Bentonville, Ark. - Walmart cited greater cost efficiencies and dominance
in global e-commerce as two of its top five strategic goals.
The strategies were outlined by president/CEO Mike Duke in a
letter to shareholders that accompanied the retailer's 2012 annual report and
"There is no doubt Walmart is the best-positioned global
retailer," Duke wrote, noting net sales last year increased by 5.9 percent to
$443.9 billion. "We believe that we have all the pieces in place to build on
our success and deliver value for our customers and shareholders again this
To do so, the world's
largest retailer is investing in people, technology, innovation and
infrastructure, which together with social and environmental activism comprise
the five strategies that Duke described as "key to Walmart's future."
The strategies include:
developing the company's people;
driving the productivity loop that enables
Walmart to operate for less, so the company can sell for less and increase
winning in global e-commerce;
reinvigorating Walmart's customer-focused
leading on social and environmental issues.
To help meet its global e-commerce goals, Walmart nominated to
its board Google's first female engineer and current local and maps VP Marissa
Mayer. "At Walmart, we are focused on giving our millions of customers around
the globe â€˜anytime anywhere' access whether it is through a mobile device,
online or in a physical store," said Walmart chairman Rob Walton. "We are on
the cusp of a massive transformation in the way people shop in our increasingly
connected world. Marissa's insights and expertise in the technology and
consumer areas are valuable assets to Walmart as we move forward."
The company also marked its 50th anniversary with the
release of its annual "Global Responsibility Report," which pointed to an 81 percent
reduction in landfill waste, the use of 1.1 billion kW hours of renewable
energy, and saving customers $1 billion on fresh fruits and vegetables since
launching a healthy food initiative with first lady Michelle Obama in January
Walmart's annual shareholders' meeting is slated for June 1.
In other Walmart news, the retailer may be planning to open
expanded Apple display areas within its CE departments, akin to those at Best
Buy and Target. According to a report and photos at ifoAppleStore.com,
an in-store Apple shop has already been built at a Walmart location in Lowell,