Walmart is adapting its operations, explaining that its customers plan to shop differently this holiday season. And to help it prepare for an increase in online shopping, Walmart is hiring over 20,000 seasonal associates in its ecommerce fulfillment centers across the country.
The retailer noted it had already hired over 500,000 new associates since March across its stores and supply chain locations to ensure it could provide essential items to customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With these new hires over the last six months, its new seasonal associates, and ongoing hiring of full-time and part-time positions as needed in its stores, Walmart will be staffed and ready to serve customers for the holiday season,” it said.
Walmart’s also gearing up for an earlier start to the season, reporting that 87% of customers who shopped Walmart over the past six months plan to seek out deals and great prices earlier this year – and one-third of customers plan to start their holiday shopping before early November.
The retailer said customer shopping habits have changed over the past six months and is increasing availability of items such as athleisure, loungewear and sleepwear for the family, outdoor grills, bicycles and exercise equipment, outdoor sporting equipment, and pet products.
Walmart merchandising executive Scott McCall said. “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.”
Walmart will spread traditional Black Friday savings throughout the season and will have more deals available online – more details will be shared soon, it said.
The full announcement, which included details on steps it’s taken to keep shopping safe during the pandemic, can be found on the Walmart website.