Leading the Charge? More Like Leading the Change

Sustainability

One store manager is working to make plastic bags a thing of the past with positivity.

Company-wide, Walmart is working to reinvent the ways people shop for and receive their groceries. That includes what we’re packing them in!

 

Let’s be blunt, plastic bags are bad. They’re used for an average of 12 minutes and cast aside forever. They sit in landfills. They’re among the top polluting items in our major waterways. And here’s the kicker: We can get along just fine without them.

 

Don’t believe it? Let’s talk to someone who knows a thing or two about life in a store.

Renardo Page, store manager at Store 2280 in Mountain View, California

Renardo Page (pictured above), the store manager at Store 2280 in Mountain View, California, just finished piloting an alternative solution to the plastic bag. It’s called GOATOTE, and he and his associates think it’s pretty cool.

 

“When you think about going green, we all play a part,” Renardo says. “We all want to make a difference, to leave a cleaner earth for our kids, grandkids and all of those who will come after us.”

 

GOATOTE works through a new technology, which lets customers use a mobile app to “check out” reusable bags. Renardo and his associates found that piloting the new tech was, to some surprise, super simple. After customers are finished with their reusable bag, they simply return it to the GOATOTE kiosk.

“Our customers were really positive about this, and there was nothing difficult about implementing it,” Renardo says.

 

It sounds like Renardo has cracked the code when it comes to making innovative ideas work at the store level. And he wants to share advice on the topic!

 

1. Change starts with leadership.

It starts with leadership. Renardo believes leadership and teamwork play a big part in making something like GOATOTE truly successful in stores. Change doesn’t happen on its own. The success of new technology takes great leadership, new thinking and a team mentality that permeates a whole store.

 

“It’s up to us, as leaders, to make it a sunny day or a stormy day,” Renardo explains. “And in rolling out something new, the leader absolutely has to be engaged. If we’re involved, if we’re engaged, everybody will be too!”

 

Operators involved in innovation at almost any level will probably tell you something similar.

Anish Hazari, principal product manager for Walmart’s Next Gen. Stores

Take Anish Hazari (pictured above), for example. Anish is the principal product manager for Walmart’s Next Gen. Stores, who helped 2280 implement GOATOTE. He’s been with the company just over two years, and has taken part in the testing and implementation of more than one novel solution.

 

2. Change is fueled by engagement.

Anish thinks that associate engagement is the name of the game when it comes to trying something neat and new.

 

“It’s really cool to test in a Next Gen. Store because of all the associate and user feedback we get,” Anish says. “At these stores, the associates are used to change—to being at the cusp of new technologies and offerings. And it was amazing to see our associates engaged. Not only is Renardo incredibly supportive, but he has built a team that takes responsibility and wants to see this succeed!”

 

Renardo wants leaders and associates at stores around the country to start thinking differently about trying new things. He believes that with a top-down approach from leadership, we really can be the change we wish to see.

 

“We can be the difference,” Renardo says. “If we play our part, we can roll something out that, maybe, the other 4,000 stores in our company can see. And we can be the leaders—the innovators.”