NEW YORK, Sept. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Walmart today announced plans to launch a dedicated page on Walmart.com that will feature an assortment of products created by women in nearly two dozen countries, including women who work in cooperatives and own small businesses. Scheduled to be available in spring 2012, products will include jewelry from Guatemala, Thailand and Ethiopia; coffee from Central and South America; and dresses from Kenya.
This builds on the five goals Walmart announced last week around global women's economic empowerment. By 2016, the dedicated e-commerce site will feature approximately 500 items – from apparel and jewelry, to stationery and accessories – by more than 20,000 women in nearly two dozen countries.
"The challenge for small women-owned businesses – and particularly women artisans – is that they have a fantastic product, but they may not have the size or scale to sell in our brick-and-mortar stores," Leslie Dach, Walmart's executive vice president of Corporate Affairs, said at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting. "This commitment today gives these women access to an established set of customers on Walmart.com, as well as the benefit of the company's knowledge about customers, packaging and promotions."
Walmart's partners for the initial line include Full Circle Exchange and Ethical Fashion Africa, a program within the International Trade Centre.
"Walmart's effort to empower women through e-commerce will truly create 'scale for good' and transform the lives of countless women, allowing them to work their way out of poverty in ways that are both sustainable and dignified," said Mark Priddy, co-founder, Full Circle Exchange. "This initiative coincides with Full Circle's mission to empower women through commerce and exponentially increases the reach of entrepreneurs who have the skills, capacities and imagination to create more just economies."
For more information on Walmart's Global Women's Economic Empowerment Initiative, launched by Walmart President and CEO Mike Duke, visit www.walmartstores.com/women.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at over 9,700 retail units under 69 different banners in 28 countries. With fiscal year 2011 sales of $419 billion, Walmart employs 2.1 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://walmartstores.com and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart. Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com and http://www.samsclub.com.
About the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges.
Since 2005, CGI Annual Meetings have brought together nearly 150 current and former heads of state, 18 Nobel Prize laureates, hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations, major philanthropists, directors of the most effective nongovernmental organizations, and prominent members of the media. These CGI members have made nearly 2,000 commitments, which have already improved the lives of 300 million people in more than 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued in excess of $63 billion. The 2011 Annual Meeting will take place Sept. 20-22 in New York City.
This year, CGI also convened CGI America, a meeting focused on developing ideas for driving economic growth in the United States. The CGI community also includes CGI U, which hosts an annual meeting for undergraduate and graduate students, and CGI Lead, which engages a select group of young CGI members for leadership development and collective commitment-making. For more information, visit www.clintonglobalinitiative.org.
SOURCE Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.