Walmart has changes in-store as the holidays near
The Christmas selling season is kicking off earlier than ever and Walmart announced on Wednesday its plans to meet the needs of its customers at this time.
The retailer said it plans to hire an additional 20,000 workers to help fulfill online orders as greater numbers of consumers than ever before are expected to do their shopping from home. The new hires will be in addition to more than 500,000 new associates the company brought on for its stores and in its supply chain operations to meet the crush of orders it received as the coronavirus pandemic spread across the U.S.
Walmart has said it will offer more deals online and in stores and spread them out over the holiday season to help customers who choose to shop early while reducing any shopping frenzy that may occur as Christmas approaches. The retailer said it would be announcing more specifics on its deals soon.
“Over the past six months, our customers have been shopping differently, and we expect that will continue into the most important shopping season of the year — the holidays,” Scott McCall, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer for Walmart U.S., said.
For customers who prefer to shop in Walmart’s stores, the retailer promised to take steps to protect their health. It will continue to require associates and customers to wear masks. The chain, which expanded store operating hours last month, will stick with its routine of closing overnight to clean and restock stores.
Two changes Walmart is implementing include the end of one-way aisles in its stores. It also plans to open another set of doors in its stores, with one to serve as an entrance and the other as an exit.
The retailer addressed the move back to two-way aisles in a statement to The Kansas City Star.
“We have seen that generally, customers have adopted new behaviors and take serious their personal responsibility to wear masks, practice social distancing and use our expanded hours to better spread traffic throughout the day, enabling us to provide them new options,” Walmart said.
The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has risen by seven percent over the past two weeks and deaths from the virus are up five percent over that time. More than 202,000 Americans have died to date and medical authorities warn that the situation could get much worse during the fall and winter.
- Walmart Announces Plans to Meet the Changing Needs of Customers this Holiday Season – Walmart
- Walmart rolling back two of its COVID-19 precautions as customer behaviors change – The Kansas City Star
- Covid in the U.S.: Latest Map and Case Count – The New York Times
- Walmart keeps growing and growing and … – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you approve of Walmart’s decision to eliminate one-way traffic in its aisles in light of concerns raised by health professionals about the spread of COVID-19 in the fall and winter? Do you expect consumers to exercise more caution shopping in stores as the holiday season approaches?