As part of the ongoing service reduction in retail stores in general, Kmart is firing 700 dedicated appliance department workers.

There is of course “good news” as well.

Every cashier and salesperson will now be “trained” to answer appliance questions. If that fails, customers can dial an 800 number, likely answered by a “trained” expert in India.

Please consider Kmart lays off 700 appliance workers

The parent of Kmart stores is laying off 700 employees working in Kmart’s appliance departments as it changes how the stores sell refrigerators, ovens and other appliances.

Kmart spokesman Chris Brathwaite says the move will allow customers to check out appliances at any register rather than going to a dedicated register for appliances. But there also won’t be any specialized appliance-only staff people on hand near appliances. Instead, all Kmart staffers are being trained to answer questions about appliances.

There will also be a 1-800 number customers can call for help.

I have a better idea. Kmart should get out of the appliance business altogether.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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