Remarks as prepared for Michelle Gloeckler
Good morning everyone! Welcome to our third U.S. Manufacturing Summit!
I love that video—it gets to the heart of who we are at Walmart. We like to do things differently – we “swim upstream.”
In 2013 when we announced our commitment to buy $250 billion in products that support American jobs over 10 years, there were skeptics—people who thought, in Sam’s words, that it was an “unrealistic goal.”
Working together with many of you, we are proving them wrong, aren’t we?
2 1/2 years later, the evidence speaks for itself. Our initiative is real. With real people making or assembling real products right here in America that we proudly sell on our shelves.
Every one of those factories featured in that video is part of the initiative to bring jobs back to America-- – many of them are YOUR people, making YOUR products for Walmart
You’ve re-shored candles from Poland…you’re manufacturing bikes in South Carolina…You’re making shoes in Georgia.
This sweater that I am wearing was made in Brooklyn!
And all of these companies—many of YOU-- have created jobs in communities. Jobs that sustain families…that help them buy a house and allow them to dream of the future they want for their children and grandchildren.
Together, we are having a tangible impact on communities across America.
At Walmart, as a retailer, our role has always been to help facilitate and accelerate your progress to make, assemble, or grow your products here. We’ve done that in three ways—by re-shoring production from overseas, expanding existing production already here and by bringing in suppliers new to Walmart.
Yesterday we took another HUGE step at bringing in new suppliers.. Many of you attended our second Open Call at the Home Office yesterday.
So in 2 ½ years, we’ve made a lot of progress but there is still much work to do. We face new challenges in certain categories of merchandise that are more difficult to source here which our merchant leads will talk about. In my own consumables business, for example I think we can do more in baby, eyewear and with pet products. Later you’ll hear from Steve Bratspies and Andy Barron who will issue their own challenges.
It will take us at Walmart, working together with you--our suppliers, government leaders, and with educators--to tackle these challenges from every angle.
You made the right decision to come today. Many of you have a lot of meetings here. We have 30 states ready to talk to you about how to bring manufacturing to their communities. Just think of what it would cost to go visit every state for those meetings?
We did the math for one supplier. They have 5 meetings here…and they have 3 people here today. When you add up airfare, lodging costs, food costs—if they were to visit all 5 states separately that would cost nearly $9,000. By coming to this summit—they get the same meetings, good food and lodging for $2000. A 70 % savings. Now that’s EDLC!
This week we expect to facilitate nearly 1000 meetings. We want to accelerate progress to bring jobs back to America. I am confident that we are going to do great things. We are not only going to tackle but together we will SOLVE some of the challenges we face and no doubt come up with new ideas and ways to work together!
We’ve got a great day for you. To kick us off, I’ll turn it over to our Global CEO, Doug McMillon.