Walmart Launches VR Training Program For US Employees

Walmart will use Oculus Go headsets to train employees in VR

The retail company will probably be doing the same training for the rest of its employees as the company plans to set up nearly 500 of these Pickup Towers by the end of this year.

Walmart is planning to send 17,000 Oculus Go headsets to almost 5,000 stores as part of their VR-based employee training program.

Walmart has been using VR to train employees in its Walmart Academies, which are centers in some stores that offer regional managers the chance to learn more advanced retail skills, since 2017.

Starting next month, Walmart will ship four Oculus Go headsets to every Walmart supercenter and two units to all of its smaller Neighborhood Market stores. Walmart may have managed to secure a healthy discount due to the size of the order, though.

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"The great thing about VR is its ability to make learning experiential", Andy Trainor, senior director for Walmart's US Academies, said in a press release.

One year after it introduced virtual reality (VR) headsets to upgrade training at Walmart Academies worldwide, the Bentonville, Ark. -based mega-retailer is rolling the headsets out to all stores in the United States, bringing the same level of training to more than 1 million associates.

But beyond the investment in innovation and associate training, VR technology helps teach skills that enrich the careers of associates across the U.S. He added: "We've also seen that VR training boosts confidence and retention while improving test scores 10 to 15 percent - even those associates who simply watched others experience the training saw the same retention boosts". The VR tech will be used to train workers in new technology, soft skills like empathy, customer service, and compliance. And as it's all virtual, the training can easily be updated based on the feedback received from the thousands of Walmart stores using it. All the training for those towers was performed with the Oculus Go with no in-person teachers. Corporate contracts for the headsets would be very lucrative, especially with long-term support agreements attached.

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