Welcome to 2020. Yes, 2020. Let that sink in for a moment.
And what a 2020 it promises to be as the housewares business prepares for its annual new year’s trade show rush ahead of what has become a perennial shakeup of the retailing landscape.
Thirty years ago, when I joined HomeWorld Business as a junior editor, the big retail news was a Walmart groundswell that would move quickly into a full-blown national expansion meshing retail merchandising and operations like never before; streamlining the connection between supplier, retail and consumer; and resetting the bar and the rules for all classes of retail.
Thirty years later, the parallel between Walmart’s unprecedented and profound impact on retailing and Amazon’s assault on what have since become retailing norms is striking. The urgency to adapt, as when Walmart stormed in, often seems even more stressful today.
It is a touch ironic, if not surprising, that a retail industry looking for guidance on how to cope with stress of a radically transforming business should look up to Walmart?
With that, I’m pleased to announce that Walmart CEO Doug McMillon is the first annual HomeWorld Business Retail Executive Of The Year.
McMillion since taking the helm in 2014 has emerged as the standard bearer leading Walmart’s diverse, complex retail business into an omnichannel future when e-commerce and bricks-and-mortar combine into the foundation for convenient, seamless ordering, store pickup and delivery without compromising data integrity and customer privacy.
McMillon is enabling Walmart to embrace a retail future when technology continually improves the customer experience. He is focused on ensuring technological and operational change is consistent with Walmart’s strengths and longstanding values set in place by Sam Walton.
Hear directly from McMillon in a special Executive Of The Year video report available exclusively on HomeWorldBusiness.com. The video, directed by HomeWorld Business Executive Editor Mike Duff, reviews Walmart’s transformation under McMillon’s stewardship, implemented at a massive scale without neglecting the finest details.
As Walmart prepared in stores and online for the 2019 holiday season, the retailer reported third quarter net income of $3.29 billion, versus $1.71 billion in the quarter a year earlier. Walmart posted its sixth consecutive quarter of operating income growth, topping Wall Street earnings estimates in the process.
To many retail observers, 2019 was the year McMillon’s vision for Walmart moved decisively into reality. To hear him in the HomeWorld Business Retail Executive Of The Year video report enthusiastically discussing recent Walmart breakthroughs— from technology integration in stores to its Chinese growth through JD.com to tariff management to the new Walmart headquarters— it’s clear McMillon wants to raise the bar even higher in 2020 and beyond.
The retailing business yet again is looking up to Walmart. And that could be good for everyone.
Congratulations to Doug McMillon, the first-ever HomeWorld Business Retail Executive Of The Year.