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    Walmart Announces New Grocery Focus

    The retail giant rolls out a money-back fresh produce guarantee.

    BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- To reinforce the quality and freshness of its produce offerings, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. today introduced a 100-percent money-back guarantee. If shoppers aren’t totally satisfied with the produce they buy at Walmart stores, they can bring back their receipts for a full refund without having to return the items -- no questions asked.

    “We’re listening to our customers and delivering on our promise to offer great produce at the most affordable price,” noted Jack Sinclair, executive vice president of the food business for Walmart U.S. in Bentonville, Ark. “We are so sure our customers will be pleased with the fruits and vegetables they buy in our stores, they can receive a full refund if they aren’t completely happy.”

    Along with the money-back guarantee, the retailer is making changes across its produce sourcing, training and operations. The company’s new fresh produce initiative also calls for:

    • Delivering produce from farms to store shelves faster by purchasing fruits and vegetables directly from growers and leveraging Walmart’s produce experts, distribution centers and trucking systems;
       
    • Conducting independent weekly checks in its more than 3,400 Walmart Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and Express Stores that carry produce. Results will be reported to every level of store management. Through the initiative, Walmart will benchmark itself and its competitors week over week; and
       
    • Launching Fresh Produce Schools and other expanded training programs to 70,000 associates. The new training program will feature produce schools at which store managers, market managers and produce department managers from every U.S. Walmart location will learn more about handling fruits and vegetables. Associates will also receive quality guides that clearly illustrate how to identify top produce.

    Additionally, to boost its produce quality and freshness, Walmart has tapped produce experts to work directly with farmers in the key growing regions where it has produce-buying offices. The company has made a commitment to double its sales of locally grown produce by December 2015.

    The company’s produce offices, together with its advanced supply chain and efficient trucking network, have allowed the retailer to decrease the days necessary to transport produce from growers to individual stores, resulting in fresher product for consumers.

    “Empowering our associates with the tools to guarantee our produce quality is a critical component to our 100 percent money-back guarantee,” added Sinclair. “These efforts, combined with the weekly produce checks and operational changes, will ensure our customers bring home the freshest fruits and vegetables.”

    Wal-Mart Stores Inc. operates more than 10,800 stores under 69 banners in 27 countries.

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