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(Financial Post)   Wal-Mart shelves are empty. They're empty because there aren't enough people to stock them. There aren't enough people to stock them because stores aren't selling enough. Stores aren't selling enough because the shelves are empty   (business.financialpost.com) divider line 119
    More: Amusing, Wal-Mart, department stores, Home Office, second shift, bulk box, peak hour, CPA, Anthony Falletta  
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3267 clicks; posted to Business » on 27 Mar 2013 at 1:05 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-26 09:10:27 PM
So why are the shelves empty?
 
2013-03-26 09:16:58 PM

gopher321: So why are the shelves empty?


Because of unions and capital gains taxes. Duh.
 
2013-03-26 09:19:27 PM
So where do the people of Wal- Mart go now?
 
2013-03-26 09:22:28 PM

Nina Haagen Dazs: So where do the people of Wal- Mart go now?


Probably those stores with the word "dollar" in the name.
 
2013-03-26 09:25:10 PM

NewportBarGuy: Nina Haagen Dazs: So where do the people of Wal- Mart go now?

Probably those stores with the word "dollar" in the name.


♫ Movin' on up...♪
 
2013-03-26 09:25:28 PM
Stores aren't selling enough because the shelves are emptyWalmart and the rest of corporate America refuses to pay their employees a wage high enough to actually afford to buy anything, even at Walmart.
 
2013-03-26 09:35:41 PM
So where do the people of Wal- Mart go now?

Target and yes I have a problem with that!

The local walmart is not putting pallet dispalys in the aisles and in front of the register area, this combined with the family reunions in the aisle make the place unshoppable.
 
2013-03-26 09:39:29 PM
I live so far out that Wal-mart is the only option for a general goods store (our town was the one featured in PBS's "Store Wars" movie).  I used to go to it for two things each month:  bottled water, because well water around here has sulfur deposits and smells no matter how well you filter it, and toilet paper, because you could get 97,000 rolls in one package.  Otherwise we had two local grocery stores that were more expensive but not ridiculously more expensive, except for bottled water.

Well, Wal-Mart can't even keep that stocked any more.  I stopped shopping there for water before Christmas because every time I hit the water aisle, the only thing left were three gallon jugs of water.  Great if you have a giant fridge or need to ride out a storm, but otherwise useless for everyday needs.  They can't even keep their toilet paper stocked anymore, and since we're on our own septic system we can't just buy the 9-ply fancy stuff you city folk use.

F**k Wal-Mart for shiatty service.

In all fairness, though, they didn't put many of the stores in the documentary out of business - primarily because there WEREN'T that many stores there to begin with.  A local bakery went under, but Wal-Mart was so shiatty with their hardware department that our local hardware store just expanded.   Radio Shack may go out of business, but that's hardly Wal-Mart's fault.

Otherwise, it's been a boon to a very small town that had high unemployment for unskilled workers who lived in the surrounding area, and that spilled over to ancillary businesses like cheap restaurants and gas stations.  It gets more people off the highway on their way to Virginia Beach from DC, so the pass-through business shot up exponentially.  These are all good things Wal-Mart did.  Then after 10 years of being in business, they managed to turn the store into shiat.

I suppose I can't complain too much - it's probably one of the few Wal-marts in the US that opened in an area where there wasn't anything comparable nearby.  If you wanted clothes that weren't used you had to drive to a mall 25 miles away.  The grocery stores are still open because Wal-Mart's groceries are shiat.  Any Target or KMart stye goods simply weren't sold in the town before Wal-Mart got there - you had to drive at least 20 miles to get them.

Also, the company that made the film has absolutely no interest in making it available to the broader public, so you can purchase you very own copy for the low, low cost of $250.  Or just watch the trailer.
 
2013-03-26 09:46:48 PM
It's almost like when you don't pay your workers anything above minimum wage and you intentionally crash the local economy it has consequences.

But please, tell me more about how they're just doing good business practice.
 
2013-03-26 10:34:39 PM
I never go to Walmart expecting to get what I want or enjoy getting it.  Which is why I go there only once or twice a year, out of desperation.
 
2013-03-26 11:51:42 PM
Don't forget the micromanaging that walmart does from Bentonville, rather than let managers and employees do their jobs.  Some of the policies and pilot procedures they implement, show that no one that came up with some ideas ever had to work in a real store.
 
2013-03-27 12:05:46 AM

basemetal: Don't forget the micromanaging that walmart does from Bentonville, rather than let managers and employees do their jobs.  Some of the policies and pilot procedures they implement, show that no one that came up with some ideas ever had to work in a real store.


Sounds just like CVS.
 
