Why Wal-Mart Needs More Workers

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The U.S. economy continues to struggle with some negative drags, not least of which is the still-high 7.7% unemployment rate. Many companies are fearfully sitting on cash or reluctant to hire more workers because of economic uncertainty when, in fact, more employed people are exactly what we need to get the economy going again.

Discount giant Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT  ) employs a mind-boggling 1.3 million Americans. Although Wal-Mart currently has 120,000 fewer workers than it did in 2008, it's increased its store count by 455.

Now Bloomberg has reported that a large number of Wal-Mart customers are complaining of empty shelves, cashier shortages, and long lines that make life frustrating. In some cases, these disgruntled customers have started shopping elsewhere because they couldn't find the items they needed or couldn't tolerate the time it took to check out.

In response, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman told Bloomberg, "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." Bloomberg's data referred to 1,000 emailed customer complaints from all over the United States.

If you think about it, the idea that things may be going awry at many Wal-Mart stores is perfect common sense. If there's hardly anybody to do the work, of course lines build up and products are missing from shelves. In addition, the overworked employees are also probably not jazzed about their situation.

It sounds as if Wal-Mart definitely needs more employees, or else it could lose serious market share. Discounts are far less attractive when they mean wasted time, effort, and even money.

The fall of the falling prices
How could Wal-Mart come to this?

The company faltered during recessionary times, struggling to boost sales even when its low prices should have drawn more customer traffic. Some of its low-income, bargain-hunting customers traded down to dollar stores, and other big-time competitors, including Costco (NASDAQ: COST  ) and Target (NYSE: TGT  ) , probably also lured some customers away.

Although some signs recently implied a possible turnaround at Wal-Mart, well, think about it. It's looking better after it fought mightily to kick its American business back into gear and get sales growing again several years ago. It looks as if profitability is being juiced by squeezing workers, not to mention possibly skimping on having enough labor to adequately man all stores.

Meanwhile, Costco has done just fine during tough economic times. In its most recent quarter, membership revenues increased 15%, implying that its customers are still pretty happy with its service and willing to pay for the privilege of stocking up there.

Speaking of which, Wal-Mart-vs.-Costco consumer sentiment heated up last fall because of Wal-Mart's low wages and shoddy benefits for its employees, resulting in labor union campaigns. Costco is a crown jewel in retail in terms of offering its employees living wages and good benefits; Wal-Mart, Target, and Kohl's all skimp on pay. According to independent IBISWorld research compiled in 2011, the latter three paid per-hour wages of $8.81, $8.13, and $8.02, respectively.

A big worry for Wal-Mart
Investors should be very worried by implications that Wal-Mart's squeezing productivity out of its workforce -- it's ultimately not good for workers, frustrated customers, or long-term shareholders. On an even higher level, Americans should be outraged because more companies should do their best to start hiring right now, since that's the only way our real economy will improve: People need jobs in order to spend. It's that simple.

Wal-Mart is a truly behemoth company. Surely it can figure out ways to hire more people and give them wages and benefits that will help chip in for a healthier economy for everyone, including its own business. If it doesn't, it's simply a short-term-minded dinosaur in the making, and eventually investors will feel the long-term ramifications, such as increased customer defections and a sullying of the brand forever.

Costco's low prices haven't just benefited customers -- shares have walloped the market, returning 11,000% over the past two decades. However, with prices near all-time highs, is the ride over for Costco investors? To answer that and more, The Motley Fool's compiled a premium research report with in-depth analysis on Costco. Simply click here now to gain instant access to this valuable investor's resource.

Read/Post Comments (64) | Recommend This Article (21)

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  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2013, at 12:01 PM, wmtbigfool wrote:

    I do not usually comment on articles. But your Wal-mart article is right on target. Having been associated with Wal-mart for almost 18 years, I have seen Wal-mart go from a family-orientated and caring company (Under Sam) to a mindless machine that considers you nothing more than a minus sign in its accounting program. Wal-mart used to be "my company", now it is only a job-and not the best of jobs either!

    You need to also mention that many long-term workers -they call us "company people" - like me are leaving as soon as they can. You also did not mention that Bentonville now almost totally controls the store, leaving even the store manager little more than a glorified peon. I only hope Wal-mart does not completely fall apart before I can get out of here with what is left..

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2013, at 12:24 PM, chris4729 wrote:

    Your reasoning is ridiculous and your lack of hard evidence and numbers is disturbing. I normally wouldn't comment, but beating the Wal-Mart drum has become trite, and the last place I expect to see such gibberish is from a credible investment resource.

    "Investors should be very worried by implications that Wal-Mart's squeezing productivity out of its workforce -- it's ultimately not good for workers, frustrated customers, or long-term shareholders." --> You are basing your entire argument off of a Bloomberg report on 1,000 customer emails? Are you serious? At least make up or lie about some kind of numbers in terms of employee productivity over time or customer loss by Wal-Mart, to make me think that you did some modicum of research! This is clearly an anecdotal article that serves no other purpose than to draw traffic. And while that feature of your article is a good thing for your company, it clearly demonstrates that your investment advice is not to be considered credible.

