Jan. 31, 2020
Editor’s note: Judith McKenna, Chief Executive Officer – Walmart International sent the following note to all global home office associates.
How Walmart is Responding to the Coronavirus
To: Walmart associates
From: Judith McKenna, Chief Executive Officer – Walmart International
I know many of you are concerned about the developing issues related to the coronavirus which originated in Wuhan, China, and if you’re like me, the wellbeing of our associates and customers there has weighed heavy on our hearts this week. As we’ve now seen reports of confirmed cases of the virus in more than 15 countries around the world, I wanted to take a minute to share an update about what our company is doing. We continue to work closely with authorities in China, as well as our associates and suppliers, on a proactive response plan to help reduce the spread of the virus.
In alignment with official recommendations, we are implementing the following measures:
- Enhancing general hygiene and health practices in our China stores, clubs, depots, and support centers, with special emphasis on disinfecting higher-risk areas.
- Temporarily limiting all non-business critical travel to, from, and within mainland China, and conducting all planned meetings virtually.
- Leveraging our global supply chain to increase supply of essential items to continue to serve customer needs in China.
- Addressing the individual needs of each store, club, distribution center, and support center in China, adjusting business hours and operations accordingly.
In addition to these steps, we’ve donated 1 million RMB to provide medical supplies and increased support to Hubei — the region most impacted — and we will continue to look for opportunities to use our assets to aid relief efforts locally.
As I write this note, I can’t help but take pride in the way our teams come together to support their communities. We may still be in the early stages, but I want you to know that we will be there for our associates and customers every step of the way. Service is core to who we are, and this value shines brightest in moments like these. I am so grateful to our partners, suppliers and especially our associates in China for their work to ensure people have access to important items and services, while keeping the health and safety of all involved top of mind.
We will be closely monitoring the situation and will provide updates as we can. In the meantime, make sure you are taking steps to be conscious of risks, and seek medical attention if you feel unwell. If you’ve been in China over the past two weeks, you should plan to work remotely through the 14-day incubation period, in accordance with official guidelines. At this time, there are no additional restrictions on global travel, so if you have specific questions on that, do reach out to your respective leaders for guidance.
Please join me in keeping our associates and customers in Wuhan and across China in your thoughts.