Will Wal-Mart's New Hiring Policy Hurt Sales?

A recent report by Reuters discusses the reduction of Wal-Mart's (NYSE: WMT  ) staff ahead of Obamacare reforms going into effect, in an apparent effort to control costs. The survey showed that more than half of the stores polled were hiring only temporary workers. Competitors Target (NYSE: TGT  ) and Costco (NASDAQ: COST  ) take a different approach to the management of staff. A recent Bloomberg piece outlined ongoing problems seen within Wal-Mart stores.

In the video below, Fool.com contributor Doug Ehrman discusses some of the implications of the policy, how Wal-Mart's staff has been managed over the past several years, and why the move by the discounter may not be a good idea.

Obamacare will undoubtedly have far-reaching effects. The Motley Fool's new free report "Everything You Need to Know About Obamacare" lets you know how your health insurance, your taxes, and your portfolio could be affected. Click here to read more. 


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Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2013, at 4:22 PM, MonsterBob wrote:

    One more reason I will NOT shop at WalMart.

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2013, at 4:38 PM, wjcoffman wrote:

    How goofy is it that the Govt comes up with a policy such that compliance allows you to treat your employees in such a manner?

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2013, at 5:27 PM, Smoore66 wrote:

    Wow customer service can't get any worse Walmart is the worst shopping experience on the planet. Target is so much better I would rather pay the few cents more.

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2013, at 5:59 PM, Edubsny wrote:

    Don't be fooled as I'm an employee at target and they have also developed a new hiring strategy for the whole pyramid. Temps. Temps. Temps. They stopped hiring full time positions in all 26 distribution centers and signed a nation wide contract manpower.

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2013, at 7:43 PM, phillipzx3 wrote:

    Last weekend, our "block party" all agreed to stop shopping at Walmart until they change their ways.

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2013, at 8:04 PM, neamakri wrote:

    Firstly, every time govt. sticks its nose into private business, it messes up. That being said, Walmart is just doing what many companies have to do to defend against govt. mandated "taxes". And the poor little workers suffer again. This will not affect Wally's sales. However...

    GetRiddaO hit the nail on the head. Bad stores, bad customer service, and inadequate staffing will drive us Fools over to Target!

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2013, at 8:45 PM, marlenekay4 wrote:

    This is nothing new. Businesses have been hiring and keeping only part time workers for year so they don't have to pay for insurance policies for the employees. Back in 1990, I worked for Kmart and this was the case.

    Most people cannot afford to shop anywhere but Walmart, so no the sales will not drop.

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2013, at 8:55 PM, ender098 wrote:

    People act like Corporations OWE the worker something. They don't! They are out to make a profit. YOU have a choice, to work for them or work elsewhere....just like shopping. Where do YOU go to shop? Usually the place that offers it to you the cheapest....they CAN'T offer it to you cheaper than the competition without cutting somewhere. I don't blame Industry, I blame the Government. If they REALLY wanted to get a handle on Healthcare, they would look into REAL costs at hospitals and try to level THAT playing field. Had they kept rising healthcare costs under control, they wouldn't need to force Obamacare on the Nation!

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2013, at 8:57 PM, elfdogmaster wrote:

    Since Walmart can't teach their employees to speak English, could they at least teach them to smile?

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2013, at 9:06 PM, elfdogmaster wrote:

    I think the government should get out of the health care business altogether, nothing in this country will ever change until immigration is fixed. Whom do you think it is that is putting the strain on hospitals, clinics, and public services that were put in place to take care of actual citizens of this country. We are held hostage in our own country for the sake of a vote, and our politicians, that we elected to represent US in Washington, pander themselves to every special interest group...for the sake of a vote.

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2013, at 9:20 PM, modernqueen wrote:

    I hate wal mart!! Terrible service and they are not the cheapest store. Another reason I don't shop there.

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2013, at 9:33 PM, mancoe wrote:

    Silly lib commenters. WM is doing exactly what it needs to survive with Obamacare underway next year. If it weren't for Odumbocare, you think Walmart would have to resort to temp workers? And please children, WM is well known for their crappy customer service and that's the reason why you go to WM? LOL I go there because of the price.

    I buy at WM, I leave. Spare me your "i hate their customer service" nonsense. Why don't you blame the govt for intruding on a private sector matter?

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2013, at 10:04 PM, wormholehead wrote:

    I stopped shopping there about 2 months ago, due to this. I don't miss it. As long as people keep swallowing what they're feeding us, things will never change. I've gotten very much into researching where my money is going, and boycotting companies that have policies or donate to causes I do not approve of. It's not easy, but I can live with myself at the end of the day.

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2013, at 11:03 PM, randigittydog123 wrote:

    I'm tired of people complaining about Obama this, and Obama that. You are probably the same idiots who voted for the pinhead in the first place. Typical Liberals, never happy with anything, always complaining, even though they are the ones to blame.

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2013, at 11:09 PM, tiyous wrote:

    I stopped shopping at Wal-mart this year the service is horrible, the bathrooms are filthy, and they are using the coming of the insurance as an excuse to hire only part-time ; in the meantime, those workers can apply for food stamps, cannot make a living wage, while the Walton family gets richer and richer.

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2013, at 11:46 PM, jdsatx wrote:

    Wal Mart can well afford to comply with the new Obamacare mandates without stooping so low as to find a way around treating the workers right. Maybe Wal Mart doesn't deserve to have any decent workers....you get what you pay for right? Wal Mart should be completely ashamed of themselves....I for one am one of the working poor who can't afford to shop much of anywhere else but I sure am finding a way to do so...have bought MUCH MUCH less there within the last few months than ever...hope to cut it down to nothing!

  • Report this Comment On June 25, 2013, at 1:14 AM, GregPrice wrote:

    Hey, Mancoe...do your homework! WM was pulling this crap BEFORE AHCA, and used it as an excuse to do it FASTER.

    WM needs to be taken over by appointed trustees and run properly in the public interest.

  • Report this Comment On June 25, 2013, at 2:35 AM, smokey1000 wrote:

    why are you people blaming wal-mart for something the obamacare caused, no one cares whether you shop there or not, it just leaves the lower prices for people like myself and they are not going broke because you do not show up

  • Report this Comment On June 25, 2013, at 2:45 AM, tempest411 wrote:

    I would think that the simple solution to this is to amend the law such that if an employee is either directly or indirectly employed by any entity for any unit of time, they should receive health coverage by the employer that directly pays them.

  • Report this Comment On June 26, 2013, at 5:41 AM, The1MAGE wrote:

    tempest411, you are so generous with other peoples money.

    I know a guy who hires people for his lawn mowing business.

    He can't afford to pay for health insurance.

    2 employees would wipe out a quarter of his income.

    Simple math here is that it costs more to have the employee then not, so these jobs go away.

    Almost all these people are college students working summer jobs.

    I wish people would think these things through instead of the "gimme gimme gimme" thought process everyone has.

  • Report this Comment On June 26, 2013, at 6:58 AM, DonkeyJunk wrote:

    I'm pretty confident Wal-Mart has endured criticism for poor wages and hours long before the implementation of Obamacare. You can't have driven past the store in the past 20 years without noticing the picketers. This is simply an excuse to maintain their modus operandi.

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