2013-03-27 12:08:13 AM
I only ever go there when my dad sends me a gift card, I can't stand the place.  It makes my skin crawl.
 
2013-03-27 12:12:03 AM

Dinki: Stores aren't selling enough because the shelves are emptyWalmart and the rest of corporate America refuses to pay their employees a wage high enough to actually afford to buy anything, even at Walmart.


Ding!
 
2013-03-27 12:52:34 AM
Falletta and others interviewed for this story said management bonuses are based partly on minimizing store payroll.

Torches and pitchforks? Aisle 7.
 
2013-03-27 01:11:59 AM
thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.files.wordpress.com
 
2013-03-27 01:12:54 AM
I'm inclined to buy Walmart's official story on this from TFA.  It'd hardly be surprising that in some locations there are staffing challenges.  Walmart won't even build a store near Ft MacMurray AB- they know that they won't be able to hire anyone for anywhere close to what makes business sense.
 
2013-03-27 01:32:32 AM

GAT_00: It's almost like when you don't pay your workers anything above minimum wage and you intentionally crash the local economy it has consequences.

But please, tell me more about how they're just doing good business practice.


Why do you hate our benevolent job creators? Don't you understand they just work harder than you in their air conditioned offices with private martini bar and stripper pole?
 
2013-03-27 01:44:22 AM
I like my Wal-Mart. It's an upper scale one to serve an upper-class neighborhood. Sushi Bar, all the "world pantry" departments. Sure, I live in third world apartments, but the help has to live somewhere.

/Not helping
 
2013-03-27 01:44:41 AM

basemetal: Don't forget the micromanaging that walmart does from Bentonville, rather than let managers and employees do their jobs.  Some of the policies and pilot procedures they implement, show that no one that came up with some ideas ever had to work in a real store.


You mean like not letting produce managers order high demand produce when it's running low?  Yeah, there's nothing like running out of sweet onions 3 days before Thanksgiving and not being allowed to call up your buddy at the onion farm 3 miles away to send over a couple crates.  Nope, corporate would rather run out and try to fire the manager for running out.  Nevermind that the manager no longer has any control over the produce stocks.

Dumb.  That's what a business degree from a liberal college gets you.
 
2013-03-27 01:52:45 AM

unyon: I'm inclined to buy Walmart's official story on this from TFA.  It'd hardly be surprising that in some locations there are staffing challenges.  Walmart won't even build a store near Ft MacMurray AB- they know that they won't be able to hire anyone for anywhere close to what makes business sense.


"Business Sense" being the lowest possible wages imaginable to ensure the Walton family hiers (aka Job Creators) don't starve to death.

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jul/18/business/la-fi-mo-walmart-he ir s-20120718
The net worth of the six walmart heirs is a as much as the bottom 40% of americans combined.  I can see why they can't afford to pay a few more people to stock the shelves in the shiatty stores.
 
2013-03-27 01:57:07 AM

WhoIsNotInMyKitchen: unyon: I'm inclined to buy Walmart's official story on this from TFA.  It'd hardly be surprising that in some locations there are staffing challenges.  Walmart won't even build a store near Ft MacMurray AB- they know that they won't be able to hire anyone for anywhere close to what makes business sense.

"Business Sense" being the lowest possible wages imaginable to ensure the Walton family hiers (aka Job Creators) don't starve to death.

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jul/18/business/la-fi-mo-walmart-he ir s-20120718
The net worth of the six walmart heirs is a as much as the bottom 40% of americans combined.  I can see why they can't afford to pay a few more people to stock the shelves in the shiatty stores.


Don't you understand those heirs worked hard for that money. It's not like their family just left it to them!
 
2013-03-27 02:00:09 AM

WhoIsNotInMyKitchen: unyon: I'm inclined to buy Walmart's official story on this from TFA.  It'd hardly be surprising that in some locations there are staffing challenges.  Walmart won't even build a store near Ft MacMurray AB- they know that they won't be able to hire anyone for anywhere close to what makes business sense.

"Business Sense" being the lowest possible wages imaginable to ensure the Walton family hiers (aka Job Creators) don't starve to death.

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jul/18/business/la-fi-mo-walmart-he ir s-20120718
The net worth of the six walmart heirs is a as much as the bottom 40% of americans combined.  I can see why they can't afford to pay a few more people to stock the shelves in the shiatty stores.


I'm not necessarily saying I agree with the model, but it's been a successful one for them.  And Fort Mac is a unique example- Working the drive thru at Tim Horton's will net you $15/month to start.  Before you go packing your bags though, it's worth noting that renting a basement suite starts at north of $1k/mo.
 
