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Sam's Club CEO: We're seeing a lot of pressure, particularly in those paper good spaces

In a new interview with Yahoo Finance anchor Alexis Christoforous, Sam's Club CEO Kathryn McLay said that the company is actively working to mitigate the effects of supply chain issues, and that she's 'most proud' of Sam's Club's ability to retain its employees.

Video Transcript

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Have you seen any signs of panic buying because of the supply chain issue? It sort of hearkens back to the peak of the pandemic when people were running out to get paper goods and couldn't find them, because, more and more, lots of stores-- regular grocery stores-- their shelves are going bare because they just can't get their hands on some of the essentials.

KATHRYN MCLAY: Yeah, I mean, we did see another peak in kind of toilet paper and paper goods supplies. Our sales were really strong throughout the last few months in those areas, kind of akin to what we saw at the start of the pandemic. And so we've been working actively with a number of our suppliers on how do we make sure that we continue to get that flow of product through. They're probably the areas where we're seeing a lot of pressure, particularly in those paper goods spaces. But you know, there's also still pressure on the fresh food supply chains and a lot of planning and a lot of working hard, you know, and cooperatively to make sure that we still remain in stock.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: And certainly, having this supply is part of the formula, but you also need to have the staff to execute. And we keep hearing about the "great resignation," and people are just leaving their jobs in droves I'm wondering what you are seeing at Sam's Club in terms of your employees. What's your retention rate like, and are you having some challenging times hiring for the holidays?

KATHRYN MCLAY: Yeah, it's probably the statistic that I am most proud of, Alexis. Our clubs have been at full staffing for probably now over 3% months. And so there's a lot of things that went into that.

A little while ago, we announced that we're at $15 as a minimum wage, but our average wage is actually around $17.30. And so that has been a multi-year program to kind of build up our wage rate to make sure that we have what we call "destination jobs" and "career ladders."

And so, you know, there's a different kind of methodology for how we reward each role, but some of those destination roles-- we're looking at, like, cake decorators and meat cutters and forklift drivers. We want them to be remunerated-- sorry-- in a way that is really attractive and people can see that as a destination job.

And then we also have these roles that are more career ladders that will start the bottom of the rung and work their way up, because we really see retail as that kind of transition pipeline for leadership. So over 70% of our leaders have come from the front line. And so what we've been working really hard on making sure that we have great jobs and great careers and that we invest into people's development as well, too. And all of that is coming to bear in putting us in a position-- we're at full employment in the field. And so we have a lot of confidence about our holiday plan because we've been able to be at full complement.