Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's biggest retailer, said Tuesday it would spend $50 billion more on U.S.-made goods and boost hiring of military service veterans to support the nation's economy.
Walmart and members-only Sam's Club will buy an additional $50 billion worth of domestic products over the next 10 years, the company said.
Wal-Mart noted that two-thirds of its spending on products for Walmart U.S. already goes to U.S. products.
“Don’t forget, we run a pretty large grocery business. According to data from our suppliers, items that are made here, sourced here, or grown here account for about two-thirds of what we spend to buy products at Walmart U.S.,” Walmart U.S. President and CEO Bill Simon said at the National Retail Federation convention, according to the text of his speech.
The U.S. goods included in the latest move include sporting goods, apparel basics, storage products, games and paper products.
Firm Also Will Promote U.S. Manufacturing
The company pledged to help promote U.S. production in "high potential" areas like textiles, furniture and higher-end appliances.
The nation's largest employer also announced plans to hire more than 100,000 military veterans over the next five years.
Beginning on May 27, this year's Memorial Day holiday, Wal-Mart will offer a job to any honorably discharged veteran within the first 12 months of his or her leaving active duty.
"Taking action on the economy is our responsibility as Americans, but it's also our opportunity as retailers," said Simon in his speech.
"We in this room can invest. We can grow, and we can hire -- and we can use the power of what we buy and sell to make a difference."
The Bentonville, Ark.-based company employs about 1.4 million people in its Walmart chain.
The move follows a rise in domestic production by several U.S. companies in the past several years, due in part to rising wages for production abroad and a desire to bring output closer to clients.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013
Read more about Walmart's decision in Will Walmart be the Ringleader in Bringing More Manufacturing Back to the US?