In advance of a holiday season in which more consumers than ever are expected to use pickup and delivery services, Walmart has more than doubled its number of personal shoppers from last year.
“This means customers can rest easy knowing we have over 157,000 friendly and knowledgeable associates ready to fill grocery orders for all the big meals, as well as pick holiday gifts and stocking stuffers for all,” noted Tom Ward, SVP, customer product at Walmart, in a recent blog post.
According to Ward, the program started six years ago with only a few hundred personal shoppers, who are now “crucial to providing services like pickup and delivery that our customers have come to see as essential.”
Walmart shoppers can select no-contact pickup and delivery services that meet their particular scheduling needs, with no markup on items. Customers can take advantage of free curbside pickup at their convenience, with their order loaded in their car; delivery to their door with a per-delivery fee of $7.95 or $9.95; delivery in two hours or under, for $10 on top of the existing delivery fee; and unlimited deliveries for a monthly or yearly fee for Walmart+ members, who’ll find that this option pays for itself in just two deliveries a month, according to the company.
“Given customers’ lives were busier even before COVID-19, roles like the personal shopper will continue to be important parts of our business,” wrote Ward. “We’re excited about the work they’re doing and the service they’ll provide to our customers, now and into the future.”
In addition to the beefed-up ranks of personal shoppers, Walmart has hired 500,000 new associates since March, as well as another 20,000 seasonal associates for its e-commerce fulfillment centers.
Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart operates more than 11,300 stores under 58 banners in 27 countries, and e-commerce websites, employing 2.2 million-plus associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, while Walmart-owned Sam's Club ranks No. 9 on PG’s list.