Innovation

Savings Catcher compares competitors' prices. You save.

Price is one of the biggest factors in customers' shopping decisions. We're working hard to ensure we win their shopping trip with our every day low prices and aggressive ad match policy. Now, we're testing a new tool that takes all of this to the next level – Savings Catcher.

Savings Catcher uses a simple code on customers’ Walmart receipts to compare the items they purchased to those advertised in local competitors’ weekly print or digital ads.  If a leading competitor advertises a lower price than what a customer paid at our store, we’ll give them the difference on a Walmart eGift Card.  It’s that easy.  Check out the video above to see how it works.

We’ve been running the Savings Catcher test in several markets – Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Huntsville, Lexington, Minneapolis and San Diego – for a few weeks and we’ve seen great excitement around the tool.  Anne Jurchak, a customer who participated in our pilot, even told the Associated Press “They're doing the work for me, the only thing they're not doing is putting the groceries away.” Anne has saved around $60 using Savings Catcher and bought a new cover for her tablet on Walmart.com “practically for free.” 

Technology is becoming such an important part of our customers’ shopping experiences – they’re checking prices online while they are in our stores. So, we’re meeting them where they are, making it easier and faster to get unbeatable prices on the items they want.  Savings Catcher is another reason customers can trust us – it shows they can find everyday low prices in our stores, we are always working to help them save money, and they don’t have to shop anywhere else.

This tool could lead to e-coupons and automated shopping lists – innovations that can make our customers’ lives easier. I can’t wait to be back on the blog to tell you about our next creation.

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Community

When Disaster Strikes, Associates Provide Real-Time Relief

When forecasting warned that record rainfall could be coming to Louisiana, a team at Walmart’s home office did what they always do when severe weather is imminent: Pull together the right people to prepare for help.

Because there are about 30 Walmart stores and Sam’s Club locations in the Baton Rouge area where the flooding eventually hit, the company’s Emergency Operations Center had a responsibility to local associates and communities. Logistics, operations, and merchandising teams assembled quickly, first mapping alternate routes for trucks delivering to stores in and around Louisiana and ramping up shipments of diapers, bottled water and other essentials.

While some stores and clubs closest to Baton Rouge did have to close their doors because of flood damage, most have reopened now. Ensuring that corporate functions and teams on the ground can work together to make that happen is at the heart of the EOC’s role.

Formed in the early 2000s following 9/11, Walmart’s EOC was established to support associates and local communities in times of need. Whether it’s securing generators to restore power to facilities or acting as a call center so that associates and community members can locate and assist one another, the EOC is the hub that helps Walmart locations provide a sense of normalcy when disaster strikes.

With the recent Louisiana flooding displacing thousands of people from their homes, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have committed $1.5 million to organizations making a difference on the ground. Learn more about those efforts here.

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Innovation

A Fruitful Idea That’s Working for Online Grocery Customers

As a personal shopper with Walmart’s online grocery and home delivery business, everything I do is aimed at making sure the quality of the products – particularly fresh produce – is exceptional when it arrives on a customer’s doorstep.

So I took it personally earlier this year when a few photos circulated back to me of fruit we selected that looked like it didn’t meet the high standards I’ve set for myself.

I decided to investigate and discovered the grooves at the bottom of the plastic totes we used to gather and move produce were at least partially to blame. Certain types of produce were susceptible to bruising as the totes made their way from the sales floor, to the holding area, onto delivery trucks and eventually to a customer’s front door.

So, when my eyes came across the thin layers of paper-lined foam that suppliers used to ship boxes of apples to our stores, I had an idea. I decided to start lining the bottoms of our totes with them as I selected items like apples, pears and bananas for customers. And it seemed to do the trick – no more mystery photos.

Someone saw what I was doing and brought the idea to our corporate office. The next thing I knew, I was on a conference call led by Greg Foran, the president and CEO of Walmart U.S., explaining my idea. Then I got the chance to travel to Walmart’s shareholders meeting in June to personally share my story with an even larger audience. Now, I’m told those fresh pack pads are becoming part of our standard operating procedure across the U.S.

Sam Walton used to say you can find the best ideas by listening to your associates. I’m glad that philosophy is still alive today. My idea was a small one, but someone listened. And now it's making a difference on an even bigger level.

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Opportunity

When an Obstacle Opens Doors to a Better Life

When I arrived in Pass Christian, Mississippi, in 2009, I knew putting down roots would come with its share of challenges. A native of Peru, I didn't speak much English and couldn't even help my 9-year-old daughter with her homework. But I was willing to do whatever it took as long as there was an opportunity.

Walmart store #5079 extended me that opportunity as a part-time associate in the deli. Being able to make a living in my new country not only motivated me to learn English, but also pursue my GED certificate so I could better provide for and assist my daughter. Looking back, doors have continued to open for me from the very first day I was hired. I’ve made lifelong friends, earned U.S. citizenship, been promoted to full-time training coordinator, and built a life I'd always envisioned – which includes long walks with my family along the Gulf Coast.

Today, my English – and confidence – have grown so much that I’m pursuing my new dream of becoming a human resources manager with Walmart. Taking inspiration from my store manager, Lynn Day, I’ve started working toward my associate degree through Walmart’s partnership with American Public University.

Encouragement and support from people like Lynn helps me continue to realize my goals. She’s such a great mentor to me – and that’s what I want to become for the people around me.

I believe that knowledge is power. And I believe if I have the knowledge, I have the power to help people.

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Sustainability

How One Small Farm Planted a Seed of Opportunity

For Juan Carlos Urquia, there was always an excitement associated with finishing his homework. It meant he could join his father on their small, 3-acre farm in the tiny rural community of Ocotal, almost three hours away from Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras.

As young as 5, he enjoyed helping his father raise and harvest corn, beans and cucumbers more than anything. He immediately sensed the responsibility of producing food people needed to survive. More than three decades later, Juan Carlos still finds joy in the field. Only, these days, his passion has evolved into an opportunity for his extended family and a growing number of others in the community to make a living.

Juan Carlos’ care and attention to detail sparked an opportunity to begin filling orders of several hundred cucumbers per week for Walmart in 2006. That opportunity has since grown to more than 25,000 cucumbers per week, and the family farm has spread to nearly 100 acres.

With access to stores across Honduras, Juan Carlos has created full-time jobs for 20 people, many of them siblings and cousins. And that has created work for nearly 100 others in the community who work to clean, process and transport the cucumbers, tomatoes and onions he grows, as well as those who supply fertilizer and other materials to sustain the operations.


The care was always there, even in the days when Juan Carlos was learning from his father. But, through support from Walmart and other organizations committed to delivering training and best practices to farmers in the areas of sustainable agriculture, efficiency and optimization, they’ve seized an opportunity. In fact, Honduran farmers sold more than $148 million in fruit, vegetables, grains, meats and other perishables to Walmart in 2015. This is equivalent to approximately 6.5% of the national agricultural gross domestic product and helped boost the country’s agricultural exports.

When Juan Carlos was a boy, he and his extended family all lived under his father’s roof. Through their commitment to the farm, he, his siblings and cousins all have their own homes today – and that’s something they’re extremely proud of. They're not just producing food. They're creating opportunity and raising the quality of life for those around them.

Small and medium-sized farmers around the world will be counted on to meet half the increased global demand for food and clothing through the year 2050, and Walmart has committed to specific goals to improve their livelihoods. You can read more about this work in our Global Responsibility Report.

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