If you wake up with a notion for 7 days in a row, go for it!
My practice in Walmart is in full swing now. After an eventful weekend marked by hiking and visiting a modern theater in yet another magnificent building constructed by the Walton family, I’m about to begin another week.
My schedule includes a meeting with Walmart’s CEO Doug McMillon who is literally adored around here – his incredible journey from the bottom of the company to its head is truly admirable, and also a trip to New York – I’ll describe it in more detail closer to the end of the week.
I spent the entire Monday in the company of Shelley Huff, Vice-President of Merchandise at Walmart.com. Of course, Shelley and I spoke a lot about the online future, about the ways of utilizing new technologies and current drawbacks of the modern retail. At this moment in time Walmart is actively investing in the online sector, purchasing websites and expanding its product range. The
speed at which the biggest company in the world is snatching away the best of American online-retail is truly astonishing.
In order to meet me, my new mentor had to travel all the way from San Francisco. To make my education truly memorable and useful, Shelley arranged the meetings mainly with people who were
dealing with production of clothes. In one of the previous posts about Walmart I mentioned some figures that can give you a better understanding of the true scale of this company – without any
exaggeration, this store dresses up half of the American population.
Throughout my career I’ve gotten a great insight into the industries of both ready-made clothes and high fashion, production of fabric and accessories, and now I had the opportunity to “cross off”
another domain of fashion – the manufacturing process of mass-market products. The run of one item of these might exceed 5-7 million pieces – once again I cannot give specific numbers, but the sales volume of clothes in Walmart is incomparable with any other retailer that I have researched before my trip to America.
In order to manufacture such an item of clothing, it takes no less technological resources and working hours than to produce the haute couture dress – the reason being that this item will eventually end up in the wardrobe of nearly 10% of Americans, therefore there is no room for mistake for any participant of the manufacturing process. I had the opportunity to speak not only to the employees directly responsible for the production and search of the factories all over the world (it takes immense efforts – both from contractors and retailors as well – to organize production on such a huge scale and to deliver the goods in a given time), but also with technical designers who are responsible for rendering every new model of clothing. When I asked them if they bought clothes in Walmart, they burst out laughing: “Yes, as we are the ones who test it.”
Every single person that I met the day I got acquainted with the process of production of clothes at
Walmart – was a true fan of his or her work. Here, in Walmart, everyone constantly mentions the great mission that unites the employees of the company – make the life of their customers better and more affordable. One can only envy the professional approach of the employees of Walmart when manufacturing even the simplest item of clothing.