Walmart CEO talks about benefits of e-commerce to brick-and-mortar stores |

Walmart CEO talks about benefits of e-commerce to brick-and-mortar stores

Kate Wilkins
The Aspen Times

At age 18, Doug McMillon got an entry level job at his local Walmart. Roughly 20 years later, he was named the CEO.

McMillon spent the majority of his 20s and 30s working his way up in the company, progressing from buyer to manager, and in 2014 assuming his current position of CEO. Over the past few years, McMillon has made it a major priority to help the company work its way to the forefront of industry. Focusing on e-commerce, sustainability and accessibility, McMillon has made Walmart into a fierce competitor to Amazon.

Monday in Aspen during a session at Brainstorm Tech 2019, which is sponsored by Fortune magazine, McMillon spoke about the work he has done to bring Walmart, the largest retailer in the world, to the forefront of the e-commerce market.

“Clearly customers are responding to convenience,” he told the crowd.

He explained that the advantage Walmart has over other e-commerce giants is how many stores they have. According to McMillon, because 90% of Americans have a Walmart within 10 miles of their home, bringing more accessible options for shopping has increased Walmart’s client base exponentially.

Many locations, including the store in Glenwood Springs, have become “dual stores and pick centers,” meaning shoppers can purchase items on the website and pick them up at a close location for free. Because Walmart serves as a grocery store to many Americans, McMillon said the convenient options continues to provide great time-saving alternative to traditional shopping.

He was asked how Walmart keeps online sales from affecting sales from the brick-and-mortar locations.

“We need to minimize how we think about cannibalization in our minds,” he said explaining that people who shop online typically also shop in store, creating more revenue for shareholders.

McMillon also spoke about Walmart’s partnership with Guild Education, which provides education to employees for only a dollar a day, and has expanded the program to some high school-aged employees to jump start their college career. In addition, the company has “raised the starting wage rates by 50% in the last four years,” McMillon said, later adding that the programs’ goal is to “build tomorrow’s CEO.”