Could Wal-Mart Be the Next Giant Failure in Retail?

Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT  )  recently reported that it will be laying off 2,300 workers at its Sam's Club subsidiary, reportedly to cut the fat of middle management. Layoffs in and of themselves aren't uncommon at any large company -- competitor Target (NYSE: TGT  ) also recently said it would lay off nearly 500 employees and keep hundreds more positions vacant -- but such personnel reductions also aren't something a growing company does very often.  

What's worth keeping an eye on is whether the Sam's Club layoffs are a symptom of much larger problems at Wal-Mart. The company has been a giant of retail for decades, but there are signs that its reign is coming to an end. 

The king of retail doesn't stay king long
Wal-Mart is certainly the king of retail today, commanding $475 billion in sales in 2013 alone. But the list of retailers that have gone from dominance to mothballs is long and distinguished.

F.W. Woolworth was once one of the largest retailers in the world, creating the modern retail model that Wal-Mart eventually perfected. Started in 1878, the company expanded until sales began to decline in the 1980s, around the same time Wal-Mart began to hit scale. By 1997, Woolworth was completely gone, changing its name to Foot Locker to focus on the remaining sneaker business.  

The Woolworth Building was the tallest building in the world when it was completed in 1913, a monument to the retailer's size. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Not long ago, Sears and Kmart were both big names in retail, but they're now a laughingstock of the industry. Kmart went through bankruptcy once in the early 2000s and bought Sears when it emerged under Eddie Lampert's leadership, forming the Sears Holdings (NASDAQ: SHLD  ) we know today. Now the new Sears is struggling just to stay afloat and may end up in bankruptcy before long.

The list of high-profile retail failures goes on and on. From Montgomery Ward to Circuit City to K-B Toys to Mervyn's, it's a tough business to be in and success today doesn't guarantee success tomorrow.  

Wal-Mart's problems are starting to show
If Wal-Mart is the next giant retailer to go under, it won't happen overnight. Failure in retail starts with a trickle. Consumer trends make your stores less popular, a rival grows from out of nowhere, and eventually same-store sales begin to fall and you're on the road to failure.

That last factor is why investors should be concerned about Wal-Mart, because same-store sales were down in each of the last three quarters. Sam's Club has fared slightly better but still isn't growing as fast as the economy.


Q4 2012

Q1 2013

Q2 2013

Q3 2013

Wal-Mart U.S. Stores 





Sam's Club U.S. Stores





Total U.S.





Source: Wal-Mart quarterly earnings releases.

The fourth quarter will make a full year of declining same-store sales for Wal-Mart. Retailers were forced to discount heavily this holiday season and more consumers switched to buying products online. Wal-mart is scheduled to report Q4 results on Feb. 19.

Those online retailers are now the No. 1 challenge for Wal-Mart. According to its recent earnings release, (NASDAQ: AMZN  ) had $74.45 million in sales in 2013.

WMT Revenue (TTM) Chart

WMT Revenue (TTM) data by YCharts.

What makes Amazon a bigger threat today is the company's sheer size. It's now bigger than Target, and every percentage point of growth takes growth away from Wal-Mart. In fact, Wal-Mart's budget-conscious consumers are probably more likely to shop on Amazon than Target's consumers.

Retail failures happen quickly
It doesn't take long for a retailer to go from the top of the world to bankrupt. Kmart lost just $22 million in the second quarter of 2001, but was bankrupt by Jan. 22, 2002. In the four months leading up to bankruptcy, same-store sales fell 1.8%, 4.4%, 2.6%, and 1%, respectively, from a year earlier. You don't need a big decline in sales to suck up all of your profits in retail. 

Circuit City reported a 4.2% rise in same-store sales as late as December 2006, even raising its fiscal-year guidance to growth of 7%-8% in U.S. stores. But by December 2007, same-store sales were down 11% for the month and the company would be out of business by November 2008. From optimism to bust in less than two years. 

The reason that retailers are sensitive to declines in sales is that there is a lot of overhead that goes into selling in brick-and-mortar stores. Wal-Mart spent $89.2 billion on overhead over the past year, and based on current margins and overhead spending, it would only take a 13.6% decline in sales to eat up all of Wal-Mart's profits. 

Will Wal-Mart go under?
It's far too early to say that Wal-Mart will eventually be a laughingstock in retail like Kmart, but the warning signs are there. Same-store sales are down, consumers are trending away from brick-and-mortar stores as a whole, and Wal-Mart is cutting staff to save costs. If those trends continue, it won't be good for the future of Wal-Mart. 

It may be unthinkable to even consider that Wal-Mart could go bankrupt one day, but this wouldn't be the first big-name retailer to go under. As I've pointed out above, once a retailer stops growing, the fall can be fast and furious. At the very least, I'd be wary of Wal-Mart as an investment right now, because it's neither a growth stock nor a great value in a floundering retail environment. 

Two companies that are the future of retail
To learn about two retailers with especially good prospects, take a look at The Motley Fool's special free report: "The Death of Wal-Mart: The Real Cash Kings Changing the Face of Retail." In it, you'll see how these two cash kings are able to consistently outperform and how they're planning to ride the waves of retail's changing tide. You can access it by clicking here.

