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 proxy statement.
"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 year."
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:
Â· developing the company's people;
Â· driving the productivity loop that enables Walmart to operate for less, so the company can sell for less and increase sales;
Â· winning in global e-commerce;
Â· reinvigorating Walmart's customer-focused culture; and
Â· 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 50
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 2011.
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
, an in-store Apple shop has already been built at a Walmart location in Lowell, Ark.