Wal-Mart US CEO, Bill Simon, spoke today at the National Retail Federation's 2013 Big Show, and introduced several major initiatives related to job creation and the economy. Most importantly, a reinvigorated commitment to sourcing products made in the U.S.
WWD reports that Simon dismissed the myth that Wal-Mart sources most of its merchandise overseas. "Made in the U.S. accounts for two-thirds of what we sell," Simon said. "Today, we will make a commitment to add an additional $50 billion in made in America goods over the next 10 years. Wal-Mart will manufacture apparel, home, games, pet supplies and high-end electronics to start. Simon appealed to the audience of retail professionals, saying that if everyone participated, "We could source $500 billion worth" of merchandise.
Another intiative stated was that Wal-mart will offer jobs to the nation's veterans. Beginning on Memorial Day, they pledged to hire any veteran seeking employment that has been honorably discharged within the last 12 months. Wal-Mart expects to hire 100,000 veterans over the next 10 years.
Simon assured that Wal-Mart's "pay and benefits are in the top half of retail," he said, even as the Retail Action Network was holding a protest outside the Jacob K Javits Center. Wal-Mart posts 15,000 to 50,000 job openings per year and offer opportunites for job advancement such as assistant store manager and manager positions.