Walmart has officially taken its black Friday preparation to the next level. News surfaced this past week that the company plans to prepare its employees for the shopping frenzy using virtual reality technology. Could this training technique help the $220 billion company survive one of its most challenging days of the holiday season?
TechCrunch first reported that Walmart was planning to implement VR training for its employees. The company hopes to have the VR equipment in place at each of its 200 training facilities across the country. The exercise won’t just be used for new hires though. Management is likely to get into the fun as well as they look for extra preparation for the busy day.
The VR training works using a 360-degree video simulation. Sessions lasting up to five minutes display various scenarios likely to occur during the black Friday hysteria. The employees will be quizzed with on-screen questions. Trainees will then be scored on their answers and ability to respond quickly when faced with adversity.
For its use of VR, Walmart teamed up with Strivr Labs. The technology innovator has partnership deals across many industries including retail and sports. Professional teams like the Dallas Cowboys, Washington Capitals, and Minnesota Vikings have instituted VR technology as a training practice. Strivir’s equipment comes complete with final reports and analysis that helps organizations record progress and growth.
With virtual reality’s aid, Walmart hopes to avoid a black Friday massacre like the one that happened at one of its locations in 2008. A stampede occurred outside a Walmart in Long Island with more than 2,000 people trampled before the store opened for business. That same year, two individuals were shot dead at a Toys ‘R’ Us location.
Thanks to its Partnership with Strivr, future and present employees will now face these challenging scenarios ahead of the actual madness. Being proactive will help the company in case these awful incidents occur once again. Walmart has taken strong measures to make sure black Friday chaos becomes a thing of the past.