The next time you go to do your 3 a.m. grocery and table saw shopping at your local Walmart, you may notice that the septua-, octo-, and nonagenarian greeters that used to stand between you and the brightly lit aisles of Walmart wares are no longer there.
The nation’s biggest retailer has spent the last six months slowly shifting greeters at its 3,000 supercenters from the 10 p.m. – 7 a.m. overnight shifts to the hours when most people begrudgingly shop at Walmart.
Greeters have been a part of the Walmart staff since 1980, when store founder Sam Walton apparently decided that shoppers liked saying hi to old people.
One analyst tells Bloomberg that paring back on greeters, even during the overnight hours is a risky move for the retailer: “Consumers have been going to Walmart for years, and greeters have become an expectation. To a degree it defines Walmart.”
We would counter that most people shop at Walmart because it’s convenient and won’t actually care or notice if greeters are there. To that end, please take part in our completely not-at-all-scientific poll: