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HOMEWORLD EXCLUSIVE: Walmart Details Plans For $50B U.S. Spend

Retailers, Walmart conspicuous among them, are finding new and creative ways to answer a consumer demand for investing in businesses based in the United States and in American jobs. As detailed in the HomeWorld Business Made in the U.S.A. issue (released July 8, 2013), retailers, with the help of vendors, are finding fresh approaches to satisfying customer insistence on support for the American economy.

The Made in the U.S.A. issue notes the commitment that Walmart has made to spend $50 billion more with American-based companies over the next 10 years. The retailer plans to do so, it said, by growing with existing American suppliers, attracting new vendors with domestic operations and shifting goods now imported to production in the United States. The commitment includes products available through Walmart namesake operations in the U.S. as well as Sam’s Club.

In an interview with HomeWorld Business, Greg Hall, vp/U.S. sourcing and manufacturing, reiterated a declaration included in the Made in the U.S.A. story, that Walmart is reviewing 1,300 categories to determine how it can boost participation of U.S.-based companies in each segment. He added that the company is weighting transportation, labor and energy inputs as it looks to balance U.S. production costs versus the price of overseas manufacturing and importing. It also is assessing opportunity costs associated with import lag times.

The evaluation process may be ongoing, but Walmart already is executing on its $50 billion commitment. Among other initiatives the retailer is working with is the Hanna’s Candles Co., Hall said. Walmart has been working to help the supplier expand production in the United States, an effort that already is close to a multi-million dollar goal set for U.S. sales, Hall noted.

Walmart is working more closely with a range of vendors to boost commitment to U.S. business operations, Hall said, a contention that, as noted in the HomeWorld Business Made in the U.S.A. issue, is confirmed by suppliers. In the past few months, the generally theoretical interest retailers have had in goods from American producers has become an active one, and many are working with their supplier partners to boost domestic capacity, said many.

Hall stated that Walmart is ready to do its part.

“We can collaborate with manufacturers, make longer term product commitments on basic goods and help connect them with the best resources so they can make the most informed decisions about capital investments,” he said.

For more on Made in the U.S.A., Walmart, the efforts of other retailers and vendor activity, see the July 8 issue of HomeWorld Business. For more details on Walmart’s execution of its U.S. purchasing commitment, see the upcoming July 22 issue of HomeWorld Business.