Life

Notes to Know About Walmart’s Black Friday

You’ve been checking out the deals, and now it’s time to plan your moves to make the most out of Black Friday. No matter how or when you choose to shop, Walmart has you covered.

Black Friday begins in stores at 6 p.m. local time on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 24. But if you want to get a head start, the majority of deals will be available on Walmart.com starting at 12:01 a.m. ET on Thanksgiving morning.

Not only will you find great prices on the items you want, we’ve also secured substantial availability of these products to meet demand. For our in-store event, we’re excited to once again offer wristbands for select in-demand items like the DJI Drone Phantom Select 3 for $369 ($130 savings), Straight Talk Samsung GS6 phone for $249 ($150 savings), Apple iPad Mini 2 for $199 ($70 savings) and the Phillips 55-inch Smart 4K TV for a special buy of $298. Customers who receive a wristband will need to return within two hours after the event start time to receive their item.


Beyond wristband items, we’ll also have an assortment of other amazing gifts for the season – including the largest Black Friday assortment of Hatchimals for $48.88, the PlayStation 4 Slim Uncharted 4 500 GB bundle for $249 ($50 savings), a wide selection of the hottest Fitbit fitness wearables from $69 to $129, and connected home devices from Nest and Netgear.

Also returning this year are the popular store maps highlighting the locations of hot products, from televisions to small appliances and toys to drones. Maps can be viewed now online and on the app, and printed copies will be available in stores on Black Friday.

While you’re at the store Thursday evening, starting at 6 p.m., be sure to make an appointment to take advantage of Walmart’s annual wireless phone event. The wireless offer includes a $250 Walmart gift card and $0 down when qualified customers purchase a Samsung or Apple phone and sign up for an installment plan with AT&T Next or Verizon Device Payment. Phone activations will begin at 9 p.m. on Nov. 24.

Whether it’s downloading the Walmart app, mapping out your in-store plan or shopping online early, we hope these choices make your Black Friday shopping as easy as pumpkin pie.

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Opportunity

Blue Star Families Helps Unsung Heroes: Military Spouses

When I said, “I do” under a bower of roses to my husband, resplendent in his Marine Corps dress blues, I had no idea that the years ahead would bring the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the long war, many combat deployments and many moves.

I love my husband and found extraordinary meaning in helping to serve my country. Along the way, I also found that the costs can be very high.

Like many military spouses, I moved. I moved and moved again. I’ve lost careers that I cared about – and was good at. These jobs helped support my family while resettling my children and maintaining a home for my husband as he retrained and left again. It’s a lonely place to be. But I wasn’t alone.

Many military spouses deal with additional obstacles like putting the needs of the military above their own career goals. These obstacles can make full-time employment nearly impossible. That’s one of the reasons why a group of military spouses (including myself) got together in 2009 to create Blue Star Families, a national nonprofit dedicated to empowering military families. We want our families to thrive by providing them resources, support and connections to their civilian communities.

According to Blue Star Families’ annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey, most military spouses are not working. More than 75% of military spouses surveyed say that being a military spouse has hurt their career, and more than half of those not employed are actively seeking work. Of the minority of spouses who do work consistently, most earn less than $20,000 a year.

This kind of financial instability hurts military families. We know that dual income military families are able to better participate in their local communities and thrive while they serve. But, unlike their civilian counterparts, most military families face more hardships and uncertainties, because they volunteered to serve.

This is why Blue Star Families applauds Walmart for their new initiative to tackle this challenge affecting our military and their families. Walmart is rolling out their Military Spouse Career Connection. Beginning November 12, 2018, military spouses who apply for a job with Walmart or Sam’s Club will be given preferential hiring status.

Military spouses move so frequently that delays in hiring can mean they are not able to work at all during a duty station. Walmart and Sam’s Club can be a particularly good career path for military spouses, because there’s almost certainly a Walmart store anywhere the military sends families in the United States.

Blue Star Families is also working to solve the problem of military spouse unemployment. One of our major initiatives in this area is Spouseforce, an interactive platform for career-minded military spouses. It works in some ways like a dating app--both employer and employee can identify a possibly compatible match before making any contact.

