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View Diary: Walmart manager: 'They don’t have enough people to get the job done' (84 comments)

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  •  It seems... (20+ / 0-)

    ...that in-your-face non-union employers like WalMart aren't very well run.

    If Costco can make a large profit while paying well above what WalMart's is paying, what does that say about WalMart's business model?  The issue with stocking shelves isn't just the problems with in-store staffing.  Their entire merchandising system is a joke.  They never had to do any of that when their strategy was to locate in farmland outside of small-to-midsized towns in red state America.  They no longer have their real estate advantage or lack-of-competition advantage, and their wage advantage is highly illusory.  As it is, when you buy brand name products in WalMart, they are either knockoffs or aren't the lowest price.

    •  You buy brand name items (23+ / 0-)

      that are substandard because they are designed to Wal-Mart's specifications, not the company's.

      I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

      by CFAmick on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 12:32:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I believe they also sell seconds. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Creosote, mikejay611

        A lot of name brand stuff that is too flawed to be sold in a better store, and not so flawed as to be destroyed or written off.

        •  That would explain a lot of the appliances. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lonesome Jeff, JeffW

          I absolutely refuse to shop at Walmart anymore, but in the days that I did (holding my nose and sallying forth, as you might imagine), I had a strict rule:

          Never buy anything from Walmart that has moving parts.

          Why?  It was inevitably going to be crap that malfunctioned or broke shortly after you got it home, and Walmart would not willingly take it back.

          •  I needed... (0+ / 0-)

            Or rather I thought I needed some yarn for a project late at night, badly enough to try a Walmart store.. I went to their craft section and bought a name brand yarn for maybe a dollar less a skein than I would have paid elsewhere. The yarn was not useable. The little gifts I was making would have been embarrassing to give. I am new to textile crafts. I would not have believed that yarn could be that screwed up. It ended up in the trash. Walmarts return lines are gargantuan. It wasn't worth the time to wait to make the return. The place is just a waste.

            •  ALL lines at Walmart are gargantuan. (0+ / 0-)

              Not only do they not have enough people to stock the shelves, they never have enough registers open to properly service the customer load, which is why I generally check out in the department I'm shopping in. What's the point of installing 20 registers at the check-out area if only 2 or 3 are manned at any one time?

              I avoid Walmart as much as possible. The only thing I go there for is when I need a thumb-drive. They often do fairly amazing sales on them, and since none of them are made in the US I don't see a problem paying half of what every other retailer sells them for. I'm sure the ones on sale are loss-leaders, so Walmart isn't making anything on them, which suits me just fine.

              •  Check out Office Max. (0+ / 0-)

                On occasion they offer a promotion where you can pick up a thumb drive for a couple of bucks if you are buying something else. At least they do that locally where I am. I have picked up a couple of 8 gig verbatim thumb drives for a couple of bucks because I needed a pack of sharpie pens. MAybe see if they offer that where you are.

                I also try to avoid walmart as much as possible. But on occasion I will check them out if I think I am desperate. I generally regret that I wasted my time. It's like certain types of fast food that I loved when I was younger. It sounds so good, and like such a good idea, until you are eating whatever it is and wondering how you survived to reach adult hood.

          •  Ditto - I hadn't been in a Walmart for years... (0+ / 0-)

            Until I dropped in on one a month or so ago. Initially, we stopped shopping there in order to support local business. Now, there are lots of reasons to avoid Walmart stores, including shoddy merchandise, poor selection, often out of staples, huge, scary parking lots at night, scary customers, and too darn much real estate to trudge through for what you find there.

      •  I read once about the owner of a lawn mower (3+ / 0-)

        company, known for the quality of its product.

        Walmart wanted to sell the mowers in it's stores. They wanted the owner of the company to sign an exclusive contract with them, so that the mowers could ONLY be sold at Walmart.

        He was told just in time by his lawyer that Walmart already had plans to "retool" the mowers, to make them as cheaply as possible....and that the contract allowed that. He refused to sign.  

        As for too few employees.....I see the employees in the grocery section of our local Walmart literally running to try to get everything done. And there are more and more gaps on the shelves. They just won't hire the number of people needed to do the work.

        Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

        by Sirenus on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 06:45:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Wal Mart... (12+ / 0-)

      Has certainly reached market saturation.  They have made billions off of moving into rural markets and undercutting all of the small businesses there.  Now that there are no more small business jobs, they can compress wages even further - which means less people can shop at their stores.

      In fact, Wal Mart has been shutting down less profitable smaller stores in favor of super centers.  So people have to drive farther to shop there.  But that doesn't mean the small stores are coming back.  If Wal Mart decides that they are losing to that competition, they can either lower their prices or open up an old store fairly quickly or cheaply.

      And you are absolutely right about the name brands.  I know for a fact that many suppliers lower the quality of their product in order to meet Wal Mart price demands.

      Costco has a different business model in that they look for upper-middle-class neighborhoods to open their stores.  They aren't the store for everybody.

      “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” - John Steinbeck (Disputed)

      by RichM on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 12:38:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Brand Destruction (9+ / 0-)

        Wal-mart and a number of the other big box stores have the clout to get their suppliers to design products which look like the brands' standard offering but which skimp on critical elements in enabling them to reach the big box stores' price points.  Just looking at the brand name on the box isn't good enough anymore.  The consumer customer must look at the specs on the product to assess the difference between that big box special and the regular brand product.  Crucial changes in small things like horse-power, casing material, type of cords can make a big difference between a product which will last only 2-5 years and one which could last 20 - and paying only 10% less for the former really means the consumer just got screwed.  The big box store might not care, but the brand is headed for destruction.

