Retailer to offer new phones for personal, work use
BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart has developed a new productivity app for store associates, and the company said Thursday it plans to give more than 740,000 workers new phones to use it with.
The Me@Walmart app was developed by the Walmart Global Tech team for U.S. store associates with the aim of simplifying their daily tasks and helping them serve customers better, according to a statement by Drew Holler, Walmart U.S. People Operations senior vice president, and Kellie Romack, vice president for product and associate experience.
“A great customer experience starts with a great associate experience, and our people will always be a competitive advantage,” Holler and Romack said. “As we make enhancements for our customers, we’re also rethinking how we can help our associates succeed in their roles today and deliver some of what they’ll need for the future. The right tools can be the difference between fast and frustrating.”
The Me@Walmart app grew out of a tool to help manage associates’ schedules and has grown into a single all-purpose in-store app designed to save store workers’ time and help them be more efficient.
“We believe it’s the first of its kind in the retail industry,” Holler and Romack said. “But it doesn’t stop there — we want to ensure associates have a sleek, new device to use the app, so we’re giving them one. By the end of the year, we plan to offer more than 740,000 associates a new Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro smartphone, case and protection plan to use — free of charge. Associates will only be able to access the app’s work features while they’re on the clock, but they can also use the smartphone as their own personal device if they want, with all the features and privacy they’re used to.”
As with the retailer’s longstanding “Bring Your Own Device” program, Walmart said it will not have access to any personal data stored on the new phones it gives to associates as part of this program.
“Until now, associates have shared company handheld devices,” Holler and Romack said. “We did an initial test with the new smartphones earlier this year, and the response was good. We are now expanding the test and will continue to evaluate to make sure we’re providing our associates with the best tools to do their jobs.”