Leaked Memo Exposes Major Change to Walmart

Joel Eisenberg

The company’s online substitution policy is being overhauled. Other changes are following.

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Author’s Note

This article is based on corporate postings and accredited media reports. Linked information within this article is attributed to the following outlets: Yahoo.com, EatThis.com, and The-Sun.com.

Introduction

According to Yahoo.com’s September 13 piece, “Walmart Is Getting Rid of This for Shoppers, Leaked Memo Reveals,” one of Walmart’s regular services is being discontinued.

As excerpted from the article, regarding the company’s online ordering system popularized during the height of COVID-19: When an item you ordered is out of stock or unavailable, Walmart will send you an email offering you a similar item as a substitution, per the retailer's website. You can choose to accept, decline, or return it, but here's where shoppers have been lucking out: If the substitution Walmart offers is more expensive and you accept it, you're still charged the lower price for the product you originally ordered, according to Insider.

The article goes on to discuss the specific change, and states other companies have been taking similar measures: This price-match substitution perk won't be sticking around, however. On Sept. 12, Insider reported that a leaked company memo sent to Walmart store managers last week indicated that this policy will be changing in the coming weeks. According to the news outlet, the update will force some shoppers to spend more on substitutions they receive through online pickup and delivery orders. "Moving forward, customers will now pay the list price for specific substitution items made on their order," the internal memo reads, per Insider. "Customers and members will receive updates about this change in the Walmart app at various points in their shopping experience."

Let us explore further.

Walmart, 2022

Several other media outlets picked up on the story, and the repercussions thereof.

EatThis.com also featured a September 13 article on the matter. In “Walmart Is Changing This Important Substitution Policy, Memo Reveals,” it is explained that online shopping at Walmart will likely soon become more expensive despite an anticipated balance: But the updated policy will also give customers "extra controls" over their orders, including the ability to select and save their own substitution preferences, accept or reject the substitution options presented to them, or opt out of receiving substitutions entirely. "There will be a bit of a transition period," a Walmart spokesperson told Insider. "But overall, this is pretty common, and we don't anticipate customers would have an issue paying for items they're receiving from us."

The-Sun.com, in its September 13 piece, “Bag to Basics: Walmart Will Ban Shoppers From An Everyday Practice That Could Hit Millions of Customers With a Hidden Fee,” addressed a second company change in its reportage: Walmart will soon ban shoppers from an everyday practice that could hit millions of customers with a hidden fee. The multinational retail corporation announced a major policy change that will require shoppers to bring their own bags to stores in specific states. Colorado’s state legislature has implemented a single-use plastic ban set to start on January 1, 2024 — and a 10-cent fee will be applied to each bag purchased at the store. And customers who are unaware of the policy, or who simply forget to bring a bag to the store, will be charged a small fee when purchasing a bag during check-out.

The bag ban is largely expected to carry over into other states, per similar reports.

Conclusion

Should any further major changes be undertaken at the company, I will report them here, on NewsBreak.

Thank you for reading.

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I am an award-winning author, screenwriter for film and television, and producer. My mission on News Break is to share socially important perspectives on both culture and pop-culture. Member of PEN America, and the WGA.

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