Last week Bentonville based Walmart held its 2019 Walmart Associate and Shareholders Meeting on June 7, 2019. The annual event, a combination of business meeting and high energy concert, took place at the Bud Walton Arena on the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville.

The dynamic event was hosted by actress Jennifer Garner and featured numerous musical performances. Performers included Lady Antebellum, Bebe Rexha, Maren Morris and One Republic.

Much of the press has revolved around Doug McMillon, President and CEO exciting statement “Here’s How Walmart Will Thrive” which included announcements designed to give families back some time and increase wages. (and the cool new vests)

“What’s the one thing busy families can’t buy at Walmart? Time. Or is it? Lately, our associates have been solving problems that enable our customers to kind of “buy” time by shopping with us.”

Thus the launch of InHome Delivery and the new Sam’s Club new app called Sam’s Garage

As well as Walmart’s commitment to increasing the wages of its associates.

“Over the last four years, we’ve invested an incremental $4.5 billion in pay for store and club associates in the U.S. alone. Our starting wage rate is up 50% in that time. We’ve increased the number of full-time roles, and we now stand at 60% full-time in the U.S., ahead of industry average.”

Notable for Private Brand…

Greg Foran, President, and CEO, Walmart U.S. noted several private brand accomplishments in the opening of his remarks.

“How’s everyone doing? I want to start by thanking the U.S. team. You turned in a fantastic performance last year. You kept the momentum going with Online Grocery Pickup. You implemented a lot of new technology. And Comp sales were strong helped by some great work by our merchants including a reinvention of our apparel with new brands Wonder Nation, Terra and Sky, and Time and True. And great items like the new Marketside fresh soups.”

Marc Lore, President and CEO, Walmart eCommerce U.S session included a humorous guest appearance by Modem Family star Sofia Vergara. She plugged her exclusive licensed private brand Sofía Jeans by Sofía Vergara. The line is introducing a new summer collection which features 32 pieces – including maxi dresses, tops, rompers, and of course – more denim.

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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.