By Korva Coleman
Gigantic retailer, WalMart, is going to lay off more than 11,000 workers at its warehouse club subsidiary, Sam's Club. In a message to Sam's Club employees, CEO and President Brian Cornell says the company is going to outsource their work - product sampling. Cornell says it's the one thing Sam's Club shoppers really love to do.
"Our demos can be a competitive advantage and we want to take this Member experience to the next level. Today we are announcing the appointment of Shopper Events, a third-party marketing company, to run our demo program. Our goal is to enhance the demo experience, giving our Members a chance to discover new items, and find fresh ways to serve their customers and families."
WalMart engaged Shopper Events, a 'third party marketing firm" to jazz up the in-store product sampling. Just a quick peek at the company's web intro declaims its strength at really bad English usage (On-brand Collateral!) and eyebrow-raising activity (Best-In-Class Executions!).
The people who work for Sam's Club are being encouraged to apply for their same jobs as new workers for Shopper Events. If hired, they'll receive new uniforms, stand beneath more colorful signage, and continue to offer you sausage concoctions, demonstrate toys and entreat you to purchase media goodies you didn't have on your shopping list when you walked through the doors.
WalMart says the change is only to improve offerings to its customers and doesn't have anything to do with saving money. CEO Cordell says WalMart is giving eligible people with pink slips severance pay and benefits. The company will also work to find them other opportunities at other Sam's Clubs and Walmart stores, if Shopper Events doesn't hire them.
A smaller portion of the layoffs are of workers with the company's New Business Membership Representative program. It's estimated about 1,000 people will be affected. It's not clear yet how the company plans to spread out the layoffs.