Greg Foran at the 2015 U.S. Manufacturing Summit: U.S. Manufacturing Drives Growth

July 08, 2015

Remarks as prepared

Good morning! Welcome everyone! What a great crowd--thank you for coming. Thanks to Doug and Michelle for getting us off to a great start.

We’ve got a terrific day planned for you! I am really excited about our U.S. manufacturing initiative.

One of the things I love most about Walmart is our ability to make a difference every day in our customers’ lives by
having the right items at the right price.

But we’re also making an impact in our communities….

Whether that’s by providing better opportunities to our associates, hiring more veterans, or by creating jobs through our US Manufacturing commitment.

So we are pushing hard toward our $250 billion goal to source more products made, assembled, or grown here.

And we look forward to working with you to get there!

Even our associate vests – like this one I am wearing today—are now made in America.

I’ve been to over 30 states since I moved here last year. It’s been a privilege to see the beauty of this country and to meet the hard-working Americans who make this a great nation.

And I’ve seen first-hand the value of manufacturing products here. Not only does it create jobs…but in many cases it is more efficient.

Manufacturing goods closest to the point of sale allows for quicker turn-around time from factory to shelf. This is good for business, good for our customers AND good for our stores.

Our customers tell us that they love to buy products that support American jobs. They can feel good about that! Their dollars are making a difference. They are helping to build communities and build families. 

But it’s going to take a lot of work. We’re ready. We want to work with you to win over the next generation of Walmart shoppers.

I think our customers are going to be excited about the items we bought yesterday at Open Call. What a great day! I know many of you were there. I enjoyed going to some of your meetings.

Let me just share a few items that I saw and liked…

Instant Marinater from Jaccard Corporation
I sat in on a meeting with Eric Wangler and Mark Meyer from Jaccard Corporation. This item marinates food for the grill in 5 minutes and the pump allows you to vacuum seal the container so the marinade goes directly into the pores of the meat. You can store it in the fridge, it is dishwasher safe and made in Erie, PA

Dog Not Gone Safety Dog Vests
I met Julie Swain and her husband Bill yesterday in the front lobby of our Home Office. Julie started making these out of her house. The bright colors help keep dogs visible in hunting season, the vests repel ticks and they are made in Maine.

Kettle Pizza
I enjoyed meeting owners Al Contarino and George Peters yesterday. This metal insert allows you to turn your charcoal grill into a pizza oven! They are made in Massachusetts.

I loved the innovation I saw and the enthusiasm from the buyers. You were all excited! Our goal is for our customers to share the same excitement!

We want to create growth, don’t we? Growth in our businesses and growth in communities and growth in economies.

When customers buy products supporting American jobs that is good for GDP. When jobs are created in communities—that is good for GDP. When government spends money to encourage growth and incentivize companies like yours to manufacture products at home—that is good for GDP.

And growth in our GDP lifts us all. That growth comes supplier by supplier and item by item.

Today you are going to hear about items we’re sourcing here—everything from sweaters to sheets to candy.

This Christmas we’ll have some wrapping paper made in America in many of our stores. And at Easter we’ll carry some Easter baskets made here in Arkansas.

Behind every one of these items is a story—a story of lives changed, jobs created, and customers delighted. Let me share one with you.

In just two weeks, our customers will be able to buy this seafood (from the Fish People) on our shelves. What is unique about this item?

It was caught here in American waters by American fishermen. But it was also processed here by American workers.

You may not know that 90% of seafood caught in the U.S. is exported overseas for processing. Even though we have abundant fish here in the U.S., we import a lot of the fish we eat.

How many times have you gone shopping for fish but decided against it because you were unsure of where it came from?

Worry no more!

Every package will feature a photo of the fisherman who caught the fish right here in America—providing our customers with complete transparency as to the source of their fish…

Here is Captain Scott Kastengren. He has been fishing tuna off the coast of Oregon for over 10 years. 

Photo of Fisherman Scott Kastengren

Now, once Scott catches the fish, it goes for processing at the Fish People’s new facility in Toledo, Oregon. 

One of the people who got a job there is Rich Shores, who has worked seasonally in Alaska processing salmon for nearly 30 years. His job required minimal skill because most of the difficult processing was done overseas.

Working at the Fish People, he’s gained new skills, providing him with a good wage and stable year-round employment so he can be home with his family. 

And because the Fish People processes the fish here, they are taking the secondary fish products and sending them to pet food manufacturers including Perfection Pet in California—who makes our private label pet food.

I love that – we’re able to sell products that support American jobs that are sustainable as well.

In fact, new research by the Boston Consulting Group found that our commitment to buy $250 billion in products that support American jobs will help reduce our carbon footprint. It’s essentially equivalent to taking 2.5 million shipping containers off the water!

To close, I want to come back to the idea of growth. This one product from one supplier—will contribute to growth.
And growth is what creates jobs and revitalizes communities.

Through this item, we are making a difference in the lives of the fishermen, the processors in Oregon and at the pet food facility in California.

In the end, all of this will make a difference in the lives of our customers by providing them with a quality product at a great price…so they can save money and live better.

That is how it’s done. Supplier by supplier. Item by item.  Together, we can do more! Let’s dream big and work hard.

Our team is here to help you every step of the way.

I can’t wait to see what we can do for our customers, for communities, for America.

Thank you!