This week, Walmart ($WMT) CEO Doug McMillon anounced that the world's largest retailer would stop selling ammunition used for handguns and military-style weapons. He also said that the store would stop selling handguns and "discourage anyone from carrying weapons" into Walmarts.

He also encouraged politicians to open up a debate about bringing back the assault-weapons ban and to fund research on gun violence.

The move, via several letters sent to politicians and Walmart employees, comes in the wake of a mass shooting that killed 22 people at an El Paso, Texas Walmart store. That event saw several waves of public outry urging Walmart to stop selling guns and to change its stance on firearms.

It's important to note that McMillon's letter was sent to his own employees. Pressure on Walmart to change its stance on firearms didn't just come from the customers and the public. Around 40 Walmart employees walked out on Walmart's e-commerce offices in Portland last month, while others spoke out publicly about the company's laxe stance on firearms.

Employee review data reflects a growing downtrend in Walmart Culture & Values for the first time in years, according to data tracked via Indeed, a workpalce review website.

Since July, Walmart's Culture & Values rating has sunk from a moving average of 3.15 to 3.14. This is significant, as it comes after a steady rise in worker sentiment since 2017.

As for McMillon, who took action and wrote the letter, employee ratings of senior management at Walmart have also seen a dip as of late, the first of its kind for years.

The fact that the CEO's letter was addressed to Walmart employees indicates that the company is aware of growing employee discontent. Meanwhile, it's also clear that some employees have taken to reivew sites like Indeed to vent their dissonance with the brand.

It's unclear if Walmart's change in stance on guns will shift the tide when it comes to employee sentiment. We'll keep an eye on the data as always.

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

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