Turning Can't Into How

June 05, 2015

Remarks as Prepared for Neil Ashe

Good Morning Walmart! Standing here looking at all of you, I can just feel the power of Walmart, and what we can do together.

Thinking back to when we were here together last June, I'm amazed and proud of how much we've done in just a year. This company knows what it means to move fast. And I can tell you that's a very good thing -- because moving with speed has never been more important than it is right now.

Our customers today live in a fast-moving world, and they have high expectations of us. They want everything in their lives to be convenient and easy. They want us where they are -- whether they're in a store, on their sofas, at work, even in their cars.

“Can’t” into “How”

In this fast-paced world, we know we can succeed because we have fantastic associates. Associates who know how to turn “can’t” into “how.” So many times, when others say something can’t be done, we’ve figured out how to do it. That's right: we turn “can’t” into “how!”

Just over 50 years ago, we figured out how to bring affordable products to towns across America. And we're now helping people save money all over the world!

25 years ago, we figured out how to go beyond selling general merchandise. And today we're the world's largest grocer!

And more recently, we've figured out how to build an Internet technology company inside the world's largest retailer, and to put ourselves wherever our customers want us to be.


Moving Fast/GEC Update

We set high expectations, and we move fast. In our eCommerce business, turning “can’t” into “how” meant building an entirely new technology platform and fulfillment network. We did a full rebuild, from the data centers themselves, to our mobile app, to the website experience, and everything in between. And we did it fast.

Now, when you shop on Walmart.com, you get a faster and easier shopping experience -- whether you're on your computer, phone, or tablet. For each order, we're processing billions of variables in just milliseconds.You don't see the massive complexity that goes into making everything work. It just does.

The customer also has way more products to choose from. Four years ago you would have seen just under a million items for sale. Today, there are 7 million. And next year we're expecting that to be over 10 million items.

Because we've done all this, our eCommerce sales grew more than 20 percent last year. We now have one of the largest eCommerce businesses in the world.

Mobile Check-in

Moving fast also means innovating. And these days, one of the most valuable things we can offer a customer is time.

Awhile back we were thinking about the process for picking up an online order in our clubs and stores. One of our mobile engineers, Ben, came up with a killer idea. He said: "what if customers could have their phones tell us when they entered the parking lot? We could get their orders ready before they even reached our pickup counter.

So we turned “can’t” into “how.” We're adding this feature to the mobile App. It's called "Mobile Check-in," and now we're rolling it out at Sam's Club.

Grocery Home Shopping

When we move fast, we can give our customers convenience that exceeds their expectations.Take grocery home shopping. This is something our colleagues in the UK have been doing for a long time. ASDA will deliver your groceries to your house, or you can pick them up at a store. And now, just as easily as you get cash from an ATM, you can place an order online, drive up to this futuristic pod, and have your groceries pop out. Wherever you are, ASDA is there too.

We're also offering online grocery shopping in Mexico, China, Japan, Argentina and Chile. And here in the U.S., we've brought grocery home shopping to San Jose, Denver, Phoenix, Huntsville, Alabama, and right here in Northwest Arkansas.

We've even started bringing it to office complexes! Employees are getting their groceries right in the parking lot. In Phoenix, we went from a blueprint to a live grocery pick-up in just eight weeks. We turned “can’t” into “how.” Who would have thought you could have a grocery store in your parking lot at work?

Customer Story

We heard from one customer there, Vipul. Vipul said his wife used to send him off to work with a shopping list. After a long day at work, he would head to the store. He said he would try his best to get his wife exactly what she needed, but he always seemed to get something wrong.

A lot of us know how this goes. You might get the wrong brand or size, or you might just forget something. Stressful, right?

Fast forward to today. With our grocery pickup, Vipul's wife places an online order, and he just drives up and grabs it. How cool is that? Oh, and when we asked him what his favorite part of experience was, he said: "I even added beer to the order!" In scorching-hot Phoenix, Vipul wanted to be sure his fridge was well- stocked. Even more importantly, grocery home shopping gave his family time. Time to spend together, or to just relax.


We move fast, and we have high expectations. We'll always help people save money, but we're also finding new ways to reach our customers, wherever they are, and we're helping them to live better.

Whether it's with technology, innovation, or new options like grocery home shopping, we take what others say can’t be done, and figure out how to do it. We're turning “can’t” into “how.”

There is not a CAN'T in this building. With the power of all of you, we can do anything. Thank you!