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04/14/2021

Walmart Making Majority of Associates Full-Time

Move helps retailer prepare for ‘future of retail’
Bridget Goldschmidt
Managing Editor
Bridget Goldschmidt profile picture
Walmart Making Majority of Associates Full-Time
Walmart is expanding the full-time staffing approach that has been successful in its distribution and fulfillment centers to its stores.

Walmart has revealed that by the end of the current fiscal year, the company anticipates that two-thirds of Walmart U.S. hourly store roles will be full-time with consistent schedules from week to week. According to Drew Holler, SVP, Walmart U.S. people operations, in a blog post, “We believe full-time schedules complement the other ways we are preparing for the future of retail.” 

Among the reasons given by Holler were the knowledge that providing more full-time opportunities, as well as skills, training and resources to make work easier, will help it continue to attract and retain top talent; a burgeoning pickup and delivery business that necessitates the creation of more full-time jobs as stores increasingly operate as both fulfillment centers and retail spaces; and the advantages to its employees of stable, reliable work. 

“We are following the full-time staffing approach that has been successful in our distribution centers and fulfillment centers, where more than 80% of our current associates are full-time,” noted Holler. “We were on this journey well before the pandemic began. In 2016, about 53% of our U.S. hourly store workforce held full-time positions. Reaching the two-thirds mark by the end of the year means we will have approximately 100,000 more full-time positions than we did five years ago representing meaningful investments in our associates’ pay, hours and stability.”

As well as being able to better plan their schedules around important life events, Walmart associates will work alongside the same teammates and leader on every shift. “This is one way we’re building on the team-based structure we introduced in stores last year, explained Holler. “Having these small teams of eight to 12 associates work together will lead to a more connected, productive and enjoyable work environment. Associates are cross-trained within their team’s area of the store, and they get real-time, one-on-one feedback and mentorship from their leader. All of this helps them build careers with Walmart if they choose. And all of this ultimately results in even better customer service.”

Other programs put in place by Walmart to aid associate development include a COVID-19 emergency leave policy and paid time away from work to get vaccinated, a partnership with Thrive ZP to provide enhanced well-being options, the Live Better U program offering associates a college degree for only $1 a day, and support of veteran hiring and equity-in-education initiatives. 

Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart operates more than 11,300 stores under 56 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 the list.

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