BENTONVILLE, Ark., June 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- This week, Walmart will host 14,000 associates from around the globe at its annual Shareholders meeting celebration. Each year, thousands of associates representing every market in which the company operates travel to Bentonville, Ark., to participate in activities throughout the week that highlight and recognize the accomplishments of the 2.2 million associates around the world.
"Every year our annual Shareholders meeting is a celebration of our associates, and this year is no different," said Susan Chambers, executive vice president of global people at Walmart. "Our success is only possible because of the hard work and dedication of our 2.2 million associates around the world. They are truly remarkable and we have a longstanding commitment to them and their success. This week of festivities is one way of saying thanks for what they do each and every day to make a meaningful difference in our communities and in the lives of millions of people."
Associates began arriving in Northwest Arkansas this past weekend and will participate in festivities all week long. Among the many activities, associates can see performances from iconic music legend Elton John and rising country star Luke Bryan. They will also be able to tour the Home Office campus and attend a minor league baseball game at Arvest Ballpark.
"It's my first time to fly on an airplane, and I'm so excited to attend the events this year," said associate Kenny Cable who started with the company in 2008 as a cashier and now leads the front end of the store. "I am excited to see where Walmart began, learn more about the company and share my experiences with my fellow associates at my store in Johnson City, Tenn."
International associates will also attend the celebration of associates. "I'm really looking forward to the whole experience and to see firsthand how our U.S. stores work. I plan to take loads of learnings back to the United Kingdom with me," said Pamela Dixon, training coordinator for Asda, Walmart's United Kingdom operation.
The weeklong events will also feature the unlimited job and career opportunities available at Walmart.
"Opportunity is what makes Walmart special, and no matter where people are in life or what they might be looking for, Walmart has an opportunity for them," said Chambers. "The opportunity to learn. The opportunity to achieve. The opportunity to surpass their own expectations. Our associates have the ability to climb the ladder, from a stocker in a club in the U.S. or a cashier in Brazil, to a department manager in Japan or a store manager and beyond. We are always working to improve our jobs and the lives of our associates because they are the engine that drives our company."
Last year, Walmart promoted more than 180,000 people to jobs with more responsibility and higher pay in the U.S. About 75 percent of its store and club management in the U.S. started as hourly associates and their average pay is between $50,000 and $170,000 a year.
Kay Hastreiter is representing her store from Yankton, S.D., and says she is honored to be a part of this year's Shareholders events. Hastreiter sees herself advancing with the company. She began her career with Walmart as a temporary associate and is now a full-time zone manager over the fresh department. "I love that you can move around within the store and never have to leave the company to learn something new. The possibilities are endless."
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 more than 10,800 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 2.2 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 corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at twitter.com/walmartnewsroom. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com and www.samsclub.com.
SOURCE Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.