Walmart is attempting to solve one of the biggest pain-points of online shopping — the dreaded return — with a new service.
The retailer announced Monday that it will pick up items shipped and sold by Walmart.com from customers’ homes through a new partnership with FedEx (FDX). Walmart said the “incredibly convenient” option is free and will remain in place beyond the busy holiday shopping season.
To use the new service, called “Carrier Pickup by FedEx,” customers have the initiate return process on Walmart’s website or app, schedule a date for pickup and print a label. Then it will be picked up by a FedEx employee.
Volumes of future marketing analysis will surely be written about this year’s unprecedented holiday shopping season, but for now we’ll have to make do with industry reports that reveal people’s pandemic-era spending habits in dribs and drabs.
The latest drib (or drab?) comes from analytics firm Sensor Tower, whose new dispatch shows a record surge in new downloads of shopping-related mobile apps. Black Friday alone saw more than 2.8 million first-time installs of shopping apps, the largest ever in a single day, according to Sensor Tower’s preliminary estimates. Year-over-year growth, the report says, was about the same as last year at 8%, but it was more substantial when you look at the entire month of November—with 59.2 million shopping app installs compared to 51.7 million for the same period last year.
March 20 (UPI) — Something far more unusual than shortages happened in the toilet paper aisle of a Missouri Walmart store — a customer gave birth.
Jessica Hinkle, store manager at the Walmart store on Sunshine Street in Spingfield, said the woman’s water broke in the toilet paper aisle of the store Wednesday and the expectant mother warned employees her last child had been born after only 30 minutes of labor.
Walmart is being sued for selling questionable alternative remedies.
The Center for Inquiry (CFI), a nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that “pseudoscience is prevented from harming society,” filed a complaint Monday on behalf of residents in Washington, D.C., against the giant retailer. The organization claims the superstore deliberately “creates a false and misleading impression in customers regarding homeopathic products, presenting them as an equal alternative to science and evidence-based medication.”
Source: Walmart sued for sale of “nonsense” homeopathic remedies
Two weeks ago, Walmart asked the Trump administration to walk back its plan to put tariffs on Christmas lights, shampoo, dog food, luggage, mattresses, handbags, backpacks, vacuum cleaners, bicycles, cooking grills, cable cords and air conditioners.
In a letter to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, the company said expanded tariffs on Chinese imports would hurt its customers, its suppliers and the US economy.
In April 2013, when the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh crumbled and killed more than a thousand garment workers, Western clothing executives were chastened. They were the ones, after all, who’d been pressuring Bangladesh’s apparel factories to cheaply reproduce runway trends for consumers in the U.S. and Europe who’d grown used to $10 dresses. Following the accident, H&M, Zara, Walmart, Gap, and other major brands announced they’d fund and oversee factory inspections in Bangladesh, demanding improvements from facilities that fell short and cutting off business with those that didn’t get better. Bangladesh, with the help of the United Nations’ International Labour Organization (ILO), created its own inspection program and vowed to shut down unsafe facilities. Better vigilance, everyone figured, would be central to preventing similar accidents from happening again.
World’s largest retailer Walmart is joining forces with the three biggest bottled water suppliers in the U.S. to provide enough water to last 10,000 public schoolkids in Flint, Mich. the remainder of the calendar year.
In partnership with Pepsi , Coca-Cola KO and Nestle , the big-box giant will deliver 6.5 million bottles of water, or 176 truckloads a day, to the crisis-stricken city, where all children under the age of 6 were exposed to toxic, lead-tainted water that may cause life-long damage.
Walmart announced its first ever mass store closing on Friday, with 269 stores worldwide set to close their doors.
Of these closures, 154 are in the U.S., including all of the company’s 102 smallest Walmart Express stores.
The Bentonville, Ark. big-box giant will abandon its Walmart Express format, focusing on existing Supercenters, its growing Neighborhood Market grocery chain and its e-commerce business, according to a statement.
Walmart said 16,000 employees will be affected by this decision, 10,000 of whom are in the U.S.
“More than 95 percent of the closed stores in the U.S. are within 10 miles on average of another Walmart, and the hope is that these associates will be placed in nearby locations,” said Walmart in its Friday news release.
Big online marketing mistakes seem all the rage these days. In late August, Spanish clothing and accessories retailer Zara got into hot water over what appeared to be a yellow Jewish star on a kid’s striped pajama top that looked like prison gear. Then there was Urban Outfitters with the Kent State sweatshirt that sported what looked like bullet holes and blood stains.
When confronted with evidence of what angered people, at least they managed to cleanly remove the offending items. It doesn’t make things all better, but it’s an important first step. If only Walmart had learned that lesson.
The company has just gone through a one-day rollercoaster with marketing stomachs likely still heaving. It all started with Walmart’s Halloween costume. Someone noticed a different subsection on the company’s website: Fat Girl Costumes, as the blog Jezebel reported.
And that started the very-bad-not-so-good day for Walmart’s marketing department. Even as the story was hitting online media and complaints were landing in the company’s social networking accounts–the term “fat girl costumes” apparently hit the top 10 of Twitter trends–things moved slowed at Walmart. Jezebel noted that by 11:15 a.m. eastern, there was still a fat girl costumes section, although there were no items in it.
Wal-Mart dispatched investigators to Mexico City, and within days they unearthed evidence of widespread bribery. They found a paper trail of hundreds of suspect payments totaling more than $24 million. They also found documents showing that Wal-Mart de Mexico’s top executives not only knew about the payments, but had taken steps to conceal them from Wal-Mart’s headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. In a confidential report to his superiors, Wal-Mart’s lead investigator, a former F.B.I. special agent, summed up their initial findings this way: “There is reasonable suspicion to believe that Mexican and USA laws have been violated.”
The lead investigator recommended that Wal-Mart expand the investigation.