Forty Under 40: Rachel Griffin

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,673 views 

Class of 2022 Forty Under 40 Rachel Griffin Director of Last Mile Innovation Walmart Inc., Bentonville

Rachel Griffin has always had a “deep love for Walmart.” She would walk around a Walmart store as a poor college kid and sometimes get her feet measured at the Dr. Scholl’s station to have something to do.

She likely no longer has time for foot stations.

Griffin, who joined Walmart in 2012 and was promoted to director of last mile innovation in April 2021, said a priority in seeking innovative delivery is to “have this seamless experience for the customer. A lot of that is doing things that would help my life, so I’m selfishly kind of building something that meets how I’d like to shop.”

Griffin is a Little Rock native who graduated in 2009 from the University of Arkansas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She said her recent work included riding as a passenger in a driverless vehicle. She was anxious about the first few trips, but by the end of the test period, she was non-plussed about driving around a town with no driver.

“It’s amazing how fast we desensitize to innovation,” she said.

The best part of the job is that she and “the team” are essentially entrepreneurs who push each other to think and try new ideas.

“I always thought I wanted to be an entrepreneur, and now I get to do that but with the resources of a giant company,” she said.

A personal focus, she said, is on gratitude in that she does not forget all the people who helped her and trusted her so far in her career path. She began her career with a Walmart vendor, then joined Walmart marketing in 2012, moved to merchandising, then apparel, then to operations. At each step, she said, someone helped her grow.

“I’m very appreciative of that, and I think about how I can help others.”