Walmart CEO Talks About Thanksgiving Sales And Employees Gripes
Bill Simon, President and CEO of Walmart, appeared on the Today show this morning and said that Walmart posted excellent numbers during its Thanksgiving day. However, Simon does say that he thinks Walmart will be facing a slower holiday season this year. He cited macroeconomic factors and reduced SNAP food benefits as major factors in reduced sales. He says this is one reason the stores posted such big Black Friday sales.
Walmart remained open on Thanksgiving, and when Simon was asked if it bothered him to be open on Thanksgiving, he said “We’ve been open on Thanksgiving since the 80s… we’re in the service industry, it’s what we do… Our people are used to working on Thanksgiving, they’ve been there for quite some time.” He says the new schedule, opening the stores earlier than last year, has allowed some workers to go home earlier than prior years.
When Simon was asked about Walmart associates who are asking for a better wage from the retail giant, he explained that Walmart is proud of its associates. He says “we pay in the top half of the retail industry.” While this may be true, the associates are asking for a salary that amounts to about $25,000 per year. This salary would just barely clear the poverty level mark for a family of four. Simon says that Walmart understands employees needing to make more money. However, when asked how he felt about those employees, he once again returned to the fact that Walmart pays in the top half of retail.
With Walmart recently announcing that Mike Duke, the current CEO, will be stepping down and that Doug McMillon will be taking his place. Bill Simon’s name was one of the other names that had been tossed around for this position. When asked if he felt snubbed by Walmart’s decision to leave him in his current position as CEO of the USA, he said that Walmart and other large corporations planned transitions like this all the time. It appears that he trusts the board to do what’s best for the company.
Watch the full video below.