    This article belongs in the Sunday funny papers. Let me know how your portfolio works out based on your hard-hitting research and analysis.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2013, at 12:37 PM, mitz01 wrote:

    All hail the w-mart god.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2013, at 12:54 PM, tootiegus wrote:

    WalMart is absolutely lying! Every WalMart I go to people are complaining about lack of help, long lines, and poor quality of fresh fruits and vegetables. I am so disgusted with them, especially after reading what they have to say. Publix is more expensive but worth the money because they do have what you want and it lasts. I have actually talked to vendors at WalMart that have told me how the workers are treated. So, WalMart, step up and do something about this mess! In the meantime, Publix gets my money!

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2013, at 1:01 PM, ntyfool wrote:

    Everytime I go to walmart is the same long lines and empty shelves. I used to go there when walmart use to strive on low prices. But is a hassle to shop here and there so now I do most of my shopping at target. Is a little more cost but I dont have to worry about not finding what I need. Walmart has 20 checkstands and most of the time only 5 or 6 are open. I have read so many articles of how they also treat their employees maybe thats a factor. But only time will tell how walmart results.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2013, at 1:35 PM, jeflindz wrote:

    I work for some of the manufacturers representing their products and working to try to correct some of the out of stocks mentioned in the Bloomberg article. I don't agree with the Wal-Mart corporate response I think they need to address the perceptions that people have by announcing a new hiring initiative. Next they should address the culture in some stores that allows these problems to continue. First, Store Manager's bonuses are based, in part, by how they keep their costs under budget, including payroll. I personally have witnessed stores that have not replaced department managers for as much as 4 months or more. Typically the grocery department in a Wal-Mart is staffed by 1-2 people including the DM on any given day. A nearby grocery chain has the same department staffed by 3-6 people.

    Second, the stores need to adhere to their own systems and procedures for placing freight into stockroom shelves. Correctly staffing the stores will help with that, but also retraining and making employees accountable for failures in this area would help to solve this problem.

    Third, inventory errors need to be corrected in a timely manner. Stores have incorrect inventory counts in their systems that management won't address and correct. Their automated ordering system won't reorder products it "thinks" it has in stock (on their computer) but physically doesn't own. Part of my job is to bring these inventory issues to management's attention. I have had stores who refuse to correct these errors, particularly when it involves a large number of an individual item. Store management thinks it will "turn up eventually", but in the mean time they are losing sales on that item and alienating customers. It took me more than 3 months to convince managers of one store that the 286 pieces of a sandwich spread it's computer said they had, didn't exist.

    As long as corporate headquarters for this chain is in denial, the problems witnessed by shoppers will continue.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2013, at 1:39 PM, GregPrice wrote:


    So, which WM do you run, or do you work directly for the home office in Bentonville?

    As a customer of WM (for certain items only when I can't find the equivalent elsewhere), I can vouch for the accuracy of the customer comments. I like to shop the early morning to avoid crowds, and even then (when stocking SHOULD be over with) it's fairly common to see either partial stock on some items or entire gaps in the shelves. I've personally seen this in at least 3 different WM in the town I live in.

    WM's anti-worker, pittance wage/benefits policies are finally catching up to it.

    And it's about damn time.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2013, at 1:44 PM, hadenough2 wrote:

    Investors should be worried. I'm another long term associate, 10+ years. The bottom-line may have been very appealing at this year's meeting but it will not continue to be so. I am so tired of going to family or friends' gatherings and hearing what I know is true. "When will that store have what I need back on the shelves?" and "I can't find anyone to help me find what I need, when is Wal-Mart going to hire some people?"

    There was a time when I defended longer. Corporate has brought this on themselves at the expense of those in touch with customers on a daily basis. I continue to see a growing number of unattended and partially filled shopping carts. If you don't understand what this means you have no understanding of this business.

    "They" have found very innovative ways to reduce head count. If someone quits, your store's allocation of labor hours are suddenly reduced. Yes, it appears that you still have the job opening but try and find someone to fill a position with reduced hours (typically around 12 to 18 hours per week) willing to work on a temporary basis with a floating schedule.

    Our last job opening for an hourly supervisor had no internal applicants. Policy dictates we open the job to outside applicants. There was only one "outside" applicant. Policy then dictates that if there is not at least two applicants no one is interviewed and the job opening is closed. We have lost our last three job openings in similar manners. This after having our staffing cut by about 30% over the past year. Other stores in the area are experiencing similar reductions.

    So Chris4729, my good response to your comment about 1,000 emails. What we're experiencing is the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Wal-Mart customers have finally had enough and have now reached the point where they are BEGINNING to speak up. Your response seems very well written and you have valid questions concerning sources of data. I would say the article itself is fairly well written about a valid concern by someone in touch with the reality of what is currently on the minds of the customers who shop and previously shopped at Wal-Mart. Lastly, I pose a question to you. What company's name is on your paycheck?

    If you have been following closely over the past few years you should understand where Wal-Mart has chosen to source the funding for their top heavy staff who continue to receive their salaries and bonuses without effecting their bottom line.

