Skip to main content

Walmart sign on store.
Walmart's response to tales of customer dissatisfaction at empty shelves and long lines has been that those are anecdotes and things are great in Walmart stores, so just shut up. Maybe so. But there are a whole lot of anecdotes out there saying the same thing, and more than 1,000 Walmart customers contacted Bloomberg's Renee Dudley with their stories after she wrote about the problems at Walmart. Problems like empty shelves:
Shank tried several times to buy his favorite type of rum at both of his local Wal-Mart stores. He eventually asked employees whether the brand had been discontinued. He got the same response at both stores: “‘No’, they said, ‘we just haven’t had time to re-stock.’”

He also used to buy jeans at Wal-Mart. “Now a lost cause,” he said, after failing repeatedly to find them in the sizes and style he wanted.

And when customers can find what they want, they come up against reliably long lines:
“We wait until we’re about to put items on the conveyer belt, then one of us will run back and get the ice cream,” Grimes said of his family’s strategy. “Otherwise it will melt. We know we’ll be standing in line 20 minutes or more.”
Walmart's right: When you're talking about a company with 4,005 stores in the United States, complaints from more than 1,000 customers are anecdotal. But they're stories about the state of Walmart stores as much as they are about individual customer experiences. It's not that these people are reporting things that happened to them alone, like one Walmart worker being rude to them or a gallon of milk having turned. They're reporting collective experiences—standing in line with 10 other people, shelves bare for everyone to see. And there are hard numbers that make these stories make sense: Walmart has cut its workforce by tens of thousands since 2008 while adding hundreds of stores. It shouldn't come as a surprise that customers are seeing evidence the store's workers are stretched thin.

Presumably Walmart is taking this more seriously behind the scenes than it's admitting in its defensive comments for the record, if only because this is some very bad publicity. But given that Walmart's whole way of doing business is founded on squeezing the most out of its workers while paying them the lowest wages possible, it would take not just a few tweaks to staffing levels but a major attitude shift at the highest levels to really address these issues.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 09:36 AM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

a gilas girl, Pat K California, Angie in WA State, northsylvania, filkertom, Gooserock, Powered Grace, PeterHug, SanJoseLady, eeff, devtob, recentdemocrat, Bob Friend, Creosote, JLFinch, boadicea, roses, dksbook, Eyesbright, defluxion10, FlyingToaster, zerelda, NapaJulie, Wife of Bath, Josiah Bartlett, Gowrie Gal, sb, radarlady, NoMoreLies, jrooth, liberalcheesehead, Alice Venturi, one of 8, dewtx, llywrch, YucatanMan, Dobber, fixxit, marathon, Box of Rain, Alan Arizona, rowanleigh, xaxnar, Philpm, Debbie in ME, cybersaur, Mr Bojangles, gpoutney, plf515, armadillo, BlueMississippi, CA Nana, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, blueoregon, Aaa T Tudeattack, ladypockt, pgm 01, Habitat Vic, bigjacbigjacbigjac, LSophia, jedennis, carpunder, OIL GUY, cececville, JML9999, trueblueliberal, Assaf, cville townie, jwinIL14, rogerdaddy, Sixty Something, Thomas Twinnings, Involuntary Exile, elwior, alasmoses, tofumagoo, royce, Cassandra Waites, enufisenuf, GrannyOPhilly, statsone, MrsTarquinBiscuitbarrel, greengemini, JesseCW, kevinpdx, sfarkash, Larsstephens, Railfan, commonmass, piers, Anima, jakedog42, Polly Syllabic, NM Ray, Dingodude, shenderson, ItsSimpleSimon, ericlewis0, science nerd, Oh Mary Oh, Mike08, mama jo, lady blair, asterkitty, OhioNatureMom, Haf2Read, marleycat, thomask, wintergreen8694, PhilJD, VTCC73, la58, Dbug, googie, Mentatmark, allergywoman, Mortifyd, SuWho, Sister Inspired Revolver of Freedom, livingthedream, Gay CA Democrat, Siri, IndieGuy, Horace Boothroyd III, Mr Robert, Buckeye54, lunachickie, Margd, Noddy, Glen The Plumber, BobTheHappyDinosaur, countwebb, newinfluence, jbob, remembrance, JayRaye, dbeerthuis, entrelac, Smoh, nice marmot, ET3117, in the middle but all by myself, richholtzin, Gardener in PA, Oldestsonofasailor, H E Pennypacker, OldSoldier99, pierre9045

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site