1.2 million Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club associates to receive pay increase in in 2016

2016 action lifts average hourly full-time rate to $13.38; New paid time off plan gives full- and part-time associates greater control

BENTONVILLE, Ark., 2016-Jan-25 — /EPR Retail News/ — More than 1.2 million Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club associates will receive a pay increase under the second phase of the company’s two-year, $2.7 billion investment in workers. The pay raise, which takes effect Feb. 20, will be one of the largest single-day, private-sector pay increases ever. As an industry leader for competitive pay and benefits, Walmart is also implementing new short-term disability and simplified paid time off (PTO) programs. The combined changes will expand support for associates dealing with extended health issues and provide associates greater control over their paid time away from work.

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“We are committed to investing in our associates and to continuing to simplify our business. When we do so, there is no limit to what our associates can accomplish,” said Judith McKenna, chief operating officer for Walmart U.S. “Our customers and associates are noticing a difference. We’re seeing strong increases in both customer experience and associate engagement scores. Five straight quarters of positive comps in our U.S. business is just one example of how helping our associates grow and succeed helps the company do the same.”

This associate investment was taken into account in the financial outlook discussed last October at the company’s annual analyst meeting. Today’s announcement addresses the details for associates. Specifics are provided below.

WAGES
A job at Walmart means competitive pay for all associates. Every year, the company promotes 160,000 associates to jobs with higher pay and more responsibility and last year Walmart converted more than 150,000 associates from part-time to full-time. On Feb. 20, 2016, the company will implement one of the largest single-day, private-sector pay increases ever, benefiting more than 1.1 million hourly associates. The changes taking effect include:

  • All associates hired before Jan. 1, 2016 will earn at least $10/hour. 
  • New entry-level associates will continue to start at $9/hour and move to at least $10/hour after successfully completing the company’s new retail skills and training program known as Pathways.
  • Associates already earning more than $10/hour will receive an annual pay increase in February rather than waiting until their anniversary date.
  • Walmart is raising the starting rate of its non-entry level hourly pay bands. Anyone earning below the new minimum will automatically move up to the new minimum.
  • Associates at or above their pay band maximum will receive a one-time lump sum payment equal to 2 percent of their annual pay.
  • When these changes go into effect, Walmart’s average full-time hourly wage will be$13.38/hour. The average part-time hourly wage will be $10.58/hour.

PTO
Walmart and Sam’s Club are launching a new, simplified PTO policy, effective March 5, 2016 that will streamline paid vacation, sick time, personal time and holiday time into one category. And the one-day wait to use sick time will be eliminated, as promised. When the plan rolls out in March, both full- and part-time associates will earn PTO based on tenure and hours worked. The plan includes:

  • No waiting. PTO is available to use as soon as it’s earned and can be used for almost any reason.
  • Full-time hourly associates can carry over up to 80 hours (48 hours for part time) of PTO from year to year.
  • Any unused hours at the end of the year above the 80 hour and 48 hour limits willautomatically be paid to hourly associates in the first paycheck every February.
  • Associates will also keep any existing and accrued sick and personal time. These balances will be kept separate, to be used for certain circumstances once all available PTO is used.

ADDITIONAL BENEFITS
In addition to PTO, Walmart is providing a new, Short Term Disability Basic plan at no cost to full-time hourly associates. Effective Jan. 1, 2016, the plan offers more financial protection to workers who need to be away from work for an extended period of time due to their own medical needs such as an illness, injury or having a baby. The basic plan will pay 50 percent of a worker’s average weekly wage, up to $200, for up to 26 weeks. Walmart is also offering aShort Term Disability Enhanced plan, which costs less than the company’s prior voluntary plan and provides more coverage. Associates would receive up to 60 percent of their average weekly wage with no weekly maximum for up to 26 weeks.

Walmart’s associate investment is about more than wages and benefits: it is designed to provide associates the tools they need to grow with the company and provide great customer service. The company is also creating new training programs, which will create clear career paths from entry-level positions to jobs with more responsibility and higher pay.

