NEW YORK-Walmart and Sam’s Club will buy an additional $50 billion in products made in the United States over the next 10 years, according to Bill Simon, president and CEO of Walmart U.S.
Speaking at the National Retail Federation’s Big Show here, Simon said the company will increase its domestic sourcing on two fronts: by helping manufacturers of home goods such as textiles, furniture and higher-end appliances to boost their U.S. production, and by increasing what it already buys here in categories such as sporting goods, apparel basics, storage products, games and paper products. “We are meeting with our suppliers on domestic manufacturing and are making a strong commitment to move this forward,” he said.
Walmart has already created what it described as a “senior team” to carry out this effort, and said it would sign longer-term purchase agreements “to give suppliers more certainty.” Simon said he has also talked with several state governors—including Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, the incoming chair of the National Governors Association—about how governors, retailers and manufacturers can drive the issue of boosting U.S. manufacturing together. Also, Walmart will help convene a manufacturing summit for stakeholders to work together and help accelerate this effort sometime this summer.
Simon also said Walmart has begun efforts to help veterans find jobs when they come off active duty and to help its part-time associates make the transition to becoming full-time employees. The company will offer a job to any honorably discharged veteran in his or her first 12 months of active duty beginning this coming Memorial Day, and expects to hire more than 100,000 veterans over the next five years.