Catherine – Buyer, Seafood
$250 billion: the amount Walmart pledged to source from American manufacturers by 2023. That’s about equal to the annual Gross Domestic Product of Finland. Is that not wild? Even greater, Walmart estimates this pledge will eventually add more than a million jobs to the U.S. economy; that’s more jobs than there are people in San Jose, CA. I think these are pretty impressive numbers, and driving those is exactly what it means to work at Walmart. When this pledge – Walmart U.S. Commitment to Manufacturing – was announced two years ago, some called it crazy. As a Walmart buyer, I called it ambitious. But when I think about the progress we’ve made, I realize that it means a whole lot more to me and our buying team.
Walmart U.S. Commitment to Manufacturing is helping the buying culture and relationships with buyers, suppliers and stakeholders shift completely. Here are a couple of key ways I’ve witnessed this initiative make Walmart a better place to work, do business with and shop:
- For Walmart associates like me, the commitment really helps us remember that the work we’re doing every day is changing lives in companies all over the country. We’re helping them grow, improve their operations and save costs while creating thousands of American jobs and helping provide for their families. We’re getting to see the results of our work in real life. To me, this purpose-driven work motivates people to work better, convey responsibility to others and produce results in unlikely places.
- For suppliers, the commitment makes the prospect of doing business with Walmart a lot more realistic. Many are intimidated by our size, our visibility and volume, and the impact that developing a product fit for mass market can have on a business. Our commitment to U.S. Manufacturing created a library of information to prepare and empower suppliers as well as our inaugural “Made in the USA” Open Call for Suppliers. More than 500 American companies of all sizes took center stage here last year, and we’re expecting more at this year’s event. We’re providing our partners access to our sustainability team, ethics teams and other experts in industry. Chef Jenn is one of our new suppliers who became part of the Walmart supplier family following last year’s Open Call, and I couldn’t be more excited to help her launch her brand at Walmart this month.
- For customers, our commitment to U.S. manufacturing means so many more locally-sourced products are making it to store shelves – and into American homes – affordably. Walmart has full teams dedicated to making sure all suppliers are putting food safety, sustainability and ethical sourcing at the forefront of their business. Combine these with our famous everyday low prices and we feel our team is doing a pretty good job at improving industry in the U.S.
It’s not hard to think about the several ways this benefits our country, companies that operate here and their owners. Just take a look at more than a dozen videos that highlight those impacted. Most importantly, the greatest benefit will be for our customers, since they will have access to an ever-growing assortment of U.S. products. I guess you could consider Walmart’s commitment a rebirth for American manufacturing, and I can say the same for my career as a buyer here. I won’t say it’s made my job easier, but seeing how I’m making a direct difference in people’s lives definitely makes it more rewarding. Don’t just take my word for it. Check out our “Open Call” and “I am A Factory” videos below, and browse our open jobs in merchandising and buying to become part of our commitment.
Happy Anniversary to the commitment! We’ve got a long way to go to meet our goal in the next eight years, but we’re on track, and I’ve never been more proud to be a Walmart buyer.