If you’re considering part-time work or retail positions, you may have come across listings for “CAP 1” roles at Walmart stores nationwide. But what exactly does the CAP 1 job entail? What are the duties and requirements? In this comprehensive guide, I’ll break down everything you need to know about Walmart’s CAP 1 position from an inventory management expert’s perspective.
What is CAP 1 at Walmart?
CAP stands for “Customer Availability Process” – Walmart’s structured system to keep products stocked and available for customers on the sales floor.
The CAP 1 designation specifically refers to the overnight stocking shift that works from approximately 4-5am to 1pm. CAP 1 associates focus on stocking and organizing the grocery areas of the store, especially high-volume perishables like frozen foods, dairy, and meat.
CAP 1 is the first shift in Walmart’s multi-step inventory rotation process. According to Walmart’s 2021 annual report, their stores receive deliveries from over 100 distribution facilities up to twice per day, every day. Solid processes and systems like the CAP program are essential to managing this huge flow of inventory.
After CAP 1 stocks their assigned areas, the CAP 2 shift comes in the afternoon to stock overnight freight deliveries and replenish other merchandise like household goods, apparel, electronics and more.
A Day in the Life: Key Duties as a CAP 1 Associate
The core duties of a CAP 1 associate involve:
- Stocking shelves in the grocery departments, focusing on frozen foods, dairy products, and the meat section
- Front-facing and straightening merchandise for aesthetic appeal
- Rotating and date-checking stock to ensure product freshness
- Cleaning and organizing aisles
- Assisting customers with any questions and helping them locate items
- Referring customers to specialized departments or supervisors when needed
- Performing additional projects or tasks assigned by managers
CAP 1 associates are critical for making sure high-volume grocery areas are fully stocked and merchandise is neatly organized when customers begin shopping each morning. You’ll also provide excellent customer service when approached by shoppers needing help finding items in your assigned sections.
Understanding CAP 1 Stocking Responsibilities
From my experience managing retail inventory, CAP 1 associates often stock the following areas:
Frozen Foods: This includes frozen prepared meals, ice cream, frozen vegetables, refrigerated pizza, and all other cold items requiring freezer cases. Frozen foods drive major sales volume, so keeping cases fully stocked is critical.
Dairy: Such as milk, cheese, yogurt, sour cream, whipped topping, eggs and butter. Dairy is another prime area where fresh stock is imperative. Out of stocks result in lost sales.
Meat Department: CAP 1 will stock packaged refrigerated meat like bacon, hot dogs, sausages, lunch meat, and frozen items like burger patties.
CAP 1 associates also frequently “cap” bins, meaning they scan barcodes on bin shelving to identify which items need restocking. You’ll stock the bins with excess inventory that won’t fit on shelves. Proper bin management ensures accurate inventory counts.
CAP 1 Shift Hours and Schedules
CAP 1 shift times are set up so associates can stock at night to get store shelves filled before opening:
- Typical start times are 4-5am
- Shifts run 8 to 10 hours
- End times are usually around 1pm
This schedule allows the overnight crew to fully replenish inventory and prepare the sales floor without customers present. CAP 1 associates may work up to 40 hours per week depending on store needs.
Here’s an example typical daily schedule for a CAP 1 associate:
4-5am: Arrive and clock in. Check emails and notes from the previous shift. Review your manager’s stocking assignment for the day.
5-9am: Focus on stocking and organizing your assigned areas like frozen foods and dairy. Front-face items so labels are visible. Consolidate overstock items to clear space on shelves.
9-11am: Assist any early morning customers with questions or help finding items. Tackle additional projects as assigned.
11am-1pm: Finish stocking aisles and ensure all inventory is displayed neatly. Do final front-facing, date checking, and cleaning in your area before leaving.
1pm: Clock out at the end of your shift.
Schedules might vary slightly across stores, so be sure to follow your direct supervisor’s instructions closely each day. Meeting stocking timetables is key.
CAP 1 Pay Rate, Wages and Income
As an entry-level retail position, CAP 1 base compensation starts around $10 – $12 per hour depending on location and experience.
According to Glassdoor data, average pay for a CAP 1 associate lands around $11/hour, or approximately $22,000 annually assuming a 40 hour week.
Some stores may offer minor hourly increases for CAP 1 associates with seniority or extra duties like assisting with new employee onboarding. However, pay generally maxes out around $13/hour according to Indeed reports.
Progressing to a CAP 1 Supervisor Role
Experienced CAP 1 associates who demonstrate leadership abilities can be promoted to the CAP 1 Supervisor role. Added responsibilities include:
- Training new CAP 1 associates and coaching for performance
- Scheduling shift coverage and delegating stocking assignments
- Monitoring inventory levels and out of stocks
- Leading and motivating the team to meet stocking metrics
- Communicating with store management on CAP 1 operations
- Filling in to assist with stocking when needed
According to 2022 data from Glassdoor, the average reported base pay for CAP 1 Supervisors is $16/hour – a nice increase over the associate role. Pay ranges from approximately $13 to $18/hour depending on experience.
The supervisor role is a natural progression for CAP 1 associates looking to move up and take on more responsibility at Walmart. It can serve as a stepping stone into store management.
Key Skills and Requirements for the CAP 1 Role
To succeed as a CAP 1 associate, you’ll need:
- Strong customer service skills for assisting shoppers
- Ability to lift up to 50 pounds repeatedly to stock shelves
- Basic math and literacy skills for inventory duties
- Attention to detail to ensure properly stocked shelves and organized backstock
- Reliability to work the full early morning shift consistently
- Teamwork and communication to collaborate with peers and managers
- Physical stamina for extended periods of standing, crouching, and moving about the store
Walmart conducts standard background checks for all new hires but does not drug test candidates for CAP 1 positions, as confirmed on their hiring FAQ. That said, random drug testing after being hired is always a possibility.
Job Satisfaction and Turnover in the CAP 1 Role
The CAP 1 job earns a 3.4 out of 5 overall satisfaction rating on Indeed, based on over 150 employee reviews. Positive feedback cites the steady hours, ability to work independently, and helpful supervisors.
Challenges mentioned include the tiring early hours, physically demanding workload, and lower compensation compared to other retailers. Like any job, the CAP 1 role suits some better than others.
Turnover in stocking roles like CAP 1 tends to be higher than Walmart store averages. Retaining good CAP 1 associates is important for store operations. Be prepared to demonstrate consistency and reliability if you want to excel.
Why CAP 1 is a Worthwhile Entry-Level Opportunity
Based on my retail management expertise, I recommend the CAP 1 position for several reasons:
- Gains hands-on store operations experience you can apply across retail
- Develops customer service, stocking, and inventory skills
- Allows flexible part-time scheduling for students or supplementing income
- Introduces Walmart’s structured distribution and stocking processes
- Can lead to advancement into supervisor roles and beyond
- Provides stable hours in early mornings with no nights or weekends
The bottom line is CAP 1 associates play an integral role in Walmart’s success through proper inventory management, stocking, and assisting customers. It’s an opportunity to gain and demonstrate valuable abilities that retail employers need.
Conclusion: Your Complete CAP 1 Job Guide
I hope this guide provided a detailed overview explaining Walmart’s CAP 1 position for anyone considering applying or transferring into this essential store inventory role.
The core duties involve stocking, organizing, and serving shoppers in grocery departments like frozen foods and dairy. It’s an early morning schedule focused on having shelves fully replenished for daily store opening.
While an entry-level job, the CAP 1 role lets you gain experience in retail operations, distribution, and customer service – skills applicable across the industry. Use this guide to make an informed decision if the CAP 1 opportunity is a good fit for your needs.