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Walmart+ members gain early access to Black Friday deals, Amazon seeks 150K seasonal hires

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Walmart+ members are gaining early access to Black Friday deals throughout the month of November. Meanwhile, Amazon is looking to hire 150,000 seasonal workers in the U.S. ahead of the busy holiday shopping season.

Video Transcript


- Well, going into the holiday season, it seems like Walmart wants a little of that Amazon Prime juice. They are offering some new perks to Walmart Plus subscribers to try to get them to sign up and then get them to spend, including early access to Black Friday deals. I was just looking at some of the estimates for how many members there are because Walmart itself has not disclosed it, Brian Sozzi, and I saw 32 million was a number that was cited. I think Amazon Prime membership has topped 200 million. So you see why they want-- they want to get some of that share back. But I wonder, Soz, is-- you know, are early deals a thing that'll sweeten the pot enough for people to sign up?

BRIAN SOZZI: I will-- I will-- I'll push back a little bit. I think 32 million number for Walmart Plus, that is actually not bad. This is still a relatively new program, and they haven't put a lot of marketing behind it. I know that's a way behind Amazon Plus-- Amazon Prime, but still, not-- not as bad as you would think. But no, I think we're actually nearing a day, Julie and Brian, where Black Friday deals will just be open to members of something. So I'm going to have to be a member of Walmart Plus to get any form of Black Friday deal. I think that will eventually, over time, apply to most retailers, as they try to drive this additional form of income to their business.

And to me, it makes sense. I want something exclusive. I want to feel important. And I don't mind signing up for a Walmart Plus or other services if I want to be catered to. I like a little pampering. And if that means I have to pay 90 bucks a year and I get-- $98 a year, in the case of Walmart Plus, and I'm going to get a 90-inch TV for $20, hey, I'm all for it.

- And here's the thing. I feel like the supply chain issues are actually going to help these types of subscription services, because you take a look at Best Buy, for example, they've got their Total Tech Program, it's a little bit more expensive-- actually a lot more expensive, it's $199 a year, but consider how difficult it is to get a PlayStation 5 still, with these microchip shortages not helping. And all the demand is massively there. So if the only way to get early access to those drops when they do have them is through these subscription services, maybe 2021 is a major year to get that. I think that one thing I'm tired of is just seeing that plus on everything. [INAUDIBLE] at what point does everything just become a Costco membership, really? Isn't that all we're reinventing here? I mean, maybe not the wholesale aspect of it, but all these subscriptions for these retailers.

- Yeah, definitely. And that's a great point, by the way, about, you know, people wanting to-- there's all this pressure this year to be able to get this stuff. It also maybe will give these retailers more clarity onto how much inventory they need if they're accounting first for the number of subscribers, and also tied to a certain day, for example. Just one more quick note as we talk about the holidays. Amazon just out with the release it's going to be hiring 150,000 seasonal workers as part of the holiday season. Average starting pay of 18 bucks an hour, sign-on bonuses of up to $3,000. So obviously the fight for labor during the holiday season is also going to continue, not just the fight to get inventory.