Annual Wal-Mart Meeting Underway in Fayetteville

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - Wal-Mart shareholders and employees are filing into Walton Arena on the University of Arkansas' Fayetteville campus for the retail giant's annual shareholders meeting.

Workers from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and its suppliers from across the world are on hand and they're getting their customary wake-up from a four-piece rock band.  The arena is bathed in blue light coming from the stage, where a giant-sized video screen is the backdrop, with two large columnar video displays on either side.

The workers have been training at Wal-Mart headquarters this week and executives have been listening to ideas from their managers on how to make improvements.

Wal-Mart meetings are tightly scripted and usually have a number of celebrity performers, but who is to appear is always a secret until they get on stage.  Thursday night, employees were treated to a concert by Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban at Razorback Stadium.

The meeting is scheduled to last until 10:30 a.m., with CEO Lee Scott giving the last talk.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)