It’s my hope that our combined efforts will help military families become more financially independent, and that spouses will have greater access to fulfilling, meaningful careers they can take with them wherever the military sends them.

I invite you to learn more about Blue Star Families and join us as a Blue Star Neighbor to show you’re a supporter of military families. When you stand with us, you help us create more opportunities for military families in your neighborhood, across the country and around the world.

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Life

Five Ways to Trick-or-Treat Yo’self at Walmart This Halloween

With Halloween lurking around the corner, there’s not much time left to prepare. But, getting ready for the festivities is half the fun!

To help you save time and enjoy all the activities leading up to Halloween this year, check out these five ways to make last-minute prep easy.

Make Yourself Boo-tiful With Curated Makeup Looks

The perfect makeup can make any costume complete.

Vhether you vant to be a vampire or have the braaaiiins to be a zombie bride, creating a festive face is simple and doesn’t have to take much time. Watch our cosmetics buying team create a lion, ice queen, skeleton and mermaid with five basic products in under 20 minutes.

For even more looks, visit the Halloween Beauty section on Walmart.com. You’ll find several curated looks with products to match, including DC Comics looks like The Joker and Wonder Woman.

Dress Up for the Party with These Costume Trends

Walmart.com makes finding the right costumes easy for everyone in your family with themed pages. But, sometimes seeing the costumes in the store can give you some much-needed inspiration, so get to your local store to see what costume jumps out at you before it’s too late.

Baby/Toddler – Animal-themed costumes are in this year, so go ahead, make your little one the cat’s pajamas.

Kid – As kids get older, Halloween is perfect for pretending – we’ve got character costumes like Black Panther, The Incredibles, Frozen and Paw Patrol.

Adults – This year, a popular trend is themed parties, so dress the part by stepping back in time to a different decade like the 70s or 80s.

Pets – The cutest (and most disturbing) trend this year is dressing pets up as food, like a taco or a hot dog.

Walking into October like...

Posted by Walmart on Monday, October 1, 2018

No Tricks with These Treats

There’s always one house that has the best candy on the block. Walmart has what you need to be that house. Get to your local store or visit Walmart.com before these popular picks disappear:

Make Non-Food Treats Available for Your Trick-or-Treaters

For many children, candy is the most exciting thing about Halloween. But, for kids with food allergies, candy can be scary. Even candy without allergens like peanuts can raise concern if it’s processed in the same factory as products that do.

To help, Walmart is partnering with the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Connection Team (FAACT), and many stores across the country have displays marked with FAACT’s teal ghost that give non-food options for trick-or-treaters.

There are several ways to show your trick-or-treaters that you have alternatives to sweet treats. FAACT recommends painting a pumpkin teal – a symbolic color for food allergy awareness – and placing it outside to let passers-by know that you have non-food treats. Or, hang up a poster to let people know your house is “teal.” Visit FAACT’s website for other suggestions to create a fun environment for all.

Let Pickup Save Your Party

You’ve picked your prizes, costumes and makeup, but you’ve run out of time. Good news: Walmart has pickup and delivery options for a larger number of customers than ever.

Pickup Today – Up to 80% of our Halloween items, including costumes and décor, are available for pickup the same day. As long as you place your order by noon local time, you can get it the same day.

Grocery Pickup – But why stop with costumes and décor? We’ve doubled the amount of Halloween grocery items that are available for Pickup, meaning you can get your candy and groceries at the same time. We recently opened our 2,000th grocery pickup location this year, so check here to see if your area has this service.

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Opportunity

Army Principles Helped This Walmart Manager Move Up the Ranks

Elise Hackstall no longer wears an Army uniform. But to this day, the military values she learned in her years of service still inform her identity.

Take, for example, the honor code she learned as a cadet at the U.S. Military Academy: She’s been known to quote it when talking to her 10-year-old daughter about the importance of honesty.

Then there’s a skill she honed as an Army personnel officer: Be direct and constructive, even when the message you’re conveying might be tough to hear.

