Reflections from Walmart Shareholders
At the beginning of this month, Walmart hosted their annual Shareholders event, complete with meetings, announcements and, of course, popular entertainment.
While there were no major announcements made like last year, reports from local media were filled with discussion regarding company updates from recent months and what those mean for the company’s future.
Two articles from the statewide online publication Talk Business & Politics featured topics we want to broach in our annual Shareholders response blog.
E-commerce is driving decisions
On average, e-commerce grows at least 10 percent each year and residential home deliveries increase around 30 percent, which means companies like Walmart are continuing to rethink their strategy. It’s not just the retail giants that are focusing on accommodating the rise of e-commerce. We have seen rapid growth in our own hiring due to rising demands related to e-commerce.
According to Talk Business & Politics, Walmart continues to focus on omnichannel – a mix of both e-commerce and physical stores – and on the quality of the items they sell throughout their enterprise.
CEO of Walmart U.S. E-commerce Marc Lore said that they are making progress on carrying thousands of brands that traditionally have not wanted to sell on Walmart.com, including Apple products and new items from Lord & Taylor.
Lore added that with an estimated 75 million items available online, Walmart is about 50 percent of where they want to be. He added that some of the growth will come from third-party marketplace providers. He said that Walmart is focused on getting the right items, not just a higher number of items. This means that some items from third-party marketplaces that can’t deliver the service level Walmart expects have already been culled.
Additionally, it was announced earlier this year that Sam’s Club was closing 63 clubs and that 10 of the stores would be used as e-commerce distribution centers. While this decision resulted in around 9,500 jobs lost, the company had to do what was best for the longevity of its business and we foresee that more jobs will be created because of the new distribution centers.
Likewise, On Time Logistics has rapidly grown its delivery service to keep up with the demand from online retailers. Our growth matches, if not exceeds, the national growth average of 30 percent growth in residential deliveries. Much of these deliveries are coming from Wayfair.com (which also sells on Walmart.com) and Walmart’s biggest competitor, Amazon.com
Celebrating the customer
Another article from Talk Business shared insights from current and past Walmart executives about Walmart co-founder Sam Walton, who would have been 100 years old on March 29. The 2018 Shareholders week included a centennial celebration of the retail legend’s life. One of Sam’s biggest focuses was on helping the customer, which Walmart still strives to focus on today.
According to Talk Business, retired Walmart CEO David Glass said that Walton was “obsessed with customers” and the best ideas came from within the company. He also said that “Walton would be pleased with where the company is but wouldn’t be completely satisfied because there is always room to improve.”
Current CEO Doug McMillon also spoke at length about his respect for Mr. Sam how he continually sought ways to serve customers despite the ongoing changes in the retail industry.
“Sam had this ability to enjoy his work, to take risks and bring others along to let others benefit and that’s what we are trying to do,” he said.
Customer service, as well as finding ways to adapt our methods to meet the customers’ needs is something we hold dear at On Time Logistics. We too are always improving, focusing on customers and our workforce.
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