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Walmart removes its greeters

Walmart takes away greeter to save money

Nadiyah Dowery, Staff Reporter

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Greeters have been a part of the Walmart experience as long as the retail chain has been around. The practice was started by Walmart founder Sam Walton and later picked up by other stores in the chain until it became the norm for all stores in the United States and Canada. His new Customer Host role will apparently require a different skill set, including handling customer refunds, scanning receipts, and checking shopping carts. In an official statement, Foran attempted to assure shoppers that “specific steps” would be taken to support associates with disabilities. For the host job, workers must be able to lift 25 pounds, clean up spills, collect carts and stand for long periods of time, NPR reported on Monday, citing interviews with workers and documents it reviewed.

News that Walmart soon will be removing its “people greeters” from the mouth of every store across America was ironic given how hard it was for Sam Walton to get them there in the first place according to CNN.

In 2012, Walmart moved greeters from the front door to inside the stores to aid customers in aisles and help with upkeep, but the company quickly reversed course. In 2016, Walmart brought back greeters, but changed the title and expanded the requirements for the job. Walmart created a new position, “customer host,” that replaced the role of traditional greeters at some Walmart stores. The job came with higher pay and expanded responsibilities like checking receipts, helping with returns, and keeping entrances clean. Apparently Walton was smitten with the double-agent role of the greeter: the ‘hello’ coming in, the ‘cop’ going out.  “Sam thought that was the greatest idea he’d ever heard of.” Coughlin remembers. He claims Mr. Sam was vindicated years later when he walked into a Kmart and was welcomed by a people greeter. Now many major retailers post these comedian cops near the front entrance according to Huffington Post. Greeters had to apply to become hosts. Walmart said in 2016 that it expected more than 80% of greeters to become hosts or find a new position at the company. For workers who were unable to find another job at the company, Walmart offered severance pay. Sam Walton’s “greatest idea” is dead — apparently a victim of the recession — several thousand greeters are coming in from the cold, to circulate around the store, helping customers find cheap Chinese underwear, and other useful functions according to Huffington post.

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