2013-03-27 02:01:54 AM

WhoIsNotInMyKitchen: unyon: I'm inclined to buy Walmart's official story on this from TFA.  It'd hardly be surprising that in some locations there are staffing challenges.  Walmart won't even build a store near Ft MacMurray AB- they know that they won't be able to hire anyone for anywhere close to what makes business sense.

"Business Sense" being the lowest possible wages imaginable to ensure the Walton family hiers (aka Job Creators) don't starve to death.

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jul/18/business/la-fi-mo-walmart-he ir s-20120718
The net worth of the six walmart heirs is a as much as the bottom 40% of americans combined.  I can see why they can't afford to pay a few more people to stock the shelves in the shiatty stores.


Yup, meanwhile CostCo seems to be thriving while still treating their employees like human beings who deserve to be able to afford to eat and pay rent.
 
2013-03-27 02:08:54 AM
"Thirteen of 20 registers were manned- with no lines..."

Whaaaaaaa?! Christ the last time I was at my local wally world (the other day, needed some ethnic stuff I've found only there) there were like 4 registers open and all 4 had lines. The one I came across first for farkssakes had a woman with her two sons(?) and three farking full shopping carts of crap with them.
 
2013-03-27 02:10:49 AM

unyon: I'm not necessarily saying I agree with the model, but it's been a successful one for them.  And Fort Mac is a unique example- Working the drive thru at Tim Horton's will net you $15/month to start.  Before you go packing your bags though, it's worth noting that renting a basement suite starts at north of $1k/mo.


I'd rather stick to Edmonton. I had a nice one bedroom for $550. I miss the hell outta that place.

Now I'm in Los Angeles, where a decent paying job is $10/hr but the lowest rent is $1400 for a studio. If it weren't for family I would have packed my bags a long time ago.

/and Wal-Mart, and even now Home Depot can go blow itself. I can't find anything at either store. Time to go back to small independent shops who actually have what you want and staff who generally know wtf they are talking about. I'll pay the extra buck or two for good service.
 
2013-03-27 02:12:06 AM

Iczer: "Thirteen of 20 registers were manned- with no lines..."

Whaaaaaaa?! Christ the last time I was at my local wally world (the other day, needed some ethnic stuff I've found only there) there were like 4 registers open and all 4 had lines. The one I came across first for farkssakes had a woman with her two sons(?) and three farking full shopping carts of crap with them.


Stores like Wal Mart among with many others certainly have their problem with not having enough staff for customers wanting to check out, but they have to put the infrastructure necessary for the busiest of Christmas shopping days and there will obviously be lots of vacant space at other times.
 
2013-03-27 02:23:00 AM
I've never understood this, the entire time I've worked in retail. If the store is not performing well due to task issues, why the hell would you cut *manpower*? If stuff isn't getting done, getting fewer people to do the work isn't going to solve a damned thing.

I could see if they were *overstaffed* and had idle people.

My mother recently got a job at a dollar store as an assistant manager, and ends up doing the schedule (She's hourly at 9 bucks an hour, btw. ...yes, my family, myself included, is urban white trash, how could you tell?), and... nothing in the store is getting done, because they've often only got enough hours to keep two people - a manager and a cashier - on duty at any given time. Therefore the manager has to end up doing everything from stocking to blowing up balloons... ...and ringing register at a *BUSY STORE*.

This sort of thing boils my blood, as I watch Costco, Trader Joes, and even goddamn In n Out have more competent people on the bottom rung than the *MANAGER* level coworkers my mother deals with.

I don't know. I sell goods and services at conventions in the dealer room - if there's nobody behind my table, then people walking by *CANT BE SOLD TO*. This is basic shiat, and the only thing I can possibly lay the blame for this failure is a disastrous fixation on short term results and ignoring long term consequences.

And I don't know how to fix that.
 
2013-03-27 02:27:03 AM
Someone should forward that link about CostCo, Trader Joes, and QuikTrip to Wal-Mart brass.
 
2013-03-27 02:29:25 AM

Nina Haagen Dazs: So where do the people of Wal- Mart go now?


I'm lazy.  I just go to Target first.  If there's something at Target that I need or want but they don't have, then I might venture into the WalMart on the other side of the strip mall.  Maybe.

Perhaps.

If I have to.

\detest WalMart
 
2013-03-27 02:31:12 AM

Lsherm: I live so far out that Wal-mart is the only option for a general goods store (our town was the one featured in PBS's "Store Wars" movie).  I used to go to it for two things each month:  bottled water, because well water around here has sulfur deposits and smells no matter how well you filter it, and toilet paper, because you could get 97,000 rolls in one package.  Otherwise we had two local grocery stores that were more expensive but not ridiculously more expensive, except for bottled water.

