President and CEO, Walmart Canada
Lessons learned: Since the onset of the pandemic, Walmart’s strategic priorities across the globe and here in Canada have been to:
- focus on safety, support our associates and customers;
- give back to our communities through our charity partners;
- manage the urgent without losing sight of the important; and
- make strategic progress by investing in transforming all aspects of our business.
We’ve learned a lot over the past 14 months, including the resiliency of our customers and of our associates. While the pandemic continues to test our ability to pivot quickly, adapt, improvise and overcome, I’ve never felt more confident that we can handle whatever comes our way.
We also recognized that we had to balance responding to immediate challenges with making progress on longer-term priorities. We listened to customers and responded to changing behaviours by making strategic investments in innovation and technology, transforming our business and making the shopping experience simpler, faster and more convenient both in our stores and through Walmart.ca. We’re continuing to accelerate our digital transformation, launching new technologies and services – in some cases, years ahead of plan.
The new normal: One important “new normal” is a focus on physical, mental, emotional and social health. We acted quickly to make wellbeing a priority across our company.
For our associates, we have ignited an ongoing conversation around wellbeing and invested significantly to roll-out new resources like no-cost access to tele-health, support through mandated quarantines and expanded sick leaves, new training and wellbeing programs like “Thrive” (a global platform to build healthy habits and reduce stress) and “Me” days (an additional day off to be used however associates would like).
Throughout the pandemic and into the new normal, our 100,000 associates will continue to work every day to ensure we are our customers’ best and first stop—whenever and however they choose to shop with us.