Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Sam’s Club outsources, sheds 10 percent of jobs

January 25, 2010

samsCheck out Sam’s Club cutting 11,200 jobs or about 10 percent of its workforce as it outsources in-store product demos and sheds jobs for recruiting new business members to its warehouses.

Sam’s Club, a division of Wal-Mart, will use a third-party company, Shopper Events , rather than its own staff to essentially hand out food samples or demonstrate electronics to passersby, allowing Sam’s Club to let go of about 10,000 mostly part-time workers. (Though they can apply for new jobs with Shopper Events.)

Sam’s Club is also getting rid of about 1,200 staff responsible for recruiting new business members.

(The move has some echoes of Saks Inc’s decision to offload workers at its cosmetics and fragrance counters at its Fifth Avenue flagship store by the end of this month and have outside vendors staff their counters.)

Sam’s Club’s moves could put extra pressure on rival Costco, which has resisted mass layoffs, said Wall Street Strategies analyst Brian Sozzi in a note on Monday.

Also in the basket:

* Italy’s Ferrero rules out bidding for Cadbury
* Bang & Olufsen unexpectedly posts Q2 loss

(Reuters photo)

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