Brett Biggs, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Remarks at 2019 Walmart Associate and Shareholders Meeting
<i>The following are prepared remarks for Brett Biggs, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, at the 2019 Walmart Associate and Shareholders Meeting on June 7, 2019.</i><br/><br/>This year marks the 50<sup>th</sup> anniversary of Neil Armstrong becoming the first person to walk on the moon, which was one of the greatest feats of human innovation and teamwork, and it was truly a global event.<br/><br/>About eight years before that, U.S. President John F. Kennedy made a commitment that we would put a man on the moon and bring him back which is incredibly important if you’re the guy being sent to the moon. When President Kennedy made this commitment, many, including the team at NASA, didn’t know for sure if it was even possible. Okay, you're thinking, great story so, what does this have to do with Walmart? <br/><br/>Well, just months after the commitment to go to the moon another historic event was unfolding right here in Northwest Arkansas when Sam Walton and his family opened the first Walmart discount store. Mr. Sam had been working in retail for years and saw an opportunity to create a business model that could disrupt everything people knew about retail. Mr. Sam set out on a mission to help ALL people save money and live better — which was a bold goal. You see, most big, "successful" retailers had only focused on large cities.<br/><br/>Sam wanted everyone to have the same benefit of low prices no matter where they lived.<br/>But, like the moon commitment, some thought his ideas wouldn’t work. One word for that: wrong!<br/><br/>Store number 1 in Rogers, Arkansas that you see here did about $1 million dollars in sales the first year. Not bad. Check out this number: $514 billion. That’s our revenue this past year! We might be a big company some day.<br/><br/>Let me tell you some more amazing things about your company. We have operations in 38 countries including our sourcing offices. Last year, we generated just under $28 billion in operating cash flow. Over the past three years combined, that number is about $88 billion. <br/><br/>We have one of the highest credit ratings in the world because of our size and strength. We returned $13.5 billion to Shareholders last year and we recently increased our dividend for the 46<sup>th</sup> straight year. <br/><br/>Our expenses as a percent of sales decreased last year. Thank you for helping us control our costs. Inventory as a percent of sales decreased. You’ve done a great job in managing inventory levels while keeping in-stock levels high for our customers. <br/><br/>Here's a really amazing fact: Over the last three years, we’ve grown sales by about $32 billion. That’s the equivalent of adding a Fortune 100 company, a company with the sales volume of Coca-Cola. Our company is so strong! <br/><br/>These results are only possible because of our amazing associates all over the world. Is anyone here from Walmart U.S.? Walmart U.S. comp sales grew 3.6 percent last year – the highest annual growth rate in 10 years.<br/><br/>How about U.S. eCommerce? Sales grew 40 percent last year, nearly doubling the size of that business over the past two years.<br/><br/>Sam’s Club? Last year, Sam’s Club comp sales, excluding fuel and tobacco, increased 5.7 percent.<br/><br/>And I know there are a few people here from our international markets. 8 of 10 markets posted positive comp sales last year. And we acquired a majority stake in Flipkart in India, which is a very important part of our long-term strategy.<br/><br/>At Walmart, those big numbers are simply a result of thousands and thousands of daily actions by individual associates and teams. Let me give you a couple of examples. Henry Akwamensah and our International Supply Chain team developed a new app called “Plan your Day” to help warehouse associates be more efficient. <br/><br/>This app is in use in Central America and has driven a 20 percent efficiency in service to the stores. And the really cool thing is that the app is now being deployed across the Walmart International Supply Chain. Henry, let us recognize you. Great work!<br/><br/>And you knew we would have a sales example, right? Sales drive everything. Ryan Joash is a fresh team associate at Store 4390 in Enid, Oklahoma. He’s driven a 380% sales increase in chuck roast… not the flashiest product to try to grow sales… but the type of product that is so important to our customers. He saw an opportunity to drive sales with this item, so he ordered more inventory and started promoting it to customers. <br/><br/>He won over a small business, Sandy’s Tacos, which is now ordering the roasts weekly to supply their restaurant. Now, they are also buying several thousand dollars of produce and other items each month! <br/><br/>That’s how you take a common item and drive sales with creativity and passion. Ryan is here with us. Can you stand? Way to go, Ryan! <br/><br/>Sam Walton once summed up Walmart like this: “Ordinary people joined together to accomplish extraordinary things.” Those stories along with the incredible numbers we’ve shared this morning are exactly what Mr. Sam was talking about. <br/><br/>Let’s finish up with one more number: This is our stock price for the last three years on the day of the Shareholders meeting: 3 years ago: $70.87. Two years ago: $79.62. One year ago: $82.99.<br/><br/>I like the trend. But what I really like is our stock price as of yesterday! $105.11. <br/><br/>That means that over the past three years the value of our company has grown by about $90 billion. Our investors are noticing what we’re doing, and they see a bright future. And it's because of you! Your curiosity. Your ideas. Your teamwork. Your leadership. Your desire to win… every day! You are extraordinary people doing extraordinary things!<br/><br/>I've been with this great company for 19 years and I've never been more excited about what we can do together in the future. We may not be sending people to the moon, but we’re making a massive difference in the lives of the 275 million customers we serve each week around the globe. Thank you for all that you do in making this one of the greatest companies in the world!
