Wal-Mart cuts back on greeters
The retail behemoth has been phasing out greeters on the late-night shift at its 3,000-plus US supercenters.
When you go to Wally World late at night, don't expect to hear "Welcome to Wal-Mart" when you walk through the door.
The nation's largest private employer has been eliminating greeters on the 10 p.m.-to-7 a.m. shift at its 3,000-plus supercenters over the last six months, "chipping away at a 30-year tradition of making sure all shoppers are welcomed to the store," Bloomberg reports. Most supercenters are open 24 hours a day.
Cost cutting has much to do with this. "Same-store sales at Wal-Mart's namesake U.S. locations declined for nine straight quarters before snapping the streak with a 1.3% gain for the quarter ended in October," Bloomberg says.
The greeters have been moved to other jobs, like stocking shelves.
Greeters have been a fixture and the face of Wal-Mart for many years, but I'm betting that some of those greeters welcome the change. A greeter has what's probably one of the toughest jobs in the store -- being on your feet all day, blasted by outside heat and cold through the open doors, and saying the same thing over and over again. Post continues below.
Oh, and then there's the customers. Plenty of news reports indicate the challenges they can pose to these low-paid workers -- $9.08 an hour, according to Glassdoor (and a hat tip to The Consumerist for keeping excellent track of these incidents):
- A 69-year-old greeter reportedly was fired after a customer who set off the alarm tried to punch him and he swung back.
- A 71-year-old greeter was allegedly choked after asking to see a customer's receipt. The injuries weren't serious.
- A 100-year-old greeter -- yes, 100 -- said she was knocked down after asking to see a receipt. (The incident was later ruled an accident.) The greeter, who worked five days a week, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel "that her employers treat her well but that she works because she needs the money."
- A 72-year-old greeter had to be hospitalized after he was punched in the face outside the store.
- A 70-year-old Wal-Mart employee was allegedly slugged by a customer on Christmas Eve after she asked to see a receipt (which the customer had). It's unclear from news reports whether the employee was a greeter or a cashier.
I haven't noticed a change in the greeter presence because my local Wal-Mart is no longer open 24/7 and I'm generally asleep at night. Wal-Mart suspects other shoppers won't notice either.
Will the elimination of late-night greeters affect your shopping experience? Is Wal-Mart making a mistake by moving away from late founder Sam Walton's vision for the company?
More on MSN Money:
It seems most of the posters here that are negative are people that no one, greeters or anyone else, would want to talk to anyway. You are just a stuffed shirt, and if you don't like the way things happen at Walmart, then go somewhere else with your big shoulder chip. Walmart tries to give good service, but some people think the employees are their personal valets, and you can give a load of lip to an employee anytime. People that come in yapping on their cell phones don't care for anyone to say anything to them anyway. Rudeness is a way of life these days, cell phones, texting all get in the way of common manners. To a lot of the posters, and others out there, open your own business and see what it is like to be the recipient of peoples bad manners.
You all have a great day.
When you join Costco it is their POLICY to check your ticket on the way out. EVERYONE knows this. Other stores have no such policy & I don't have to let them check mine. HOWEVER, I have enough respect for senior citizens to say "sure no problem" to stop for a few seconds & let them look. I even thank them & tell them to have a nice day.
NOW: IT'S SAD WHEN THEY LOOK AT YOU WITH RELIEF IN THEIR EYES THAT YOU'RE NOT BEING RUDE TO THEM! MIND YOUR MANNERS PEOPLE. THAT COULD BE YOUR FATHER, MOTHER, GRANDMOTHER, GRANDFATHER!!!!!
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