Walmart is looking to hire 150,000 additional employees to temporarily work at the company’s stores, clubs, and distribution centers to meet the increased demand from shoppers as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the company announced on Thursday. The company also plans to pay $550 million in bonuses to its current employees.
New Walmart hires will be employed through the end of May, with the application process decreasing from two weeks to just one day. While the jobs are temporary, the company said that many of these roles “will convert to permanent roles over time.” To help with the hiring process, Walmart says it reached out to industry groups representing hospitality and restaurant industries to possibly hire people who are facing furloughs and layoffs.
The hiring announcement comes one day after Walmart began restricting its hours, opening stores at 7AM and closing them at 8:30PM to give workers more time to clean and restock. Walmart also announced that it would hold special shopping hours for older customers from March 24th until April 28th, allowing customers aged 60 and over to enter the store one hour before the store opens to the public.
Amazon said earlier this week that it plans to hire 100,000 new warehouse and delivery workers to meet increased demands for shipments. Amazon will also increase all its warehouse workers’ hourly pay by $2.
Walmart plans to use the $550 million to issue earlier payouts for quarterly bonuses, $300 cash bonuses for full-time employees, and $150 cash bonuses for part-time workers.
As many states across the US shut down bars, movie theaters, and restaurants, essential businesses such as e-commerce and grocery stores have seen heavily increased demand. Walmart, which owns nearly 5,000 locations across America, has become one of the major destinations for Americans to purchase groceries and household items.