Wal-Mart will no longer have greeters at night, responding to increasing sales at dollar stores and slowing domestic sales growth; move will help cut costs and help 'stores [operate] as efficiently as possible,' says spokesman

LOS ANGELES , January 26, 2012 () – Pressured by increasing sales at dollar stores, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will no longer have store greeters at night, Bloomberg reported Jan. 25, 2012.

David Tovar, a spokesperson for Wal-Mart, reported that greeters who typically worked the third shirt from 10 P.M. to 7 A.M. have been reassigned to other jobs like stocking shelves and that the move would help Wal-Mart cut costs.

He added that Wal-Mart has been phasing out night greeters for the past six months.

“We realized that it wasn’t necessary to have people greeting customers because it wasn’t peak shopping hours,” said Tovar, “It was meant to operate stores as efficiently as possible, which is also part of our DNA.”

According to David Strasser, an analyst with Janney Montgomery Scott LLC, Wal-Mart is facing increased competition from dollar stores and slowing sales growth in the U.S. For the quarter that ended in October, Wal-Mart had a sales growth of 1.3%, ending a nine-quarter sales decline.

For the nine-month period that ended in October, U.S. sales accounted for 60% and 73%, respectively, of Wal-Mart’s total sales and operating income.

Matt Arnold, an analyst with Edward Jones & Co., predicts that, although risky, eliminating third-shift greeters will likely have little impact.

“That time of night, shopping at Wal-Mart is serve-yourself,” said Arnold. “It’s probably a minimal impact on customer service.”

The primary source of this article is Bloomberg, New York, New York, on Jan. 25, 2012.

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