Published on: June 4, 2012The Associated Press< reports that Walmart CEO Mike Duke pledged Friday at the company's annual meeting that there will be a thorough investigation to allegations that there was systemic and systematic bribery in Walmart's Mexico business that allowed it to rapidly expand there and become a dominant retail entity.
"We've all heard about the recent allegations about the company," Duke told the audience. "Let me be clear: Wal-Mart is committed to compliance and integrity everywhere we operate. I want to personally assure you, we're doing everything we can to get to the bottom of this matter."
Investigations into Walmart's actions are taking place in both the US and Mexico, even as lawsuits are filed against the company by some investors and others call for a change in the retailer's board of directors.
However, expected protests at the annual meeting did not materialize last week, and all the board members were re-elected to their posts.
Meanwhile, Kantar reports that Walmart is expanding its grocery online ordering and home delivery service to parts of Chicago and San Francisco. previously, the test was limited to San Jose.
This expansion comes just days after Walmart announced that it plans to launch a monthly mail subscription service called 'Goodies' that will allow customers to sample new foods not found in stores run by the world's biggest retailer ... Once a month, subscribers will get a surprise box of items that will include artisanal foods, the company said. At first, Wal-Mart will select the products sent to subscribers, though over time companies may be able to pay to have their products included in the Goodies boxes.
- KC's View:
- I think that the moves Walmart is making in the grocery sector are instructive, because they illustrate to a great degree how the company thinks it can generate US growth; it also, I think, suggests that Walmart will do everything it can to match Amazon move for move.
As for the bribery scandal ... I do find it interesting that management is pledging to get to the bottom of things, when the original NY Times story suggested that they were complicit in the scandal, knowing what was going on and doing everything possible to cover it up. So pledging a complete investigation sounds disingenuous at best.