Big Walmart Changes Announced

Joel Eisenberg

The perennial superchain is incorporating sweeping new business strategies beginning this month.

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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: CNBC.com, Marketwatch.com, RetailWire.com, and Bloomberg.com.

Introduction

I write extensively for NewsBreak about the Walmart superchain and its subsidiaries, as the global giant is arguably the world’s most influential retailer.

In recent days, other new business model changes have been announced by the company, several of which, if successful, will likely inspire other retailers to similarly experiment.

Let us explore further.

Walmart, 2022

Though what follows would likely not be able to be universally implemented by other companies due to their smaller size, several entities are already in discussions regarding similar company changes.

According to a September 15 piece from CNBC.com, “Walmart Unveils Virtual Fitting Room to Push Shoppers to Buy More Clothes,” the retailer expects their latest clothing department change to be among their most successful as a means of managing excess inventory: Walmart is launching a virtual try-on tool to help shoppers see how a shirt, dress or another clothing item would look on their own body. It is the latest way that the retailer is using technology from Zeekit, a startup it acquired last year. The discounter is launching the tool as some shoppers trim back purchases of discretionary purchases, such as clothing.

On September 14, Marketwatch.com published “Walmart and Target Among 1,600 Calling For Credit Card Fee Law, Says WSJ,” which detailed expected developments in credit card swipe fees: Merchants such as Target Corp. [s] and Walmart Inc. signed on to a letter asking Congress to pass a law that would require options for the routing of credit-card transactions over alternative networks, according to The Wall Street Journal. Sen. Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, and Sen. Roger Marshall, a Kansas Republican, who introduced such a bill back in July, said that alternate routing options would increase competition and lead to lower swipe fees when people use many Visa and Mastercard Inc. credit cards.

September 14th’s RetailWire.com also offered recent Walmart news. In “Walmart and Other Retailers Are Canceling Billions of Dollars in Orders,” yet another inventory management system is being put into place, this one which carries some risk: Walmart, Target, Macy’s and Kohl’s are among retailers that have recently said they are canceling some orders to better balance inventory levels, a replay of a strategy used at the onset of the pandemic. Other steps retailers are using to clear inventories as spending has slowed on some non-discretionary categories are employing markdowns and packing away products for the following year. The elevated inventory levels also reflect intentional over-buying to mitigate shortages and the easing of supply chain constraints. One risk of canceling orders is straining or damaging relationships with trading partners.

Finally, in perhaps the biggest company news, bank accounts will be offered to staff and patrons. See Bloomberg.com’s “Milk, Diapers and Checking Accounts: Banking Comes to Walmart,” which elaborates on the matter: A venture that’s majority-backed by Walmart Inc. is poised to emerge from the shadows this month with digital bank accounts meant for the retail giant’s 1.6 million US employees and legions of weekly shoppers. In coming weeks, the company will start offering the accounts to thousands of workers and a small percentage of its online customers as part of an initial beta test of the new service, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The article goes on to state: In January, the venture announced it would acquire One Finance Inc., which operates a digital banking account, and fellow fintech Even Responsible Finance Inc., which provides workers with early access to their wages. The combined companies, which have operated under the One name since the deals were completed in April, had 200 employees and more than $250 million in cash on their balance sheet at the time of the close.

Conclusion

In the world of retail, Walmart is second to none in terms of influence. Recent changes are being looked upon as improvements for the company in all measurable sectors.

Stay tuned for future updates 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.

Northridge, CA
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