We can easily imagine a day when we can print small household items or replacement parts in a store or a DC. We can begin to envision a whole new way of delivering customized products to customers when and how they need them.
And, finally, think about this, associates starting with us today as teenagers have never known a world without the internet and mobile phones. Do you think they have new expectations for Walmart?
My point is that there's a lot of innovation and opportunity available to us. Customers will increasingly expect and require the best of both worlds. They want the excitement and the immediacy of shopping in a physical store and the freedom to shop whenever, however and wherever they want – to receive their merchandise the way they want. They want an experience that seamlessly adapts to their life.
All of this change is a good thing for us. Walmart can bring together our stores with new digital commerce capabilities to help customers save money, save time, and have access to what they want and need.
The opportunity is enormous. It feels like it's only limited by our imaginations.
Here's what our future may look like:
Our stores, 11,000 and growing, will provide access and convenience. If you need it right here, right now, we've got it. We will run great stores and clubs with great associates. You are our competitive advantage.
We'll keep adding services and pick-up points to our stores to become even more convenient.
We'll also strive to have collection points wherever our customers want us to be. Not only are we testing in tube stations in London but inside train cars in Toronto. Maybe someday we'll be near a school in Dallas, where a mom or dad is picking up their kids.
We've also seen the demand for food delivery, in places like the U.K., Mexico, and China. I recently visited our grocery delivery test in Denver. One of our customers described it like this. "It is like 'grocery fairies' suddenly arrived to make life easier for a busy Mom." "Grocery fairies"… I love that.
And of course, we'll keep improving our traditional ecommerce offering of ordering online and shipping to customers' homes.
To do all of this, we need to move – fast.
That's why we're piloting so many ideas around the world.
That's why we formed @WalmartLabs, hired more than 2,500 engineers, programmers and data scientists, and acquired 14 companies in the last three years. We recently became interested in a product search firm called Adchemy and bought it less than 3 months later. We focused on a wireless services provider named Simplexity and completed a deal 7 weeks later.
We can move fast. Walmart is picking up the pace of change to serve the customer better.
We're also building out our global fulfillment and replenishment network so we can get even closer to our customers. We're rolling out a new Global Technology Platform to provide a better customer experience on all devices.
And to bring all of this to life, we're investing in our people. I'm proud of the jobs and opportunities we offer, and we can do an even better job of creating opportunities to learn and grow. We'll prepare our associates to serve customers better, while building the careers you want at Walmart. I'm excited about the work underway in Walmart U.S. because it is a critical part of our future.
So this is what real-time change looks like.
We will grow our same store sales, and we will grow with these new services, capabilities and locations to drive the top line. Customers will be able to access us through our stores and through their phones, tablets, websites and whatever comes next. Walmart will exceed their expectations!
Finally, let's talk about always – the things that are constant.
I'll start with our purpose. We save people money so they can live better. This is a noble pursuit. It's real. We help parents afford new clothes for school, put healthier meals on the table, and save for their child's education or a rainy day.
Our values won't change. Integrity, Service, Respect and Excellence. These are our guiding beliefs, and our behaviors will support those beliefs. Our culture is what makes us special. It's what makes us different. We must nurture it and reward those who live it.
And, as it relates to integrity, we are committed to conducting business in an ethical manner. Integrity is at the heart of everything we do. It's supported by our culture and the world class compliance and ethics capabilities we continue to strengthen. Doing the right thing, the right way, is the only way for us.
But we don't stop there.
We believe in Walmart's responsibility to lead on big issues, in big ways. It's one of the reasons many of us love being part of Walmart.
About 10 years ago, we began to understand that we could make a larger difference in the area of social and environmental sustainability. That period of learning was the beginning of a new era for us, and it really changed my personal perspective.
Ultimately, creating a more sustainable company is about people. It's about our customers, our associates, our kids and grandkids. We care about not only our own associates but also about the farmers and factory workers who make it possible for us to sell merchandise. We care about how they are treated and compensated. That's why we're investing to support additional training and safety.
We're focused, for example, on women. We're on track to help train 1 million women on farms and in factories, in technology, retail, and throughout the workforce. And we're ahead of schedule on sourcing $20 billion from women-owned businesses.
We'll also keep giving back in the communities we serve – whether that's through disaster relief or local manufacturing around the world or the millions of hours our associates volunteer each year.
As it relates to the environment, we've made terrific progress against our three big goals – to run on 100% renewable energy, to create zero waste, and to sell products that sustain people and the planet. I believe in those goals – as an associate and as a dad.
There are so many ways that Walmart can make a difference around the world. We're committed to doing just that. We will strengthen the trust we've established with customers and the communities we serve.
I want to close by speaking directly and personally to every Walmart associate. To every associate in this room. To every associate on the sales floor, the back room or in a DC. To every associate writing code or hauling freight.
I want you to feel the same excitement that I feel. I want you to see the same possibilities that I see. I want you to know in your heart, like I do, that our future is bright. We have the foundation and the people, and we know how we're going to win.
I know it's easy to look at everything that's going on and wonder what Sam would think about things like mobile apps, grocery delivery, or 3D printing.
So I'll leave you with a few words from Sam himself. He said:
"I've made it my own personal mission to ensure that constant change is a vital part of the Walmart culture itself. I've forced change sometimes for change's sake alone at every turn in our company's development. In fact, I think one of the greatest strengths of Walmart's ingrained culture is the ability to drop everything and turn on a dime."
Turn on a dime!
So what would Sam say about our opportunity? He'd say: go! He might even say: hurry up!
We won't let him down. Thank you.