For Hackstall, commitment, accountability and leadership weren’t abstract principles but essential traits that propelled her through a military career at Fort Knox.

When she joined Walmart, she quickly noticed a cultural overlap. The company's four basic beliefs had plenty in common with the seven Army values she already knew, sharing an emphasis on respect and integrity.

"A lot of it aligned with who I was," Hackstall says, "so that made Walmart a great fit for me."

That was over 10 years ago. Since then, Hackstall has been promoted multiple times. She started as a shift manager in Columbus, Georgia and became store manager at the biggest Walmart Supercenter in her market. That led her to an opportunity to move into human resources management.

Putting in the (Team) Work

Most recently, she moved back to operations as a developmental market manager, training to supervise teams across multiple stores. This position will give her the skills to apply for market manager positions that open up after her training is complete.

The training, along with her previous position as a market human resources manager across stores in four states, has introduced Hackstall to Walmart employees from a variety of backgrounds.

"It's really helped me to have a bigger appreciation of what kind of people make up our business—people from all over the country who help our stores to be successful," she says.

Hackstall's longstanding interest in human resources work extends back to her Army service at Fort Knox, Kentucky, where she was stationed after graduating from West Point. Hackstall served as a personnel officer and continued in human resources positions after transitioning to the Army Reserve in 2008.

She continued to serve as a reserve officer until this past spring, when she left the military to focus on her career with Walmart.

Hiring Heroes

Walmart is committed to recruiting former military members and matching them with jobs that fit their skills. Hackstall points out three skills that veterans often carry into civilian life: communication, commitment and accountability.

Military people know how to come up with a plan, articulate that plan and carry it out. When a store manager needs someone to run point on Black Friday, the biggest retail day of the year, she says, "If there's a veteran in the store, many times that's the person."

Hackstall adds that Walmart helps to create a network for the veterans it recruits. Recently, she talked with someone who was leaving the military and considering coming to Walmart. What advice did she offer?

"Anybody who joins Walmart will quickly realize whether the company is a fit for them or not," she says. "It's fast-paced, you have to be extremely adaptable, and you can't be rigid in your thought process."

"Limitless" Job Opportunities

Hackstall notes that Walmart offers a broad range of roles that might not be obvious to candidates who think mainly of the day-to-day tasks at a store. From medical services to real estate to information systems, Walmart's size creates all kinds of job types.

"There are limitless opportunities with this company," she says. "Whatever you want to do—short of being a brain surgeon or an astronaut—you can do for Walmart."

For Hackstall, spending time in her new role as developmental market manager fits with her long-term plan to gain experience in multiple facets of Walmart's business. When asked about the future, she doesn't hesitate.

"My end goal is to be the head of HR for the company," she says. "Every single position that I've taken has been to make sure that I am putting myself in a place where I can be competitive for that role."

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Community

In the ‘Nick’ of Time, Walmart Driver Helps Hurricane Baby

The week that Hurricane Michael hit Panama City, Florida, Nick Davis, like many other Walmart drivers, chose to forgo his regular trucking route.

With a shower trailer hitched to the back of his truck, he left his home in LaGrange, Georgia, to meet associates and their families at a local motel where they took shelter from damaged homes in the wake of the storm. That’s where he met Lorrainda, her husband, Wilmer, and their newborn son, Luke – a family in search of shelter after being discharged from the hospital and without a home only three days after Luke was born.

“If that was me and my family, I would want help.” Nick said, remembering the moment he saw Luke and his parents. So that’s what he did, along with several other Walmart truck drivers helping on the ground. “I was there at the right time and I wasn’t going to let them go.”

Nick and the team at the Walmart supercenter on Front Beach Road in Panama City Beach gathered last week to give Luke’s parents the baby shower they deserve, complete with one year of free Parent’s Choice diapers. You can see more of their story in the video above.

Editor’s note: Disaster relief remains one of the top priorities for charitable giving from Walmart, the Walmart Foundation and Sam’s Club, with a combined total of over $12 million contributed to hurricane response and relief just this year.

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