Walmart Tackling Long Checkout Lines This Holiday Season With Troop Of “Helpers”

Image courtesy of Walmart

After spending your precious time plodding up and down the aisles of the local big box store, marking off items on your holiday shopping list, the last thing you want to do is wait in the checkout line for an hour. Walmart’s new plan to avoid this annoyance involves specialized teams whose only jobs will be to keep these lines moving.

The Washington Post reports that after feedback from customers unhappy with the holiday checkout process of the past, Walmart plans to hire these in-store traffic directors during the busy late-year shopping season.

The employees, who will don special yellow vests, might direct customers to available cashiers, open an extra register if things get especially bogged down, or act as gophers for price checks and to grab items you may have forgotten.

“That was actually the number one thing that customers told us,” Judith McKenna, Walmart chief operating officer, said during a holiday strategy presentation. “Which is, ‘How can you help us get through the checkouts faster?’ ”

McKenna says that the new helpers will begin work at stores on Nov. 4 and the size of the teams will vary based on store location and sales volume.

Also new this year, the company plans to focus more on its store pickup program, where customers place orders online and then stop by a store to grab-and-go.

Walmart will add department managers to the pickup areas in a bid to make sure things go smoothly, the Post reports.

As for any holiday deals, the company was rather mum on what it has up its sleeve, only mentioning it would be similar to its 2015 strategy. Last year, the retailer offered its traditional Black Friday and Cyber Monday (starting on Sunday, because, of course) deals, and then season-long promotions instead of weekend sales.

How Walmart aims to get you through checkout faster this holiday season [The Washington Post]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.