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Death of the Walmart greeter.....
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Death of the Walmart greeter.....

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Death of the Walmart greeter.....

Walmart is to dispense with the outdoor 'people greeters' who have traditionally welcomed customers outside its stores.

The retail giant got rid of its night-shift greeters four months ago, and now intends to move day-shift staff inside its shops.

Known for welcoming shoppers with 'a cart and a smile,' the greeters have been a feature of the chain's customer service since 1980, when the store's founder decided that 'aggressive hospitality' would help set it apart from competitors.

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Staff fears: Some Walmart workers believe their jobs will be scrapped, but a spokesman has insisted they 'are not going anywhere'.

While many staff have expressed fears that their jobs will soon be scrapped, Walmart spokesman David Tovar said, 'they're not going anywhere'.

He said the greeters would be given more responsibility under the indoor move, so that they can 'really focus on customer service,' and interact more with customers.

Jerome Allen, a greeter from Fort Worth in Texas, said he has been allocated a new job standing in 'high traffic' areas of the store, asking customers if they need any assistance, and directing the flow of traffic.

He said his hours have been cut, and that he fears he will soon be made redundant.

Mr Tovar said the decision was a way to to rein in costs and prices.

Although Walmart's sales picked up by 1.3 percent in the quarter that ended in October 2010, they had previously fallen for nine straight quarters as the chain was out-competed by dollar stores.

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Lowering costs: The company says the change will save it money and allow greeters to interact more with customers

Analysts do not expect the switch to impact noticeably on Walmart's sales, but say it may indicate a change of focus for the firm.

'The Walmart greeter put a friendly face on the big box, self-service store,' said Wendy Liebmann, CEO and chief shopper of consulting firm WSL Strategic Retail.

'More than ever, shoppers are looking for an engaging experience at retail. Especially in this new digital world. It's not only about the lowest price. Hopefully Walmart understands this, and will find a new way to deliver it.'

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Long-standing: Many of Walmart's greeters have been with the company for several years. Frank Brincho, 94, pictured, has been a greeter at the Foothill Ranch store in California for over a decade

Read more: Death of the Walmart greeter: Shop scraps door staff after 30 years | Mail Online

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