From October through December, hundreds of millions of Americans will visit more than 5,000 Walmart locations to shop for gifts, grab last-minute items for holiday meals and take advantage of special deals that come but once a year.
Now, more than ever, Walmart and its associates will be ready for them.
Based on the success of a similar effort in 2016, the company announced it will be offering extra hours available this time of year to our current associates, rather than hiring thousands of seasonal workers.
“Our associates make the holidays come to life in our stores, and we are thankful for everything they do,” said Judith McKenna, Chief Operating Officer. “As we head into our busiest time of the year, we know associates are ready to deliver for our customers and help give them a memorable and affordable Christmas.”
These extra hours will help staff traditional roles like cashier and stocker, as well as newly created, technology-empowered positions in Walmart’s growing online pickup department.
Here are three big reasons why the company is investing in its people for Holiday 2017:
- The way customers shop is rapidly changing. Walmart expects new services like Online Grocery Pickup to take off with the holiday cooking crowd, making the company’s specially trained personal shoppers an even more indispensable part of the team.
- The company’s Holiday Helpers program was a huge success last year, and in 2017 Walmart is increasing the number of Helpers across its fleet of stores. These associates are dedicated to helping customers get through stores faster by finding the shortest checkout line and opening registers as needed. They’ll even run to grab items customers may have forgotten, so they don’t lose their place.
- Walmart has increased its focus on service through new training, tools and technology. Thousands of associates have completed the company’s Pathways and Academy programs, which prepares them to more effectively serve customers during this busy season.
“The holidays are a special time of year for our customers and associates,” McKenna said. “This is what working in retail is all about, and we know our people have the passion to do even more this year.”