Walmart gave away Samsung phones to its 740,000 employees

New York (CNN Business) – Walmart launched a new app for its employees and is giving them a new Samsung phone to use.

The retailer is equipping nearly half of its 740,000-employee US workforce with a free phone for personal and business use. The phone, a Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro, typically retails for $ 499. Walmart also offers its employees a case and a protection plan.

Walmart said the primary use of the phone is for employees to use its new app called Me @ Walmart, which the company explained in a statement is intended to “simplify daily tasks, serve our customers, and plan for life outside of business. job”.

Some of the app’s features include scheduling, recording your shift, and a voice-activated personal job assistant that ‘saves time by allowing associates to ask the app questions to quickly locate merchandise and get answers for customers.

A Walmart employee using his new phone.

Walmart (WMT) claims that it does not have access to any personal data from the phones and employees can access the app only when they are working. Prior to this program, Walmart employees had to share company-owned smartphones, and the response after initial testing with personal phones was “good.”

“As retail continues to evolve – and rapidly – it is more critical than ever to equip our people with the tools and technology they need to be successful,” the company said in the statement.

Smartphones are Walmart’s latest technological advance. The nation’s largest retailer recently announced plans to build automated mini-warehouses in dozens of its stores to speed the delivery of customer online orders and curbside pickup orders.