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In the wake of hiring an independent marketing firm to perform in-store demonstrations at its Sam’s Clubs, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. will cut 11,200 jobs at the division, according to published reports.
Using Rogers, Ark.-based Shopper Events will result in the termination of about 10,000 employees, or 9 percent of the mega-retailer’s workforce, Wal-Mart said, adding that most of the positions are part-time. The retailer also will eliminate about 1,200 jobs in business membership recruiting, or about two positions at each Sam’s Clubs.
In a memo to employees quoted in the Los Angeles Times, Sam’s Club president and CEO Brian Cornell wrote outsourcing product demonstrations would give members “a chance to discover new items,” thereby driving sales at the warehouse club chain, which has faced tough competition from the likes of such rivals as Costco.
Shopper Events, which currently runs demos at Bright Ideas stations in about 2,000 Walmart Supercenters, will create a similar program for Sam’s Club called “Tastes and Tips,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
“It will give us the opportunity to highlight our value and selection to our members in food and beverage products, personal wellness and electronics,” Cornell noted in the memo.
According to the Bentonville, Ark.-based company, Shopper Events plans to hire about the same number of employees to run the demos, and that the employees who are being let go could apply for them.
Earlier this month Wal-Mart revealed its plans to close 10 underperforming Sam’s Clubs in the United States and lay off about 1,500 workers.