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Walmart Nabs Good PR With Veteran Hiring, 'Buy American' Efforts

January 15, 2013

After having been pounded by negative coverage since April for everything from allegedly bribing Mexican officials to its employees supposedly staging a wildcat Black Friday strike, Walmart generated some favorable coverage today by promising to hire veterans and buy more products made in the U.S.

But data from social-media and consumer surveys suggest Walmart will need a lot more good days to counter the impact from months of unfavorable publicity, which have driven down the retail behemoth's favorability metrics.

In a speech to the National Retail Federation annual convention, previewed by a story in The New York Times, Walmart U.S. CEO Bill Simon said the retailer is pledging to hire any honorably discharged veteran who wants a job -- starting on Memorial Day. Mr. Simon also told the NRF that Walmart will buy an additional $50 billion in U.S.-made merchandise over the next 10 years.

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