Opportunity

Walmart On the Street: Shareholders Edition 3

Every June, thousands of associates from Walmart locations all over the world are invited to Arkansas for our annual Shareholders meeting. And all of them have a story. Read on for personal perspectives from a few of this year’s attendees in this third edition of Walmart on the Street.



Watch the replay of the 2014 Walmart Shareholders Meeting 

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Life

#FiveThingsFriday: A Young Santa Claus, Equality Honors, and Hatchimals are Hot

ICYMI: A kiddo Claus gives back, a Walmart bike makes a memory, cops bring Christmas to kids, the Human Rights Campaign recognizes Walmart, and Hatchimals are coming back to shelves.

Santa Kid

Our littlest customers turn out to have the biggest hearts. A few months ago we talked about Madalyyn’s benevolent birthday and now Noah Vinot is demonstrating the true meaning of Christmas. Noah is 7 years old and raised more than $500 to buy gifts for kids in need; he even chipped in all of his birthday money. We were so inspired by Noah’s generosity that we matched the funds he raised, allowing him to purchase five carts full of merchandise for local children.

Cruisin’ the Katy Trail

We all know we should get out and enjoy nature more, but LaWanka Mallard has a head start that will put many to shame. LaWanka’s friend Vickie set a goal to bike the 238-mile Katy Trail in Missouri, and she decided to tag along. So, not only did LaWanka set out to do this at age 74 – she did it on an old-fashioned cruiser bike that she picked up at Walmart for less than $90 … while Vickie pedaled along on her fancier 24-speed bike. Reading their story is pretty inspiring. However, I don’t know if I’m ready to start out on 238 miles on my cruiser. Maybe 238 feet and then work my way up.

Shop With a Cop

Noah, our Santa Kid, isn’t the only one demonstrating the true spirit of Christmas. Across the country, police departments are bringing kids into their local Walmart stores to shop for Christmas for themselves and their families. From Texas to Maryland, officers are accompanying dozens of kids and spreading a little extra cheer.

Standing for Inclusion

Walmart’s culture is built around four basic beliefs, and “Respect for the Individual” is one of those. We’re proud to embrace the unique qualities our associates bring to the company and we’re honored to receive a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2017 Corporate Equality Index. It’s important that we create an inclusive environment for our associates around the world and we’ll continue to work toward that commitment.

Hot Toy Hatching

If you have children, I’ll bet you dollars to donuts they’re asking for a Hatchimal for Christmas. I have several grown adults in my office that are going mad trying to track one down for their kids, and according to the news they’re not the only ones. This hot toy, that is just like that one scene from a classic dinosaur movie, is coming back in stock at Walmart stores across the nation this week. So, keep an eye out and happy hunting!

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Opportunity

When a Second Chance at Education Changes Your Life

Sometimes opportunity flashes at the most unexpected times. Like earlier this year, when I happened to look over my husband’s shoulder and noticed an advertisement that has already changed the course of my life.

My husband, an assistant manager at the Walmart supercenter in Palakta, FL, was searching for advancement opportunities on WalmartOne.com – the company intranet. What jumped out at me was the fact that eligible family members of Walmart associates could earn their high school equivalency free of charge via GEDWorks or the Career Online High School program. A bad situation as a teenager kept me from finishing high school – and bills and the decision to start a family made it difficult to ever hop back in and get it done.

But with this, someone was willing to pay my way. I was a little nervous about being lost or overwhelmed at first, but a counselor was always available to answer my questions from the second I enrolled in the program. A short while later, I’d passed my tests and had my high school equivalency. The feeling of pride is beyond anything I’ve ever experienced, and I’m already focused on going to school to become an obstetrics nurse.

I’ve seen the doors Walmart has opened for my husband in his career. The fact that the company is willing to invest in the education of eligible family members like myself, through its Lifelong Learning program, is a blessing.

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Business

When it Comes to Holiday Cheer, Ugly Sweaters Aren’t Wearing Out

A few years back, it was easy to dismiss ugly holiday sweaters as a fad. But this trend has not only taken root – it's stronger and tackier than ever.

The reason is simple: People are looking for happiness and joy during the holidays, and these sweaters make people smile. They spark conversation at parties. They’re fun – and we all need more fun in our lives.

Each year, we’ve seen this new December staple get uglier and more unexpected. And, while Walmart has been front and center in providing affordable, fun options for customers to purposefully “ugly” up their holiday wardrobes, we’ve gone all out this year.

We not only increased the volume of ugly sweaters in our stores, we added several with fun features. Some have working Christmas lights. Some of our sweaters – including a reindeer print – even sing to you. And since November, the women’s elf sweater dress we created has been flying off the shelves as fast as we’ve been able to stock it.

We’ve also ventured beyond the traditional adult sweater. We have a line of ugly sweater-themed T-shirts, with everything from Christmas trees and snowflakes, to gingerbread zombies and Star Wars characters, for men, women and children. We’re even offering ugly holiday sweaters for dogs.

I have to tell you, as a buyer and as a part of the team responsible for creating these sweaters, it was an absolute blast bringing some of these wacky ideas to life. The whole process of adding functioning lights into clothing, battery packs for sound and more – every detail mattered. We knew people would be talking about those items, but we also had to make sure it was going to be easy to remove and reinstall those components before and after the sweaters go through the washing machine. They’re fun but still functional.

We looked at all the details, like, is Santa’s nose pointing the right direction? Is it ugly in the right way? You want to turn heads, but you also want to be sure you're creating options that a teacher feels good about wearing in front of a class, for example.

So we’re proud of what we’ve created and thrilled by the positive response from customers. We’ve even heard about people doing ugly holiday sweater fashion shows. Supporting this tacky tradition is one way we’re helping make the holidays affordable, while also putting a smile on customers’ faces. And it makes our jobs a whole lot of fun.

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Business

The Pie Chart: Sweet Stats on America’s Favorite Flavors

For many, dessert is the best part of the meal. It’s that special treat that can brighten up any day.

During the holiday season, sweets get a whole new spotlight. Pies in particular can be found on many families’ tables from Thanksgiving through Christmas all the way until year’s end.

Last year, pies at Walmart gained new celebrity appeal with the release of Patti LaBelle’s signature sweet potato recipe. Thanks to a viral video – and pleased palates across America – they have been a hit ever since.

All of this talk about pies got our minds (and stomachs) wondering. With seemingly unlimited pie flavors, we wanted to know which one reigns supreme with our customers’ taste buds. We took a look at our last year of sales, and put together a pie chart (see what we did there) to show the results.

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