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Walmart to Open 200 Customer Service Training Academies

Walmart CEO Doug McMillan recently announced a plan to improve customer service through better pay and increased training for associates. In an interview with the Associated Press, company representatives revealed that the plan includes a $2.7 billion investment in pay raises over the next couple of years and the establishment of 200 training centers for department and assistant store managers. The Dallas Morning News reported that the first training academy opened in a Carrollton, Texas, store last Friday.

The Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer aims to upgrade its (admittedly less than stellar) customer service reputation by providing high-quality, consistent instruction to associates in person, rather than on a computer. In an effort to reduce turnover, the training program will also coach associates on how to earn promotions and move up in the company.

Walmart employs 1.4 million associates in the United States alone.

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