Walmart U.S. President and CEO John Furner and Sam’s Club President and CEO Kath McLay issued a joint statement March 25 on how they are supporting their small business partners during the coronavirus pandemic.
They stated Walmart and Sam’s Club serve thousands of American communities hand-in-hand with other businesses—“businesses that employ many of our customers, members and loved one.”
“Today, we wanted to share how we’re supporting some of these partners as they deal with the spread of Covid-19 in the U.S.,” they stated.
A variety of small businesses operate inside Walmart Supercenters and Sam’s Clubs—hair and nail salons, optometrists, restaurant franchises, veterinary clinics, local and regional banks. They have more than 10,000 leased spaces throughout the country.
“This is a trying time for many of these establishments—just as it is for so many other businesses across America. Some have had to temporarily close – or significantly reduce hours and services.
“We want to help. That’s why we’re waiving rent for all Walmart property partners for the month of April, as well as for the hundreds of eye doctors who operate at Sam’s Clubs. It’s our hope that this rent relief will help these businesses financially weather the current situation and take care of their employees,” Furner and McLay stated.
They plan to monitor the need for additional support past April. They also are working with many of their partners to encourage their impacted employees to apply for the 150,000 temporary jobs Walmart and Sam’s Club plan to fill in the coming months.
Supply chain financing program
This is also a difficult time for some of Walmart’s and Sam’s Club’s suppliers: the companies who produce the products they sell on our shelves and websites.
“Capital is increasingly maxed for some suppliers, as their business models change and shift. Because of this, we’re making changes to our Supply Chain Financing program, which is a program where Walmart and Sam’s Club work with national banks to allow qualified suppliers to get payments from us faster. We’re improving the program: by adding dedicated resources to speed up the on-boarding process; eliminating an eligibility requirement; and adding JPMorgan Chase as a partner (they join existing partners Citibank and Wells Fargo),” they stated.
More than two-thirds of their 18,000 suppliers are small and medium-sized businesses who could benefit from this newly enhanced program. Furner and McLay stated they encourage their suppliers to look into it, through their Supplier Academy system.
“These are two ways we are trying to help our partners during this difficult and unprecedented situation. We know that by working together, we’ll be able to make the greatest difference for our customers, our members and for America,” they stated.
Walmart and Sam’s Club are headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas.