9 surprises you probably didn’t know about Walmart

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9 surprises you probably didn’t know about Walmart
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It’s the store everybody loves to hate! Well, maybe Walmart isn’t so bad after all. Read on for some well-known and some obscure facts about the big-box discounter and decide for yourself!

Read more: 19 stores that will match Walmart’s ‘everyday low prices’

Walmart’s two-day delivery service is cheaper than Amazon Prime

Can’t stomach the idea of paying Amazon $99 a year to join Prime? Walmart is offering its own two-day free delivery service for $49 a year.

ShippingPass will offer fast, free shipping on more than 1 million commonly purchased items, no matter how small your order is or how far it has to go.

Of course, one thing you won’t get with ShippingPass is access to streaming video like Prime offers.

Lower prices are coming to 500 stores

Walmart is gearing up to save you even more money than it does right now! CouponsintheNews.com reports that price matching will be going away at 500 undisclosed locations across the country on June 9.

So how does that save you money? Well, taking the place of price matching is a widespread rollout of lower prices on thousands of items that were commonly price matched!

Signs are reportedly going up at 500 stores saying, ‘As of June 9, 2016, our ad match policy will be discontinued at this store. Instead we’re lowering our prices on thousands of items.’ If the experiment goes well at these few hundred test stores, it will likely be rolled out across Walmart’s 4,600 U.S. locations!

Walmart’s exclusive brand of T.P. is tops!

You don’t have to pay a lot to get the nation’s best toilet paper. Consumer Reports says the best roll in America is White Cloud Ultra Soft and Thick, a Walmart exclusive product.

At 25 cents per 100 sheets, White Cloud gets a high score of 77 out of 100 based on softness, strength, disintegration and tearing ease—and it also gets the magazine’s vaunted ‘best buy’ mark of honor!

The greeter job is undergoing an evolution in some stores

Back in 2012, Walmart experimented with removing greeters from near the doors and instead stationed them in aisles and in front of registers to help people find what they needed and checkout more quickly.

But now greeters are back near the doors, according to the company…only some of them have a new role.

In about a third of stores, Walmart is creating a new position called ‘customer host.’ Just look for the folks in yellow vests—not blue ones—and expect them to stop you and ask to see your receipt; they’re mainly there to deter shoplifters!

Walmart’s sunscreen offers great protection at a great price

Consumer Reports recently updated its Sunscreen Buying Guide for 2016 and Walmart was a big winner with its Equate store brand. Both of these products were named as ‘best buys’…

Lotion

  • Equate Ultra Protection SPF 50 for $7.85 ($0.49 per ounce)

Spray

  • Equate Sport Continuous Spray SPF 30 for $4.98 ($0.83 per ounce)

This is one store that loves veterans!

Three years ago almost to the day, Walmart used the occasion of Memorial Day 2013 to announce an initiative to hire 100,000 honorably discharged veterans by 2018.

Well, good news has come early for our brave men and women now back in civilian life: The retailer has already hired 130,828 veterans since 2013 and now has its sights set on hiring 250,000 by 2020. That’s going to be a quarter million veterans working for Walmart! Way to go!

Read more about the store’s veteran hiring initiative just in time for this Memorial Day.

Walmart has a way to make getting your groceries way easier

Imagine having your groceries all checked out, bagged up and ready to go before you even get to the store! That dream is now a reality with Walmart’s free same-day online ordering and pickup service.

The service is now available in nearly 40 major markets around the country. Some of the most recent to come on board include Kansas City; Boise, Idaho; Richmond and Virginia Beach, Virginia; Austin, Texas; Provo, Utah; Daphne, Alabama; and Charleston, South Carolina.

Existing major market strongholds like Dallas, Houston and Atlanta are seeing more store pickup locations being added to keep up with high demand for this service.

Not sure if Walmart does this where you live? Enter your zip code to find out.

The company is suing Visa over chip card transactions

Walmart has field a lawsuit against Visa because the credit card processor allegedly forces its customers to use signatures instead of PINs when paying with chip-based debit cards. The retailer wants to be able to require customers to use PINs instead of signatures because that method offers superior security to consumers.

‘PIN is the only truly secure form of cardholder verification in the marketplace today, and it offers superior security to our customers,’ Walmart said in an emailed statement.

‘Visa nevertheless has demanded that we allow fraud-prone signature verification for debit transactions in our U.S. stores because Visa stands to make more money processing those transactions. We believe Visa’s position creates unacceptable risk to customers and its actions and rules are inconsistent with federal law.’

Walmart is leading the way on wage hikes

The big-box retailer was among the first of several companies to announce pay hikes for all its hourly retail employees. Among the initiatives being rolled out this year on the pay front:

  • All associates hired before Jan. 1, 2016 will earn at least $10/hour. 
  • New entry-level associates will continue to start at $9/hour and move to at least $10/hour after successfully completing the company’s new retail skills and training program known as Pathways.
  • Associates already earning more than $10/hour received an annual pay increase in February rather than having to wait until their anniversary date.
  • Walmart is raising the starting rate of its non-entry level hourly pay bands. Anyone earning below the new minimum will automatically move up to the new minimum.
  • Associates at or above their pay band maximum will receive a one-time lump sum payment equal to 2% of their annual pay.
  • Thanks to these changes, Walmart’s average full-time hourly wage will be $13.38/hour. The average part-time hourly wage will be $10.58/hour.

Read more: Walmart vs. the dollar stores: Who is cheapest?

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Theo Thimou About the author:
Theo has co-written several books with Clark Howard, including the New York Times #1 bestseller Living Large in Lean Times. As a single widowed parent of two young children, he strives to bring unique savings tips to men and women like him who must face life without their spouses. He can be reached at [email protected]
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