1. Channel: Mass

Walmart aggressively courts holiday shoppers

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart is moving aggressively to position its stores as preferred holiday shopping destinations.

The retailer said Thursday it was ready to serve its customers this holiday season by offering better value and a more convenient shopping experience. Walmart said that more than half of its customers planned to start their holiday shopping research in October. Walmart said it is prepared to meet consumers’ needs and help them make the most of the season with an exceptional experience no matter how, when or where they want to shop.

Walmart aisle

A family checks out new holiday toys in a Walmart store aisle.

Walmart announced price investments for even deeper savings, three new and expanded returns options, a broader assortment with more top gifts, a new community giving platform and an enhanced omnichannel shopping experience to deliver for its customers all season long. The retailer said it will also be hiring about 40,000 additional associates in a variety of seasonal and full-time roles to serve shoppers during the holiday season.

“Saving our customers time and money is in our DNA, and I am proud of how we’ve innovated to offer exactly what our customers need this holiday – deeper savings across a broader assortment of gifts with a seamless omnichannel shopping experience,” said Tom Ward, Executive Vice President and Chief eCommerce Officer, Walmart U.S. “We listened to our customers, and the way we’re approaching holiday this year underscores our commitment to making holiday shopping easier, affordable and more enjoyable.”

What follows are the elements of Walmart’s plan to woo shoppers this holiday season:

Price investments to deliver even deeper savings all season long

More than 80% of customers who plan to shop at Walmart this holiday season are doing so because of Walmart’s low prices. And this year, families are counting on Walmart more than ever. Customers trust Walmart to consistently offer low prices, every day, and they can expect incredible prices on gifts and for their everyday shopping needs – both in stores and online – throughout the season.

Walmart is making significant price investments in key categories to ensure it can deliver amazing value for its customers during a time when they need it most. In addition, Walmart will offer thousands more Rollbacks this holiday to provide even deeper savings on the hottest gifts, including toys, home, electronics, beauty and more.

New and expanded “no concerns” returns options

Walmart is making the returns experience easier and more convenient with three new and expanded options that save customers time during the busiest season of the year and give them extra peace of mind when shopping for gifts. Starting in October, Walmart customers and Walmart+ members can take advantage of seamless new returns options, including:

• Holiday Guarantee: Customers are shopping earlier, and now Walmart guarantees they won’t have to worry about short return windows with the newly extended holiday return policy for purchases, including electronics and Marketplace items. Eligible purchases made on or after October 1 can be returned through January 31, 2023.

• Curbside returns: Walmart knows time is precious to its customers, and curbside returns allow customers to return items from the comfort of their vehicles while they’re picking up their weekly essentials.

• Return Pickup from Home for Walmart+ members: Beginning during the busiest time of year, Walmart will offer Walmart+ members in select stores the option of returns picked up right from their doorstep, taking one more thing off their holiday ‘to-do’ list. When initiating an eligible return on the app, Walmart+ members will be able to schedule a return from the comfort of their home and complete the process without having to leave their doorstep. Members won’t need to provide a box or a label – simply hand off the return to one of our delivery drivers, and Walmart will handle the rest.

The ‘Holiday Guarantee’ is available to all Walmart customers across the U.S. starting October 1. Curbside returns and Return Pickup from Home options will launch in select stores the first week of October and will continue to expand to more stores in the coming months. In addition to these new services, customers can still enjoy all the existing ways to return items to Walmart, including in stores and by mail.

Increased assortment of must-have gifts from top brands

Walmart has expanded its assortment of holiday gifts this season with more items, more new brands and more Walmart-exclusives. The retailer invested in key gifting categories to increase inventory for highly sought-after electronics like TVs, tablets, wireless headphones, wireless phones and watches, as well as home goods including appliances, robotic vacuums, furniture and décor.

And as the destination for the best toys this holiday season, Walmart has increased its toy assortment with 1,400 new toys, including over 500 Walmart-exclusives, and a new, expanded assortment of popular ride-ons and collector segments for Star Wars, Barbie and Transformers. The retailer also recently announced its Top Toys List featuring 55 must-have toys from LEGO, Cocomelon, Jurassic World, Paw Patrol, L.O.L. Surprise, Magic Mixies and more. To help families check off their kids’ wish lists this year, more than half the toys on Walmart’s Top Toy List are under $50 – with many under $25 – and nearly all of the toys are available to shop now or via pre-order on Walmart.com.

Customers can also find exciting new brands on Walmart.com and Walmart Marketplace all season. For customers looking for the best online deals right now, they can visit Walmart’s recently added Flash Picks, which includes some of the hottest, limited-time only deals available online.

Enabling customers to ‘Spark Good’ through holiday shopping

Walmart is introducing Spark Good, a new way of giving designed to spark collective action – and big impact – in support of communities nationwide. Spark Good answers the call from customers to offer more opportunities to direct their own giving to the causes they care most about, and it brings a robust suite of giving resources to one convenient location on Walmart.com, providing easy access to programs and tools for nonprofits – just in time for the holiday season.

Two programs, Round Up and Registry make it easier to tailor giving:

• Spark Good Round-Up: Allows customers to round up their purchase total and donate their change to the charity of their choice at checkout on Walmart.com and Walmart app year-round. It’s easy to use and customizable. Whereas most round up programs enable customers to give to a pre-determined nonprofit partner, Spark Good Round Up puts the customer in the driver seat.

• Spark Good Registry: Just like a baby or wedding registry, nonprofits can create and manage registries for products they want and need making it easier for customers to ensure their giving supports areas that will make the greatest impact. Nonprofits can now send charitable receipts and thank their donors all through Spark Good.

An impact dashboard will allow customers to see how Walmart and others in their community are supporting their favorite charities. Visit Walmart.com/SparkGood to register and learn more about all of the giving resources offered through Spark Good.

A more convenient omnichannel shopping experience

Walmart offers a suite of pickup and delivery options and best-in-class omnichannel shopping services as the retailer continues to deliver on its goal to offer customers a simple, convenient and flexible experience that makes holiday shopping easier. Walmart makes it a breeze to find all the gifts on customers’ list with a seamless experience that includes:

• Enhanced Walmart.com site experience: Listening to customer feedback, Walmart has streamlined its site experience to make it faster, more engaging and personalized for its customers. The enhancements simplify holiday shopping with an easy-to-navigate user experience that highlights all the best deals in one place, saving customers time.

• Shopping made personal: The retailer also recently launched a series of new, personalized site experiences like virtual try-on and “View In Your Home,” so customers can see if an item works for them before checking it off their gift list.

Refreshed holiday wish lists and registry suite: It’s now easier than ever to create and manage registries and wish lists for life’s big moments. Recently, Walmart began rolling out a new ‘Scan to Add’ feature to customers, allowing them to scan items in store using the Walmart app to add directly to a registry, making it seamless whether shopping online or in store.

Fast and easy pickup and delivery services: Walmart offers several easy, convenient ways for customers to find the gifts on their lists, whether they prefer to shop in store, on Walmart.com or on the Walmart app, including pickup and delivery for more than 240,000 items this year, Express Delivery delivered within two hours and Free NextDay or Two-Day Delivery on online orders.

Ready to deliver this holiday season

Walmart driver

A Walmart driver stands in front of a truck.

Walmart has been preparing for months to deliver through the holidays, and the company has taken steps to ensure it has the products customers want however they choose to shop. Walmart is working closely with partners at every stage of the supply chain to ensure a seamless flow of merchandise. And Walmart’s recent investments in automation will enable the company to flow products faster through its distribution and fulfillment network, as well as improve the experience in stores for associates serving customers.

Delivering over the holidays wouldn’t be possible without Walmart associates, and the company continues to make investments in associates whether they are working in distribution and fulfillment centers or in stores. This includes hiring over a thousand drivers in Walmart’s private fleet as part of the 40,000 additional associates in a variety of seasonal and full-time roles Walmart plans to hire throughout the holidays. All of these efforts have contributed strong in-stock levels, which means customers can feel confident that Walmart will have the gifts they want most this season in-stock and delivered when they need them.

 

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