Wal-Mart's human cashiers will make a big impact during the holidays, the giant retailer said. In a move called the "checkout promise," Wal-Mart will provide a human cashier for each register during peak shopping times in order to make shopping smoother during the holiday season.
Wal-Mart's human cashiers will man each of their about 30 checkout lanes during peak shopping times from Black Friday until Christmas. Executives planned to put an end to long lines and in the checkout lane, which has led in recent years to shoppers abandoning the supercenters for smaller, easier to navigate stores.
"We feel good about price and having the top gifts of the season, so the next priority is about getting customers in and out of the stores quickly," Duncan Mac Naughton, Wal-Mart's chief merchandising officer, told the Wall Street Journal. "Taking the possibility of waiting in long lines off the table will attract more people into stores."
Wal-Mart has traditionally performed well during the holiday season, serving millions of shoppers, but profits haven't increased since 2012. Part of the reason for the stagnancy during the profitable holiday season is supercenters running out of items, forcing shoppers to go elsewhere for gifts and deals.
The "checkout promise" "doesn't move holiday traffic like having the right assortment and the right quantities so that people aren't showing up to the store and finding the shelves empty," Leon Nicholas, a retail analyst, explained.
To that end, Wal-Mart has taken initiative to devote more hours to the front end of the store and overnight stocking – two areas that will get customers in and out of the supercenters quickly.