US – American multinational retail corporation Walmart has announced plans to invest upwards of US$350 billion in US manufacturing over the next 10 years.
Through the initiative, Walmart hopes to create more than 750, 000 new jobs for Americans while at the same time contributing to the nation’s economic growth.
This is not the first time the retail chain, which is one of the largest in the world, is making such grand commitments.
In 2013, it made a commitment to invest US$250 billion in products made, grown, or assembled in America.
Walmart says it is on track to deliver on that commitment – and expand on it with its recent commitments announced in March, this year.
“U.S. manufacturing matters to our suppliers, to entrepreneurs, and to the environment,” said John Furner, President & CEO, Walmart U.S.
“It matters to our customers – more than 85 percent of which have said it’s important for us to carry products made or assembled in the U.S.
And most of all, because of the jobs it brings, it matters to American communities and the people who live in them,” Furner added.
Walmart has identified six priority categories on which to focus its investment: textiles; plastics; small electrical appliances; food processing; pharmaceutical and medical supplies; and Goods Not For Resale (GNFR).
The impact of this commitment goes beyond products and jobs.
It could result in an estimated reduction of as much as 100M metric tons of CO2 emissions avoided by sourcing closer to customers, as well as an increase in spending with diverse suppliers based in the U.S.
Walmart’s American Lighthouses
In addition, Walmart plans to launch a new concept called “American Lighthouses,” with the goal of supporting U.S. manufacturing in a sustainable, long-term way.
The retailer plans to unite key stakeholders in specific regions of the country to identify and overcome barriers to U.S. production.
These Lighthouses will bring together participants from the supplier community, including manufacturers and NGOs, as well as others from academia, government, and local economic development groups.
Walmart’s announcement drew bipartisan support from federal officials who represent states that are home to Walmart suppliers.
“It is an honor to have Walmart’s CEO John Furner launch the company’s 10-year investment from TTI’s Anderson, South Carolina, facility,” said U.S. Senator Tim Scott, a Republican from South Carolina.
“I am passionate about bolstering the American supply chain and creating more high-paying jobs in South Carolina and for folks all across the country. Congratulations and thank you to Walmart for the great impact you will continue to make on our nation’s economy.”
Meanwhile in Japan, Walmart completed selling part of its stake in Japanese retail Chain Seiyu to its partners KKR and Rakuten.
Consequently, leading global investment firm KKR will now become the majority shareholder in Seiyu while Rakuten will control a 20% stake in the Japanese retailer.
Walmart retains a 15% stake in Seiyu and will, together with its partners KKR and Rakuten, assist in accelerating Seiyu’s digital transformation to become Japan’s leading omnichannel retailer.
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