Discount giant steps up hurricane relief efforts — again
Walmart is allocating more funds to hurricane relief.
The discount giant announced that it will donate another $5 million in support of Hurricane Maria relief. This is in addition to its previous commitment of $35 million in response to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
The new funds will support organizations helping with local relief efforts in Puerto Rico. In addition, Walmart is championing its own programs to aid victims — including effected associates — on the island. For example, with a network of 45 retail facilities in Puerto Rico, including two distribution centers and a satellite headquarters, Walmart is providing associates disaster assistance along with their regular paychecks.
The retailer is also centralizing efforts through Walmart Emergency Operations Centers (EOC). In addition to operating 24 hours a day tracking storm impacts and supporting associates’ needs and well-being, the EOCs also facilitate store recovery, and support community relief efforts on the island.
Besides interacting with FEMA, the American Red Cross, and other partners, Walmart has also sent communications specialists, electricians and other skilled support teams to Puerto Rico to help stores and club locations recover quickly. These efforts have helped re-open approximately 20 stores and five club locations, along with nearly a dozen pharmacies, according to Walmart.
In addition, the discounter plans to continue opening facilities under limited hours and metered access, a move that will control lines and deliver more security for customers. To ensure these locations are well-stocked, Walmart is using corporate jets to deliver emergency insulin, while ships transporting other critical freight departed Florida earlier this week.
To date, hundreds of loads of water, emergency supplies and other needed resources, like generators, have been delivered over the last several days. More supplies will be sent before the end of this week, the company said.
Merchandise is being sent to both open stores and those that are able to accept deliveries safely.
“Our associates and friends in Puerto Rico are in significant need,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, president of the Walmart Foundation and chief sustainability officer for Walmart Stores, Inc. “We want to do all we can to help, not only with immediate hurricane assistance, but in the long term, knowing that there are many challenging days of recovery and rebuilding ahead.”
Report: Restaurant chain is latest data breach victim
Sonic has been targeted in a cyber-attack.
The restaurant chain, which is known for drive-up ordering kiosks and roller skating waitresses, has confirmed it has suffered a data security breach. Specifically, the incident has jeopardized the security of credit cards from up to 5 million customers, according to KrebsOnSecurity, which first broke the news.
The first hints of a breach surfaced last week, when the chain’s credit card processor notified the company about a pattern of fraudulent activity among payment cards. The breach led to a “fire sale” of millions of stolen credit- and debit-card accounts on a credit card theft bazaar called Joker’s Stash, the report said.
The investigation is still in its early stages, and Sonic is still investigating how many or which of its stores may be impacted, Christi Woodworth, VP of public relations at Sonic, told Krebs.
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Report: Department store retailer keeps holiday hiring plans under wraps
Don’t expect to hear specifics about Kohl’s holiday workforce any time soon.
Unlike other chains, including Target and Macy’s, that have announced their plans to hire thousands of temporary workers during the holiday season, Kohl’s is not discussing the number of seasonal hires its will make, according to CNBC.
The chain did confirm it will hire “some seasonal staff.” However, it is more focused on giving additional hours to its current workforce — a group that it has been bolstering all year, the report said.
Walmart made a similar move last week when it announced it would give extra hours — and train — existing employees for both traditional roles, including cashier and stocker, as well as newly created technology-empowered positions, such as personal shoppers and Pickup associates.
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