To prevent the spread of COVID-19, San Francisco and other cities have asked people to only leave their homes for essential goods like food and medicine.
Of course, the essential goods can only be made, packaged, delivered to the store, and sold in the store, when thousands of people who do this work leave their homes.
A Walmart spokesperson said that “while this is a challenging time, people have remained relatively calm,” adding, “we’re thankful for the way our associates have pulled together.”
Walmart employs over 2.2 million associates worldwide.
Nearly every grocery store, retailer and major company in the service industry in America are facing similar conditions. But it’s a particular hurdle at Walmart supercenters, which average around 180,000 square feet, with roughly 120,000 items on the shelves and have about 300 workers.
United Towns Will See Us Through
Walmart’s executive vice president and chief customer officer, Janey Whiteside, told Adweek that she wanted to forge emotional connections with customers and focus on more purpose-driven elements.
A lot of ad people skewer brand purpose. I’m not one of them. Shoppers choose to spend their dollars at stores that work for them, whatever that means to each individual. Walmart offers low prices, but what else does it offer? If/when people feel like Walmart is essential to the community, and many do, the brand stands for more than low prices, and that’s a big plus.
The above Super Bowl ad was made by FCB. To the tune of Elton John’s “Rocket Man,” a narrator intones: “We don’t just see united states. We see united towns.”
It’s a feel-good commercial from a company that has been the scene of mass shootings. The race-motivated massacre in El Paso last year isn’t something that residents of the city will heal from anytime soon. People are justifiably scared (and scarred) by the regular occurrence of gun violence.
A Harris Poll conducted between Aug. 8 and 12, 2019 (among 2,017 adults ages 18 and older who reside in the U.S.) found that more than three-quarters of adults (79%) in the U.S. say they experience stress as a result of the possibility of a mass shooting. Additionally, many adults report that they are changing their behavior due to fear of mass shootings. Nearly one in three adults (32%) feel they cannot go anywhere without worrying about being a victim of a mass shooting.
We can now add fear of infectious disease to fear of being shot. While shopping.
Walmart Foundation Kicks In $25M
To help meet the critical needs resulting from the global COVID-19 pandemic, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have committed $25 million to support organizations on the front lines responding to the outbreak.
The funds will be used to strengthen the global public health response, bolster food security, and support the needs of local communities in the U.S. and internationally.