Well, Wal-Mart can't even keep that stocked any more.  I stopped shopping there for water before Christmas because every time I hit the water aisle, the only thing left were three gallon jugs of water.  Great if you have a giant fridge or need to ride out a storm, but otherwise useless for everyday needs.  They can't even keep their toilet paper stocked anymore, and since we're on our own septic system we can't just buy the 9-ply fancy stuff you city folk use.

F**k Wal-Mart for shiatty service.



Can you buy water and TP off Amazon?
 
Juc
2013-03-27 02:48:11 AM

Peki: I'd rather stick to Edmonton. I had a nice one bedroom for $550. I miss the hell outta that place.


prices have gone WAYYYYY up.
one bedrooms here are at least double what you used to pay now, unless you get really lucky.
The oil boom really screwed folks who are trying to make ends meet.
 
2013-03-27 02:56:18 AM

NewportBarGuy: Nina Haagen Dazs: So where do the people of Wal- Mart go now?

Probably those stores with the word "dollar" in the name.


Well, they don't have to dress up like they're going to Walmart or something.

/Still gets a laugh out of that.
 
2013-03-27 03:23:10 AM

NewportBarGuy: basemetal: Don't forget the micromanaging that walmart does from Bentonville, rather than let managers and employees do their jobs.  Some of the policies and pilot procedures they implement, show that no one that came up with some ideas ever had to work in a real store.

Sounds just like CVS.


Oh come on, nobody actually manages a CVS.
 
2013-03-27 04:39:31 AM

Smeggy Smurf: basemetal: Don't forget the micromanaging that walmart does from Bentonville, rather than let managers and employees do their jobs.  Some of the policies and pilot procedures they implement, show that no one that came up with some ideas ever had to work in a real store.

You mean like not letting produce managers order high demand produce when it's running low?  Yeah, there's nothing like running out of sweet onions 3 days before Thanksgiving and not being allowed to call up your buddy at the onion farm 3 miles away to send over a couple crates.  Nope, corporate would rather run out and try to fire the manager for running out.  Nevermind that the manager no longer has any control over the produce stocks.


Hmm, sounds pretty reaso..

Dumb.  That's what a business degree from a liberal college gets you.

You almost managed to write an entire post without blaming "liberals" for everything that's wrong in the world. Don't worry, hon, we're really proud that you're trying, keep it up.

Tomorrow in group session we'll each try to talk about a bad thing or negative experience that liberals weren't responsible for. Don't be nervous, I'll start us off by talking about how one of my shoes came untied earlier this week, and I think cheese boy is ready to admit that maybe it isn't "liberals" who keep drinking the last coffee in the pot.

We'll get there together! With any luck, before long you'll be able to hold entire conversations and not once feel a need to bring up how bad the imaginary liberals that only exist inside your head are.
 
2013-03-27 05:11:12 AM

Lsherm: we can't just buy the 9-ply fancy stuff you city folk use.


Not sure about water, but toilet paper and shampoo you can buy online.
 
2013-03-27 05:21:35 AM
I started shopping at the local WM a few years ago, mainly because they actually could keep stuff in stock. Safeway, the other major option in my area, is horrible at it-you could go in there for 5 things and virtually guarantee they'd be out of one of them.

In the last year, the local WM has really gone downhill. There is always something on my list that they don't have, and often for weeks at a time. And I really don't buy a lot of exotic stuff, but I do have my brand loyalties.

This weeks shortage? No Planter's peanuts, and none of my favorite brand of blueberry yogurt.

Earth shattering? Hardly. Annoying? You bet.
 
2013-03-27 05:39:51 AM
I just refuse to shop at Walmart. It makes me feel dirty.

I have a Winco near my home, and it certainly caters to price sensitive customers. Why is it so much better than Walmart?
 
2013-03-27 05:52:23 AM

Summercat: I've never understood this, the entire time I've worked in retail. If the store is not performing well due to task issues, why the hell would you cut *manpower*? If stuff isn't getting done, getting fewer people to do the work isn't going to solve a damned thing.

I could see if they were *overstaffed* and had idle people.

My mother recently got a job at a dollar store as an assistant manager, and ends up doing the schedule (She's hourly at 9 bucks an hour, btw. ...yes, my family, myself included, is urban white trash, how could you tell?), and... nothing in the store is getting done, because they've often only got enough hours to keep two people - a manager and a cashier - on duty at any given time. Therefore the manager has to end up doing everything from stocking to blowing up balloons... ...and ringing register at a *BUSY STORE*.

