BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart Inc. confirmed Wednesday that two-thirds of the mega-retailer’s U.S. hourly store employees will be classified as full time by early 2022.
“We believe full-time schedules complement the other ways we are preparing for the future of retail,” Drew Holler, Walmart’s senior vice president of U.S. people operations, wrote in a company blog post, noting the shifts also entail “consistent schedules from week to week.”
“Retail trends have accelerated, and we’ve evolved how we serve customers and the roles that support them,” Holler wrote.
The move means that roughly 740,000 of Walmart’s 1.2 million U.S. hourly store workers could be considered full-time employees by Jan. 31, or roughly 110,000 more than were designated full-time five years ago, the company stated.
Walmart employs roughly 1.5 million workers in the U.S. including those at Sam’s Club, distribution centers and in corporate and managerial jobs.
Holler stated in the blog post that associates remain at the center of the company’s shift and that the move gives the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer a competitive edge.
“We know offering more full-time opportunities along with skills training and equipping associates with tools to make work easier will help us continue to attract and retain top talent,” Holler wrote.
Walmart’s increased focus on full-time jobs also comes as the company deploys a team-based structure in its stores, where groups of eight to 12 workers work together in an area of a store – such as toys or clothing – and then are cross-trained, The Associated Press reported.
Walmart considers any employee working 34 hours or more full time, although anyone working 30 hours a week or more is eligible for health coverage. With team scheduling, Walmart workers will have consistent 39- to 40-hour weekly schedules, the retailer said.
-- The Associated Press contributed to this report.