Walmart Suppliers to Make Shoes, Curtains, Jars in U.S.

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Obama, Lew, Pritzker, Deliver Remarks At SelectUSA 2013 Investment Summit
Alex Wong/Getty ImagesWalmart U.S. President and CEO Bill Simon speaks Thursday during the inaugural SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington.
By Elvina Nawaguna

WASHINGTON -- The world's largest retailer Walmart Stores Inc. announced Thursday three new manufacturing projects by suppliers in the United States to produce footwear, curtains and glassware as part of a broader commitment to "buy American."

Bill Simon, Walmart's U.S. president and CEO, made the announcement with U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker at SelectUSA, a two-day event designed to promote investment and job creation in the United States.

President Barack Obama, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and other top officials will also speak at the SelectUSA conference.

Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart (WMT), the largest private employer in the world and with some 1.3 million employees in the United States, said the three projects would create 385 jobs.

"It takes a lot of entrepreneurship; it takes a lot of innovation; it takes a lot of conviction to make that decision to take that step to invest capitol here," Simon said.

Elan-Polo Inc. will start production of injection-molded footwear in March at a factory in Hazelhurst, Ga. %VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%The company previously made the shoes overseas. At the press conference Elan-Polo CEO Joe Russell cited "support and encouragement" from Walmart, which it has been supplying with goods for 35 years.

EveryWare Global Inc. will produce canning jars for Walmart at its Monaca, Pa., facility, establishing a new made in the U.S. product line. And Louis Hornick and Co., a Walmart supplier for four decades, will establish a new facility in Allendale County, S.C., to make window coverings and home textiles.

"Our next goal is to encourage other businesses just like these to step up to the plate," Pritzker said.

Thursday's announcement was part of Walmart's pledge, announced in January to buy an additional $50 billion in U.S.-made products over the next decade. In August, the company held a "manufacturing summit" attended by more than 500 suppliers from 34 states clamoring to get a slice of the action.

Reuters reported in September that in advance of Walmart's patriotic pledge, many of the company's long-time suppliers had already decided to produce in the United States as rising wages in China and elsewhere eroded the allure of offshore production.

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18 Facts About Walmart That Will Blow Your Mind
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Walmart Suppliers to Make Shoes, Curtains, Jars in U.S.

In fiscal year 2012, Walmart registered approximately $444 billion in sales, which is $20 billion more than Austria's GDP. If Walmart were a country, it would be the 26th largest economy in the world.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Andrew Bossi

Walmart has more employees worldwide — 2.2 million — than the population of Houston. The mega-retailer employs 1.4 million people in the U.S. alone.

Source: Walmart Corporate & Financial Fact Sheet

Photo: Flickr, jimmywayne

If Walmart were an army, it would have the second largest military in the world, behind China.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons, BrokenSphere

Walmart is bigger than Home Depot, Kroger, Target, Sears, Costco, and K-Mart combined.

Source: Seeking Alpha

Photo: Flickr, Kevin Dooley

The average family of four spends over $4,000 a year at Walmart.

Source: Otherwords.org

Each week, Walmart serves more than 200 million customers at more than 10,400 stores in 27 countries.

Source: Walmart Corporate & Financial Fact Sheet

One of every four dollars Americans spend on groceries is spent at Walmart.

Source: Otherwords.org

Photo: Flickr, G.e.o.r.g.e

In 2010, CEO Michael Duke's annual salary of $35 million earned him more in an hour than a full-time employee makes in an entire year.

Source: ABC News

In 2009, Walmart sold more bananas than any other item.

Source: Bloomberg

Photo: Flickr, PinkMoose

China's exports to Walmart accounted for 11 percent of the growth of the total U.S. trade deficit with China between 2001 and 2006.

Source: Economic Policy Institute

Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Agnieszka Bojczuk

If Walmart's more than 900 million square feet of retail space were spread out over one place it would take up roughly 34 square miles, which is about 1.5 times the size of Manhattan.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons: Daniel Schwen

Walmart parking lots alone take up an area roughly the size of Tampa, Florida.

Source: Walmart Watch

Photo: Wikimedia Commons: Wt90401

In 2000, Walmart was sued 4,851 times, or about once every 2 hours.

Source: USA Today

Photo: Wikimedia Commons, maveric2003

90 percent of all Americans live within 15 miles of a Walmart.

Source: Business Pundit

The Walton family has given away about 2 percent of its net worth to charity — Bill Gates is giving away 48 percent of his net worth and Warren Buffet 78 percent of his net worth.

Source: Business Pundit

An additional Walmart Supercenter per 100,000 residents increases average BMI (body mass index) by 0.25 units and the obesity rate by 2.4 percent.

Source: SSRN

The most frequent destination typed into GPS device Telenav is Walmart.

Source: Wireless and Mobile News

Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Attitude2000

Roughly 4,700 (about 90 percent) of international stores operate under a banner other than Walmart, including Walmex in Mexico, Asda in the UK, Seiyu in Japan, and Best Price in India.

Source: Walmart Corporate & Financial Fact Sheet

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