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Greg Foran has been CEO of Walmart U.S. for eight months and during that time he has visited several of the company’s roughly 4,500 stores, assessing various elements that impact the overall customer experience and customer engagement levels.
During a Strategic Update Conference Call on Wednesday, Foran stressed that 2015 will be the year of “improving our stores.”
“I’ve spent quite a lot of time around our stores, listening and learning, whether it’s walking with the third shift by the night managers in Wichita or stocking the shelves with our associates in Sioux Falls or talking about out of stocks with customers on the sidewalk in Nashville, or listening to customer calls at our call centers,” Foran said, according to Seeking Alpha. “Why? Because it’s the way we do business. It’s where the moments of truth occur whether it be cleaned stores, in-stock quality, ease of store pick-ups, or checking out.”
Foran talked about opportunities to improve the customer experience.
“When I say opportunities, I mean areas where we can further strengthen our shop-keeping skills and, in turn, the customer experience,” he added. “Our processes require some rework, might be overnight stocking, markdown cadence, rotation of fresh food are just some. We want this year to be the year of improving our stores so by the time we hit holiday season, our stores are clean, tidy, well merchandised, and run by engaged associates.”
Foran said Walmart’s inventory quantity and flow “can be better. We’ve got too much inventory in the backrooms and our processes are not where we want them to be and that’s causing some undue shrinkage and some out of stocks. We’ve had too many PDQs or displays, not allowing associates to merchandise the store.”
Some of the other key areas of focus for 2015 will be:
Improving store layout and design.
Integrating the store network with the company’s digital operations.
Optimizing store space by offering more services such as more gas stations, healthcare clinics, and financial services.
Reduce prices even further.
Sell more items that customers want, particularly in the food business.
Make headquarters coordinate better with stores.
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