About Walmart 
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, nearly 260 million customers and members visit our more than 11,600 stores under 72 banners in 28 countries and e-commerce websites in 11 countries. With fiscal year 2015 revenue of $485.7 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart.

SOURCE: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Walmart estimates more than 210 million visits to its mobile app over holiday season

Retailer will wow customers with simplified shopping experience and enhanced eCommerce offering; Predicts more than 210 million visits to its mobile app over holiday season

BENTONVILLE, Ark., 2015-10-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — America moves from candy corn to candy canes November 1 and Walmart is ready. The retailer has been combing through data, predicting trends and preparing for the holiday season for more than a year. Today, it is summing up its plan for customers: easier shopping every day. Walmart is promising customers low prices and one-of-a-kind convenience on a product assortment hand-picked based on current customer trends.

The excitement begins this Sunday as Walmart kicks off eight weeks of deep savings and holiday retailtainment. With more than 140 million customers each week and an expected more than 210 million visits to its app in November and December – up from 18 million in 2013 – Walmart is forecasting the most integrated holiday shopping season ever. Powered by more than 4,500 stores, millions of additional items online and a best-in-class fulfillment network, the retailer will serve customers like only Walmart can.

I want customers to be in awe when they see what we have to offer as they walk into our stores or click around our site. Our managers have made a lot of progress to improve the shopping experience before the holidays and our merchants made sure we have the right products in stock. We’re delivering the prices customers expect, but we’ve taken it up a notch,” said Judith McKenna, chief operating officer, Walmart U.S. “Our Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and Walmart.com will be a powerful combination for customers this holiday season – trust me.”

In a post on Walmart’s blog, McKenna said high-low retailers and pricing games have led to frustrated holiday shoppers who second-guess their purchase decisions throughout the season. Walmart’s playbook to win starts with doubling down on its everyday low price promise through the season, coupled with an on-trend assortment and new tools for seamless shopping like never before.

  • Honest, Low Prices All Season Long: The retailer promises more Rollbacks that last at least 90 days on everything from electronics to baking essentials, and fewer “this weekend only” holiday offers. These savings will last all season long and are backed by Walmart’s Ad Match Guarantee and Online Price Match. If customers find a lower price, Walmart will match it.
  • Free, Easy Pickup with New Mobile Check-in: Nearly 75 percent of traffic to Walmart.com is expected to come from a mobile device this holiday season. To better serve the growing number of shoppers who order online and pick up in stores, Walmart is rolling out Mobile Check In. Customers can check in using their phone when they arrive to pick up their online order. And new Pickup branding in stores will help guide customers more quickly to the Pickup service area. Pickup is always free at any Walmart store or Neighborhood Market.
  • Scan and Shop with Wish Lists: For the first time, customers can scan items in store to build a Wish List or search for someone else’s list by using the Walmart app. The new feature makes giving and getting the perfect gift faster and easier.
  • Top Trends and Products: Based on data and insights from adults and kids through Walmart’s “Chosen By You” program, the retailer bought deep in popular categories and items, including:
    • Pop Culture Favorites:  Expected top sellers include Star Wars, Minions, Jurassic Park and Paw Patrol licensed merchandise along with a new kitchen collection byThe Pioneer Woman only available at Walmart.
    • Toys: With help from hundreds of kids, Walmart merchants identified the top toysof the season. In addition to adventure and action toys, other trends tie to personas: foodies and chefs, animal-lovers and designers.
    • Seasonal Décor:  Walmart Christmas Shops in stores and online will offer a wide range of holiday decorations and gift giving supplies. Cashmere artificial trees are back and aisles are full of creative ways to personalize décor and customize any gift. Gold and natural colors are on trend for ornaments, while metallic is the new look for wrapping paper.
    • Tech: From wearables to tablets, Walmart is stocked with top brands at unbelievable prices, like an Apple iPad Mini 2 for $199.
    • Food: Walmart is ready for holiday gatherings and each of the 63 everyday meals remaining before the new year. On-trend food flavors include black forest, mocha and peppermint. Walmart will offer its lowest prices on holiday ham in years, and its bakeries will sell two pumpkin pies every second in November.

