Walmart offers rent relief to in-store business partners

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Walmart offers rent relief to in-store business partners

By Marianne Wilson - 03/25/2020

Walmart Inc. is offering financial assistance to the small businesses that operate shops inside Walmart and Sam’s Club locations. 

The retail giant will waive the rent of its “property partners” in Walmart and Sam’s Club stores for the month of April. The relief comes as COVID-19 has caused some of the businesses to temporarily close or significantly reduce their hours and services.

Walmart has more than 10,000 leased spaces in its locations throughout the country, ranging from hair and nail salons, optometrists and restaurant franchises to veterinary clinics and local and regional banks.

“This is a trying time for many of these establishments – just as it is for so many other businesses across America,” John Furner, president & CEO Walmart U.S. and Kath McLay, president & CEO, Sam’s Club, said in a joint statement. “It’s our hope that this rent relief will help these businesses financially weather the current situation and take care of their employees.”

In addition, Walmart is making changes to its supply-chain financing program, which is designed to allow qualified suppliers to get payments from the chain faster. The retailer is improving the program by adding dedicated resources to speed up the on-boarding process. It’s also eliminating an eligibility requirement and adding JPMorgan Chase as a partner (joining existing partners Citibank and Wells Fargo).

“This is also a difficult time for some of our suppliers,” stated Furner and McLay. “Capital is increasingly maxed for some suppliers as their business models change and shift. More than two-thirds of our 18,000 suppliers are small and medium-sized businesses who could benefit from this newly enhanced program.”

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