Big-box retailer Walmart Inc said on Thursday it would hire more than 150,000 hourly workers in the United States, citing a jump in shoppers due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Rival Amazon.com Inc made a similar move earlier this week, announcing it would hire 100,000 warehouse and delivery workers in the United States as the virus outbreak boosts online orders.
Walmart also said it plans to pay a special cash bonus of $300 (258.80 pounds) to full-time hourly workers and $150 to part-time associates. The company will accelerate the next scheduled quarterly bonus, it said.
The 150,000 new workers being hired through the end of May will work in Walmart's stores, clubs, distribution and fulfillment centers, the company said, adding that they would be temporary at first but many would convert to permanent roles over time.
"Walmart associates have gone above and beyond the call of duty in serving our customers during these unprecedented times," President and Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon said.
A rush to stores by shoppers fearing quarantines or product shortages has cleared shelves, prompting retailers to boost the stock of food and hygienic items, and have employees on hand for in-store work or delivery.
Walmart said it was implementing a new process to "dramatically expedite" hiring for key roles, such as cashiers and stockers, adding that the usual two-week application cycle would be reduced to a 24-hour process.