Tampa, Fla. — Walmart Inc. kicked off its 2-day 2023 Investment Community meeting in Tampa, Fla., where leadership highlighted how the company is investing to strengthen its business through its people and an unparalleled, next generation supply chain network of stores, clubs and fulfillment centers, and driving future global growth opportunities across its omnichannel ecosystem and high value initiatives.
“We are in a unique position to serve our customers and members however they want to shop, which will fuel continued growth,” says Doug McMillon, Walmart’s president and chief executive officer. “As we grow, we will improve our operating margin through productivity advancements and our category and business mix, and drive returns through operating margin expansion and capital prioritization.”
As part of the meeting, the company highlighted its purpose, unique culture and the importance of its associates and unveiled its plan for a new more connected and automated supply chain which will improve the experience for its customers and associates and simultaneously increase productivity.
Through its extensive work, Walmart is reengineering its supply chain to fulfill customer needs with a more intelligent and connected omnichannel network that is enabled by greater use of data, more intelligent software and automation. The outcome improves in-stock, inventory accuracy and flow whether customers shop in stores, pickup, or have a delivery.
Walmart showcased its supply chain innovation at its Brooksville, Fla., regional distribution center, as one piece of how the company is building a scaled system of supply chain capabilities that uses a combination of data, software and robotics. Through automation and state-of-the-art technology, the company illustrated how the increased item storage allows the distribution center to provide a more consistent, predictable and higher quality delivery service to stores and customers and react more quickly to customer demand.
Stores operate as a place to shop and as fulfillment centers and delivery stations. Distribution and fulfillment centers hold a mix of items, from suppliers and sellers. This allows Walmart to use its existing assets more flexibly and efficiently for new ways of working.
By the end of fiscal year 2026, Walmart believes roughly 65% of stores will be serviced by automation, approximately 55% of the fulfillment center volume will move through automated facilities, and unit cost averages could improve by approximately 20%.
As the changes are implemented across the business, one of the outcomes is roles that require less physical labor but have a higher rate of pay. Over time, the company anticipates increased throughput per person, due to the automation while maintaining or even increasing its number of associates as new roles are created.
“It all starts with our associates,” McMillon says. “We are a people-led, tech-powered omnichannel retailer. As it relates to being people-led, it’s about purpose, values, culture, opportunity and belonging. We serve our associates by creating opportunities. Opportunities that turn jobs into careers. We help bring dignity to work by enabling them to see how they’re serving others, as part of a team, and helping them achieve their potential. And as we serve them, they serve our customers and members well…they make the difference.”
According to John David Rainey, Walmart’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, Walmart aims to achieve 4% sales growth over the next 3-5 years.
Walmart Inc. operates more than 10,500 stores and numerous e-commerce websites in 20 countries. For more information, visit www.corporate.walmart.com.
SOURCE: Walmart Inc.