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Entries in Walmart (42)

Thursday
Jan192012

Walmart Launches ‘Get on the Shelf’ Contest

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(BENTONVILLE, Ark.) -- Talent competitions are nothing new for the entertainment industry. Whether it’s dancing, singing or telling jokes, it often seems as if it’s impossible to oversaturate the market with contests searching for the next “superstar.”

As of Thursday, Walmart, the retail behemoth, is joining the hunt, but instead of looking for the next big talent, the company is hoping to find the next “it” product.

The Get on the Shelf Contest allows anyone in the United States to submit a video online pitching his or her invention. The products will be voted on by the public and three winners will have their products sold on Walmart.com, with the grand-prize winner also getting shelf space in select stores.

“Walmart has the best products at everyday low prices, but we know there are some great undiscovered products that have not yet reached our shelves,” Venky Harinarayan, senior vice president of Walmart Global e-commerce, said in a press release. “For a long time, the ability to get a product into a retail store was at the sole discretion of the store buyer. Today, we are removing these barriers by giving anyone a chance to launch their product at Walmart and reach millions of shoppers nationwide.”

Walmart is accepting submissions until Feb. 22 and online voting will take place in March and April. The winners of the competition will be announced at the end of April.

Click Here to Enter the Get on the Shelf Contest.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio 

Thursday
Nov102011

Walmart Reveals Black Friday Ad Early

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(BENTONVILLE, Ark.) -- The holiday shopping season is getting an early start as Walmart announced its stores will open at 10 p.m. and revealed its deals on Thursday. Meanwhile, Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Macy's, Kohl's and Target are reportedly embracing a midnight schedule.

Walmart is trying to get a leg up on its competitors by revealing its deals much earlier than it did last year on Nov. 22.

The company said deals on toys, home items and clothing will start at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving day. Electronics deals will start at midnight, including over $100 off an Xbox360 game console. Other deals will begin at 8 a.m. on Black Friday.

At Walmart.com, customers can sign up to receive an early preview of Black Friday deals by entering their email address to sign up. The store is also allowing shoppers to sign up through the company's Facebook page.

Competitiveness in the retail sector intensifies every holiday season, though Target said it still plans to reveal its Black Friday deals the day before Thanksgiving. Holiday activity provides about 20 percent of retailers' annual sales every year.

Last week, Amazon launched its early Black Friday deals store for those looking for discounts on such products as cameras, video games and jewelry.

Because of an anemic economy, many retailers are trying to lure customers as analysts predict an average holiday shopping season. According to the National Retail Federal, retail sales for 2011 are expected to increase 2.8 percent to $465.6 billion.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct272011

Walmart Plaintiffs File Amended Sex Discrimination Complaint

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- After a big defeat at the Supreme Court last spring, current and former female Walmart employees filed an amended complaint in federal court Thursday hoping to band together as a smaller class and sue the retailing behemoth for sex discrimination.

Last spring, the Supreme Court ruled that the original case, which had grown into a challenge involving hundreds of thousands of female employees across the country and potentially billions of dollars, could not go forward.

Plaintiffs had claimed they could prove Walmart discriminated against all women employees by using statistics, by alleging that the company’s corporate culture was suffused with gender stereotypes, and by pointing to the company’s practice of allowing local managers wide discretion in hiring and promoting, which supposedly allowed those stereotypes to impact the lives of women employees.

However, Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for himself and the other conservative justices on the bench, ruled that the women failed to prove a common practice or policy of discrimination at Walmart that would allow them to band together and bring the suit.

The amended complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, limits the potential class to current and former employees who worked in the company’s California stores. Experts say the plaintiffs will have to do more than show their newly constructed class of employees is smaller.

Greg Rossiter, a spokesman for Walmart, said he believes the courts will ultimately reject the class action suit.

“As we have said all along, these claims are unsuitable for class treatment because the situations of each individual are so different and because the claims of the plaintiffs are not representative of the thousands of women that work in Walmart,” he said. “The fact is, the statewide class that the plaintiff’s lawyers now propose is no more appropriate then the nationwide class that the Supreme Court has already rejected. ”

Plaintiffs’ lawyers say in the coming months they will file similar, smaller class action suits across the country.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct262011

How Does Walmart’s Price Match Measure Up with Other Retailers?

