Walmart is planning to hire 20,000 additional workers ahead of this year's highly anticipated holiday shopping rush. The company said Wednesday that it will need all the help it can get to make that that it will be able to keep up with the upcoming demand.
The country's largest employers said most of the new hires will be placed in roles within its supply chain. The retailer said the opened positions will be a mix of full-time and part-time jobs as well as permanent positions. This will include jobs such as order fillers and freight handlers at its more than 250 distribution, fulfillment, and transportation facilities nationwide.
Walmart said that it will be offering new hires an average wave of about $20.37 per hour. The company added that interested applicants can look forward to various special hiring events, starting with a hiring event on Sept. 8 and Sept. 9 in select states.
The company also announced new bonuses for existing workers, including added pay to warehouse workers and a debt-free college program for eligible employees. Competitors such as Target have also rolled out similar programs to entice more hourly workers.
The decision to hire more employees comes as competition for workers and job positions intensify following months of halted production and economic activity. Retailers have been struggling to meet demand, spurred partly by the online shopping trend, because of issues such as port congestions, container shortages, and other supply chain disruptions.
The disruptions have raised questions on whether retailers in the U.S. would be able to meet the expected high demand for goods during this year's gift-giving season.
Apart from bolstering its staff, Walmart has been working on enhancing its supply chain through major investments. The company recently made significant investments in newer technologies and automated systems to help its partial transition to online shopping during the pandemic. This includes upgraded systems to help meet its pick and pack online grocery orders.
Walmart's chief financial officer, Brett Briggs, said during its latest earnings call that the company has now significantly increased its lead times for orders. He said the use of its own dedicated vessels has also greatly sped up the importation of goods.