Walmart Is Doing This Again as COVID Surges

After an unprecedented year, the company has decided to do this for the fourth time in 2020.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has forced a host of changes upon American retailers. Some have had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, others have seen their brick-and-mortar locations close, and most have had to change the way that shoppers even enter the store. But this week, the COVID pandemic led to good news for the nation's biggest retailer: Walmart announced that it will pay another round of bonuses to U.S. workers on Christmas Eve. Read on for the details, and for more news from Walmart that could affect you, check out Walmart Is Getting Rid of This Starting Dec. 4.

In a Dec. 3 announcement, Walmart said the bonuses of $300 would be paid in cash to full-time workers, while part-timers will receive $150. This will be the fourth time that Walmart has paid a special cash bonus to its staff since the pandemic began, with the festive payment totaling $388 million. This follows a payment of $319 million just before Thanksgiving, on Nov. 25. The company said that this special payment was being made as a gesture of appreciation to the workers who had kept stores open, shelves stocked, and orders fulfilled during an unprecedented time. "As we come to a close on this historic year, I'm filled with gratitude for how our associates have led through one of the most trying periods for our company and country," John Furner, president and CEO of Walmart U.S., said in a statement.

Walmart will also be extending its COVID-19 leave policy that allows all staff to take up to two weeks of paid leave should they need to stay home either due to illness or a quarantine requirement.

The backdrop to this is an ongoing struggle for companies like Walmart and Amazon to retain and reward staff whose jobs have just become far more difficult as a result of the pandemic. In June, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) was warning that 82 workers in grocery stores had died from COVID-19, with 11,507 workers infected or exposed, a number that are surely increased exponentially since. UFCW International President Marc Perrone specifically named Walmart and Amazon as not honoring their obligations to keeping staff safe.

Walmart's decision to reward its staff comes after Amazon's announcement last week that full-time and part-time staff would be receiving a December bonus of $300 and $150 respectively, following another COVID-19 bonus that the company paid out in June. Target has also announced that it would be raising its minimum wage to $15 per hour, on top of other COVID-related benefits.

Throughout the pandemic, Walmart has thrived. The company announced a profit of $15.6 billion for the year as of Oct. 31, compared with a $10.7 billion profit in the same period last year, thanks to shoppers stocking up, spending more time at home, and the growth of Walmart+.

Curious about the benefits of Walmart+? Read on, and for another update from this superstore, beware that If You Bought This From Walmart, Get Rid of It Right Now.

Read the original article on Best Life.

You can get free overnight shipping.

Carton with printed WALMART logo
max.ku / Shutterstock

Walmart announced this week that beginning on Friday, Dec. 4, Walmart+ will be dropping its $35 order minimum for free one- or two-day shipping. However, there are some restrictions around the new policy. "Delivery from Walmart stores on items like groceries will still carry a $35 minimum," the company's press release reads.

The move is the latest in the battle between Walmart and Amazon, with Walmart+ being the brick-and-mortar retailer's answer to Amazon Prime. Quick shipping with no minimum has been one of Amazon Prime's biggest selling points since it launched in 2007. Though Walmart's competing service was only introduced in Sept. 2020, the $35 minimum order was the obvious drawback when comparing the two programs. And for more on the latest news from the retail giant, check out Walmart Is Now Doing This as Soon as You Go in the Store.

And you can get your groceries delivered in one-hour windows.

Online grocery notification popup in Walmart website on iPhone screen
Koshiro K / Shutterstock

Yes, for free grocery delivery from Walmart+, orders still need to be over $35. But the good news is, unlike most grocery delivery services, Walmart+ gives you an hourlong delivery window. And for more regular updates on retail news, sign up for our daily newsletter.

You can save on gas.

Customer Using Walmart+ Fuel Benefit
Walmart

Walmart+ members save 5 cents per gallon on gas at Walmart, Murphy, and Sam's Club fuel stations. In an announcement on Dec. 2, the company said they're expanding where Walmart+ members can use their gas savings to include Sam's Club, a perk previously only awarded to Sam's Club members. And for more news from this superstore, find out why Walmart Is Banned From Selling This One Thing in Texas.

You can use contact-free checkout at Walmart stores.

Customer Using Walmart+ Scan & Go
Walmart

For customers who are still visiting stores but want to minimize the time spent there for both convenience and COVID purposes, the Walmart+ Scan-and-Go app allows Walmart+ members to scan items around the store, and pay with a contact-free checkout. And for info on where working at Walmart puts the most cash in your pocket, check out This Is the State Where Walmart Employees Are Paid the Best.

John Quinn
John Quinn is a London-based writer and editor who specializes in lifestyle topics. Read more
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