Inside This Issue - News
Corporate culture will ensure further growth
June 20th, 2011
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Walmart’s top priority is growth, president and chief executive officer Mike Duke told associates and shareholders at the company’s recent annual meeting here.
By growth, Duke explained, he meant, "growth in sales, growth in the number of customers, and growth through new stores and acquisitions."
Such new markets as Africa, where Walmart has been given the green light to enter as a result of its acquisition of Massmart, are an important part of that growth picture, Duke said, but so is boosting sales — including same-store sales — in the United States.
"Comp sales growth in Walmart U.S. remains the greatest priority for me and the entire Walmart U.S. team," Duke stated. "Bill [Simon] has the right plan, and it is gaining traction."
Duke said Walmart’s other top priorities are renewing the company’s emphasis on everyday-low prices and everyday-low costs, expanding global e-commerce, putting more focus on developing management talent, and expanding the “live better” part
of its brand promise through its efforts on sustainability and other issues.
Duke said Walmart’s culture would let it meet those goals. “The same culture that drove our growth during our first 50 years can drive our growth for the next 50 years,” he remarked.
Walmart also announced that its board had approved a new $15 billion share repurchase program. It replaces the $15 billion share repurchase program announced last year, which still had about $2 billion of remaining authorization.
"Our purchase of almost $13 billion of Walmart stock since last June is indicative of our strong free cash flow position," Walmart executive vice president and chief financial officer Charles Holley said. "We are pleased to continue our share repurchase program with this new $15 billion authorization."