Walmart Canada responds to COVID-19 crisis

In a leter shared with Grocery Business Magazine, Walmart Canada has issued a statement to customers amid growing concerns about COVID-19.

Like many retailers, Walmart Canada is taking measures to protect staff and customers and in the letter to customers, Horacio Barbeito, president and CEO of Walmart Canada, outlines steps the retailer is taking, including dedicating opening hours of its stores exclusively to seniors, the disabled and those with vulnerable health conditions, and limiting quantities of products per customer to ensure there are more products available for more customers.

"Pickup and delivery demand is high. To help Canadians self-isolate, we're made changes to Walmart.ca to allow grocery home deliveries to be left at their door," notes Barbeito, who also states that Walmart Canada is hiring. "We want to immediately hire 10,000 more associates in our stores and distribution centres. There's a lot of work and we need you."

Walmart Canada is also donating $1 million to its charity partners and the Walmart Foundation is committing another $1 million for meeting immediates needs in Canada.

It is also donating an additional $500,000 to Food Banks Canada "so they can share critical food resources with local food banks across Canada. We’ll also extend our ongoing “Fight Hunger. Spark Change” campaign in support of local food banks until April 3 – and meet our goal to provide 15 million meals to Canadian families," states Barbeito.

"When it comes to broader needs, the Red Cross is working to mobilize relief efforts across the country. That’s why we’ll make an immediate $500,000 investment in the Canadian Red Cross to support domestic relief and recovery operations. And we’ll support any nation-wide relief campaigns in our stores."

Walmart is also ramping up support for employees affected by the crisis. It is offering access to live online physician care for all of its 90,000-plus workers and accelerating its annual bonus payments to recognize employees' hard work, says Barbeito.

"These are uncertain times for our business and for many of you. But it’s also brought out the best in our 90,000 Associates.

"I’ve been overwhelmed with the stories I’m hearing across the country. About Joel, an Associate in our Calgary distribution centre, who processed 3,200 cases in one shift – a massive amount! – to ensure that our products got to customers like you. About Associates who’ve worked entire shifts then volunteered to deliver supplies to local food banks. And Associates who are helping deliver food to seniors stuck in their homes."

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