In this file:


·         A Closer Look at Walmart’s ‘Unprecedented’ Angus Beef Strategy

Retailer’s SVP of meat says the new program is poised to 'truly change the dynamics of the beef industry'


·         Walmart’s embrace of innovation bolsters shoppers, employees

·         Walmart reveals salaries — and they may not be what you think

·         Walmart to power 40 stores with solar



A Closer Look at Walmart’s ‘Unprecedented’ Angus Beef Strategy

Retailer’s SVP of meat says the new program is poised to 'truly change the dynamics of the beef industry'


By Meg Major, Winsight Grocery Business

May. 09, 2019


Walmart’s recent news that it’s entering the beef industry by developing an end-to-end supply chain for Angus beef marks the latest development in the big retailer’s ongoing mission to ensure consistent supply and greater supply chain transparency while helping to burnish its fresh food cred, where meat is at forefront.


The framework of Walmart’s new Angus beef supply chain strategy will include Texas rancher Bob McClaren of 44 Farms and Prime Pursuits to source the cattle. Mc6 Cattle Feeders will handle feeding the cattle and Creekstone Farms will process it prior to sending it onward to FPL Foods for packing.


In addition to creating a steady demand for cattle ranchers, the world’s largest retailer said its new Angus beef supply chain will create more than 450 jobs, including an estimated 250 new jobs at Creekstone Farms’ Kansas-based processing facility and another more than 200 new roles in Georgia, where Walmart owns a case-ready facility that will be managed by FPL Foods.


“By enlisting a number of best-in-class companies to take part in the supply chain, we’ll be able to provide customers with unprecedented quality, provide transparency throughout the supply chain and leverage the learnings we gain across our business,” said Scott Neal, SVP of meat for Walmart U.S., in a statement.


Walmart will roll out a selection of Angus beef cuts such as steaks and roasts from its new program in 500 stores across the Southeast, including in Georgia, Alabama and Florida. The Bentonville, Ark.-based chain will continue its rely on Tyson and Cargill to provide the majority of its beef, which is expected to remain in place, according to observers, who pointed to a similar move by Costco last year to create its own poultry production system to ensure a steady supply of its popular rotisserie chicken program.


Noting that “beef is the main event” at the average backyard barbecue, Neal in a recent blog post on Walmart’s corporate website said he and his team “are working to make the beef America eats better. To us, that means more transparency...





Walmart’s embrace of innovation bolsters shoppers, employees


By Nick Berkeley, Houston Chronicle (TX)

May 10, 2019


Berkeley is a Walmart vice president and regional general manager


There is no doubt retail is rapidly evolving and customers’ needs today are much different than just a few years ago. This is a very exciting time for us at Walmart; we are leading retail innovation by fully embracing new and innovative ways to fulfill our mission of saving customers time and money, while creating new ways to work.


In April, we announced plans to spend an estimated $265 million in Texas on store improvements and innovations this year, following an investment of $277 million in Texas stores just last year. These major investments include remodeling 54 Texas stores, 10 of them in the southeast Texas region, and rolling out new hi-tech innovations in stores across the state.


Over the last year, we introduced or expanded a long list of retail innovations in Texas Walmart stores, including customer-centered technology like Online Grocery Pickup, Grocery Delivery, Pickup Towers, Check Out with Me and custom store maps with an online assistant in the Walmart app. Simply put, Walmart is giving Texans the opportunity to choose how, when and where they shop. We will continue to look for more ways to make shopping even easier.


Alongside these direct benefits for customers, Walmart has also begun to roll out tools that aid our associates. The process to unload trucks has been largely unchanged for three decades. This year, we are starting to modernize our backrooms with a new technology called the FAST unloader. Associates take merchandise from the truck and place it onto a conveyer that organizes and prioritizes items to stock. This new process takes a fraction of the time and we’re seeing reductions in turnover in what had been a very difficult job to fill. We’re rolling out automated shelf scanners that monitor our inventory levels and help associates keep items in stock and price labels updated; we’re using autonomous floor scrubbers, which clean and scrub concrete floors in stores; and we’re using virtual reality to more effectively train associates on a variety of topics.


Walmart is using these technologies to enable its 165,000 Texas associates to do their jobs better. These pieces of technology do not replace associates, rather automating certain tasks gives associates more time to do work they find fulfilling and to interact with our customers. We consider those interactions a competitive advantage now and in the future.


In fact, innovation has led to the creation of new jobs and greater investment in associates overall. Walmart has hired and trained 35,000 Online Grocery Personal Shoppers nationwide, a job opportunity that did not exist a few years ago.


We know that when we invest in our associates and give them the tools to succeed and grow, everybody wins. Walmart has a long history of...





Walmart reveals salaries — and they may not be what you think


BY ABC News Radio

via KWBE (NE) - May 10, 2019


(NEW YORK) — Walmart revealed average worker salaries in a new report, as the low-cost retailer battles a reputation for low pay in one of the tightest job markets in recent American history.


A full-time hourly worker in a Walmart store in the U.S. makes an average of $14.26 an hour, or around $25,000 a year, according to the company’s 2019 Environmental, Social & Governance Report released on Wednesday. That’s the average, but the range is $11 an hour to $24.70 an hour, Walmart spokesman Kory Lundberg told ABC News.


At Walmart, 34 hours a week is considered full-time, and most workers average 37 to 38 hours weekly, the company said. Health insurance is provided for employees who work at least 30 hours a week, Lundberg said.


In the U.S., Walmart store managers earn an average of $175,000 a year, according to the report. Their actual salaries are based on sales volume and the size of the store, Lundberg said.


“These stores are often the largest businesses in their communities with up to $100 million in sales and 300 employees,” Lundberg said, adding that 75 percent of these managers started off as hourly employees.


Still, that’s not much compared to Walmart’s CEO Doug McMillon’s pay — he earned $22.8 million in 2018, or almost 1,000 times the average full-time workers’ salary.


Competitors including Amazon and Costco say they pay workers at least $15 an hour.


“Walmart started paying more not in response to the tight job market, but in response to competition from its fellow retailers and also because it knew it wasn’t paying enough,” Charles Fishman, the author of “The Wal-Mart Effect,” told ABC News. “Those wages, and that plan is serving Walmart well as the competition tightens up.”


Still, there’s room for more upside, Fishman said...





Walmart to power 40 stores with solar


by Serenah McKay, Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette

May 10, 2019


Walmart Inc. will use solar energy to power more than 40 stores in five states under a deal reached this week with a renewable-energy investor in New York.


The Bentonville retailer signed 46 power-purchase agreements and leases with C2 Energy Capital LLC, a news release said. The solar installations will produce more than 65 million kilowatt-hours of renewable energy annually, and are expected to supply 10% to 50% of each store's electricity demand, the energy provider said.


The Walmart stores are in Arizona, California, Louisiana, Maryland and New Jersey, Bloomberg News reported.


Walmart began working with the energy provider last year to install 13 solar arrays on stores in South Carolina. Twelve of those are store rooftop projects that are already in operation, and a ground-mount solar panel array is under construction at a Walmart distribution center.


Mark Vanderhelm, Walmart's vice president of energy, said...