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Did Walmart just guarantee it will be the easiest place to shop this Christmas?

Sep 22, 2022

Walmart is known for its low prices, and the retailer seems determined to also be synonymous with convenient holiday shopping with new programs that promise to make it easier to buy and return Christmas gifts this year.

The retail giant today announced it is launching three “worry-free” return options, including extended return windows for customers looking to start their Christmas shopping early, curbside returns street and door-to-door pickup for its Walmart+ members.

Walmart has issued a guarantee that qualifying gift purchases made on or after October 1 can be returned through January 31.

The retailer said curbside pickup has become a popular buying option for its customers and is now adding the convenience of returns to the service.

Walmart+ members at select stores will receive the most convenient option of all, with the retailer offering to collect returns directly from their doorstep. Members can schedule a return from home and they won’t need to have a box or tag. They will simply hand the return over to one of Walmart’s drivers and the retailer will take care of the rest.

Curbside and door-to-door collection services will launch the first week of October.

Did Walmart just guarantee it will be the easiest place to shop this Christmas?
Photo: Walmart

Walmart, in its typical fashion, also lets customers know that these conveniences won’t mean they’ll pay more for their Christmas gifts. The retailer said it understands its customers need to stretch their dollars more than ever after battling high levels of inflation for decades this year. The chain said it was making “significant price investments in key categories” and would offer “thousands more throwbacks this holiday” on the best gifts in beauty, consumer electronics, home, toys and more.

“Saving our customers time and money is in our DNA, and I’m proud of the way we’ve innovated to deliver exactly what our customers need for this holiday: greater savings on a wider assortment of gifts with a seamless omnichannel shopping experience,” said Tom. Ward, executive vice president and chief electronic commerce officer, Walmart US, in a statement. “We’ve listened to our customers, and the way we’re approaching the holidays this year underscores our commitment to making holiday shopping easier, affordable and more enjoyable.

Walmart announced yesterday that it will add 40,000 seasonal and full-time employees to its payroll as the holiday season approaches. The retailer is looking to fill in-store and customer service associates as well as truck drivers. Walmart’s hiring needs have been downplayed this year after the chain added 150,000 mostly full-time associates and 20,000 supply chain workers last year, CNBC reports.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How attractive will Walmart’s return options be for Christmas gift shoppers this year? How will the chain’s curbside return and pickup programs position Walmart against rivals including Target and Amazon.com?

Braintrust

“Walmart clearly pays very close attention to the operational lessons that Target provides. And they clearly intend not to cede any ground to anyone.”

“There’s going to be a tsunami of consumer satisfaction once they digest all the benefits on offer.”

“Curbside returns and especially pickup returns are WOW moments!.”

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