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Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT) Inventing “Future of Shopping Again”: CEO

Wal-Mart Stores Doug McMillonWal-Mart Stores Doug McMillon

Photo Doug McMillon /Credit: Wal-Mart Stores

Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT) is inventing “the future of shopping again,” the company’s CEO Doug McMillon said at the annual shareholders’ meeting on Friday. The retailing giant is betting on improving digital and delivery services as well as creating a “fast, easy and enjoyable shopping experience.”

In a bid to improve “last mile” delivery, Wal-Mart announced a new delivery-by-employees program that sends employees to deliver online orders using their own cars to the customer’s house at the end of their shifts.

McMillon said that Wal-Mart is testing digital endless-aisle shopping in stores, automated pickup towers in stores for online orders, pickup stations in store parking lots, robotics and image analytics to scan aisles for item availability and shelf presentation and machine learning and more advanced algorithms in pricing systems.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT) started new initiatives to create “a better working experience for associates and shopping experience for customers.” It is offering free two-day shipping on more than 2 million items with no membership fee; a discount for customers picking up online orders in stores; grocery pickup in many markets around the world and delivery from stores in some; and Jet Fresh delivery of fresh groceries to the home in 1-2 days.

“Together, we’re building a new Walmart,” McMillon said. “We’re going to make shopping with us faster, easier and more enjoyable. We’ll do more than just save customers money and you, our associates, will make the difference. Looking ahead, we will compete with technology, but win with people. We will be people-led and tech-empowered.”

McMillon encouraged Wal-Mart’s 2.3 million worldwide employees to “be lifelong learners.”

He said that people remain central to the retailer’s business. “The secret to our success will always be our people – it will be us,” McMillon said.

Shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT) closed down 0.24% on Friday. The stock is up more than 15% so far this year.

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