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Walmart unveils plans for this year’s holiday shopping

Walmart, at the end of September, announced plans to address key shopping trends expected for this unusual holiday season, including an increase in online shipping, evolving wish lists and the need for a fast, easy and safe shopping experience.

To prepare for an expected increase in online shopping, Walmart will hire more than 20,000 seasonal associates in its eCommerce fulfillment centers across the country. Interested applicants can visit walmartcareers.com/fcjobs or text “FC” to 240240 to apply for a variety of positions, including order fillers and power equipment operators, that begin at a starting hourly rate ranging from $15.75 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 applying, and continue through Jan. 1. In many instances, these positions will have the opportunity to convert to regular employment.

These seasonal positions in Walmart’s eCommerce fulfillment centers follow the company’s hiring of more than 500,000 new associates since March across its stores and supply chain to ensure the retailer could provide essential items to customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. With these new hires over the past six months, new seasonal associates and ongoing hiring of full-time and part-time positions as needed, Walmart said it will be ready for the holiday season.

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

As customer shopping habits have changed over the past six months, Walmart is increasing availability of unexpected holiday gifts that reflect lifestyles in this “new normal,” including athleisure, loungewear and sleepwear for the family, outdoor grills, bicycles and exercise equipment and outdoor sporting equipment. And, to ensure it has great gifts for the newest member of many families since the pandemic began – pets – Walmart has increased its assortment and supply of pet products in its stores and online and is ready to sell more than 3 million pet beds.

To ensure it offers gifts expected to top wish lists during this unique holiday season, Walmart has increased inventory in electronics, with a focus on televisions, laptops and video games. Walmart will have more than 1,300 new toys, including puzzles, games and Legos, and more than 800 Walmart exclusives this holiday season.

For those customers spending more time together in the kitchen, Walmart has expanded its Holiday Bake Center to more of its stores and is increasing availability of popular kitchen appliances, such as the KitchenAid Plus Stand Mixer.

Over the past six months, Walmart has taken many steps to help ensure a safe in-store shopping experience for both its customers and associates, which will continue through the holiday season, including reduced store hours, required face coverings, sneeze guards and better traffic management.

Walmart stores, Supercenters and Neighborhood Markets will continue to be closed to customers overnight to give associates extra time to clean and sanitize stores and stock shelves. Associates and customers will continue to be required to wear masks or other face coverings while in Walmart stores. Plastic barriers will remain in Walmart pharmacies, at checkout and at other points of sale to distance customers and associates.

To manage customer flow and traffic, Walmart has vestibules divided into separate entrances and exits, social distancing floor decals and airs overhead announcements urging proper hygiene and the need to socially distance.

The retailer also offers several convenient, easy ways for customers to safely find all of the gifts on their list, whether they prefer to shop in store or on Walmart.com, including contactless pickup and delivery services. Walmart offers pickup and delivery on more than 160,000 items that can be picked up or delivered as soon as the same day; express delivery on a wide assortment of items delivered within two hours, pending eligibility and customer location; free next day or free two-day shipping on online orders over $35, pending eligibility and customer location and contactless payment in stores, as customers can pay in a Walmart store contact-free on any register when using Walmart Pay via the Walmart app.

Customers also can sign up for a Walmart+ membership for $98 a year to receive unlimited free delivery from stores, fuel discounts and access to tools, such as Scan &Go, that let customers scan their items as they shop and pay using Walmart Pay for a quick, easy, touch-free payment experience.

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