Let me count the ways.
When Walmart came to this part of the country back in late 1980s They were a great store to shop. They had it right. The right Mix of products, it was in-stock and the stores were always in ready to shop condition, meaning that the store didn’t look trashed at the end of the day. After they had been here a couple of years it was our number one place to shop. You could just count on the fact that if they carried it , they would have some on the shelf and it was probably as cheep as you could get it anywhere.
Then Sam Walton Died.
And the Super Stores came to town.
And Walmart went to hell real fast!
I have an addendum for their current marketing slogan. Save Money-Live Better-Buy Elsewhere. Or If you want to save Money and Live Better, just buy less STUFF! ( that is a Whole other post by it’s self)
We have had our super store for about 6 years now and they began to stink right from the beginning.
Gripe One: The first thing I noticed was there were almost no registers open most of the time. The management theory seems to be ‘We get a rush of business right after 10PM so lets shut down 2 registers INCLUDING THE SELF SERVICE registers just before 10:00. This way we can save the $7 or $8 an hour times 2 employees. If we do this every night way can save $112 on our payroll’ .
Gripe Two: Poor Selection. Out of stock, the number of sizes, flavors and variety available has been drastically reduced the last few years. Walmart said publicly ” We goofed. We need to back to carrying more items” . I sure have not seen that occur. There are few national brand, sizes and flavors, and I don’t know how they do it but if we take a liking to a product they stop carrying it or are always out of stock on it. And they switch brand and flavor varieties more often than I change my socks.
Gripe Three: Good Products gone bad. In the years BW ( Before Walmart), a business who had products to sell, Proctor and Gamble, Coke, Little Sallies Pizzas or what ever, would go to the retailer’s buyer office or to the individual store and present their new product, and do what they could to procure shelf space for the product.
BUT NOW – companies go to the walmart Arkansas office and take a number, and get in line, and then have to go BEG walmart to get shelf space. The walmart buyer will then tell the seller that if they can cut the cost by a ridiculous amount then they MIGHT give them shelf space. The result of this is lower prices BUT in order to meet these lower price demand manufacturers have to begin using cheaper parts in their product. So now you have a well known brand name that USED to be associated with Quality being sold in Walmart. But it is not as good as it once was and so you can expect it to be of poorer quality in some way.
For Example – I needed to replace a bathroom faucet set that was aged and not shutting off fully. So I went to wallyworld to get one, and they had several to choose from by a company that USED TO BE a good manufacturer. I don’t remember that bread at the moment. But once I got this one installed it had a worse leak than the one I was replacing. I took it back and went straight to my local Ace store to get a different (better) brand and that one works just fine still today. Most recently, even being wary of this Walmart save Money Live Better syndrome, I bought a jug of Weed-Be-Gone by Ortho because the product works and I wanted the weeds to be dead. This jug now has a NEW IMPROVED sprayer. the sprayer wouldnt you know that the dam sprayer did not work.
I just shook my head and proceeded to pour the the weed killer into my regular sprayer and was able to get one with my day. OH By the way, 3 weeks later I have some SICK weeds but the stuff did not seem to do the job that it used to. so is Ortho now not the quality brand it used to be? Things that make you go “HMmmmmm”
Gripe Four: Product Handling.
Scenario One – A few years a go I bought a laptop computer from my local Wallyworld. I got it home and fired it up and instead of the Usual “Congratulation on buying your new computer’ screen that you only have to go thru once to get it set up, This one opened up to the main log in screen for “Bill” or some name other than mine as a log in option. Well It was pretty obvious that this ‘New’ computer had already been returned once. I took it back. They don’t have any more, OR the other one they had also looked like it had been opened. so I had to drive to a store 35 minutes away ( there are 3 other stores closer, but they didn’t have any either) to get a New, Fresh, Never been opened of the same laptop. ( which has since totally died after about 3 years use by the way).
Scenario Two – I wanted a VCR-to-DVD recorder. I selected one off of the self. As I am taking it out of the cart to put it on the register belt, this thing makes some rattling sounds. that didn’t seem right. I open it up right there at the register. There is no Packing, there is no bag around the product, There is no manual. Just the machine bouncing around in the box. This was apparently Not New Product. I told the cashier I didn’t want it. It was, of course the only one of that Model on the shelf.
A week later I check back to see of they had received any more of that model in. I see ONE on the shelf. I take it off the shelf, and the same rattling sound I heard.;- I open it right there on the shelf and it is the same dam unit. no Book, No Packaging. I can’t believe these bafoons are still trying to sell this unit as new product.
I now avoid buying any electronics at walmart! In fact I try to avoid buying any more than I have to at walmart.
Gripe Five: These people do NOT know how to run a Grocery store! Their meat is often nasty or foul, they don’t seem to rotate their product well, (or they buy big lots at discount because it is almost out of date) , And Come on People! You don’t roll out several skids of refrigerated dairy, or frozen product out onto the floor and take 8 or tn hours to refill your cooler and freezers with it. but I see them do it time after time, and it is like You are in their way. IF I AM BOTHERING YOU THEN DON’T BE OPEN 24/7 !
My Final word on this are simply if you want to help the economy grow, shop other stores. If you want groceries, go to a Grocery store. they know the importance of product rotation freshness. And Service. If you need hardware or appliances go to an Ace or Lowes ( Nothing against Home Depot, I just don’t like their layout – it kind of DUMB) or a Local hardware business. There are some really great people in your local small store with some great how to advice. Buy Local – Support Your community, not Arkansas community. Walmart wont miss you anyway.
Nuff Said on that subject. Actually I could say a lot more, but I would rather hear Your gripes about them. Add your own comments below. thanks for Reading.
NOTE: Much of my working life was in the retail trade, over half of that in Management and Operations of food and drug stores, so I tend to see things maybe a little differently than the average consumer. Because of this I am more aware of the retail methods, profitability and practices than most people.