Store greeters chat with customers at a Wal-Mart in Evergreen Park, Ill.
Photograph by Frank Polich — Bloomberg via Getty Images
By Benjamin Snyder
June 18, 2015

Walmart (WMT) greeters are moving back to the front of the store, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Three years ago, the retailer moved them further back in an effort to have them help with other tasks, such as directing shoppers to open registers or tidying shelves, according to the newspaper.

But now the company is attempting a different tactic. The reason? To check for possible theft among shoppers and reduce the amount of money lost on stolen items each year.

The company is also raising wages for some employees in order to incentivize them to be more helpful, the paper said, calling it “a sign that labor cuts in recent years likely went too far.”

The test is taking place at a few hundred stores in the U.S.

The greeter role at Walmart was created in 1980. According to the Journal:

The renewed focus on greeters is part of Wal-Mart’s efforts to improve the profitability of its U.S. operations by making the stores friendlier, keeping them well stocked, and reducing theft. The company is also boosting wages for some employees to give them more incentive to be more helpful and attentive, a sign that labor cuts in recent years likely went too far.

Walmart’s new CEO Doug McMillon was recently profiled by Fortune for the Fortune 500 issue.

More: Read more about Walmart in the new Fortune 500

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