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Walmart said yesterday that it is bringing back the greeter system that dates back to the company's beginnings under Sam Walton, saying that at most of its 5,000 US stores it will position staffers and entrances and exits.

The move is being made to both improve customer service and fight shoplifting.

Fortune writes that "at the majority of its nearly 5,000 U.S. stores, Walmart will position a greeter at the entrance, reversing a previous strategy of putting such workers in other parts of the store, including the main shopping aisle. As for the remainder, largely stores deemed to be at greater risk of theft, Walmart will also station a so-called 'customer host,' a worker who greets customers, but also seeks to prevent shoplifting by checking receipts. The 'customer hosts,' identifiable by their bright yellow vests, will also carry out other tasks from handling situations where a customer gets hostile to processing returns."

The story also notes that Walmart "is also creating a new position to have an employee oversee the self-checkouts, an area that promises to speed up shopping but is prone to theft."
KC's View:
Never understood why Walmart got away from greeters ... it seemed like a core differentiator that should have been emphasized, not abandoned.