Walmart surprised more than 350 associates today with on-the-spot promotions during multi-city, town hall meetings in Atlanta, Dallas and Phoenix. The meetings are one way the retailer is listening to, learning from and thanking associates for the hard work they do every day.
“An incredible amount of work goes into the preparation of our holiday events. Our associates are the backbone of the company and we owe our success to them for their hard work and commitment to caring for our customers,” said Bill Simon, Walmart U.S. president and CEO. “We are grateful for all they do and are proud to recognize their hard work with higher pay, more responsibility, and opportunities to grow within the company.”
Throughout the year the company held town hall meetings with high-performing associates across the country. For the first time and in a surprise move, the associates in attendance were promoted on-the-spot. The associates who were promoted today have worked hard, applied for promotions, gone through the interview process with their store management teams and are highly qualified for the job.
“I know first-hand Walmart offers associates opportunity,” said Rodelf Azer, wireless associate in Philadelphia. “Just last month I was promoted on the spot in front of my fellow associates. It was very special, it made me feel like all of my hard work is being recognized and appreciated. It goes to show that hard work pays off in the end.”
NFL superstars Takeo Spikes in Atlanta, Deion Sanders in Dallas and Patrick Peterson in Phoenix also joined the meeting to congratulate associates on their promotions. Meetings were connected via satellite so colleagues at the Home Office in Bentonville, Ark. could witness the excitement and let associates know how much their hard work is valued.
Walmart is on track to promote 160,000 associates across the country this year, including more than 25,000 associates between November and the end of January. Walmart jobs provide opportunities to grow. Both full- and part-time associates receive training, education and workforce development opportunities plus an expanded discount during the holiday season to save 10 percent on regularly priced general merchandise and food.
“I’m part of the 75 percent of Walmart’s management teams that started out as an hourly associate,” said Timmy Peterson, store manager in St. Paul, Minn. “I started as a trainee in 2000 and now I manage my own store. Every day I look for ways to give the 250 associates in my store the same opportunity I had to grow and build the type of career they are looking for.”
Walmart recently announced its plans for Black Friday 2013, including events at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving and 8 a.m. on Friday. Associates who work Black Friday events will receive holiday pay, a 25 percent discount on an entire basket of goods and hot Thanksgiving meals.
“We know our customers and associates are excited about Black Friday. Last year, over 22 million customers shopped for Black Friday deals on Thanksgiving,” added Simon. The customer is in the driver’s seat. We have great options and great deals for them whenever – or however they choose to shop Walmart.”