It's not a joke.

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When I'm shopping, I've learned to tune out the intercom noise over the years—it's just part of the shopping ambiance, background chatter while I browse.

Photo by Caique Morais on Unsplash
Photo by Caique Morais on Unsplash

There are several reasons why someone might use the intercom at a store: an employee could be asking for assistance from other employees, informing shoppers about parking issues in the lot, or, most importantly, delivering vital safety alerts using codes. If you know and understand these codes, you may be able to protect yourself, your loved ones, or even fellow shoppers and strangers from potential harm.

Common Cents Mom, a website specializing in financial and shopping-related information, has decoded all of Walmart’s intercom codes, including the "secret ones." These codes fall into four categories:

  • General: Used for tasks like spills and stocking shelves.
  • Customer Service: Relating to customer service activities.
  • Sales & Discounts: Informing employees about sales and discounts.
  • Emergency: Indicating emergency situations.
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Each category further breaks down into four types of codes heard over Walmart’s intercoms: numbers, letters, word codes, and colors.

Let's focus on the category of colors, often signaling a change or specific situation in the store. Employees are trained to recognize the significance of each color, ranging from moderately serious incidents to potentially life-threatening situations. It's crucial for employees to understand these codes for swift safety measures.

Code White: Signifying an accident or incident within the store.

Code Red: Indicating a fire, often followed by a number specifying the aisle or store section.

Code Orange: Pertaining to a chemical spill, with the location provided after the color announcement.

Code Black: Occurring during dangerous and severe weather in the area.

Code Green: There's potentially an active hostage situation; call the police if you can do so safely.

Code Blue: Signals a potential bomb threat.

Code Brown: Alerting to an active shooter on the premises; head to an exit if possible, follow employee instructions, and stay calm.

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Originating as a small discount retailer in Rogers, Arkansas, Walmart has expanded internationally, with 25 stores in Maine, comprising 19 Supercenters, 3 discount stores, and 3 Sam’s Clubs. As of October 31, 2023, over 8,000 Mainers make up Walmart's full-time workforce.

While intercom messages may sound like a foreign language sometimes, each serves a purpose, ensuring the store operates smoothly and safely.

Familiarize yourself with these codes—they might be more than just insider knowledge; they could be crucial in ensuring your safety.

Here's What Each Walmart Emergency Color Code Means

Some Walmart intercom codes involve the use of different colors. Each color is linked to a particular event or situation occurring in the store.

The significance of these color-coded alerts can range from relatively significant incidents to potentially critical, life-threatening situations. Understanding what these codes imply is crucial for Walmart employees. This understanding ensures they can promptly take required safety steps as and when necessary.

Hopefully, you'll never hear these codes announced at Walmart, but if you do, at least you'll know what they mean, and how you should act accordingly.

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