OPERATIONS

Wal-Mart launches global women’s economic empowerment initiatives

BY Staff Writer

Bentonville, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores unveiled a multibillion-dollar women¹s initiative whereby it double the money it spends with women-owned businesses, train women around the world and push major suppliers to use more women and minorities on work they do for the retailer. The ambitious program comes three months after the U.S. Supreme Court threw out a massive, class-action gender- bias lawsuit against the retailer.

The plan includes buying $20 billion of products from U.S. female-owned businesses in the next five years and training women to work in factories and retail around the globe. Wal-Mart also will provide more than $100 million in grants to non-profit organizations aiding women.

“We’re stepping up our efforts to help educate, source from and open markets for women around the world,” CEO Mike Duke said in a statement. “We want women to view us as a retailer that is relevant to them and cares about them. We want them to be leading suppliers, managers and loyal customers."

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Walmart pushes mobile and social media initiatives with key acquisition

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Bentonville, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores said Wednesday that its technology unit, @WalmartLabs, has acquired Boulder, Colo.-based mobile and social advertising firm OneRiot.

OneRiot’s technology will become part of WalmartLabs’ mobile and social shopping efforts, allowing the retailer to hone its social media skills and develop a variety of shopping and retail-related applications.

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Whole Foods daily deal hits record

BY Staff Writer

Portland, Ore. — Daily deal site LivingSocial said Tuesday that it has reached new records with its first nationwide grocery deal, implemented with Whole Foods Market.

The debut deal offered shoppers $20 worth of products at Whole Foods for $10.

According to LivingSocial, the program was selling at the rate of 115,000 deals an hour. The company planned to sell up to one million of the deals, which became available at 5 a.m. ET on Tuesday and was scheduled to run until the same time Wednesday. However, by midday Tuesday about half were gone, and the deal was expected to sell out early.

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