U.S. Manufacturing

Rewarding innovation to help lower American manufacturing costs

Making things – building things with our own hands and resources – that’s what has made America great. It’s part of who we are and part of who we must be as a country. But obstacles exist that make it difficult today to manufacture many products in the U.S.

So today we are launching the Walmart U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund. This $10 million fund will provide grants to research institutions innovating in the manufacturing space. It’s another way Walmart can support the expansion of U.S. manufacturing and U.S. job creation.

America is where the innovation is happening, and energy costs in the U.S. are lower than in many other places. Meanwhile, overseas, wages and labor costs have increased. Now it is necessary and more efficient to build things closer to the point of consumption – right here in the United States. If we want to grow manufacturing and help rebuild America’s middle class, we need our brightest minds to tackle problems facing the manufacturing industry and come up with solutions.

So Walmart, the Walmart Foundation and the U.S. Conference of Mayors are working together to bring opportunity back to this country.

How the fund works

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation will fund the program and collaborate with the U.S. Conference of Mayors to identify and award leaders in manufacturing innovation.  We want to support new processes, ideas, and jobs that support America’s growing manufacturing footprint. 

The fund will provide grants to directly support applied research projects that advance innovative solutions to challenges that, once addressed, can lower the cost of making consumer products in the U.S.

If we work together, we can make it feasible to manufacture just about anything here again  – and make sure America remains a land of opportunity.

Learn more about the Walmart U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund

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Life

#FiveThingsFriday: Sweet Treats, Training Associates and Out of This World Toys

ICYMI: Customer service managers “Go Yellow!”, a Walmart associate begins a role at the Pentagon, exclusive Star Wars merchandise arrives, we’re baking up sweet treats, and our latest training academy opens in San Antonio.

And it was All Yellow…
Those aren’t crossing guards in our stores, they’re our customer service managers in their new vests! This week we launched new vests for our customer service managers in what’s sure to be this season’s hottest color: Yellow. This inVestment makes our front end associates more visible and is a part of our commitment to provide clean, fast, and friendly service in our stores.



Reporting for Duty
Former Walmart logistics vice president Luke McCollum began his newest role this week as he reported to the Pentagon, where he will be Commander of America’s Navy Reserve Force. McCollum was appointed to the role by President Obama and was promoted to three-star admiral. He will be responsible for 60,000 reserve members.



It’s Not a Trap! Exclusive Star Wars Toys are Here
These are the toys you’re looking for. Force Friday 2016 is here and not only do we have new toys from the upcoming Rogue One movie, we have exclusive items you won’t find anywhere else. If you’re like me, all you’ve ever wanted is your own personal R2-D2, and now that dream is a reality. I’ll see you at Walmart tonight at midnight! And then on Saturday, Oct. 1, head out to participating stores to get a free two-pack of Topps’ Galactic Connexions Trading Discs and a free LEGO X-Wing pack.



Cobblers and Breads and Pies, Oh My!
Last year it was all about the Patti Pies. This year it’s all about the Patti Cobbler, Patti Cake, Apple Pie, Breakfast Brioche, Crumb Cake...And now I’m hungry. If you need me, I’ll be in the closest Walmart Bakery picking up some of these tasty treats that are sure to satisfy.



Training San Antonio
The Walmart Academy Train has pulled into San Antonio! Walmart Academy is a hands-on training program for hourly supervisors and department managers. And it's not just about training; Academies also provide a clear career path for our associates.

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U.S. Manufacturing

Watch the American Dream at Work at this Utah Company

If you were watching TV over the weekend, you may have seen a new ad about Walmart’s commitment to U.S. manufacturing. While the music in the background is fairly recognizable, what may not be as well-known is the commercial’s cast: real employees of Lifetime Products, one supplier we’re working with to re-shore production of several items.

Based in Clearfield, Utah, Lifetime manufactures basketball hoops, folding chairs and tables, and picnic tables. They also produce other consumer products, from lawn and garden items to kayaks and paddleboards, for other companies.

The company was founded in 1986 and soon became a Walmart supplier of sports equipment. Fast-forward 30 years and they are providing approximately half of their 300 products to Walmart stores, Walmart.com and Sam’s Club locations across the U.S.

Lifetime began as an idea in a garage in Riverdale, Utah, when a husband and wife team wanted to build a better basketball hoop for their family. Their passion and innovation expanded the project into a business whose name reflects its mission: to build durable, lasting products for consumers and their families.

The company has grown from 15 employees in a partial warehouse to 2,000 employees, making it one of the largest employers in Clearfield, population 30,000, and one of the largest private employers in the state.

