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Reuters reports that it has conducted a survey of 52 Walmart stores around the country and discovered that "27 were hiring only temps, 20 were hiring a combination of regular full, part-time and temp jobs, and five were not hiring at all. The survey was based on interviews with managers, sales staff and human resource department employees at the stores."

The company said that this is not a broad mandate - less that 10 percent of its workforce is made up of temporary employees - but rather a way of creating a more flexible system where staffing levels are "appropriate" as opposed to being a strictly cost-cutting move.

The story notes that "the hiring strategy could save Wal-Mart money by trimming labor costs at a time when its margins remain under pressure. Many consumers are still struggling given a high jobless rate and lack of income growth, leaving retailers of everyday goods with little pricing power, according to other company CEOs and benefits experts. Competition from dollar stores, other big box discount chains and grocery stores is also intense."
KC's View:
I always think you can tell a lot about a retailer by the extent to which they view their own employees as being ambassadors for their brand ... and hiring temps, as opposed to full-time and part-time workers, speaks volumes about Walmart's priorities these days.