“Josh, North Bergen is beating us,” Rezarta says into her walkie-talkie.
She and the leaders are able to track sales through an app on their phones. They can view not only the sales for their store but also what is going on at neighboring stores, such as North Bergen and Jersey City.
By this point, the initial frenzy of Black Friday has diminished, but customers are still in lines stretching back through the apparel department. Their carts are filled with toys – LEGO, LOL Surprise Dolls, Paw Patrol – and electronics.
Near the pharmacy, Maggie Proenza and her daughter examine the contents of their cart and make decisions about what to buy. Maggie explains that at the beginning of the sale, they grab whatever they think they might want, then decide before checkout what they actually want to purchase.
In the associate lounge, some Walmart associates are enjoying a catered meal provided by the store. It’s Cuban food: juicy chicken, rice dishes and sweet maduros, along with pies from the Walmart bakery and cans of Coke and Sprite.
The associate lounge buzzes with conversations in multiple languages. Many associates are discussing how they will spend their extra discount. Associates who work their entire scheduled shift on Thanksgiving Day as well as their scheduled shift before and after Thanksgiving Day receive an extra 15% off a basket of goods – that’s in addition to the 10% off they already receive.
A 25% discount is significant, and it’s a big part of why associates choose to work during the holiday. It’s also a way of taking part in what Steve Bratspies, Walmart’s Chief Merchandising Officer, calls, “the best shopping day of the year.”
Even Josh enjoys a tiny can of Schweppes seltzer to celebrate.
Friday, November 23
The associates are putting the store back together again. They push carts of merchandise up and down the aisles, returning pillows, pajamas and PlayStations to their rightful places in the store.
Associates at the Secaucus Supercenter have a lot to be proud of. The store exceeded their Black Friday sales goals and saw consistent traffic throughout the weekend.
The weeks ahead will remain busy as customers get ready for the holiday season. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and Josh and his team are in it to win.