‘Every Day Is Frightening’: Working For Walmart Amid Covid-19 Lockdowns
Enlarge this image toggle caption David McNew/AP David McNew/AP
Updated at 8:15 p.m. ET
The grocery store chain’s CEO says the company is making changes to speed up the delivery of items to customers who have ordered perishables and other essentials — and to decrease the number of workers at the company’s headquarters at the suburban Chicago campus.
Walmart is limiting workers’ schedules, said CEO Doug McMurtry during an interview with CBS’ “Face The Nation” today in which he offered his insight into how retailers like his company will continue to operate during the global pandemic.
Walmart has announced a three-week moratorium on store traffic. Stores will remain open, but employees will be asked to work from home as a safety measure, McMurtry said.
“This is going to be a very difficult time for working families. They’re going to have to make a lot of tough decisions,” he told CBS. “We’re going to do business differently. We’re not going to be as flexible as we’ve been in the past.”
The coronavirus pandemic has forced Walmart to shut down stores in all 50 states and territories and shutter its nearly 3,000-square-mile U.S. facilities. The company has temporarily closed or slowed production at its headquarters and distribution center in Bentonville, Ark., and has started closing some stores in the Midwest due to supply-chain issues.
“There’s no question that we are operating through this period of uncertainty, and the world isn’t coming to the U.S. in a matter of weeks. There will be more time to adjust and to adjust the business,” said McMurtry.
The company is also making a change to its store operations, he said. Stores are opening and closing their doors on different schedules, and the company is bringing in more delivery services, he added.
The company is focusing on its stores, which are where “the majority of the people work.” McMurtry said the company is trying to get “to the bottom of the inventory levels, and that’s what I’ve been focused on.”
Earlier today, Walmart’s board