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(BENTONVILLE, Ark.) -- Walmart has announced that it’s beefing up its price matching policy for the holidays, but is the company’s new policy any better than what competitors are offering?

The temporary price-matching policy will give customers a store gift card for the difference of any eligible product purchased from Nov. 1-Dec. 25 that is found at another store for a lower price.

“The great gift we can give our customers this holiday is great low prices on the things they want most,” Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchandising officer of Walmart U.S., said in a statement.  “Walmart is easing shopping stress this Christmas by allowing customers to shop when and how they want, all while guaranteeing low prices through the entire holiday season.”

The move comes as the 2011 holiday season, which accounts for a good portion of retailers’ annual revenue, is ramping up.

But price-matching is not new to Walmart or other big retailers.  Numerous retailers like Target, Sears and Best Buy have price matching policies in place year-round.

With holiday shoppers expected to be tight-fisted this year, price matching is one way to lure consumers to retailers.  So as retailers duke it out for the projected $465 billion in retail sales, here’s a match up of pricing policies at some of the nation’s top retailers:

-- Staples
“If you find a lower price anywhere else on a new identical item, just show us the lower price when you buy the item at Staples and we will match the price, or within 14 days of your Staples purchase and we will give you the difference,” according to the website.

-- Target
“If you find an item in a competitor’s printed ad that is priced lower than it is at your Target store, we will match the price. The competitor’s ad must be local and current, and the product must be the identical item, brand name, quantity and model number,” according to the company’s website.  Customers have within seven days of purchase to make a claim.  Target.com, the online entity of the company, is excluded from price matching.

-- Sears
“If you find a lower price on an identical branded item with the same features (in Consumer Electronics identical brand and model number) currently available for sale at another local competitor retail store, Sears will match that price plus give you 10% of the difference. Just bring in the original advertisement to a sales associate at the time of, or within 14 days after, your purchase,” according to Sears.com.

-- Best Buy
“Best Buy will match the price if you find a lower price on an identical available product at a local retail competitor’s store, a local Best Buy retail store or BestBuy.com. Simply let us know when you are making your purchase or during the return and exchange period. Perfect Match Promise products have an extended 60-day price match period,” according to the company’s website.

-- Amazon
“With the exception of TVs, Amazon.com doesn’t price-match with other retailers (including those who sell their items on our website). We do, however, consistently work toward maintaining competitive prices on everything we carry,” according to Amazon.com.

-- Home Depot
“If you find a current lower price on an identical, in-stock item from any local retailer, we will match the price and beat it by 10%. Excludes special orders, bid pricing, volume discounts, open-box merchandise, labor and installation, sales tax, rebate and free offers, typographical errors and online purchases,” according to the company’s website.

-- Lowe’s
“If you find a lower everyday price on an identical item at a local retail competitor, just bring us the competitor’s current ad and we’ll beat their price by 10%. If a competitor is offering a percent off discount, we’ll reduce our current price by the same percentage discount that the competitor is offering,” according to the Lowe’s website.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep082011

Walmart to Offer Layaway Option this Holiday Season

ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images(BENTONVILLE, Ark.) -- Walmart announced that it will offer a holiday layaway program for two of the season’s most popular gift categories: electronics and toys. This program is set to kick off on Oct. 17 and run through Dec. 16.

Customers have long expressed their desire for the service, and the company finally announced the news to its nearly 9 million Facebook Fans on Thursday.

The program is will enable customers to make payments when they want and for how much they want on the most popular gifts. Both toy and electronic items with a retail price of $15 or more will be eligible for the program. Customers must also have a total minimum layaway purchase of $50, make a 10 percent down payment on the total purchase, and pay a one-time non-refundable $5 service fee.

Layaway payments can be made at any register and picking up these orders can be done at the Walmart.com counter in the majority of the stores.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug042011

Walmart and Ticketmaster Announce Partnership

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(BENTONVILLE, Ark.) -- Walmart announced a deal with Ticketmaster Wednesday that will allow customers to purchase tickets for events through kiosks inside Walmart stores across the country.

Consumers will be able to buy tickets to a variety of Ticketmaster events, including concerts, sports, and theater through a partially self-serve touchscreen kiosk. All purchases will be completed by a Walmart employee.

