OPERATIONS

Walmart offers response to New York Times article

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Bentonville, Ark. — In response to the New York Times article about compliance with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Wal-Mart VP corporate communications, David Tovar on Tuesday made the following statement:

“Walmart has been working diligently on U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) compliance and has a rigorous process in place to quickly and aggressively manage issues like this when they arise,” Tovar said. “In the last year, we have taken a number of specific, concrete actions to investigate this matter and strengthen our global FCPA compliance processes and procedures around the world and in Bentonville and Mexico.”

Tovar added, “In Bentonville, we have added a series of new escalation and review protocols to ensure FCPA investigations are managed consistently and independently. This ensures investigations are conducted rigorously and the findings are appropriately addressed.”

According to Tovar, Wal-Mart has created a new Global FCPA Compliance Officer position, with responsibility for compliance with the FCPA in every market around the world and will oversee five FCPA compliance directors based in the international markets.


“In Mexico,” added Tovar, “we have taken a number of actions to establish stronger FCPA compliance.” He said Wal-Mart has implemented enhanced FCPA compliance measures including:

  • Robust policies and procedures;
  • Internal controls;
  • Training;
  • Enhanced auditing procedures; and
  • Issue escalation and remediation protocols.

“We established a dedicated FCPA compliance director in Mexico who reports directly to our new Global FCPA Compliance Officer in Bentonville,” Tovar said. “All of this is in addition to the worldwide review of our anti-corruption program that we initiated in March of 2011. We are taking a deep look at our policies and procedures in every country in which we operate. This includes developing and implementing recommendations for FCPA training, anti-corruption safeguards, and internal controls.”

Tovar cautioned that some of the information being circulated should be kept in context, such as:

  1. “The allegations in The New York Times story about the decisions made in Bentonville are more than six years old.
  2. Six months ago, we launched an aggressive investigation under the auspices and supervision of the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors into the issues contained in the article. We are working quickly to determine what happened and are committed to getting to the bottom of this matter.
  3. We are continuing to cooperate with federal law enforcement authorities.”

“The Audit Committee of the board is overseeing the investigation and is comprised entirely of independent directors, who are assisted by outside legal advisors and forensic accountants,” said Tovar. “The Audit Committee is being briefed on this matter on a regular basis and they have instructed the company to use whatever resources necessary to conduct an independent investigation.

“In March 2011, Walmart president and CEO Mike Duke directed the company to conduct a worldwide FCPA compliance review designed to ensure effective policies and procedures are in place in every country in which we operate. Mike is fully supportive of the independent investigation being conducted in Mexico with oversight by the Audit Committee, including ensuring that all resources necessary are available to pursue the independent investigation aggressively.

“We will not tolerate noncompliance with FCPA anywhere or at any level of the company.

“We are confident we are conducting a comprehensive investigation and if violations of our policies occurred, we will take appropriate action.
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J.Fonder says:
Oct-24-2012 03:24 pm

That is true but the New York
That is true but the New York consumers are more optimistic about the future than they have been in five years, a Siena College poll released today showed. The survey, conducted in September through random phone calls to 800 New Yorkers, measured people’s willingness to spend as opposed to their ability to spend. http://www.musclemaximizerexpert.com. The index is on a scale of 1 to 150 points, and 75 points is the break-even threshold between pessimism and optimism. Respondents’ future optimism increased by almost six points since August, to 80.3, the highest since March 2007. That’s higher than the nation’s future optimism rating of 73.5.

J.Fonder says:
Oct-24-2012 03:24 pm

That is true but the New York consumers are more optimistic about the future than they have been in five years, a Siena College poll released today showed. The survey, conducted in September through random phone calls to 800 New Yorkers, measured people’s willingness to spend as opposed to their ability to spend. http://www.musclemaximizerexpert.com. The index is on a scale of 1 to 150 points, and 75 points is the break-even threshold between pessimism and optimism. Respondents’ future optimism increased by almost six points since August, to 80.3, the highest since March 2007. That’s higher than the nation’s future optimism rating of 73.5.