Summertime is here, mamas! And while we couldn’t be more thrilled about beach outings and pool days, both of those activities require one major thing—getting into a bathing suit. No easy feat when you’re not pregnant (FYI: we tested many and these are our favorite five), but it’s even tougher when you are prego and your body is changing daily.
To help, we’ve rounded up 15 super-cute maternity bathing suit options for you this summer. From girly one pieces (like Old Navy’s watermelon-pattered cutie that, btw, has matching options for dads, toddlers and girls!) to color-blocked bikinis that will ensure your bump gets nice and tan, we’ve got something to fit every mama’s personal style. Because we want you to love your pregnant body and celebrate it—you know the saying: Suns out… bumps out!
The best part? They start at just $22! Happy shopping, mamas.
Motherhood Maternity ruffle front one-shoulder swimsuit with UPF 50+
Super flattering with a ruffle and in navy polka dots, this suit will be your go-to all summer long.
Hatch Antigua maillot
Did we mention we love ruffles? This beauty from Hatch is sweet as can be, and while it’s on the pricier side, the quality is there and it will last you multiple pregnancies.
ASOS Design maternity recycled glam high-neck swimsuit
Who says you need to be in a boring black bathing suit all summer? Let’s embrace color (and some sexy drama!) with this high-neck suit that will have everyone asking where on Earth you found such a fun maternity look.
Price: Sale $33.50 (Regularly $48.00)
Motherhood Maternity “Beach Bump” maternity one-piece swimsuit with UPF 50+
This suit is anything but plain with it’s adorable “beach bump” sign.
H&M; Mama swimsuit
Spice up your pool days with this super fun pattern that is also super flattering—after all, it’s hard to spot flaws with all that leopard going on. The wrapped top, low-cut back and ruched siding all add to why we love this one so much.
Hatch color-block bikini frutto
Show off the bump in this color-blocked bikini that looks like something straight out of the 1950s.
H&M; Mama swimsuit with ruffles
Bohemian perfection, this suit is perfectly on-trend for the season.
Price: Sale $24.99 (Regularly $34.99)
A Pea in a Pod rib knit striped maternity one-piece swimsuit
Preppy but also a little bit sexy thanks to the cleavage-baring peephole, this suit screams “summer” in the best way possible.
Summersalt Maternity ribbed voyager bikini top & bottom
Summersalt is one of our favorite swimwear brands and they just released maternity options! Giving their ubiquitous high-waisted bikini bottoms the prego treatment, this is one suit that will grow with you from first to third trimester.
Bikini top price: $50.00
Bikini bottom price: $45.00
Pez D’or stripe one-piece maternity swimsuit for Nordstrom
Love you some stripes? Then you can’t go wrong with this halter-neck option that is flattering and cute all at once.
Old Navy Maternity halter v-neck swimsuit with UPF 40
We’re obsessed with this suite for two reasons: One, that crazy cute watermelon pattern! Two, the halter cut with tiny peephole is perfection and there’s lots of support thanks to an extra strap at mid-back.
Price: Sale $22.50 (Regularly $44.99)
Gap Maternity tie-back print one-piece suit
This one-piece is as pretty as can be with it’s tiny floral print! We love that the straps criss-cross in the back and that the sweetheart neckline drawcord is adjustable.
Price: Sale $58.99 (Regularly $69.99)
Pink Blush ruffle trim ruched one-piece maternity swimsuit
Oversized ruffle? Check. Removable straps? Check. Ruched siding? Check. Adorable baby blue hue? Check.
Jojo Maman Bebe flamingo halterneck maternity tankini
Tankinis for the win! Perfect for pulling up when you want the bump to get some sun, but tugging down when you don’t want to show some skin.
PregO Maternity Wear roll waist dot bikini set
We love how sporty chic this suit is and that you can wear it after pregnancy, too.
Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You’ve got this.
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[Editor’s Note: This is the beginning of a new weekly series where we’ll round up our favorite “Good News” stories that went viral. Enjoy!]
It’s Friday, mama! We made it! There has been a ton of heavy news to digest this week, but there have also been some amazingly good news stories to come out of the last seven days.
If you need a little positivity to carry you into the weekend, check out the headlines that made us smile this week.
