Greeters at the door of Walmart (NYSE:WMT) stores were a tradition for the company, one begun by founder Sam Walton. In recent years many of these employees were dispersed inside the store, but now Walmart is bringing them back.
The greeters' return follows a pilot program that in some stores moved these associates from action alley back to the front door, and in others created a new position of "customer host."
The host greets customers and can provide assistance including helping with returns and checking receipts.
The reaction was positive, according to Walmart. Shoppers appreciated the new host and said they liked easily spotting someone to go to for help and advice. Hosts wear a yellow vest instead of the traditional Walmart blue apron.
Walmart will use data on safety, security and shrink risks to determine which stores will receive a host or redeployed greeter. It expects to fill roughly 9,000 host positions and will place greeters at the majority of stores.
The pilot test was too small to gather more exhaustive results, but the company said it will continue to monitor and evaluate to find the best mix. It's part of the company's larger evaluation of stores that prompted it to close some formats and refocus on core competencies.
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