No More Evil Empire? How(AAPN member) Walmart’s Been Quietly Crafting a More Socially Responsible Image

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Please take a few minutes to read this great piece from Footwear News on AAPN member Walmart.

For over a decade, Walmart has used the tagline “Live better.” And over the past few years the big-box giant appears to be taking marked steps to help more of its consumers and employees do just that.

Walmart’s corporate social responsibility initiatives have “accelerated” since CEO Doug McMillon took the reins in 2014, explained Tim Campbell, director at Kantar.

“Walmart was viewed as the evil empire and that’s how they were perceived in the media, and they wanted to reverse that,” said Campbell. “They’ve launched a number of initiatives with increasing frequency.”

A few examples of these changes include revised its firearms policies, a move that followed several mass shootings in the the country, including one in a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. The chain — which has been no stranger to accusations around “corporate greed” — has also rolled out initiatives to benefits its employees, including introducing a higher minimum wage and perks aimed at boosting recruitment and retention for its workforce as national unemployment hovers around a 50-year low.

In recent years, Walmart has been “fairly consistent in upping [its] philanthropic efforts,” said Jono Bacon, consultant and author of “People Powered: How communities can supercharge your business, brand, and teams.”

“I believe all of this matches a current trend in overall corporate responsibility,” Bacon told FN. “I suspect one driving element of this is not just the welcome increase in focus on social responsibility more broadly in the industry, but also younger generations are requiring that their employees play a more active role in social responsibility.”

Below, FN rounds up five steps Walmart has recently taken to boost its corporate social responsibility. Read More