The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is throwing out daily new challenges for the e-commerce retailers and Walmart is now pushing the momentum with the holiday season fast approaching. The US-based largest e-commerce retailer has announced plans on Wednesday to cater to the thrust in online sales, gifting, and practicing safe shopping as sales are on the upswing.
It announced a “promising an all-new Black Friday experience” and said that it “will spread traditional Black Friday savings throughout the season” with details yet to follow online.
Although the full details of the promo event were not available, yet Walmart said that saving will start earlier than ever. Furthermore, the company will be on a hiring spree adding 20,000 seasonal workers for its e-commerce fulfillment centers which include order fillers and power equipment, operators.
All temporary positions are posted on its website and also can be applied by texting FC to 240240.
Greg Smith, Walmart’s U.S. executive VP, supply chain commented in a news release that as more shoppers “turn to online shopping, we want to ensure we’re staffed and ready to help deliver that special gift to their loved ones while continuing to fulfill our customer’s everyday needs.”
The starting hourly rate for the seasonal jobs will range from $15.75 to $23.75 based on location, position, and schedule. The jobs begin immediately and will continue through Jan. 1. Some of these positions may be converted to regular employment, the company release said.
The last six months’ period has seen the company grow by leaps and bounds. Walmart said that it has hired more than 500,000 new employees across the company “to ensure the retailer could provide essential items to customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Last week, Walmart made it up to its workers by announcing that it was giving approximately 165, 000 hourly workers a raise by introducing new leadership roles and added learning skills by giving “cross-training opportunities.”
The company had hinted at such an opportunity back in July when it announced that its stores would be closed on Thanksgiving for the first time since the late 1980s. For years, Thanksgiving has been seen as the start of the holiday shopping season and Black Friday weekend.
Walmart’s executive VP and Chief Merchandising Officer, Scott McCall, said in a press release that customers have been shopping differently over the past six months and that’s expected to continue into the holiday season.
“We’ve heard from our customers that many plan on starting their holiday shopping well before Black Friday and that they’re looking for gifts that fit their current lifestyle. So, we’ve adjusted our strategy to adapt to these new shopping preferences – we’re offering more of what they want now, earlier than ever, and all at the best prices.”He added.
Commenting further, he said that the retailer is “the increasing availability of unexpected holiday gifts that reflect lifestyles in this ‘new normal,’ including athleisure, loungewear and sleepwear for the family, outdoor grills, bicycles and exercise equipment, and outdoor sporting equipment.”
Walmart said that it has increased its inventory of traditional gifts including electronics with a “focus on TVs, laptops and video games” and will have over 1,300 new toys. There also will be a larger assortment of supply of pet products and Walmart said and is “ready to sell over 3 million comfy pet beds.”
Walmart said its stores including “Supercenters and Neighborhood Markets will continue to be closed to customers overnight to give associates extra time to clean and sanitize stores and stock shelves.”
It did make an announcement last month about the majority of stores closing at 10 pm local time, which is an increase of 90 minutes. This was perhaps to make out for the store hours cut twice in March amid the growing peak of the COVID19 pandemic.
Walmart’s special shopping hours for seniors and those most vulnerable also have been extended. Face masks and coverings that Walmart started nationwide since July,20 will continue to be required, and the plastic barrier also known as sneeze guards will “remain in Walmart pharmacies, at checkout and at other points of sale to distance customers and associates.”