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Walmart U.S. CEO Simon rallies veterans to lead ‘American Renewal’

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Bentonville, Ark. — Walmart U.S. President and CEO Bill Simon addressed attendees at the American Legion’s 93rd National Convention on Wednesday, telling fellow Americans, veterans and Legionnaires that Walmart would create jobs in the U.S. by hiring more than 15,000 people to work in about 100 new and expanded Walmart stores by fiscal year’s end.

Simon also said the world’s largest retailer would support military veterans by doubling the company’s commitment for veterans programs to $20 million over five years, and would set a national agenda to get the economy back on track.

Simon, who served 25 years in the U.S. Navy and Naval Reserves, reminded the audience that veterans have helped lead economic growth in the past and can do so again. “Everyone is hoping the cavalry will ride in and save the day,” he said. “But you don’t need to wait for that.”

Simon reminded attendees that Walmart is a big military supporter, and its Military Family Promise program guarantees a job at a nearby store or club for all military personnel, and military spouses, employed at Walmart or Sam’s Club who move to a different part of the country because they or their spouse have been transferred by the U.S. military.

Simon also addressed the national agenda, outlining key steps the country’s government leaders should take to help get the economy back on track, including taking care of veterans upon their return home, promoting American exports and passing free trade agreements that are ready, passing a comprehensive reform of the corporate tax code to broaden the tax base and lower the overall tax rate, and working together to bring back American manufacturing.

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Whole Foods testing Wellness Club concept

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — Whole Foods Market is testing membership-only Wellness Clubs in select locations, with the initial site in the chain’s store in Dedham, Mass., USA Today reported. Four additional sites are expected to open this fall.

The company is charging a one-time fee of $199, with monthly membership dues of $45, according to the report, for which members will receive lifestyle evaluations, classes in nutrition, cooking and health and 10% off on 1,000 “better-for-you” foods sold in Whole Foods.

If the test is a success, Whole Foods will launch the concept in most of its stores, according to the report.

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Report: Former Rite Aid vice chairman released from prison

BY Allison Cerra

Camp Hill, Pa. — Franklin Brown, the former vice chairman at Rite Aid, was freed from jail on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.

Brown, who was initially sentenced to 10 years in prison for taking part in a $1.6 billion accounting scandal, was released following a resentencing hearing. He served six years of his sentence. An appeals court overturned Brown’s sentence in May, AP said.

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