FAYETTEVILLE, Ark., June 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In remarks at the company's Annual Shareholders Meeting, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. President and CEO Mike Duke today credited associates for the retailer's financial strength and personally welcomed on stage several dozen associates who represent the significant range and number of job and career opportunities offered by the world's largest private employer.
"No company provides more opportunity to more people to go from where they are to where they want to be than Walmart," said Duke. "Associates join Walmart for so many different reasons. When it comes to our careers, what we all have in common is that we started somewhere. What matters most is that we get the chance to go as far as hard work and talent will take us."
Reporting to shareholders on Walmart's performance, Duke highlighted the company's strong financial results, net sales growth at its operating segments, and management's confidence in its long-term business strategies. He also said that he expects the company to generate $10 billion in global e-commerce sales by the end of the fiscal year. Duke added, "None of this success would be possible without the heart and hard work of our associates." Over the past two years, Walmart has delivered to shareholders its best overall return in stock performance and dividends in more than a decade.
The chief executive said that he has high expectations not just for Walmart associates, but also for how the company treats its associates. "We know that juggling life and work -- the economics, the scheduling, the expectations -- is often tough," said Duke. "Can we find ways to offer associates more hours when we have them, more flexibility if they need it, and more training to help their careers wherever life takes them? Can we do more to build an entryway to a job and career for those who really look to us for opportunity -- like young people or people restarting their careers? Can we be a laboratory for learning and create credentials of accomplishment that associates can lean on to advance their careers?"
While discussing what he called the "real Walmart" and "the real opportunity" that the company provides, Duke welcomed on stage dozens of associates from around the world, including five of his own direct reports, who represent:
- the 75 percent of U.S. store management teams who started at Walmart as hourly associates;
- the 180,000 associates at Walmart U.S. and Sam's Club who were promoted last year;
- Walmart's commitment to increasing training and career advancement opportunities, including for one million women around the world;
- Walmart's commitment and plan to hire 100,000 veterans over the next five years; and
- the 300,000 associates who have worked at Walmart for over a decade.
Throughout his 18 years at the company, Duke said that he had learned a lot about Walmart associates and believes that who they are and how they do their jobs is exactly what customers want and expect. Duke concluded, "Integrity, service to customers, family and community, the opportunity to build better lives for ourselves and our customers -- these are the ways that our people make the difference. They're why you're so special. And they're why I'm so excited about Walmart's future."
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better -- anytime and anywhere -- in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, more than 245 million customers and members visit our 10,857 stores under 69 banners in 27 countries and e-commerce websites in 10 countries. With fiscal year 2013 sales of approximately $466 billion, Walmart employs more than 2 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://corporate.walmart.com, and on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart. Online merchandise sales are available at http://walmart.com and http://www.samsclub.com.
SOURCE Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.