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Spending On Employees, Technology Pays Off For Walmart

November 17, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Though investors were at first frightened about profit-depressing expenditures by Walmart – on e-commerce technologies and higher employee wages – there may be reasons tobe relieved. The company’s 3rd quarter results showed same store sales in the U.S. up for the fifth quarter in a row; store traffic increased 1.7 percent. The company acknowledged that its $1.2 billion “investment in our people” – i.e., wage hikes for thousands of employees – was the key driver of the big drop in consolidated operating income. But the increased pay for low-wage employees as jobs get more complicated and demanding has helped improve customer service, increase store cleanliness and reduce out-of-stocks. A key benefit is a big hike in customer satisfaction scores.
Phil Wahba , "Walmart is Slowly Winning Back U.S. Customers", Fortune.com, November 17, 2015, © Time Inc.
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