Why Walmart Plans to Spend an Additional $350 Billion with U.S. Manufacturers
“Supporting American jobs is part of who we are,” said John Furner, Walmart U.S. president and CEO.
Walmart plans to stay at home more in the next 10 years. The nation’s largest retailer said it will spend an additional $350 billion on items made, grown or assembled in the U.S. over the next decade.
In a blog on the company’s website, Walmart U.S. President and CEO John Furner said data shows the company’s spend will support more than 750,000 new American jobs.
“We’ve identified six priority categories to focus on: plastics; textiles; small electrical appliances; food processing; pharmaceutical and medical supplies; and Goods Not For Resale (GNFR),” Furner added.
When Furner joined Walmart in 1993, he said he remembered hearing about the company’s commitment to buy products that support American jobs, which was a continuation of Walmart Founder Sam Walton’s “Bring it Home to the USA” initiative, launched in 1985.
“Supporting American jobs is part of who we are,” Furner said.
In 2013, Furner said Walmart made a bold commitment to invest $250 billion in products made, grown or assembled in America. “We wanted to bring great new products to our customers that are sourced locally, and we wanted to support more jobs in the U.S.,” he added. “We’re on track to deliver on this commitment, but we think we can do more.”
Furner said more businesses are choosing to establish their manufacturing operations in the United States, and the result is more jobs for Americans.
“I just visited the town of Anderson, S.C. There’s a great company there — Techtronic Industries or TTI — that employs more than 1,500 people and assembles products that are sold in Walmart stores and on Walmart.com,” Furner said. “Even better, they plan to double their headcount in Anderson over the next two years.
Furner noted that Walmart’s commitment will include an estimated 100 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions avoided by sourcing closer to its customers. He said it will also mean an increase in spending and support for small businesses and diverse suppliers and sellers who are based here in the U.S., and it will provide the opportunity for 9,000 entrepreneurs to become Walmart suppliers and sellers through its annual Open Call events.
Furner also said Walmart is launching a concept called “American Lighthouses,” which will unite key stakeholders in specific regions of the country to identify and overcome top-down 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,” Furner said. “By bringing together key regions and various stakeholders, we can make the supply chain more efficient. The aim is to bring U.S. manufacturing back in a sustainable, long-term way.”
Furner stressed the importance of U.S. manufacturing.
“It matters to our suppliers, to entrepreneurs and to the environment. It matters to our customers — more than 85% of which have said it’s important for us to carry products made or assembled in the U.S.” he added. “And most of all, because of the jobs it brings, it matters to American communities and the people who live in them.”