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Walmart and Dollar General Seek 200K Workers Amid Crush of Shoppers

While many apparel retailers close their doors and idle workers during the coronavirus pandemic, general merchandise chains–including the nation’s largest–are padding their payrolls.

Walmart said Monday it’s hiring 150,000 associates, include full-time, part-time and temporary positions, in distribution centers (DCs) and fulfillment centers (FCs).

“Our supply chain associates have been so vital to Walmart’s ability to serve customers and communities during this time, and I am so proud of every one of them,” Greg Smith, Walmart’s head of supply chain, said. “We’re growing, expanding and looking for more people who want to make a difference providing for customers.”

Walmart has also expedited hiring to get people working quickly. This means someone can apply online, get hired and begin working in a DC or FC in as little as 24 hours.

Walmart offers benefits like advanced training through Walmart Academies and access to affordable college. Depending on location, DC workers start at between $17 and $18 per hour. FC pay starts at around $15 to $19 per hour. These numbers reflect a new, temporary pay increase for FC associates–from now through Memorial Day, pay for all hourly associates in FCs will increase by $2 an hour.

As FCs, associates referring a new hire to their facility are eligible to receive a $250 bonus and the person being hired will also receive a $250 bonus. Both bonuses will be paid out after the new associate has been employed 90 days.

As the heightened demand for household essentials offered by Dollar General stores continues across the country amid COVID-19 concerns, the company said it plans to nearly double its normal hiring rate and add up to 50,000 employees by the end of April as it continues to diligently work to support customers’ needs.

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“We are proud to serve as one of America’s essential retailers, and we believe our customers are relying on us now more than ever to provide an affordable, convenient retail option,” Kathy Reardon, Dollar General’s senior vice president and chief people officer, said.

Dollar Tree Inc. said it plans to hire 25,000 full- and part-time associates at Dollar Tree and Family Dollar discount variety stores and distribution centers across the U.S. In addition, several drug store and supermarket chains have said in the last few days that they are looking to hire more people due to the shift in demand from the pandemic crisis.

“The Dollar General family continues to do its part in helping our customers and neighbors during these unprecedented times,” Reardon added. “We invite individuals looking to start or grow a career, as well as for those whose job may be temporarily impacted by COVID-19, to apply for opportunities to help further our mission of Serving Others.”

Dollar General currently operates 16,368 stores in 45 states as of Feb. 28, and approximately 75 percent of the American population is within five miles of a Dollar General. The company also operates 17 traditional DCs, five DG Fresh cold storage facilities and its private fleet network.

While Dollar General currently anticipates the majority of these roles to be temporary, the company has added approximately 35,000 net new jobs in the past five years, growing its workforce to 143,000 from 105,000 employees in February 2015.

Dollar General sells basic apparel, food, snacks, health and beauty aids, cleaning supplies, housewares and seasonal items.