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Walmart has announced it is rolling out a pickup hour to keep customers who may be most at-risk safe and support those who are on the frontlines fighting the Coronavirus outbreak. These hours will be every day from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. and reserved for customers who are over the age of 60, first responders, those with disabilities, and anyone designated high-risk.
Walmart has also taken many necessary precautions to help customers and employees staff stay safe. Associates running pickup operations are following social distancing and sanitation procedures. Additionally, Walmart is offering contact-free pickup, which means customers only need to open up their trunk, and their items will be loaded into the customer’s car with no need to sign for the order.
“Now more than ever, families are relying on our pickup service to help get quality, fresh groceries to their homes as safely as possible,” Tom Ward, SVP, Customer Product said in a news release. “These are extraordinary times, and we are constantly looking for ways we can help deliver that same peace of mind to all our customers, particularly those who are most at-risk.”
To use the special service hours, customers will see a prompt on Walmart’s grocery website to see the qualifications for selecting “At-Risk Only” and allows for those eligible to opt-in. Walmart has also set purchase limits on some items through Grocery Pickup.
As Walmart continues to focus on safety for customers, the company has also announced changes to support employees during this uncertain time. Walmart has introduced an emergency COVID-19 leave policy, which allows employees that show virus symptoms to stay home and make sure they have all of the support they require. Walmart also has a Resource of Living program, which has behavioral counseling services at no cost.
Sanitation and minimal contact have become a priority for the company as well. The store has reduced hours, and eliminated aspects like food demos, Auto Care Centers, and Vision Centers, for the time being, to cut down on contact. This is also to make sure employees can clean the store as well as stock it with the items customers need. Walmart has also given a special cash bonus to all hourly associates and accelerated the first quarter company bonus for all hourly associates.
On the company’s website, Walmart stated, “We are truly grateful to our associates for the vital service they are providing to their communities. In the past several weeks, we have taken a number of measures to help them stay safe and healthy.”
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