A Vision for Leading on Data and Personalization

Walmart Shareholders Meeting 2014

By Rosalind Brewer, President & CEO, Sam's Club

June 06, 2014

Walmart Shareholders Meeting 2014

Remarks as Prepared for Roz Brewer
Good morning, Walmart! Thank you to our member, John, for that video. And good morning, Sam's Club! That's right … "Happy to Help." For Asda associates, I know that sounds very familiar. It's your mantra for customer service. I hope it's OK if we borrow it. Everywhere we operate, we want associates who are as "Happy to Help" as our colleagues at Asda.

At Walmart, we have a lot to celebrate about the past year. We're especially proud at Sam's Club. We posted solid results in a tough environment for our members. We made progress in areas that make a difference. We did what we said we were going to do.

For example, membership. We added 3.5 million new members. And we grew membership income double digits. We said we would do that, and we did it.   

We also pushed hard to expand access to our clubs. We held 20 grand openings. That's more in one year than anyone can remember. We said we would do that, and we did it.

We're delivering on the Walmart promise of price leadership. Last year, we launched our Instant Savings program, which saved members over $160 million. In wholesale club retail, we will be the price leader. We said we would do that, and we did it. 

And we've strengthened the digital relationship with our members. We improved our mobile app with new features that members love. And we expanded the dot com team. Clubs and Global eCommerce are working closer together than ever before. We said we would do that, and we did it.

Looking ahead, we're focused on becoming the best membership organization in the world. We'll do that by creating member value in every way we can. We're launching some incredible new innovations.

For example, we have a new benefit for Plus members called Cash Rewards. Plus members will now earn $10 in cash rewards for every $500 they spend.

We also have a new MasterCard that rewards our members for their everyday spend. It provides – 5% back at gas stations, 3% for restaurants and travel, and 1% for everywhere else.

These programs are innovative not just for our company. Experts have told us that our financial incentives are hands down best-in-class. We are innovating, and we are leading.

Now there is another area where we're innovating across the company – customer and member service. I'd like to talk for a couple minutes about the role of data and personalization in service. This can separate us from the competition and drive sales.

Sam Walton said: "The goal … is to have customer service that is not just the best but legendary." I love that. It says the work of serving customers and members never stops. We have to set the bar high and then higher again.

And in today's world, we have to stay ahead of the incredible changes going on around us. Customers are more connected, more mobile and more social than ever. Whether they're in stores, online or using our apps, they're constantly telling us how they want to shop and what they want to buy.

This huge amount of data, how we protect it, and how we use it to serve customers could become our biggest competitive advantage. Today at Walmart, our data is more organized, more analyzed and more visualized than ever. This is helping us make faster and smarter business decisions. But most important, it's helping personalize our service to customers and members.

We're excited about our opportunity at Sam's Club. We're focused on three priorities to serve our members even better: new, different and exciting merchandise; expanded access online and in clubs; and the absolute best member experience.

Data and personalization are playing a big role in each of these. I want to be clear … we're just at the beginning. But to illustrate what's possible, let me share with you how we could create value for one longtime member, Doug.

For those who know Doug, you know he doesn't need much convincing when it comes to electronics in our clubs. He owns pretty much every new tech gadget that has ever touched our sales floor. But what we can do is help him save.

So we email Doug a savings offer for a new iPad Air. Sure enough, with a big new job and always being on the go, he was in the market. Doug opens the email, clicks through to our website and makes the purchase.

Now Doug also shops his club to buy fresh food for his family. But when comparing his shopping habits to members like him, we notice he doesn't buy blueberries.

So the next time he's shopping in the club, we push him a message about our blueberries on his new iPad Air. We tell him our blueberries are guaranteed fresh. And we show him a review from another member who raves about them. Sure enough, Doug picked up some blueberries.

Data and personalization mean more value for our members – and members who are even more loyal to Sam's Club. I really believe this: Retailers that lead on data and personalization will be the retailers of the future.

I want to close today on the strength of our foundation. Temkin, an industry leading research firm, released their customer experience rankings a couple months ago. They asked 10,000 consumers to rate their experience with 270 companies across 19 industries.

Who was the retailer with the No. 1 ranking in customer experience? Amazon? Target? Costco? Dollar Stores? Nope. I'm so proud to say that it was Sam's Club. That's right – we offer the best shopping experience in all of retail!

Across all of Walmart, we are customer-driven. We know our customers better and are serving them better than ever before. That's a tribute to all of you – our associates in the stores and clubs.

Today we're innovating in ways we never could have imagined. And we're just at the beginning of data and personalization – the next frontier in customer service. We will lead on this frontier as we have led with "Satisfaction Guaranteed," the "10-Foot Rule," "Retail Link," and in so many other ways.

Because the goal remains the same, doesn't it? To serve our customers and members so well that we're not just the best, but every day we're setting the bar higher and higher. So that in the eyes of our customers – at every store, no matter the size, at every club, on every mobile device, in every country around the world – our service is legendary!

Thank you and have a great meeting.