BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores today announced new sourcing, quality control and employee training strategies for its fresh produce, which is now backed by a 100% money-back guarantee.
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As part of the initiative, Wal-Mart has reduced the number of days it takes for produce to travel from the fields to store shelves. The retailer also hired produce experts to work with farmers in important growing regions as part of its efforts to source more fruits and vegetables locally.
Wal-Mart said it will conduct weekly produce checks to assess quality in its stores and those of its competitors.
Finally, the retailer recently rolled out a “produce school” where 70,000 employees from all U.S. stores will receive training in produce handling and quality guidelines.
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"We're listening to our customers and delivering on our promise to offer great produce at the most affordable price," Jack Sinclair, executive vice president of the food business for Walmart U.S., said in a statement. "We are so sure our customers will be pleased with the fruits and vegetables they buy in our stores, they can receive a full refund if they aren't completely happy."
The new measures should help Wal-Mart increase grocery comps in the second half of 2013, according to analysts at Citi Research. The retailer achieved mid single-digit positive comp in produce and market share gains for the 13 weeks ending on March 30, according to Nielsen.
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