This mama got her rainbow baby after 13 pregnancy losses 🌈
British mama Laura Worsley is living her dream with her baby daughter Ivy after losing a heartbreaking 13 pregnancies, People reports. She had her first miscarriage in 2008, and sadly, many more followed. “Eleven of Laura Worsley’s pregnancies ended in the first trimester but she also lost two boys at 17 and 20 weeks,” BBC News reports.
Eventually, Laura learned she was suffering from Antiphospholipid syndrome, a condition that was making it impossible for her to carry a baby. She also had Chronic Histiocytic Intervillositis happening in her placenta, which makes was causing her placenta to die in places, according to Worsley.
Finally, doctors got her on a medication to improve the lining of her uterus, and Worsley and her husband conceived baby Ivy. “I thought if there’s that one bit of hope, I had to try again,” Laura told BBC News. “I spoke to Dave about it and he felt the same. I told myself, ‘this is the last time I’m doing this.'”
On their 14th attempt (with the help of steroids and medications to suppress Worsley’s immune system and allow the pregnancy to progress) Ivy came into the world.
“Even now, nine months on, I can’t believe she’s actually mine,” Worsley told BBC News.
That adorable dad + baby from the viral video booked a Denny’s commercial
Remember that dad and the adorable babbling baby in the viral video we featured on our Facebook page earlier this month? Well, now they’ve book a Denny’s commercial! (Talk about a quick turn around!)
That original viral video surpassed 2 million views within 48 hours of being posted, so it’s no wonder the marketing team at Denny’s thought, We’ve gotta get this guy!
The cuteness is too much and the new commercial shows the dad, comedian DJ Pryor, and his 19-month-old (ADORABLE) son Kingston having a chat in a booth at Denny’s over breakfast food.
We love it and we love that it is part of a wider trend of companies showing dads in caring roles in advertising.
One woman’s color-coded grandkids are going viral
This is too cute! Mom Chrissy Roussel posted this photo of her kids and their cousins a couple of years ago (there’s been a couple of additions since!) to show all the grandkids her parents have.
“The photo was my sister’s idea,” Chrissy, who has three brothers and two sisters, told POPSUGAR. “Having a big family means lots of noise, laughter, and, most importantly, love. Between the 17 cousins, there’s always someone to play with and have fun with. They have a ball together. I loved having a big family growing up, and I’m so happy that my kids have the same experience.”
In a recent Facebook update this week, Rossel reacted to the continued vitality of her colorful photo.
“I have to say we had NO IDEA this picture would be shared so much and resonate with so many people. We just thought it would be a fun pic to take of all the cousins while we were at the beach. My sister Maryellen suggested the shirts, and my amazingly talented SIL Katie (Annabelle Rose Photography) took the pics,” Roussel wrote in on her Facebook page.
Parents are loving these potentially life-saving seat-belt straps!
Australian mom Natalie Bell is going super viral for her seat belt steps for special needs kids. She runs Personalised By Nat, a company where she creates personalized stuff and came up with the idea to make seat belt straps that can inform first responders of a child’s issues in the event of an accident.
“I always wonder what would happen if I was in a car accident with my daughter in the car and I was unable to let the doctors know that my daughter could not have a MRI due to having a cochlear implant, now I don’t need to worry about that with these seat belt covers,” she wrote.
“These can be made for any special needs that the medical team will need to know if you are unable to tell them.”
As Yahoo News reports, overnight the post went viral and parents were talking about what a great idea it is.
“My husband is part of Fire and Rescue and said that this is a brilliant idea,” one comment wrote.
“Such a valuable piece that provides a lot of information clearly so that [responders] involved can approach situations with knowledge and care,” said another.
The Rock can’t build a doll house 😂
We love The Rock’s dad moments. He consistently cracks us up, and this week he had an epic dad problem. His little daughter, Jazzy, (seriously, look at this kiddo, she’s too cute) got a dollhouse which is “assembly required” and The Rock does not have the toy assembling skills to meet that requirement.
“My ‘On my way out the door to get my morning workout in before work and my 3yr old Jazzy says Daddy can you put together this Barbie house please’ look,” The Rock captioned the above photo.
We totally get you, Dwayne. All those little plastic parts can be a challenge, even for someone who swings from skyscrapers. 😂
Apparently, Jazzy’s mom, Lauren Hashian, is the chief dollhouse builder in that household.
Young boys are wearing Women’s National Team jerseys, proving that hero athletes can be any gender 💪
Okay, so the Women’s National Soccer team is killin’ it, but as the Washington Post reports, the women’s team is still not paid equal to the mens’ team (even though they are winning more and attracting more fans).
But, as Chicago Tribune columnist Heidi Stevens writes, young male soccer fans clearly understand how awesome the women’s team is because boys are starting to rock women’s team jerseys in schools!
While young girls often walk around in jerseys with male athletes names on the back, it’s new to see boys wearing the names of women athletes on such a large scale.
This is a big deal for girls and boys, and it’s awesome.