In late 2014, we at Walmart reached an agreement with Lifetime for the production of patio furniture and other products re-shored from China. Walmart’s commitment to Lifetime and American-made goods has allowed the manufacturer to establish new production facilities in Mascot, Tennessee, just north of Knoxville. Lifetime hopes to hire 500 employees over the next five years in this new location, which is situated in a town of just 2,500 people.

“Lifetime’s relationship with Walmart and Sam’s Club has been vital to our expansion,” their president and CEO, Richard Hendrickson, recently said. “As a company, we will continue to fight hard to keep jobs and manufacturing technologies and expertise right here in the United States of America.”

When we visited Lifetime to shoot the commercial, we also got the chance to meet several of their employees and chat about their work. In addition to Mike’s story here, you can watch others – and read more about our commitment to U.S. manufacturing – at walmart.com/americanjobs.

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Innovation

Why Pickup is a Time-Saving Treat This Halloween

As a dad of three, I love planning for Halloween. My family and I start in September thinking about the perfect costumes for a fun season of parties and trick-or-treating. This year, my 3-year-old, 5-year-old and 7-year-old are obsessed with Star Wars, and we will be trick-or-treating as their favorite characters. My 3-year-old is particularly excited to be Darth Vader (or as he says, "Darth Tater" – how cute is that?).

If you’re a parent, you know that finding the perfect costume isn’t always easy, especially if your children – like most kids – like to change their minds a few times along the way. (Of course, that never happens in our family. Right, kids?) And once your costumes are set, the last thing you want is to find the store doesn’t carry the right size.

This year, Walmart is sparing customers from that hassle through a simple solution: making the majority of our in-store costumes available through same-day Pickup. Think of it like a reservation system. Simply purchase the item online and then pick it up in the store the very same day. As long as your child’s friend doesn’t snag the last one of your favorites, there are no unpleasant surprises, and no scouring the aisles for that perfect wig or mask. (One heads up: We expect superheroes to be one of the most sought-after costumes this year.)

We know that the way customers shop has changed – they expect a connected experience and depend on us to deliver it. With thousands of physical locations, plus online shopping and convenient services like Pickup, Walmart is uniquely positioned to serve customers anytime, anywhere for all their Halloween needs however they wish to shop.

For the past few years, I have been on the team that has been working to develop our Pickup program, so I'm especially excited about this. I recently took my family to our local store to test it out. We bypassed the aisles, went straight to the Pickup counter and, within minutes, my kids had their costume selections in hand.

Whether your family chooses to dress up as Star Wars characters or superheroes this Halloween, I hope you save time shopping so you can enjoy the fun stuff: parties, costume contests and trick-or-treating. Happy Halloween, everyone!

Editor's Note: Walmart has this Halloween's popular costumes and candy exclusives. For more information on this year's top items, click here.

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Life

#FiveThingsFriday: Jet.com, a Special Surprise and Appreciating Associates

ICYMI this week: Walmart acquired Jet.com and expanded the way we serve our customers, Miss America Savvy Shields returned to her home state of Arkansas to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, and we’ve got Halloween decorations to make your house the spookiest on the block.

Walmart Acquires Jet.com

At the beginning of the week, we were excited to officially welcome a new company to the Walmart family. But why Jet.com? Our CEO Doug McMillon said it best: “Walmart and Jet.com obsess about saving customers time and money. By joining forces, we’ll be better at doing both, creating seamless shopping from app to site to store.”

A Special Request Inspires Custom Delivery

For the past three months, Danny Nolin’s Ocean Pacific striped T-shirt is the only one he’s wanted to wear. After being washed and worn dozens of times, the shirt finally ripped, and his family searched high and low for a replacement, only to find that it was no longer available in stores. After one of his relatives reached out to Walmart on social media, we were able to team with our supplier, dig through the archives and make 10 new shirts just for Danny.

Way to Go! Associates Earn Cash Bonuses

Our people work hard to serve our customers. So much so that 99% (!) of our stores met goals for cleanliness, faster checkout and better service in the second quarter. We were excited to recognize our associates’ hard work by recently paying out more than $200 million in quarterly bonuses to about 932,000 hourly associates.

Miss America Savvy Shields Visits Walmart

The newly crowned Miss America, Savvy Shields, made an appearance in Bentonville, Arkansas, this week to support a cause near and dear to her heart, bringing awareness to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. She toured a Walmart store and interacted with associates and customers all to raise awareness for the cause.

Have No Fear: Cool Halloween Décor is Here (All Under $18!)

You can always count on Walmart for some scary good deals. Check out some of the items we have this Halloween season to make your house one of the scariest on the block!

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