    Speaking of bonuses..did I mention that we received information just a couple of weeks ago about how 'corporate' has again restructured how store associates' quarterly bonuses are calculated. The new method follows similar changes as the last revision. More store operating expenses are used to calculate against the store's profit numbers resulting in a reduction in store bonuses. So again, we're insuring the top salaries and bonuses escape fiscal responsibility burdened by those in touch with customers on a daily basis. How truly sad. Wal-Mart used to be such a good company to be associated with.

    To those responsible for the efforts to use strategies such as this to push the stock to the $80 mark: I honestly hope you are successful. If you are not, the ramifications will not go unnoticed.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2013, at 2:00 PM, WaukMotFool wrote:

    If Walmart wants or needs more help, why don't they pay their employees better, or at least treat them better? I saw a video on 20/20 last night of some then-Walmart associates at one of their Kentucky stores (although it could happen anywhere in America) playing catch with boxes of merchandise that they would then stock on the shelves. No wonder many of the goods they sell turn out to be lemons (and I'm not talking about the produce aisle). Some of their employees don't look any different from the stereotypical Walmart customer. When they only pay their employees $9/hr to start, the only applicants they get are high school dropouts and druggies. If they raised their starting pay to $12/hr for adults who work full-time (and $10/hr for part-timers and minors), they would get many more applicants.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2013, at 2:04 PM, JustCat wrote:

    I worked for WM for over 21 years. It has changed so drastically in the past few years. When Sam passed away things really went downhill. I know it has been said many times before, but the family just didn't get it. They kept telling us this is how Sam would have wanted it..

    Well I don't think so. He would have wanted good customer service and associates on the floor to help people.

    Instead there are no people on the floors working, very few check-out lines are open. And yes much of the stock sits in the backroom as there is no one to take it to the floor, and the associates that are there are constantly being called to run register.

    When I retired they had taken away 3 of my people who worked for me. I was only one person with 5 departments and 2 part-time people. Not enough help to get the freight to the floor , or give any kind of customer service.

    I retired as I couldn't stand what was happening. I knew they would be expecting more and more out of the few people that we left... Now don't get me wrong, I worked, and worked hard, but I couldn't see doing it any longer with NO help at all. When I first started with WM it was a fun place to work. We had great people, now its all people who just want a paycheck, that is if they show up half the time to work anyway..

    Sorry this was so long... just had to express my opinion..

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2013, at 2:24 PM, chris4729 wrote:

    GregPrice & HadEnough: While I'm flattered, I do not work at Wal-Mart. I am, however, a shareholder. And the concerns that you, the author, and others on this forum have voiced are definitely valid and true (I shop there weekly). However, saying that this is a "big concern" for investors is unfounded; the author of this article did not make a credible case that current shareholders need to sell, or potential shareholders need to take their dollars elsewhere.

    Year after year Wal-Mart demonstrates that, while they lack in PR and making every shopping experience as pleasurable as possible, they more than make up for it in productivity and bringing huge cost savings to consumers. The data says that Wal-Mart is a fiscally and structurally sound company and is actively expanding all over the globe; problems with labor relations are very real and can be problematic in the short-term, I'm not doubting this, but again, the author does provide a credible investment-based argument for her point.

    I'm not saying everything or even a majority of what Wal-Mart does is right. I am only saying that claims like this: "Investors should be very worried" followed by no hard numerical evidence is more frustrating than waiting in 10 Wal-Mart lines.

    Lastly, my apologies to the author. My original post was caustic and some of my words were unnecessary; I don't mean to offend, but I really would like you to reconsider your position.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2013, at 2:56 PM, oldhillbilly4th wrote:

    just another small voice with comments. Walmart may think they are doing great, my local Target likes the way Walmart stocks. We have given up on finding lots of the "usual" items at Walmart, clerks tell me that "we don't order, just stock what they send us". What a dumb way to run a local store. Case in point, shoes, if they have only two pair of work boots in a size and three people need a pair, well, "try our other stores, they might one left in stock". Another favorite we have seen and is increasing," sorry we don't stock that any more, "oh you bought one last week and want to buy another for a gift?" Hello Target

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2013, at 3:04 PM, steve1002 wrote:

    If Wal-Mart would hire more full-time employees, which they could easily afford, they might just get those workers they so badly need.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2013, at 3:09 PM, ghostwalker6153 wrote:

    chris4729 says that while Walmart lacks in PR and making every shopping experience as pleasurable as possible, the more than make up for it in productivity and bringing hung cost savings to consumers. You are completely out of touch with reality and as an investor, you should be the first to realize that data can be manipulated.

    This is the reality: Walmart needs to do its own reality check, pay a living wage complete with decent health benefits and hire more people. Customer service and product availability are both in the tank and ordering should not be left up to Bentonville to decide what we the consumer wants or needs.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2013, at 3:13 PM, Stevegarry22 wrote:

    This story is an obvious union slap at Walmart.

    The observation I have made at the two Walmarts in my area is, if the employees spent as much time working as they do standing around talking to each other and not helping customers, the shelves would never be empty, and the check out lines would move much quicker.

    Give it up unions, Walmart will never go union, and if they did, their customers could not afford to shop there.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2013, at 3:17 PM, lansing56 wrote:

    I have worked at Sam's club for 27 years my pay has been capped now for like 3 maybe 4 years. While the cost of living keeps going up my pay does not. And it's true we have members calling us from the floor because there is no one working on the floor to help our paying members. Home office decided that we could no longer afford more than one team lead and no more than 2 people working on the floor during the day. Cutting our night crew to almost nothing. Our home office even controls our heating and air it's sad but true, I need to leave myself due to repetitive work it's harming my physical being, but can't afford to retire because of medical issues caused by working on cement floors and neck problems from this job.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2013, at 3:37 PM, mrpickem wrote:

    Walmart is a perfect example of what has happened to America. If the number one priority is satisfy the investor, then ofcourse employee benefits will be cut further and further because employees are like other bills, they are a cost to the actual company. The sad part, in the near future, all employees will be slaves and UNIONS will comeback stronger than ever. Justice will be served until the UNIONS begin exploiting their power. It's called greed. Greed is the problem... all people, not just corporations or government, those are just labels hiding the fact that they're people, people run unions, governments and corporations and the problem is GREED!

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2013, at 3:43 PM, kirame wrote:

    walmart produce isles are bare where I live, lettuce, and tomatoes are all gone and have been for well over two weeks. walmart is full of crap and their customer service is horrid now. I will shop elsewhere if corporate doesnt pull its head out of its ass real soon. my money is good evherywhere and I don't need to shop walmart to survive.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2013, at 3:56 PM, DaddyWalMart wrote:

    I remember how thorough the orientation process was and then on my first day, an assistant manager rudely snapped (before I could utter a word) "If you don't have any ID, you can't work today", which was covered from first contact. Because my skin is brown, I felt he was accusing me of not being American or something. Did he know I was an army veteran and part time substitute teacher? This is the work atmosphere I got introduced to. How does one not feel this being racist?

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2013, at 3:57 PM, DaddyWalMart wrote:

    PS, this was in Poteau, Oklahoma, 2005, enough said!

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2013, at 4:14 PM, carinined wrote:

    Down where I live, we have a super walmart and it has ateast 25 register lanes but always 7 or 8 open and the lines are SUPER LONG. I would check out at the electronics or tire shop. Then I started hearing how walmart mistreated their employees so I started going tot Target. Its much cleaner, I like the prices and the lines aren't tremendous. I hope they make it super target so I can do my groceries there as well. This article is spot on. That is same situation I went through until I switch to Target

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2013, at 4:31 PM, justaggravated14 wrote:

    Walmart is really not a good company to work for. They really don't treat there employees fair enough and pay them as much as they should. They want you to go all out of your way and beyond and help other departments but not pay you for it. They train cashiers to be back up csms at some of these stores and not pay the cashiers more money to do two peoples job and that's not fair because being at the service desk is a really huge responsibility and also more work and more money to be responsible for. I feel as though if they are gonna train then they should offer more money, because it's not really a promotion it's the fact they they are using that person to help fill in for the original csm who is getting paid for the position and not paying the trainee which is unfair because walmart make way to much money to be so cheap to there employee's and just offering a little bit more raise for learning another department will definetly not break there bank. They are just greedy and selfish to there employees. Then the fact there is always that one manager that wanna talk to there employees like there stupid and they don' t half know the store and always asking questions like they need to go back to training because there associates know more than them. They really need to chill with the cutting hours because that really will make frustrated customers walk away when they have to wait on the long lines and unstocked shelves. It's ridicoulous. They need to improve and pay there employees more money.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2013, at 4:35 PM, RmenJr wrote:

    Im from San Antonio, TX and there are wal-marts all over the place. They definitely need more cashiers if anything. I used to go late night/early morning to get what i needed but now the lines and wait are just as long. I've been going more and more to H-E-B. Their gas prices are usually equal to WalMart, I like their produce and shorter lines alot better.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2013, at 4:39 PM, justaggravated14 wrote:

    Oh and btw most of the customers hate that stupid self check out because that's taking away jobs and half of the time those stupid things don't even read people cards when using the debit readers it's a waste of time not to mention the lady that talks on it and tell you what to do. I'm like REALLY.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2013, at 4:58 PM, justdude1 wrote:

    Yup seen it first hand in my area, All walmarts 15 registers 1 open, empty shelves, Long lines..

    even their prices are higher than others,

    doesn't help they killed Woodmar Mall, knocked it down and now are moving out of town.

    stra8t horse manure shame on you walmart.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2013, at 4:59 PM, gb12958 wrote:

    well i worked for homedepot in the early 2000s,and it was the same as we see here,i was a dept manager,if the founder had not stepped in and fired the ceo who only cared about profit and his bonus,hd would not be here today,it took them about 4 years to straighten out that mess,and yes if you are an investor,you will see same store sales from year to year go down and thats what wall street looks for,and once the slpoe starts there will be a stampede to sell,mark my word you have maybe a few months,and once it shows downward spiral its over,think about canot stop bad ceos without removing them,but its just about too late,they are also loosing a lot off the top brands they use to have because of arougance.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2013, at 5:33 PM, gulagwageslave wrote:

    Alyce Lomax has hit the nail on the head one of the few to voice an even, unbiased opinion in this sea

    of suck up pseudo journalism era which present a totally one sided view usually because money has

    exchanged hands for favorable opinions. I have worked in retail for over 10 years in a very similar

    retail chain Walgreens exactly the same cookie cutter

    way of managing workers which is a upside down pyramid meaning the pointed part is penetrating you

    head causing excruciating pain from repeated tasks

    the likes which can be used in torture. The utter contempt of "Managers" for workers who they regard as pack animals. Sure there's a whole lot of $$$ spent on ads saying how much they care about customer satisfaction but it's a blatant lie

    example being in my ten years at Walgreens I personally never saw one day where the advertised items were available not once!! so

    the customers are already aggravated by being duped by the gimmicky come on flyer sent to them

    weekly then come the fun part where we offer them

    rainchecks for 30 days and guess what happens sincere grandmas,ladies people on tight she string budget keep coming back for the same items and Walgreens never had them in stock this goes on for months and the other gimmicks like manufacture coupons in, store coupons, mail in rebate item's and to get all these "special" we had to sign them up for a store card it was a miracle just to get the customer out the door

    I mean a cashier and customer could haggle over all these things for hours but we tried our best to get t done as fast as possible on top of all this nonsense created by Walgreens itself we were blamed for being slow and lazy talk about a lil gratitude for some it was always a 2 aspirin day at work.

    It's a despicable loathsome full of suspicion work environment where you are guilty until proven innocent which is every working day bag checks

    at the door locker checks to top it all off they tell

    you and in the news that you really should not think of this as a real job ??? then what the heck is it ?? but it was a great company once think they all Mr Walgreens was a wounded war vet in 1901 who took one store to I think they are about 9000 now but sadly the upper management and dch bag DM's store manager's who could run a lemonade stand are the ones making decisions I could cite shocking examples of behavior by these people

    but you might find it boring. I do not work for Walgreens any more I do not hate that company

    but I wish my time there was spent in a better way I am just giving my own personal experience which I suspect is very similar to thousands of current and former workers there.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2013, at 5:42 PM, scarlettkatie wrote:

    I rarely go to Wal-Mart as I dislike the store, no floor help, prices are not that great. But the last time I went, of the 36 available cash registers, only 6 were open and the line was 8-10 deep and it was after 5 when a lot of people were shopping after getting off work - you would think they would have had more registers open. I have found many of the employees to be rude, also. Have not gone back since. I can find things I need elsewhere as cheap or cheaper in stores that have open cash registers and people who can help you.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2013, at 7:42 PM, TimothyRY wrote:

    I really do not like Wal-Mart anymore. When I realized how bad they really treat their employees and their customers, it is really unreal to see so many people still go shopping their like drones. One thing that really turned me off is, Groeing up Iwas taught that buying or selling in bulk meant lower prices per unit, but If you notice at Wally world they price their products to be cheaper for single, or smaller items, like say per ounce than the bigger, or bulk items. Whenever I inquire about this to any management, all they can tell me is, they don't know. It is ordered to be that way from corperate and that is that. Also when the Each of the Walton family is worth the 12 to 15 billion dollars a piece, and not to mention the big money they make at corperate. With the average employee yearly wage is only $13,000. They are seriously ripping off the customers, and even more so, the regular blue collar employees. WAKE UP AMERICA AND STOP SHOPPING AT WAL-MART!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2013, at 8:17 PM, abanikko wrote:

    My personal complaints are #1 are the long lines.

    #2 Is that they seem to be incorporating psychological marketing tactics against their customers.

    The latest tactic I am steaming about? We have always bought "Natra Taste" artificial sweetener. After 2 or more years on the shelf in the same place they have now replaced it with their own "Great Value" brand all dressed up with the same color scheme Natra Taste used. If this were the first incident I would brush it off as something other than a tactic. But this is about the 14th item we have gone through like this and there is most definitely something to it. That is not something you do if you respect your customers. Money is the almighty God now with WalMart. We're changing our shopping to Publix as they at least respect their customers. And we are NOT part of any 1000 email complaints.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2013, at 8:26 PM, abanikko wrote:

    I think the concensus among the store managers as they loo kout their one way hidden mirrors in the sky from their offices is that if they see 6 or less people in a line they say to themselves "Whoops, I'm overstaffed". So at what point do they see themselves as being properly staffed? I think it's when each cashier has 10-15 or more in line! That is most definitely NOT a company who repects and appreciates their customers.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2013, at 9:00 PM, quasimodo007 wrote:

    the GOP Congress and their mafia style Privilege Crooks of wall Street would rather Raise and Increase Inflated Prices on goods then hire full time workers . Their main concern is to Increase their Bonuses and Pay. GREED and corruption is their True Motto. Just look how Disney is Laying off workers while the CEO got a $37.4 Millions Dollars bonuses and Pay increase too.see it's All About GREED.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2013, at 9:23 PM, neamakri wrote:

    Ten years ago Walmart was good. In the last few months, crap.

    AMEN to all the above.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2013, at 10:21 PM, heartlandthnker wrote:

    Investors in Wal-Mart had better start paying attention to the poor and short-sighted practices in the running of the Wal-Mart stores...lest they plan on selling off soon to avoid the inevitable fall of the stock price. I, as a patron in the small town of Vinita, OK can easily echo almost every criticism I've read here on the poor customer service and lack of an enjoyable shopping experience in our local WM Super Center. When this upgraded version of the store first opened, it had all the trappings of a wonderful addition to the community. But trips to the store in recent years has been frustrating and, at times, a "hell" of its own when a shopper could not find regular items stocked on shelves nor floor help to see if "...something might be back in the storage area." matter what time of day you shop there...stockers will often clog up the aisles and with pallets of merchandise, making it sometimes nearly impossible to get to products on the shelves. The whole experience is sometimes simply maddening...which is probably why the nearby Dollar General store and another long-time grocery store are both experiencing brisk business.

    So sad, Sam...the family is running your good name into the ground. Wal-Mart better get its collective act together...and FAST! Thinking it has a "captive audience" of shoppers in rural areas of the country, and that these shoppers would never, ever notice poor retail performance through shaky management practices, may have worked as a corporate philosophy at one time (maybe after Sam passed away?)...but not in these more austere times, Buck-o!

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2013, at 10:44 PM, susiehiero wrote:

    I have gotten to the checkout at WalMart and just left the cart, take my money to another store. Only shop at the grocery now, and that is only in a pinch, and I have noticed the empty shelves, fruit and vegetables going bad...maybe they thought their cheap prices were enough, it isn't for me. I'll gladly pay a bit more to get what I want and get if fresh!

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2013, at 10:47 PM, jeflindz wrote:

    If you want to see for yourself the problems in Wal-mart shop your local super center on a Saturday. Walk through the grocery aisles and bring a tape measure. Measure the bare shelf space you find in that store and total it. If you have a Wegmans in your town do the same exercise. When comparing the results you will find a huge amount of bare shelf space in Walmart. At the checkouts you can count the number of open check lanes and the number of customers in each line. There's no comparison. Walmart will have longer lines and fewer lanes open.

    Bare shelf space is the single biggest " item" stocked by them and it generates no revenue.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2013, at 11:10 PM, bugmenot wrote:

    The US economy has been destroyed. Obama plays golf when critical issues need solving with real, competent leadership. Companies don't know what is going on with the Obama Administration. New, job killing regulations can pop out every day. New taxes; new fees; new regulations. The uncertainty is mind boggling. Every business has a 5 year plan. With Obama in the Oval Office, there is no way to create a plan because his minions could destroy all of your basic economic assumptions with one executive order. Obama is the PROBLEM! Walmart can't fix anything because Obama creates regulations that can kill their fixes. Obamacare is falling apart as the details become apparent. Health care chaos is beginning and that will kill employers. There is nothing worse than Obama Chaos. No wonder Michelle Obama thinks she is a single mother - the empty chair and the empty bed. He's out playing golf or making sexual comments about a female AG!

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2013, at 11:55 PM, boonedoggle65 wrote:

    For many years I shopped several times a week at the neighborhood Wal-Mart and never recalled a bad experience. They kept a supervisor by the checkouts, and if more than 3 customers were in line, the PA system demanded assistance. The store manager often took a check lane during periods of peak demand. Shelves were stocked!

    Fast forward. The neighborhood store has been replaced by a huge Super-Center. 36 check-outs and All were staffed at midnight on black Friday. Unfortunately, I can echo what others have reported that typically only 4 to 6 lanes are open, and 8 to 10 customers waiting in line are not uncommon. To add insult, the Super-Center management crew (the shirt and tie crowd) often stands like penguins, almost laughing at to long lines. (I wonder if they have the skills to operate a register)?

    In the unlikely event the item I am seeking is in stock, pricing is another disaster. Shelf pricing is often missing, and more often than not different from the price coded into the check-out scanner system. During my last (and final) visit to this store, after enduring a 10 minute check out line wait) I questioned the cashier why the price for an item rang up at a price clearly above the posted shelf price. She told me that since I had charged the purchase, I could go to the "Customer Service Desk" for adjustment.

    Guess what. There were about 8 people in line waiting to see one customer service clerk on duty.

    No way was I going to wait 30 minutes for a $2 overcharge.

    BTW: I have successfully avoided Wal-Mart now for over 3 months, No signs of remission.

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2013, at 12:05 AM, nofoolinhere wrote:

    Give the workers at Walmart sensible hours and better benefits. Benefits that don't have 5,000 and 10,000 dollar deductibles. Can you take care of a family of 4, food, medicine, bills, and gas to go to work on 20 to 25 hours a week? Heck no you can't. Walmart does do the things that people complain about. They cut empolyees, increase the work on the ones there, and benefits do suck. But hey I am glad to have a job. It's better then nothing.

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2013, at 1:13 AM, meetooo wrote:

    This is the walmart solution in our area: they put 12 self checkout registers and man them with 2 checkers. (six on each side). The Cheap are getting Cheaper :(

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2013, at 2:09 AM, cyennarose1 wrote:

    I am among the many who are boycotting Wal Mart they are all about greed... with no respect for their employees...they are just another example of the corporate greed and selfishness that is destroying this country!

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2013, at 5:01 AM, pompusass wrote:

    Wal mart, you arrogant, pompous ass. You took a company where customer SERVICE was the # 1 priority when Sam Walton was alive and raped it for the money. Sam would be disappointed to put it mildly in the organization as it is today, and even with his own children. That's what happens when you are greedy a**holes. This isn't new, Wal mart has been going downhill for years. A LOT of people I know don't shop there anymore because of the long lines and the sad excuse that is represented as customer service. Serves you right. Oh we can do what we want, we employ over a million people, blah, blah, blah. How's that working for ya. Every TRUE story that is published is an "isolated incident" or a "liberal media slander" propaganda campaign started by a "Few" disgruntled employees. Get a grip and sniff your balance sheets. What's that you smell? It's the smell of empty shelves, shrinking customer patronage, and a stock index that's gonna land in the crapper. Good day sir, I said good day.

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2013, at 6:01 AM, spankleelee wrote:

    I wish Walmart would just go away forever.

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2013, at 6:06 AM, rascal049 wrote:

    I have shopped at walmart for many many years and I used to enjoy it. The last few years have gone down the toilet there. 3 months ago I ordered a product from them via online shopping. To make a long story short. They lost the product, canceled my order, lied to me, placated me, ripped me off and it took them 3 flippin months to finally come out with an offer of a $15 discount only IF I re-ordered same product. What an INSULT to my intelligence., THEY lose my order and lie to me repeatedly and take 3 months to offer this???? I am deaf and disabled and beyond angry at walmart. Never did I even get a sincere appology. I will NEVER EVER shop at Walmart again. EVER

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2013, at 8:40 AM, carguy123 wrote:

    I no longer shop at Walmart. And I will not go back. I am tired of dirty stores, cheap Chineese merchandise and the service is horrible. Its easy to get in the store but hell to get out. I will take my money and gladly pay more for decent service and a quality product somewhere else.

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2013, at 10:12 AM, npruitt wrote:

    Maybe if Wal-Mart treated their employees better, then they wouldn't have a problem keeping employees. That is the problem with so many different retail companies today. They treat their employees bad, on top of not paying well, and in the long run, its just not worth it.

    I worked for a pharmacy/store who is a major name and that was their problem as well.

    Then on top of it, you have to deal with rude people all day that curse at you if you do not have their brand of cigarrettes in stock. After working in the retail world for a few years I can honestly say, I hope I never have to work retail ever again. And if I do, it certainly won't be at Wal-Mart!

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2013, at 10:49 AM, picframer12 wrote:

    I know from experience the way employees are treated. Not a pretty picture at all. They expect one to do the work of two. come on now, 45 cases an hour. Years of being degraded was more than I should put up with. I don't go to walmart if I can get the mechandise elsewhere.

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2013, at 11:38 AM, exemployee123 wrote:

    I used to work for Wal-Mart and when I first started back in 2007 at a distribution center it was actually a good place to work. They took care of us and it seemed like Wal-Mart actually cared for their employees but when Mr. and Mrs. Walton passed away and their kids took the reigns everything changed. Work became unbearable every night. I worked a 6pm to 6am shift on the weekends and with all the changes they made it was just terrible to come to work every night. People who were put in management positions should never have been put there and morale dropped in the entire building. Wal-Mart does not care about their employees or the customers anymore, it is all about the bottome line. Yes I know that the objective of any business is to make money but you can make money and be decent to people at the same time. The way Wal-Mart operates now makes me want to see them go completely out of business. I hope they never make another dollar again. I will throw a party the day they go out of business and you are all invited!

  • Report this Comment On April 08, 2013, at 6:13 PM, jimmue1 wrote:

    WMT is the most convenient place for me to shop and I have done so for 15 years. I recently instituted a no WMT on weekends poicy because it's a lousy experience- broken cash registers, long lines and cramped aisles.

    Meijer and Target aren't that far away after all.

  • Report this Comment On April 08, 2013, at 10:58 PM, herky46q wrote:

    WalMart is not that bad of a shopping experience in my area.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 3:27 AM, Corsair3117 wrote:

    Sounds a bit illogical. Checkout lines are long yet shelves are empty. What is the consumer toting to the register then? My wife is an avid middle-class shopper who loves the price structure. So typical to see Alyce pass on the Big Union talking points without question (THEY'RE never avaricious-just business, of course) while slamming their coveted prize/target. And, of course, Washington is never to blame. The recession is the fault of firms not hiring enough people-hey they can afford it-even as they hustle to makeup for the retail falloff after FICA increase of January is documented. Studying Economics 101, rather than organic gardening might benefit the credibility of the author's pieces a bit.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 11:23 AM, moneytrail wrote:

    Cartoon economic analysis is what one has come to expect from a union and Obama shill.

    Let’s see, you are basing an analysis of Wal-Mart’s business model by referring to one thousand emails sent to Bloomberg, as being representative of the sentiments of customers engaging in hundreds of millions of Wal-Mart, customer shopping days, annually. Then you go on to suggest that companies need to hire more workers, and pay them above market wages – because the companies “should,” necessary or not, to help the economy.

    I suppose companies should follow the federal, state and local governments’ approach and hire millions of unnecessary, grossly overpaid workers, many of whom perform imaginary duties. That’s really working out well for the country, as we can see from the sub 2% growth rate that has plagued the economy for several years.

    Companies create jobs and grow the economy by investing in new products and ideas, not by hiring workers to ”help the economy.” Your “grasp” of growth economics is rivaled only by the union goons for whom you are a mouth piece and an economically challenged President who believes fleecing successful investors and job creators, while expanding the food stamp program ($80 billion and counting) among other giveaways, will juice the economy.

    Including only half the labor “force dropouts” in the unemployment numbers, who left the work force since Bozo the Pres has taken office would unveil a true unemployment number in excess of 10%; 250 basis points higher than when Obama assumed office in ‘08. Maybe if the feds stopped the economic rape of successful companies and people in the US, both domestic investment dollars and money repatriated from abroad would fuel the US economy and achieve the real 4 -5% growth rate of which it is capable. This would expand employment and raise most Americans’ incomes, while helping to pull the global economy out of its economic malaise.

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 12:10 PM, skyepink wrote:

    Walmart has some big problems. There are never enough check out lanes open. Customer service is a joke. Their carts for the disabled never work, are filthy and they only have a few for an suburban store ( they could probably use 25-30 instead of 3 broken ones). Security in the parking lots is a joke. Hookers are all over the place in the evening.

    All of this means I rarely go to Walmart any longer. I go to Target or Kroger even though it costs more. I can always find a disabled cart there. Walmart is not handicapped friendly. Everytime I go there, I ended up leaving because there is no way for me to do my shopping. I wonder how much money Walmart is losing because they turn away so many baby boomer disabled customers?

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2013, at 2:44 PM, albedobeagles wrote:

    The article is utterly correct in every way. One of my dearest friends is a 20 year employee of Walmart and regularly supports the views presented in the article. Like another reader, also a longtime Walmart employee, she remembers when Walmart was a fine company, and bemoans the horrors of working for Walmart today. Sassy thing that she is, and being one of the few employees who can and DOES get things done (read as stock shelves, adjust pricing, assist customers) she has enough confidence in her value to Walmart to have removed her name from her nametag and replaced it with the number six. When questioned about her sassy ways, she now simply refuses to wear the nametag at all. If that's how the employees feel, and they pretty much all do, how wrong can the complaining customers be? They're not. They're right.

  • Report this Comment On April 10, 2013, at 3:06 PM, RRobertsmith wrote:

    Not a news flash if you have worked for wal mart in the last 4 years....the high cost of low prices, as walmart slides by on the backs of the impoverished restockers....

  • Report this Comment On April 10, 2013, at 5:51 PM, TMFDarwood11 wrote:

    I hate the shopping experience at Wal-Mart.

    Recently on a month long stop over in Texas, I had the opportunity to shop both the local H-E-B and the Wal-Mart. After one trip to WM and one at H-E-B I was convinced. I shopped at H-E-B and never went back.

  • Report this Comment On April 11, 2013, at 1:28 PM, sftono wrote:

    The Walmart response is total BS! I have personnally abondoned a full shopping cart 3 times at Walmart because I refused to wait 45 minutes to check out.

  • Report this Comment On April 12, 2013, at 7:03 PM, Slimvin wrote:

    Your article is on the mark. I have been trying for a month to talk to someone in the electronics department about a new cell phone service. I have NEVER found a person there yet. I hate going to Walmart, unfriendly people and only a few open check out lines. Disgusting.

  • Report this Comment On April 12, 2013, at 7:06 PM, insidermanP3 wrote:


    In the same period of time WMT's quarterly profit numbers were always subsidised with tax payer dollars via (HIRING) tax incentives!! Last quarter 8 out of 11 cents per share quarterly profit was tax incentives! HOW ? Glad u asked, well u can hire a lot of people when u fire even more (120k more) twice as many if they are temps or part timers! Illegal? Probably not, but definatly not what the "job creation" bill tax incentives were ever intended for.

  • Report this Comment On April 12, 2013, at 7:30 PM, carolsmithhsa wrote:

    So I read this long complaint list about WalMart and here is what I say -- shop at Target and buy Target stock. Do not patronize businesses that have a business model you despise.

  • Report this Comment On April 13, 2013, at 10:42 AM, insidermanP3 wrote:

    We still have to pay taxes to subsidise WMT employee pay/benefits with food stamps and medicaid along with the billions we pay them in (Hiring). Tax sub/ incentives!

  • Report this Comment On April 13, 2013, at 4:48 PM, ChrisBern wrote:

    "Americans should be outraged because more companies should do their best to start hiring right now, since that's the only way our real economy will improve"

    Is this statement a joke? When was it the responsibility of a company to hire people in order to improve the economy? Seriously and no offense, it might benefit you to take Econ 101, where you learn what drives companies and what inspires them to hire more people. Hint: companies aren't concerned with propping up the national economy, nor should they be. They are concerned with the profitability and sustainability of their OWN company, which is what their owners demand of them.

  • Report this Comment On April 17, 2013, at 4:39 PM, TMFDarwood11 wrote:


    I agree in principle, and based on my experience at H-E-B I think WalMart should be concerned. As you said companies "are concerned with the profitability and sustainability..."

    I think all WalMart stock holders should be very concerned.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 4:29 PM, PeterBNYC wrote:

    Walmart has become an impossible store to go to. There's no why you can just run in there and buy something ... You will be on line forever. Heaven help you if someone is waiting for you. White Plains store and Hauppague too.

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