The Christmas holiday season is fast approaching so it's not a huge surprise that Walmart is planning to hire 55,000 seasonal workers, up 10 percent from last year. What is surprising is the announcement that the company plans to move some 35,000 associates currently working part-time to full-time and 35,000 others from temporary to part-time.
"Our associates have always been the key to Walmart's success, and that's especially true during the holidays. We know our associates are going to deliver for our customers, so we are going to deliver for our associates," said Gisel Ruiz, executive vice president, chief operating officer for Walmart U.S., in a statement.
While adding more workers will increase costs, Walmart expects increased staff levels to reduce its widely reported out-of-stock issues and improve service to customers, steps that should lead to higher sales.
Kory Lundberg, a Walmart spokesperson, told Bloomberg News that the 70,000 workers given more hours for the holidays will continue in those spots once the season is over.
Walmart rival Target recently announced it would hire fewer workers for the holiday season but would give them more hours than in the past. The company is hiring 70,000 seasonal workers this year compared to 88,000 in 2012. Seasonal hires will get five to 10 percent more working hours than they did last year.
How effective will expanded hours for associates be in helping Walmart resolve its stock and service issues in stores?