This sort of thing boils my blood, as I watch Costco, Trader Joes, and even goddamn In n Out have more competent people on the bottom rung than the *MANAGER* level coworkers my mother deals with.

I don't know. I sell goods and services at conventions in the dealer room - if there's nobody behind my table, then people walking by *CANT BE SOLD TO*. This is basic shiat, and the only thing I can possibly lay the blame for this failure is a disastrous fixation on short term results and ignoring long term consequences.

And I don't know how to fix that.


Let the store go bust and the better-run competitors take their business.
 
2013-03-27 05:53:25 AM
Bad night to have a headache and not be able to sleep. Horribly written story with baseless stupidity gets greenlit and then the comment quality in the thread is zero.  Uggh.  I need some more Advil.
 
2013-03-27 06:48:48 AM
I seem to remember a time when K-Mart and Sears were the leading retailers.  One thing I hate about Wally World is that they undercut some of their products until other stores can't compete with them, and then one day you go in and it is no longer available.  Pretty sucky actually.  I also talked to a guy and from what I can tell they still unload their trailers by hand.  WTF?  Wouldn't it be wiser to hire someone who could drive a forklift and put people on the floor stocking product?
 
2013-03-27 06:50:04 AM
Oh, and what happened to the days when a place didn't have enough employees, the management got off their fat asses and helped out.

Yeah, I know, my lawn...
 
2013-03-27 07:00:19 AM
"Our in stock levels are up significantly in the last few years, so the premise of this story, which is based on the comments of a handful of people, is inaccurate and not representative of what is happening in our stores across the country," Brooke Buchanan, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman, said in an e-mailed statement. "Two-thirds of Americans shop in our stores each month because they know they can find the products they are looking for at low prices."

I've never had that problem, except for when there's a run on something and they're out of it. Otherwise, still going to WalMart as often as possible.
 
2013-03-27 07:14:32 AM

Harry_Seldon: I just refuse to shop at Walmart. It makes me feel dirty.

I have a Winco near my home, and it certainly caters to price sensitive customers. Why is it so much better than Walmart?


Because Winco doesn't have to support the entitled lifestyle of the 6 pigs at the top?
 
2013-03-27 07:16:10 AM

Iczer: "Thirteen of 20 registers were manned- with no lines..."

Whaaaaaaa?! Christ the last time I was at my local wally world (the other day, needed some ethnic stuff I've found only there) there were like 4 registers open and all 4 had lines. The one I came across first for farkssakes had a woman with her two sons(?) and three farking full shopping carts of crap with them.


The one closest to me normally has about 14 registers operating at once, but half the cashiers keep their lights off because they don't want long lines, which results in 8-deep lines at the other seven registers.  They also have about 8 self-checkout registers, but only two of those are ever open at a time, and they're usually used by folks with overflowing carts.

There's a Target right across the street that's only slightly better.
 
2013-03-27 07:25:26 AM
My store is well stocked, except for one item that disappeared about a year ago...

i.walmartimages.com
WTF, Walmart? I just discovered these and you yank them away from me!!

...but on a more serious note, our local Walmarts have no issues stocking shelves. It seems like that article is all because the author walked into a piss-poorly managed local store and freaked out.
 
2013-03-27 07:30:25 AM
Walmart has such large control over their suppliers and manufacturing partners, they can't figure this out? It seems like there an opportunity for huge innovation in inventory control and distribution/logistics here.
 
2013-03-27 07:32:37 AM

Nina Haagen Dazs: So where do the people of Wal- Mart go now?


We go to aldi.
 
2013-03-27 07:38:34 AM

Iczer: "Thirteen of 20 registers were manned- with no lines..."

Whaaaaaaa?! Christ the last time I was at my local wally world (the other day, needed some ethnic stuff I've found only there) there were like 4 registers open and all 4 had lines. The one I came across first for farkssakes had a woman with her two sons(?) and three farking full shopping carts of crap with them.


The other night, I went to check out, and there were no cashiers.  zero.  the self scan was open, but zero cashiers around.

I went and put a bunch more stuff in my cart, then just left it there by the empty cashier supervisor station.

/ cause I am stubborn and resistant to change, thats why.
 
2013-03-27 07:48:54 AM
The White family's visits to Wal-Mart - which had been a several times a week occurrence

farking hell

Every WalMart I've ever been in was a disgusting mess. I don't know where the WalMarts from the WalMart commercials exist, I've never seen one.

It's just not worth the enduring the skeeve to save eight cents on light bulbs.
 
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