to date.

First it was signage and then came the freezer case and parking lots. Now Walmart and GE are moving forward with their biggest lighting initiative to date.

The companies announced plans to use GE LED lights in ceiling fixtures in hundreds of stores throughout the U.S., Asia, Latin Amerian and the United Kingdom. The new fixtures use 40% less energy than traditional overhead lighting systems and move Walmart forward on its goal of reducing energy required to power its buildings globally by 20% by 2020. It is Walmart’s largest purchase of GE LED lighting to date.

April 3, 2014

Sam’s Club and the Gallup organization have launched a new quarterly tracking poll that focuses on the smallest of small business.

Sam’s Club and the Gallup organization have launched a new quarterly tracking poll that focuses on the smallest of small business.

The poll is designed to look at what Sam’s is calling “microbusiness,” companies with five or fewer employees, that represent a core customer of Sam’s Club and are estimated to total 25 million.

April 2, 2014

Labeed Diab has been named SVP and president of health and wellness at Walmart, filling a position previously held by Dr. John Agwunobi who left the company.

Labeed Diab has been named SVP and president of health and wellness at Walmart, filling a position previously held by Dr. John Agwunobi who left the company.

April 2, 2014

Talk of nearshoring and a resurgent U.S. manufacturing sector weren’t enough to help the Stanley Furniture Company avoid shuttering a domestic manufacturing plant that employs 400 people.

Talk of nearshoring and a resurgent U.S. manufacturing sector weren’t enough to help the Stanley Furniture Company avoid shuttering a domestic manufacturing plant that employs 400 people.

Following steep losses last year, Stanley said it would close its 562,000-sq.-ft. facility in Robbinsville, NC., where ironically enough the company’s Young America line of Juvenile furniture was manufactured.

March 27, 2014

Walmart had heads turning this week at the Mid-America Trucking Show where it unveiled a futuristic concept vehicle unlike anything on the road today.

Walmart had heads turning this week at the Mid-America Trucking Show where it unveiled a futuristic concept vehicle unlike anything on the road today.

March 26, 2014

Julie Eddleman, Erik Keptner and Andy Murray are the newest inductees into the Path to Purchase Institute’s Hall of Fame which recognizes industry leaders for their contributions to the field of shopper marketing.

Julie Eddleman, Erik Keptner and Andy Murray are the newest inductees into the Path to Purchase Institute’s Hall of Fame which recognizes industry leaders for their contributions to the field of shopper marketing.

Eddleman, marketing director of North American brands at Procter & Gamble, Keptner, EVP of marketing at Ahold, and Murrary, SVP of creative at Walmart were recognized at a gala event held in conjunction with the Institute’s annual Shopper Marketing Summit in Chicago.

March 26, 2014

Leading brands are retailers were recognized for their effectiveness in marketing communications Tuesday night in Chicago when the fourth annual North American Shopper Marketing Effie Awards were held at the Path to Purchase Institute’s annual Shopper Marketing Summit.

Leading brands are retailers were recognized for their effectiveness in marketing communications Tuesday night in Chicago when the fourth annual North American Shopper Marketing Effie Awards were held at the Path to Purchase Institute’s annual Shopper Marketing Summit.

March 24, 2014

Kayser-Roth Corporation received three awards from Walmart: Supplier of the Year for overall outstanding performance and partnership in 2013, Overall Apparel Supplier of the Year and the Made in the USA Supplier of the Year Award, Apparel, for its No nonsense brand.

Kayser-Roth Corporation received three awards from Walmart: Supplier of the Year for overall outstanding performance and partnership in 2013, Overall Apparel Supplier of the Year and the Made in the USA Supplier of the Year Award, Apparel, for its No nonsense brand.

The awards were presented at Walmart's annual Vendor Summit in Orlando, Fla.

March 20, 2014

Walmart has borrowed a page from the playbook of Home Depot and Lowe’s with a new Spring seasonal promotion that leverages the equity of Black Friday.

Walmart has borrowed a page from the playbook of Home Depot and Lowe’s with a new Spring seasonal promotion that leverages the equity of Black Friday.

March 19, 2014

A study of 10,000 U.S. consumers’ attitudes about retail customer service saw Sam’s Club best Amazon.com and dozens of other retailers among a field of 268 companies.

A study of 10,000 U.S. consumers’ attitudes about retail customer service saw Sam’s Club best Amazon.com and dozens of other retailers among a field of 268 companies.

March 18, 2014

Walmart has extended an electronics trade-in program to the gaming category and will introduce the sale of refurbished games later this year in a move that could boost traffic to the entertainment department.

Walmart has extended an electronics trade-in program to the gaming category and will introduce the sale of refurbished games later this year in a move that could boost traffic to the entertainment department.

March 18, 2014

Walmart this week opened its first small format convenience store branded as Walmart To Go in its hometown of Bentonville.

Walmart this week opened its first small format convenience store branded as Walmart To Go in its hometown of Bentonville.

March 13, 2014

In 1984, at the impressionable age of 17, Doug McMillon’s journey with Walmart began in a way that hardly foretold he would one day become CEO. On the way to a Walmart warehouse for his first day of unloading trucks, McMillon rear-ended his supervisor’s car with his father’s Honda Civic, he recalled in the February issue of Walmart World.

In 1984, at the impressionable age of 17, Doug McMillon’s journey with Walmart began in a way that hardly foretold he would one day become CEO. On the way to a Walmart warehouse for his first day of unloading trucks, McMillon rear-ended his supervisor’s car with his father’s Honda Civic, he recalled in the February issue of Walmart World.

Although McMillon’s early exposure to Walmart came inside a sweltering distribution center, he said the camaraderie, enthusiasm and passion he witnessed let him know something special was going on.

March 13, 2014

Walmart deepened its commitment to domestic sourcing and supply chain efficiency on Thursday when Walmart U.S. president and CEO Bill Simon unveiled a first-of-its-kind RFP process and a new Innovation Fund.

Walmart deepened its commitment to domestic sourcing and supply chain efficiency on Thursday when Walmart U.S. president and CEO Bill Simon unveiled a first-of-its-kind RFP process and a new Innovation Fund.

Both revelations came at an event Walmart holds each spring in Orlando known as the Year Beginning Meeting, or simply YBM. While much of the several day event is focused on Walmart store managers, a portion is devoted to trading partners who are given the opportunity to hear from top executives.

March 13, 2014

What’s next for Walmart under the leadership of new CEO Doug McMillon is the focus of the Spring edition of Walmart Supplier News.

What’s next for Walmart under the leadership of new CEO Doug McMillon is the focus of the Spring edition of Walmart Supplier News.

Change is in the air at Walmart as the Doug McMillon era begins. No company makes a change at the top out of a desire to maintain the status quo, and McMillon has already indicated there are changes to come.

March 11, 2014

Smaller format stores are all the rage these days. Dollar General, which already operates nearly 12,000 stores, plans to open 700 more units this year.

Smaller format stores are all the rage these days. Dollar General, which already operates nearly 12,000 stores, plans to open 700 more units this year. Walmart recently announced plans to accelerate growth of its smaller format stores by opening between 270 and 300 small stores, more than double the 120 to 150 store range it projected last fall. Even Target has gotten in on the action with plans to open its first Target Express store near downtown Minneapolis this summer.

March 6, 2014

Walmart didn’t mention competitive issues as a source of sales weakness during its fourth quarter, but reports this week from Kroger and Costco indicate they were at least a contributing factor.

Walmart didn’t mention competitive issues as a source of sales weakness during its fourth quarter, but reports this week from Kroger and Costco indicate they were at least a contributing factor.