Walmart Prepares Approach To Unique Holiday Season

After reviewing changing customer shopping behaviors and speaking with customers over the past six months, Walmart plans to address three key shopping trends expected for this unique holiday season: an increase in online shopping, evolving wish lists and the need for a fast, easy and safe shopping experience.

To prepare for an expected increase in online shopping this holiday season, Walmart indicated that it would hire more than 20,000 seasonal associates in its e-commerce fulfillment centers. Pay for the seasonal positions begins at hourly rates ranging from $15.75 up to $23.75 based on location, position and schedule. Seasonal employment will begin immediately upon hiring with shifts scheduled as quickly as 48 hours from application and will continue through January 1, 2021, with the opportunity, in many cases, to convert to regular employment.

The latest seasonal hirings follow the company’s employment of more than 500,000 new workers since March across its stores and supply chain facilities to ensure the retailer could provide essential items to customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Even as the company staffs up for the holidays, Walmart acknowledged that customer shopping habits have changed over the past six months. So it is increasing availability of holiday gifts that reflect lifestyle amendments consumers have adopted in conditions created by the pandemic. Walmart pointed out that it has increased inventory in electronics and toys and, for consumers spending more time together in the kitchen, the company has expanded its Holiday Bake Center to more stores while increasing availability of popular kitchen appliances such as the KitchenAid Plus Stand Mixer.

Walmart pointed out that it is featuring holiday gifts now in stores and on currently based on research demonstrating that 87% of customers who shopped with the retailer plan to seek out deals and great prices earlier this year to better prepare for the holiday season. One in three customers, Walmart added, plan to start their holiday shopping before early November.

For consumers looking for discounts, Walmart has conceived a new Black Friday experience that will spread savings traditionally associated with the event throughout the season and include more deals online. The company noted that it would release details of its Black Friday plans in the near future.

“The holidays are always a special time, and this year, we think the season will mean even more to our customers,” said Greg Smith, evp/supply chain for Walmart U.S. “As more of them 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. We’re also proud to be able to continue to provide employment opportunities across the country when it’s needed most.”