"By integrating ticketing into Walmart stores, we are able to offer fans this very convenient way to learn about upcoming events, purchase and take home tickets without leaving their neighborhood," said Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard. "In addition, Ticketmaster will continue to work closely with our clients to create exclusive high value offers for Walmart customers."

As part of the announcement, Ticketmaster is running a promotion through August 15 offering customers discounted four-packs of tickets to concerts Ke$ha, Toby Keith, Maroon 5, and Journey.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jul272011

Walmart, Kimberly-Clark CEOs Would Trade Tax Breaks for Lower Corporate Rate

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- At 39 percent, the United States has the highest corporate tax rates in the world. In Britain and Canada the government collects just 28 percent of corporate profits, and in Ireland companies get away with a rate as low as 12.5 percent.

In a rare moment of consensus on Capitol Hill Wednesday, both Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee agreed that in order for America to remain globally competitive against these lower rates, Congress must make drastic reforms to the tax code.

“If we're going to be competitive, we've got to get in the game,” said Finance Committee member Sen. Kent Conrad, D-ND. “Our tax code was designed at a time when we did not have to worry about the competitive position of the United States. I don’t think anybody, if they were going to sit down and devise a tax code for the United States in 2011 or 2012, would come up with one that looked anything like this one.”

Four CEOs from some of America’s largest corporations agreed. In their testimony the heads of Walmart, Kimberly-Clark, CVS Caremark and PMC-Sierra each emphasized that Congress needs to overhaul the entire system to encourage companies to invest in America and create jobs at home.

The devil, though, is in the details. The United State’s corporate tax system is an intricate web of loopholes, tax breaks and investment incentives.

For example, tax breaks for research and development saved companies $8 billion in taxes this year and an incentive to encourage domestic investment in machinery and equipment eliminated almost $40 billion from the federal coffers.

Thomas Falk, the CEO of Kimberly-Clark -- a Fortune 25 company that produces health and hygiene products such as Kleenex and Depends -- said he would give up his company’s research and manufacturing tax breaks in favor of a lower overall rate.

Falk said many companies make investment decisions based on the marginal, or overall, rate, so lowering that rate would increase companies’ ability to invest and create more jobs.

Walmart CEO Mike Duke cautioned that tax reform must not only lower the overall rate, but also revise the loopholes and address how foreign profits are taxed and brought back into the country.

But it is much easier to talk about cutting incentives than to actually eliminate them, as there are a host of corporate lobbyists whose job it is to create and protect such loopholes.

For example, just within the four-member panel there was disagreement over what the lowered tax rate should be. Falk suggested dropping the rate to 25 percent and eliminating most of the tax breaks.

But Gregory Lang, CEO of the technology corporation PMC-Sierra, said 25 percent still would not be competitive against China or India, where most technology manufacturing is located and the tax rates are only 15 to 17 percent.

With the unemployment rate still hovering around nine percent and the debt ceiling crisis threatening to rock the country’s financial system, Falk said the climate is right to push the tough pill of comprehensive tax reform through Congress.

“Our nation is facing a crisis and in a crisis you can get amazing things done. You can drive a lot of change in a short period of time and get things done that once were thought to be impossible,” he said. “I would urge you to be bold and come up with a tax system that makes American companies more competitive.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul262011

Now Playing: Movies on Walmart's Website

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(BENTONVILLE, Ark.) -- The country’s biggest retailer is jumping into the growing market for streaming videos. Walmart on Tuesday announced it will begin offering movie rentals to online customers for as cheap as one dollar each.

“By incorporating digital movie content into the Walmart.com entertainment shopping experience, we're enabling customers to easily choose how they want to enjoy their entertainment content – whether that be through a physical DVD, digital streaming or both,” said Edward Lichty at movie streaming service VUDU, a Walmart subsidiary.

Walmart joins an increasingly crowded field of movie download competitors, including Hulu, Apple TV, Netflix, and local cable providers. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jun302011

Extreme Couponer Temporarily Banned from Walmart

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NAMPA, Idaho) -- Extreme couponer April Cuevas says an altercation with a Walmart employee regarding coupon policies led to her temporary banishment from the company's more than 4,000 stores.

