Fry's cuts hundreds of "greeter" jobs

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- Fry's Marketplace laid-off about 400 “greeters” Friday.  The company said it made the decision in the face of stiff competition from discount grocery chains. This was mostly part-time staff working four to 16 hours a week.  But for one woman, the job was a life-line.

“Gave us no notice, nothing and threw us out the door,” said Nancy Herold.

She stood outside the Fry's Marketplace on Glendale and 19th Avenue in Phoenix.  It is the store where she worked for the past 11 and a half years.

“I help them a lot where things are, and show where things are, and do lot of different things,” Herold said. “Always take my job seriously.”

Herold said greeters took care of the electric carts, helped customers, kept the entrance clean and watched for thieves. Friday morning, she and the other six greeters at this store got the bad news.

“They put us all in the back and told us this is your last day,” she said. “It's a hard decision to make but they had to let us all go, everybody, all the greeters in all the stores.”

Fry's spokesperson said greeters have been around for decades and the company didn't take the decision lightly.

The grocer is cutting about 400 positions to remain competitive with discount retailers.  The greeters can receive a severance or reapply for other positions.

Herold will try to get another position with Fry’s. The cancer survivor said she needs a job with insurance and she hopes the right thing is out there.

“At least I made it through the worst part,” she said speaking of the economy. “Hopefully, things have gotten better to where I can find something somewhere else.”

All 121 Fry's Marketplace stores are affected by this decision.