SHENZHEN, China, May 26, 2008 – Hearing firsthand from its customers and 5,500 associates affected by the recent China earthquakes, Wal-Mart has increased its pledge for relief to more than RMB 20 million (USD $3 million), to be used for community reconstruction. In the meantime, the company will vigorously explore the possibility of setting up a Wal-Mart foundation in China to help extend the company’s long-term disaster relief efforts.
In the days following the disaster, Wal-Mart, Trust-Mart and Wal-Mart Global Procurement together shipped more than 30 truckloads of emergency supplies to the devastated area and have assisted with logistics to help deliver goods. In addition, partnering with more than 200 suppliers, it held a nationwide charity sale outside its China Wal-Mart and Trust-Mart stores, with proceeds going to support the earthquake victims. The company’s customers and associates in China and around the world also have given millions of RMB in support.
“I am so proud of how our Wal-Mart , Trust-Mart and Global Procurement associates responded in true Wal-Mart fashion with urgency and speed to help those in need,” said Ed Chan, President and CEO Wal-Mart China. “As I have spoken with our associates about all their efforts, their response has always been, ‘It’s my duty.’”
While 15 stores were closed immediately after the earthquake, as of today only one store, located in Dujiangyan city, remains closed due to damage. Fortunately, Wal-Mart has now located all its associates, but more than 500 associates have either lost their homes or have severely damaged houses.
“During this time of hardship and sorrow, it has been amazing to see the support we have received from our Wal-Mart family around the world” Chan said. “Customers and associates from around the globe have really stepped up to help in a time of need.”
Wal-Mart began its retail operations in China in 1996 when it opened a Supercenter and Sam’s Club in Shenzhen. Neighborhood Markets soon followed, and in February 2007, Wal-Mart China invested in the hypermarket chain Trust-Mart, which operates more than 100 retail units. In total, Wal-Mart and Trust-Mart operate 206 retail outlets in China. In addition the company’s Global Procurement sourcing unit has been headquartered in Shenzhen since 2002.
About Wal-Mart in China
Wal-Mart entered the Chinese market and opened its first store in Shenzhen in 1996. Its Global Procurement sourcing operation headquarters was established in Shenzhen in 2002. Currently Wal-Mart operates three store formats in China including Supercenters, Sam’s Clubs and Neighborhood Markets. It also holds a 35% stake in Trust-Mart. Wal-Mart Stores is proud to support the charitable causes that are important to customers and associates in their own neighborhoods. Wal-Mart has donated funds and in-kind support worth more than RMB36 million to local charity and welfare organizations during the past eleven years, and has won awards such as “Best Employer”, “Best Community Involvement”, “Supplier Satisfaction Recognition” and “Most Admired Company”. For more information about Wal-Mart in China, please visit www.wal-martchina.com.