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FINANCE

Survey: Mother’s spending expected to rise in over last year

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Washington, D.C. — Survey results released Tuesday by the National Retail Federation said that consumers are expected to stretch their dollars a little further this Mother’s Day to make sure mom has the perfect day.

According to NRF’s 2012 Mother’s Day consumer spending survey conducted by BIGinsight, the average person celebrating the holiday is expected to spend $152.52 on gifts, up from $140.73 last year. Total spending is expected to reach $18.6 billion.


“Despite grappling with high gas prices, Americans will look for sentimental and unique ways to shower mom with affection this year,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “As one of the most important holidays of the year, consumers can expect to see a wide range of promotions from mom’s favorite retailers leading up to the big day, including savings on apparel and electronics and even special Mother’s Day menu options at restaurants.”



According to the survey, consumers will spoil mom with special meals and/or outings, clothing, electronics, flowers and more. Two-thirds (66.4%) will buy flowers, spending a total of $2.2 billion, and nearly one-third (32.8%) will treat mom to a new blouse or sweater, spending $1.6 billion on clothing and accessories. Those buying electronics (12.7%) will shell out a total of $1.6 billion on tablets, digital cameras and more, and over half (54.3%) of all celebrants will treat mom to a nice dinner or brunch, spending $3.4 billion. Additionally, consumers will shell out $1.8 billion on gift cards and $1.3 billion on personal services such as a trip to a day spa.



When it comes to where people will shop, the survey found nearly two-thirds (35.6%) of gift buyers will shop at a department store, the most in the survey’s history. Adults ages 18-24 also prefer to shop at department stores where more than half (55.7%) will look for the perfect gift for mom. Other shoppers will head to discount stores (30.2%), specialty stores including jewelers, florists and electronics stores (36.3%) and specialty clothing stores (8.2%). One-quarter (25.6%) of shoppers will buy their gifts online, up from 21.5% last year.



Mobile and tablet owners will keep a keen eye out for deals this Mother’s Day as nearly four in 10 (39.3%) smartphone owners and 51.2% of tablet owners plan to use their devices to research products/compare prices, redeem coupons, look up retailer information and purchase gift items. Specifically for tablet owners, nearly one-quarter (24.4%) will purchase a gift for mom, 35.7% will research products and compare prices, and 19.6% will look up retailer information such as store hours and location. Tablet owners ages 18-24 and 25-34 will make the most of their device as 40.4% and 40.9%, respectively, plan to shop and purchase gift items for mom via their tablets.

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OPERATIONS

NPD: Most shoppers say price has to be right before they shop

BY Staff Writer

Port Washington, N.Y. — Price trumps sales and special deals, customer service, and convenience as a factor in deciding where to shop for the majority of U.S. consumers, according to a survey by The NPD Group.

NPD’s The Economy Tracker, a monthly monitor of consumer sentiment about the economy and spending, found that in the most recent survey, 85% of U.S. consumers said that price will be an extremely important/important factor in deciding where to shop in the near future, 10% more than those who feel sales and special deals are extremely important/important.

By income, 87% of those in the household income bracket of $25,000 to $50,000 selected price as extremely important/important, 85% in the $50,000 to $100,000 income bracket, and 82% in the $100,000 plus bracket,.

Seventy-nine percent of young adults, 18 to 34, 86% of 35 to 44 year-olds, 88% of 45 to 54 year-olds, 89% of 55 to 64 year-olds and 86% of 65 and older said that price was extremely important/important.

“Shoppers are now savvier when spending money. They have new ways of gauging the marketplace – they can compare prices on the Web while at home or while standing in a brick-and-mortar store with their smartphones,” said John Deputato, senior VP advanced analytics at NPD. “We certainly have moved to a time of calculated consumption for shoppers… and price has come to the forefront of the purchase decision.”

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