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Sam’s Club outsourcing demo program, laying off 10,000

Bentonville, Ark. – As part of a new initiative to shift its in-store product demonstrations to a third party, warehouse club chain Sam’s Club is laying off 10,000 associates, most of whom are part-time.

The company is also eliminating the new business membership representative position, impacting about two employees per club.

In a notice yesterday to Sam's Club workers, the chain’s president and ceo, Brian Cornell, announced the appointment of Shopper Events to run in-club product sampling and demonstration for the company. The new and enhanced demo program has been dubbed Tastes and Tips and will include integrated demo stations, signage, uniforms and product selling.

Cornell said in the memo that Shopper Events plans to “rapidly staff up to accommodate this new business and that it expects to hire roughly the same number of people” Sam’s Club let go – all of whom could apply for the positions.

 “We do not make these decisions lightly, and know that this is a difficult development for the members of our Sam’s Club family who will be leaving the company,” Cornell said. “In addition to providing severance pay and benefits for eligible associates, we are working to find opportunities at other clubs and in Walmart stores, in addition to Shopper Events.”

Shopper Events also manages the “Bright Ideas” in-store demos for the U.S. Walmart operation.


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