Wal-Mart will staff more cash registers than ever this holiday season in a bid to address a big, chronic customer complaint of long waits in checkout lines. The world’s largest retailer will also hire 60,000 more season workers, or 10% more, for the Than ksgiving-Christmas period, becoming the latest company to ramp up hiring ahead of what will surely be another busy and competitive holiday season.
“We are committed to making sure our customers can find the products they want for Christmas at low prices and can get through the checkout lanes quickly,” says Gisel Ruiz, COO of Walmart US.
Wal-Mart’s move comes as the retailer has gone through seven straight quarters of declining customer visits to its US stores and not seen an increase in comparable sales for any fiscal quarter since 2012.
According to Duncan Mac Naughton, Wal-Mart’s chief merchandising officer, the possibility of shorter queues off the table will attract more people into stores. Wal-Mart supercenters typically have about 30 traditional checkout lanes — giving it more than 100,000 across the US.
Retailers are projected to hire more than 800,000 seasonal workers for the upcoming holiday season, the most the industry has hired since 1999, as retailers gear up for their busiest season that could benefit from continued employment gains and increased consumer spending, according to a report by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.