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Wal-Mart is successfully using e-commerce to boost sales but does not want to alienate workers who have helped drive gains with improved customer service and higher morale following a rise in base pay to $10 an hour.
"We will compete with technology, but win with people," Chief Executive Doug McMillon said at Wal-Mart's annual shareholder meeting where all the company's board member nominations were approved. "We will be people-led and tech-empowered."
The nod to store employees and the retail workforce was a departure from past years when the company focused shareholder presentations on the technology it was adopting to close the online gap with Amazon and beat other competitors.
The shift followed complaints by labor groups that Wal-Mart had to do more for workers, despite the company's $2.7bn investment in employee training and wages in 2015 and the 2016 wage increase to $10.
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