The penny-pincher claims that during a trip to a Nampa, Idaho, location a disagreement about competitor coupons -- which Walmart honors under certain conditions as part of its Ad Match policy -- led to an argument with a store manager at the Franklin Avenue Supercenter.

"I was going to Walmart like I usually do, and I only had a few coupons in my purse that I was going to use because I was only going for cheese, milk and candy bars," the mother of five told ABC News.

At the check-out counter, "I was trying to use a Target coupon and the checkout lady said, 'No, you can't use this.'" Cuevas, a daily Walmart shopper, asked to speak to a manager because "it doesn't say anywhere in the store [Walmart doesn't] accept competitor coupons."

"We are aware there was an incident that occurred at a store based on a coupon we should have accepted," Lorenzo Lopez, a spokeperson for Walmart, told ABC News. "We certainly understand her frustration. After gathering all information, we think both sides could have handled it differently. We have apologized to Ms. Cuevas and we have invited her back to the store. She has returned to the store since the incident."

During her quarrel with management, a separate incident took place at an aisle near Cuevas, and she began filming it with her iPhone.

"I saw four big men running toward me and I grabbed my iPhone and start recording because I thought they were headed towards me," said Cuevas. But the employees were headed to another aisle and she kept recording. According to a source familiar with the incident, the video obtained is from two isolated events.

Cuevas told ABC News that when a separate manager approached, he attempted to slap the iPhone out of her hand. After paying for her items and exiting the store, Cuevas says a woman began trailing her family through the parking lot.

"We unloaded the groceries into the car and I tried to tell my license plate number," says Cuevas. "She said, 'I already got it, and don't leave because you're leaving the scene of the crime.'"

While she was exiting the parking lot, says Cuevas, the employee began chasing the car on foot through the parking lot and the streets, frightening Cuevas enough to call the police to report the employee for chasing her family (her three daughters were with her). The dispatcher suggested the shopper pull into a nearby gas station and had an officer waiting once she pulled her vehicle into the station.

At the gas station, "the cop told me I was banned from Walmart for the rest of my life," says Cuevas. She said that when she asked the officer if it was every Walmart or the specific Walmart she recently visited, the officer stated the ban was for "all Walmarts nationwide and even Sam's Club."

The news was a surprise to Cuevas, who says she never had a similar incident with Walmart. The previous day, a store manager declined to a do an "ad match" but "they were very nice."

Cuevas says she has only returned to the store once and her ritual of buying 20 newspapers and clipping coupons with her older daughter has ended.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun292011

Walmart Case: Plaintiff Betty Dukes Tells Congress Supreme Court Got It Wrong

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Betty Dukes, the Walmart greeter who lost her bid last week to bring the largest employment discrimination class-action suit in history, told Congress on Tuesday that the Supreme Court got it wrong.

The decision to block the case from going forward, she said, will weaken women's rights to be protected against sex discrimination.

Last Tuesday, a 5-4 majority of the court ruled that nearly 1.5 million former and current Walmart employees could not go forward with their suit against the company because they failed to show that they had enough in common to bring the case. Justice Antonin Scalia said the women provided "no convincing proof" of a companywide discriminatory pay and promotion policy.

Dukes, the lead plaintiff in the case, argued that fellow plaintiffs will no longer be able to band together to bring suit, but instead will have to bring multiple challenges.

In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Dukes said the majority's opinion means "many women will give up."

"It is too hard to go up against Walmart on their own," she said.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the committee chairman, called the hearing to highlight recent Supreme Court decisions and examine their impact.

Leahy has been critical of the Walmart ruling, saying in his opening statement that the case "gives Walmart, and the rest of corporate America, a clear path to avoid company-wide sex discrimination suits: Have your lawyers write a non-discrimination policy, then allow your local branches to implement compensation decisions, and you can hide behind your policy regardless of what really happened to your employees across America."

But Andrew J. Pincus of the law firm Mayer Brown, who frequently argues business cases in the court, said Walmart plaintiffs presented the court with a "radical approach," failing to prove a critical component necessary for class-action certification: whether there are questions of law common to the class.

In his written testimony, Pincus said, "The Supreme Court majority was surely correct in concluding that the very slim body of evidence adduced by the plaintiffs simply was not sufficient to permit this gargantuan class action to move forward."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio