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Customers Flee Wal-Mart Empty Shelves

usa low workforce restock shelves american customer satisfaction index

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#1 Hum

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 14:07

Margaret Hancock has long considered the local Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) superstore her one- stop shopping destination. No longer.

During recent visits, the retired accountant from Newark, Delaware, says she failed to find more than a dozen basic items, including certain types of face cream, cold medicine, bandages, mouthwash, hangers, lamps and fabrics.

The cosmetics section "looked like someone raided it," said Hancock, 63.

Wal-Mart's loss was a gain for Kohl's Corp. (KSS), Safeway Inc. (SWY), Target Corp. (TGT) and Walgreen Co. (WAG) -- the chains Hancock hit for the items she couldn't find at Wal-Mart.

"If it's not on the shelf, I can't buy it," she said. "You hate to see a company self-destruct, but there are other places to go."

It's not as though the merchandise isn't there. It's piling up in aisles and in the back of stores because Wal-Mart doesn't have enough bodies to restock the shelves, according to interviews with store workers. In the past five years, the world's largest retailer added 455 U.S. Wal-Mart stores, a 13 percent increase, according to filings and the company's website. In the same period, its total U.S. workforce, which includes Sam's Club employees, dropped by about 20,000, or 1.4 percent. Wal-Mart employs about 1.4 million U.S. workers.

A thinly spread workforce has other consequences: Longer check-out lines, less help with electronics and jewelry and more disorganized stores, according to Hancock, other shoppers and store workers. Last month, Wal-Mart placed last among department and discount stores in the American Customer Satisfaction Index, the sixth year in a row the company had either tied or taken the last spot. The dwindling level of customer service comes as Wal-Mart has touted its in-store experience to lure shoppers and counter rival Amazon.com Inc.

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#2 Geoffrey B.

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 14:10

must be a local problem where she lives, we have 2 walmart stores in my town and they employ more people that any non factory in our area, there is always a problem with not enough checkout lanes but that is standard practice for walmart, our stores are always very clean and very organized.

#3 torrentthief

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 14:13

Of the 20,000 employees laid off i'm sure alot will have been due to self-service machines.

#4 fusi0n

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 14:20

Target has been like that.. now we have having to stop at publix after target..

#5 OP Hum

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 15:41

I have never liked the idea of 'one-stop shopping'. :ermm:

#6 DocM

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 15:55

In the Midwest, and especially here in their home state of Michigan, we have Meijers - and they make the average Walmart look puny. Well stocked, a ginormous grocery dept with locally grown produce, etc. etc. They also have very good low-cost "house" brands of many products including foods.

#7 Growled

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 02:21

Our local Walmart is getting like that. Once an item sells out they take forever to restock. We find ourselves at Target more and more these days, and they definitely don't have that problem.

#8 Dot Matrix

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 02:34

In the Midwest, and especially here in their home state of Michigan, we have Meijers - and they make the average Walmart look puny. Well stocked, a ginormous grocery dept with locally grown produce, etc. etc. They also have very good low-cost "house" brands of many products including foods.


Same with the upstate NY area, except we have Wegmans. :p

#9 dead.cell

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 02:51

A thinly spread workforce has other consequences: Longer check-out lines, less help with electronics and jewelry and more disorganized stores, according to Hancock, other shoppers and store workers. Last month, Wal-Mart placed last among department and discount stores in the American Customer Satisfaction Index, the sixth year in a row the company had either tied or taken the last spot. The dwindling level of customer service comes as Wal-Mart has touted its in-store experience to lure shoppers and counter rival Amazon.com Inc.


That is no lie, I hate Wal-mart mostly because of the people there, but the lines are probably next on the list of things that annoy me with shopping there. They have like... 10+ lanes with only 2-4 lanes actually open... well, ever! And that's at not one, but two Wal-mart locations here in Houston.

#10 Enron

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 02:57

Target has been like that.. now we have having to stop at publix after target..


No problem with that, Publix has good subs.

#11 AstareGod

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 03:00

Same with the upstate NY area, except we have Wegmans. :p


I took a trip to upstate New York with my best friend a few years ago, and he introduced me to Wegmans. I fell in love with it. I visited Seattle about half a year ago and discovered QFC, which I think is owned by Kroger, and they have a huge variety of groceries and lots of local products, too. I wish there were more places like that in Mississippi but I won't be living here much longer!

#12 OP Hum

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 14:39

Our local Walmart is getting like that. Once an item sells out they take forever to restock. We find ourselves at Target more and more these days, and they definitely don't have that problem.


Just how fast do you think those kids in China work ?

#13 Growled

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 01:15

Just how fast do you think those kids in China work ?


Apparently not fast enough. :D



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