“Our customers are looking for great deals no matter how they shop with us – whether in store, online or on their mobile device,” says Fernando Madeira, president and CEO,Walmart.com. “We’re building digital capabilities so it’s faster and easier for them to find the right items at the right prices, and get them delivered quickly to their door or to a store.”

Walmart’s holiday approach follows a number of initiatives rolled out earlier this year to accelerate digital innovation, bridge in-store and online shopping, improve inventory management and make Walmart stores cleaner, faster and friendlier. Efforts like a billion dollar investment in associate wages and training, the opening of five new fulfillment centers and an emphasis on fresh food are paying off.

For more information, visit Walmart.com.

About Walmart
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, we serve nearly 260 million customers who visit our 11,504 stores under 65 banners in 28 countries and e-commerce websites in 11 countries. With fiscal year 2015 revenue of $486 billion, Walmart employs more than 2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart. Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com and http://www.samsclub.com.

Walmart U.S. CEO Greg Foran and COO Judith McKenna outlined associate-focused steps

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark., 2015-6-4 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today Walmart U.S. CEO Greg Foran and COO Judith McKenna outlined associate-focused steps to drive greater simplicity, provide associates the tools they need to serve customers and continue to listen to and act upon associate ideas. The Walmart U.S. leaders spoke to nearly 3,000 associates from around the country as part of the week-long events surrounding Walmart’s annual shareholders meeting.

“The best part of my job is getting out in stores and learning from associates. There is nothing I like better than hearing about your jobs, your ideas, your hopes and dreams, your frustrations and listening to how we can make your lives easier,” said Foran.

Remembering one of his early days in retail, Foran ended his shift full of ideas about how things could be done better. “One of the most important parts of my job is to listen to our associates. You are closest to the customer and you make a difference for our customers every day. I learned very early on that you have great ideas.”

In February, Walmart announced a $1 billion investment in its U.S. workforce, including raising its minimum wage to $9 an hour, implementing new training programs and giving associates more control over their schedules. In addition, the company’s U.S. leadership has committed that stores will be cleaner, faster, and friendlier and have better in stock by the start of the holiday season. The U.S. business has recorded three consecutive quarters of positive comp sales and solid growth in store traffic, which has been positive the past two quarters. Shoppers are also starting to take notice, over the last quarter, customer experience scores improved across all Walmart formats.

McKenna, a 20-year associate who became COO of Walmart U.S. in December, has spent a lot of time in the stores listening and said she is hearing that associates, while excited about the changes they are seeing with pay, training and scheduling, also want leadership to reduce the complexity that has gradually been added to store jobs.

“You told us we’ve made it harder for you to do what you do best, which is serving our customers. Your feedback is helping us understand how we support you better and remove the distractions that get in your way,” said McKenna. “Taking care of our customers begins with taking care of you. It’s that simple. My commitment to you is that we will continue to listen, and, more importantly, act on what we hear.”

To underscore this commitment to its workforce, McKenna announced the company is making a small, but significant change to its name badges, to make sure everyone knows who makes the difference at Walmart. “I’m proud to say that we’re bringing back ‘Our People Make the Difference’ on our badges. These words are just as important today, and to our future, as they ever were.” Every associate in the U.S. stores will have the new badge by the end of the year.

Foran pledged to continue working for associates to make it easier for them to serve customers. “We know you need the tools to do your job well. You make a difference for customers, so our job in Bentonville is to get you what you need. We will win one customer at a time and if we work together, we will get the army that is Walmart to march and we can make a difference for our customers.

“Thanks for everything you do,” he concluded.

For more information or to watch the shareholders meeting webcast, please visit stock.walmart.com and join the conversation.

About Walmart 
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, more than 250 million customers and members visit our 11,462 stores under 71 banners in 27 countries and e-commerce websites in 11 countries. With fiscal year 2015 sales of nearly $486 billion, Walmart employs more than 2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart. Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com and http://www.samsclub.com.