In this Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, photo, Walmart employee Kenneth White, left, is coached by Shabazz Bonner while using an inventory app during a class at the Walmart Academy at the store in North Bergen, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
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With new options and conveniences, there's never been a better time for shoppers.A Walmart worker dashes in and out of the grocery aisles, hand-picks products for online shoppers and brings them to people's cars.Some retail workers at the vanguard of the changes – like Laila Ummelaila, a personal grocery shopper at a Walmart in Old Bridge, New Jersey – speak glowingly of their new responsibilities.The company now has 18,000 personal shoppers who fill online orders from store shelves, and 17,000 check-out hosts whose responsibilities are more extensive than the greeters of old, including keeping the area clean and making sure registers move efficiently.Ummelaila became a personal shopper after joining the company three years ago. Best Buy, meanwhile, has begun a free service in key markets where salespeople will sit with customers in their own homes and make recommendations on setting up a home office to designing a home theater system. Best Buy said shoppers spend more with a home visit than they do at the stores. Wages for hourly retail workers have risen less than 9 percent since 1990, compared with 18 percent for overall workers in the private sector.
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