Walmart wants to eliminate one of the biggest frustrations with returns

  • Walmart says shoppers will soon be able to return purchases with a “customer host” at store entrances.
  • “You’re soon going to be able to do a refund right at the front door of a Walmart store,” Walmart US CEO Greg Foran said on Wednesday. “We’re not going to ask you to go to a service desk.”
  • It could be helpful for customers who want to avoid long lines at service desks.

Walmart says shoppers will soon be able to return purchases without walking more than a few steps inside a store.

Employees called “customer hosts” will soon have the power to process returns and issue refunds at store entrances, Walmart US CEO Greg Foran told attendees of the UBS Global Consumer and Retail Conference on Wednesday.

“You’re soon going to be able to do a refund right at the front door of a Walmart store,” he said, according to an audio recording of his remarks. “We’re not going to ask you to go to a service desk.

“The customer host will have the technology to do a refund for you right there, including cash.”

It could help eliminate a common frustration related to returns: waiting in line at the customer-service desk.

Read more: Walmart US CEO says half his store visits make him ‘grumpy’ – and he’s turning up the heat on managers

Foran made the remarks during a discussion about new technologies that shoppers can expect to see in Walmart stores.

The company plans to improve the technology at its self-checkout registers, refining scanners so they can more easily identify different products and working on ways to help reduce theft, or “shrinkage,” associated with those registers, he said.

The new services are a continuation of Walmart’s efforts to add more convenience to its stores.

The company has added curbside grocery pickup and automated pickup towers to hundreds of stores, with more on the way. Walmart also recently rolled out a program called “Check Out With Me” that allows employees to process shoppers’ purchases on mobile devices.