top of page

5 lessons Credit Unions can learn from Walmart's recent pandemic success

Spoiler alert: Mix bricks with clicks

Walmart's recent earnings report revealed that the company's total revenue had increased by 9% year-on-year, making it the highest increase in nearly two decades. This increase is despite $900 million in COVID-19 spending.

What lessons can credit unions take away from this success?

1. Contain expenses

The cost of sales rose about 10% year on year and is roughly in line with revenues.

2. Leadership that embraces a growth mindset

Increase what is working. Walmart offers a ship from store service. Before the pandemic, it was available in about 100 of the 5,000 stores. They quickly expanded that to 2,500 stores.

3. Create new solutions

They piloted a two-hour delivery service at 100 stores in April and had already expanded it to 1,000 stores, with plans to double that.

4. Identify competitive advantage

Amazon, clearly the online behemoth, has struggled to gain a secure foothold in grocery delivery. Their purchase of Whole Foods, a higher-end grocery store chain, provided 500 stores, and their cheaper Amazon Fresh option could not keep up with demand. Walmart, with its "everyday low prices" capitalized on this advantage and saw the number of people placing online orders increased four times this quarter over that from the same time a year ago.

5. Leverage data

Walmart's spend to build a first-rate BI and data infrastructure paid off in the pandemic. It provided insights into how to keep expenses in moderation and, very precisely, spend for maximum benefit.

Five actions that credit unions can take today

1.Contain expenses

Clearly easier said than done.

2. Increase what is working

Now that members are using online channels, offering more through those channels and re-thinking the branch's use.

3. Create new solutions

Members have two simple needs, 1 ) how to maximize their cash flow and 2) how to safely engage in this new world.

4. Identify competitive advantage

What are credit unions doing better/different than the competition? The obvious answer is knowing the member like family and helping them in ways that only credit unions do - fundraisers, charity drives, and the best financial partner.

5. Leverage data

Now is a great time to leverage all that robust data credit unions have. Here are the last five blogs that offer several ways to leverage data.


Curious to learn more about data strategy, assessing current data conditions, creating a member-centric strategy, and more? We've got your back! THRIVE Strategic Services is offering two ways to fill your data knowledge gaps. #1: Join our monthly ONLINE data education offerings! Plan on attending any of these online learning opportunities. Learn & Listen Casual conversations are FREE 45 min casual conversations around key data topics. They are the starter or appetizer in your data education. Not too heavy but still satisfying. Power hour - deep topic drill-downs are 1 hour ($35) lecture format sessions that will provide clarity and value. These are definitely your power backed energy-bowl of data topic. Densely packed with information that will make you happy you experienced one. #2 Purchase the best foundational primer on data transformation available to the credit union industry. Written for credit unions by a credit union expert Big Data/Big Climb: A credit Union playbook for leveraging data and talent to achieve revolutionary member relationships Hailed as a "must-have book," It cuts through techno-jargon and translates data transformation concepts into a playbook filled with real-world examples, assessment guides, and other tools needed to reduce member friction, analyze actual competition, and identify disruption to improve the lives of its members and gain competitive advantage.

41 views0 comments


bottom of page