        "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

        by PrahaPartizan on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 02:54:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  first chinese made Buck knife I ever saw was (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bronx59, Creosote, PrahaPartizan, Vixter

          at wally world and I have never seen one anywhere else.

          Even the actual models they sell elsewhere are not the same let alone the ones strictly for the wal mart market.

          I do have to give Buck credit for making by far the best Chinese blade I've seen, it's still not what I expect when I pick up a Buck.......

          Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
          I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
          Emiliano Zapata

          by buddabelly on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 04:23:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  A lot of brands are more careful than that (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PrahaPartizan, RichM

          In general, branded products have one of several strategies.  (a) Rely on their brand power and just tell WalMart to take it or leave it.  (b) Give them a knockoff (this is easier with things like TV sets, where a given company has about 99 different models) that has the brand, and take steps to minimize the connection.  (c) Give them erratic inventory; this is a strategy of using WalMart as an inventory buffer.

        •  Even when you research the model number (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PrahaPartizan, SherrieLudwig, Amycat

          there are serious quality issues.  I remember when they almost killed Rubbermaid because they wouldn't bow down to the price/quality strongarming.  Unfortunately, I suspect a lot of it is showing up on Amazon.  I'm beginning to realize they are the mostly peddling unsold junk and they also treat employees poorly.

      •  I agree with you totally on the name (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SherrieLudwig, Lonesome Jeff

        brand issue.  A little over a year ago I bought an HP notebook computer from Walmart.  Here a few weeks ago I had to send the computer out for warranty repairs.  I just got it back and began reinstalling HP software on the computer.  At one point a program asked for the product number for the computer (in order for the HP website to be able to identify the correct programs that match my computer).  The product number HP came back with doesn't match the product number that is inside the battery case.  I can only assume that the inner workings (the guts) are from a cheaper model and then slapped into a case, as specified by Walmat.

        •  Costoo does the... (0+ / 0-)

          ...exact same thing with many products. In fact, many big retailers do. But in the case of electronics, I wouldn't assume without further evidence that the internals of the product are any different.

          Often this is just a way of reducing the consumer's ability to compare prices. Sometimes the product is actually identical except for the model number. Sometimes it's just bundled differently (for example, a laptop model may be identical to a "mainstream" model except in model number and the fact it comes with less/more memory -- a fact that is fully disclosed). Sony's overpriced retailers don't want to/can't compete with Costco so Sony, to keep their channels as happy as possible, has a vested interest in making pricing opaque.

          However in some products, especially clothing, at Costco and the other big box stores the designer/brand name means little as the Costco version is made more cheaply. In most cases it would be fairly obvious to a discerning consumer who regularly frequents the "high end" channels that sell the higher quality versions but most people who shop at Costco don't know the difference and just fall for the "designer" name.

    •  Costco has a very different business model, but (4+ / 0-)

      yes.

      Costco actually make a large piece of its money on memberships, which is part of their ability to pay well and operate on thin margins.

      But the point is exactly right.

      Wal-Mart used to be a retailing pioneer, innovating in the supply chain and beating up the competition while offering a pleasant, if low-rent, shopping experience to customers.  now they're just clueless parasites shoveling as much short-term money to the Walton clan as possible.

      I have a feeling that Sam Walton would not be amused.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 09:20:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sam Walton was a big a crook as his kids are... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        penelope pnortney

        ...and he created one hell of an illusion: that "Made in America" shtick was some brilliant sleight-of-hand, because most of his stuff was manufactured on Chinese manufacturing ships anchored just outside of U.S. territorial waters, in international waters, off the coast of California. Because those ships were closer to America, he could get away with the "Made in America" lie.

        But this is what AmurrriKKKa has become: predatory business plans predicated on ripping off the customers, and anyone else that does business with them.

        Walmart has destroyed our economy. And we let them do it.

    •  When Walmart came in this area (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nosmiley, Lonesome Jeff, JeffW

      A friend of mine that ran his own small TV/electronics store showed me that many of the TVs in Walmart was actually the old model. Also do you remember just how thick and heavy the material in LS 501 jeans use to be? Walmart made them use lighter cloth until now they can't sell a decent pair. I am proud to say it has been a year since I set foot in a Walmart.

      •  Costco does the exact same... (0+ / 0-)

        ...thing with eyeglass frames.

        I've seen the rep for a frame company come into one of their "mom and pop" opticians and remove the frames that were about to appear at Costco and replace them with newer models that wouldn't appear in Costco for some time. They briefly explained why they were doing that to the owner who was happy (as one could be competing with Costco) this was being done.

    •  never understood this comparison (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WillR, dksbook

      The bussiness model of Costco and Walmart are differnt.  The number and size of items stocked are differnt.  I certainly have never really been in a Costco because I don't have the storage space to keep a year supply of ketchup. I know this is an oversimplification, but the point is comparing two disimiliar things and then saying one is better is not always effective.

      What I will say is this.  I have known people who worked as store managers for a while, and even 20 years ago, at stores that were no walmart, they were responsible for keeping the store running.  That often meant 60-80 weeks for not enough pay.  For some it seemed to be a good trade off, supplying a good lifestyle for the family.  It sucks.  The new Obama regulations is going to help.  Just screaming COSTCO is not going to help.

      Here is one thing I ran across in my reading.  Costco, like many firms, use independent contractors.  In the case of Costco, the truckers are given a pretty bad deal.  They have apparently won a deal to unionize.  We will see if Costco supports this or fights it.

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