Wal-Mart to hire veterans, buy more American products
But even with the additional $5 billion that Wal-Mart plans to spend each year - the breakdown of $50 billion over 10 years - the amount that the company will spend each year on buying goods in the U.S. will only account for 2 percent of its total spending in the country. In the fiscal year that ended in January 2012, Wal-Mart bought $238.8 billion in goods for its U.S. stores.
"They sound impressive when you first hear the numbers but when you begin to look at them, it's a very tiny scale that doesn't add up to much," said Stacy Mitchell, senior researcher at the Institute for Local Self Reliance, a nonprofit national research organization.
The final piece of Wal-Mart's plan is to help part-time Wal-Mart workers transition into full-time employment if they so desire. Among the strategies, Wal-Mart said it will make sure that its part-time workers have "first shot" at the full-time job openings in the stores in their area.
Wal-Mart said the move will give part-time employees much higher earning potential. About 75 percent of its store management start as salespeople, who earn an average of $12.47 hourly. Managers, the company said, can make an average of $50,000 to $170,000 a year.
"There are some fundamental misunderstandings out there about retail jobs, and we need to do better at explaining the opportunities we offer," Simon, Wal-Mart's CEO, said.
Would you like to contribute to this story? Join the discussion.