Walmart to hire 150,000 workers amid coronavirus demand

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BENTONVILLE, Arkansas — Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) Thursday announced plans to hire 150,000 workers for its stores, clubs, distribution centers and warehouses in response to increased demand during the coronavirus outbreak.

The hiring will take place through the end of May.

“These roles will be temporary at first, but many will convert to permanent roles over time,” according to the company’s announcement. “We’ve reached out to industry groups representing restaurants and hospitality to facilitate temporary roles that can be a bridge for their employees during this difficult time.”

Walmart also announced that it would provide $365 million in special cash bonuses for hourly employees, including $300 for full-time employees and $150 for part-time workers. The bonus will apply to every hourly worker employed as of March 1, and will be paid April 2.

The company said it would also accelerate its next scheduled quarterly bonus for store, club and supply-chain by one month, paying employees as if the company had achieved its first-quarter plan. The early payout will amount to $180 million.

“Overall, it amounts to nearly $550 million going into associates’ pockets and the economy at this important time,” the company said. 

“Walmart associates have gone above and beyond the call of duty in serving our customers during these unprecedented times,” Doug McMillon, Walmart president and CEO, said in a prepared statement. “We want to reward our associates for their hard work and recognize them for the work that is in front of us.”

Walmart’s additional hiring will be expedited by reducing a normal two-week application process to 24 hours. Applications can be made by visiting careers.walmart.com.

“We know millions of Americans who are usually employed at this time are temporarily out of work, and at the same time we’re currently seeing strong demand in our stores,” McMillon said. “We’re looking for people who see Walmart as a chance to earn some extra money and perform a vital service to their community.”

Walmart operates approximately 11,500 stores in 27 countries and recorded fiscal-year 2020 revenue of $524 billion. The company employs more than 2.2 million workers worldwide.