Say Bye to Wal-Mart Greeters

TAKE POLL ABOUT THEM: Wal-Mart announces phasing out an iconic employee role—those store greeters who issue friendly hellos and play double-agent regarding merchandise return and possible shoplifting. Will you miss them?

Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton fought for years to get people greeters positioned at the front of each entrance of his retail stores, but now customers have to say a slow and sure goodbye to the 32-year run of those greeters.

This week, news is spreading throughout business circles about Wal-Mart's greeters being phased out. Patch spoke Tuesday to a longtime greeter at the in Eureka, who said the good news is that greeters will not lose their jobs. Instead they will be repositioned at other locations inside the store, he said.

An article about this topic in Huffington Post on Wednesday stated Walton first stumbled onto a greeter at a small Walmart in Louisiana in 1980. The greeter explained to Walton he had a "dual purpose: to make people feel good about coming in, and to make sure people weren't walking back out the entrance with merchandise they hadn't paid for."

YOUR TURN: What's the most interesting interaction you've had with a Wal-Mart greeter? Or most interesting thing you've seen a greeter do? Please share your memories in the comments' section at the end of this article.

Mary Anthonis February 02, 2012 at 05:57 PM
I've grown accustomed to their faces. I will miss them...really.
Layla Azmi Goushey February 02, 2012 at 06:05 PM
I've been helped by Walmart greeters numerous times.They are visible and helpful!
Eileen Tyrrell February 02, 2012 at 06:34 PM
I agree with Mary, it will not be the same!
Cedric Williams February 02, 2012 at 06:49 PM
I have to admit, I'm one of those grumpy shoppers that doesn't want to be bothered when I shop. Just leave me alone and let me buy what I came to buy. So I prefer not having greeters. I am sorry those people are losing their jobs though. Can't they teach 'em how to work the cash registers? That's what Wal-Mart needs, more checkers!
Scott DeClue-Stewart February 02, 2012 at 09:09 PM
We will miss those smiling faces as we journey into Wal-Mart.
Brian Doolittle February 03, 2012 at 03:51 AM
I worked there in high school, and loved the door greeters. Quick story: My junior year in high school I was cruising down the highway, not paying much attention to the road. I slammed into the car in front of me, though I was able to slow down to around 25 mph. Who was that driver? Our Walmart door greeter lady! I felt terrible, but she was just fine (wore seatbelt). She actually tried the fake neckbrace trick in court and turned out to not be so nice. Funny ...
Ruth Foster February 03, 2012 at 02:06 PM
Afraid you miss the point, Cedric---the vast majority of greeters are retired folks who NEED to work to supplement income--everything is SO expensive and constantly increasing in price, that many older folks just can't make it on a fixed income! As far as "bothering" you--is a little smile and "Hello, Welcome to Walmart" not a nice gesture? So many manners and polite gestures in our society are gone--let's not eliminate another one! Too bad Walmart, with all its multi-billions, is so lacking in compassion!
Judy Ziesemann February 03, 2012 at 07:16 PM
I will really really really miss the greeters if they are not there. I depend on them to get me an electric cart that is charged up and ready to go. Who is going to do that now? I also enjoy their friendly greeting. No other stores do that. Please reconsider and keep them where they are.
Joan Walker February 04, 2012 at 06:52 PM
Repositioning to other location in stores consists of standing in one area away from the doors and not helping with carts or any other help. Will not be checking for returns, or receipts. One door greeter has arthritis and was in pain all day from lack of movement as they can not move anywhere outside the little box he has been told to stay in. Very sad to see him in pain. This issue needs to be addressed to corporate and the local media.
Brandon Fry - Local Volunteer February 04, 2012 at 11:31 PM
Wow, will I have to get my own cart soon?
karrygdar February 05, 2012 at 09:05 PM
In addition, for some persons with disabilities, this was a good entry level position for them. Not everyone can handle the complexity of working a cash register. For those who want to be productive but need low complexity work (which there is very little of nowadays) this was ideal. Shame on Wal-Mart!
Ruth Foster February 06, 2012 at 03:05 PM
Probably have to bring it in a cart from the parking lot!!! --or what is next??? Walmart CHARGING you for the use! What a CHEAPO CO. P.S.Will Walmart SEE any of these comments???
John Baum April 01, 2012 at 06:07 AM
Some greeters are also disabled. Try and train someone to stand for 8 hours to please everyone at once and check them out as quickly as possible and they cannot stand up, or have another disability. Get over your grumpy Cedric, lay off the coffee it might help with your poor attitude.


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