Walmart International Recap: Celebrating Wins From Around the Globe

Associates Week 2024

At Associates Week 2024, markets from across the globe share how we’re bringing Walmart’s purpose to life.

a group of international associates smiling and clapping

The skies were just beginning to clear over Fayetteville, Arkansas, as associates from all over the world poured into Barnhill Arena for the 2024 International Associates Conference. 

Inside, the big screen lit up with images of associates carrying a Walmart spark torch across the globe, before an associate sprinted across the stage and held the Walmart spark high to thunderous applause.

This year’s theme, “Winning in 2024,” highlights not only Walmart’s impact in communities near and far, but also how associates are making a difference for customers every day.

Thousands of associates were in attendance, representing over 2 million associates from all over the world, including Africa, Canada, Central America, Chile, China, India and Mexico.

“Never forget that our biggest contribution — across the world — is lowering the cost of living for everybody,” urged Kath McLay, president and CEO of Walmart International. “That’s our ‘why.’ And you bring the ‘why’ to life. You make a day in the life better for our customers, members and your fellow associates.”

Unified and winning in 2024

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon took the stage to welcome associates and share what Associates Week is all about. 

“The number one reason that we want you to come is so that we can say thank you,” Doug said. “But we also gather to talk about our values, culture and history because these things work, and they make our associates feel seen. “

While working retail demands agility and openness to change, our values and our purpose everywhere we operate are constant. 

“There’s magic in deciding what stays consistent and what we change,” Doug said. “I think that’s some of the key choices that we make as a team. And the things I would put on the list that we would want to perpetuate, nurture and strengthen look like this. It’s our purpose.”

Lessons from leaders 

Next, Kath invited the presidents from each market to the stage.

When she asked their advice for all the leaders in the arena, answers included: “Lead with your heart,” from Gonzalo Gebara, Walmart Canada’s CEO. “Channel your inner 8-year-old and be curious, ask why,” from Leigh Hopkins, executive vice president of Asia and Walmex, and an important reminder from China’s CEO, Christina Zhu, “Leaders create hope.” 

Cristina Ronski, CEO, Centroamerica, touched on the theme of the day, saying “You never lose. You win or you learn.”

Wins across the world

Leaders from each of the markets presented successes, punctuated by associates representing their heritage with regional dances for the enthusiastic crowd. 

You know we love to share our wins, and the markets had many to celebrate! Did you know Walmart Chile is the third largest employer in the country, and also tripled sales in the last 15 years? Or that the PhonePe app now has 535 million lifetime registered users? Who’s the number-one omnichannel grocer in China? Walmart, of course! (In fact, 80% of Walmart China's online orders are delivered in one hour!)

In all of these examples, it’s clear what the winning ingredient is. Gonzalo said it best: “As we continue to evolve, we will continue to rely on one critical thing: associates.”

Celebrating our growth

The celebration came with a surprise concert by Canadian rocker n’ roller Bryan Adams who had the crowd singing and dancing. (What better way to celebrate Walmart Canada’s 30-year anniversary?

Kath closed the meeting with a conversation on Walmart’s International growth with Rob Walton, retired chairman of the board of Walmart and son of founder Sam Walton.

“We lost dad in 1992,” Rob reflected. “And for David Glass, for me, our leadership group and the family, the most important thing was that we maintain that culture that Sam Walton established and I’m really proud you have — that all of you have.”

“And we promise to keep it going,” Kath said, followed by a tremendous cheer of agreement by the crowd. 

There’s more Associates Week excitement on the way, so follow along all week on Workplace, Walmart World social accounts and don’t forget to follow our event hashtag, #WMT2024.

Read more about all things Associates Week right here and check out the full meeting below. Due to licensing agreements, all celebrity appearances have been removed.

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