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  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 2:21 PM, Njancek wrote:

    I'm sorry but you can't compare online shopping to in-store shopping, and say that the in-store shopping will fail because the online shopping is destroying it.

    As much as people buy from Amazon, how many of the people who shop at Walmart do because they don't have access to Amazon? Or for that matter, don't know how to use it, don't want to, or any of the above?

    This is like saying that Steam, XBL, PSN, Wii U eShop and more will totally destroy Gamestop, because more people download games than they do buy them at Gamestop. Again, either the people don't have access to those stores, don't want them, or both.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 3:03 PM, spintreebob wrote:

    SOME failures happen quickly. Kmart and JCPenney alienated their customer base by trying to be Abercrummy and Filth. That went quickly. The Brennan Brothers destroyed Wards and Sears. But Sears had the benefit of Martinez, Land-End, Lampert and other brilliant leaders. So why does Sears struggle? Because middle management sabotages the programs of the brilliant leaders. Tandy/RadioShack declines for reasons unrelated to Kmart/JCP or Sears. I go to the new inner city Walmart closest to me and it is packed with people who never before had a store with low prices convenient to them. The opportunity for Walmart to grow and adapt exist. The question is whether managerment will see them and whether middle management will have the same hymnbook as top management.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 3:12 PM, Bigdawg745 wrote:

    The margins for the brick and mortar shops are so low that any decline in sales are catastrophic. It’s the snowball effect, Sales decline, investor’s cash out, stocks fall. No, everyone does not shop online, but the ones that do may not necessarily shop at the brick and mortar stores. That could be enough to start the snowball.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 3:17 PM, taylor1277 wrote:

    Well first of all i hope you will take being corrected lightly,it wasn't Woolworths that Sam Walton took to heart to get the idea to run his stores.It was a small company in Pa called Laneco.Sam Walton and his wife were on vacation and went to a Laneco store in the little town of Coopersburg Pa. in 1981 and he saw what anyone would see if you ever seen a Laneco it was the coolest store on earth,no one had a store like it.It was a store where you could go and get anything that you needed.The only thing that was missing in a Laneco store was Home Depot and a gas station in the parking lot.This company never realized the potential it had,the manangement thought that no one would ever take and capitalize on its idea.Even at a kid and in my teens and not even working i did.I loved the store,when we went there,we got everything we needed,you needed two shopping carts,one for food and one for everything else,if i went fishing i could go get everything i needed and lunch for the day fishing.I worked for Walmart too,what made me leave is when they started taking away everything from their employees for the sole point of greed.And greed is when there one son died who never wanted to work and have anything to do with the business,but was worth billions when he died.His name was John Walton i beleive.He died in a some kind of glider accident.this company will become a Sears,JcPenny and it will also become a Kmart sooner or later.What killed Kmart is the same that will kill Walmart; greed.Plain and simple.Walmart could come up with a way to give health care to all its employees and give them wages that would make them look good.but the simple way for a CEO to cut the bottom line is to cut wages.Becuase a CEO who gets paid millions isn't going to look into what he can do to make a profit and keep employees happy,he is going to simply look for a way to cut costs,the easy way to slash wages and health care.Sam Walton was a great man,but as what happens with any company when a man with passion who built a company hands it over to someone who never had to sweat and burn and toil for what he wanted,the people who run Walmart today,greeds takes over.That is what happened to Walmart,Sam Walton to me was a man of integrity,the same kind of man that owns Chic-Fi-La,none of his operations are open on a Sunday,and when the man that owns Chic-Fi-La passes on,the people who take over will never honor him and keep the establishment closed on sundays,they will open sunday.Be it his son or family member they will,because they will look at the money that they are loosing on sunday and open the stores.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 3:26 PM, taylor1277 wrote:

    And the reason that all the other stores like JcPenny and Sears/Kmart,Macys are struggling is because of the low prices at Walmart,when i worked there is was if someone slashes prices,meaning has a sale you sell it for cheaper.You beat the competition,no matter what,and i was taught when you work there,Walmarts philosophy is if i pay 12.00 for a can of paint,and sell it for 11.00,they made a profit,because that means that 11.00 in the pocket of Walmart,not Sears/Kmart,Jcpenny,Home Depot,Macy or anyone else.The way Walmart kills other businesses is going to have a massive effect on all retailers,as Walmart is going to kill all other businesses and when there aren't any other stores around they think they will have to force you to shop at Walmart because they think its going to be the only store or retailer left.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 3:31 PM, bodegabayjoan wrote:

    If I absolutely must have an item immediately I will get in the car, put up with traffic, burn the gas and then go deal with the parking, crowds and the less than stellar customer service at a big box store.

    If I don't have to have it right now this minute Amazon has become my preferred way to shop.

    Even with shipping fees I can usually find items cheaper there and I can read the reviews of the product as well as the seller.

    Also, if Amazon says it's in stock - it's in stock!

    How many times have you phoned a wallyworld to check product availability then either gotten no service, had your call dropped, or been told an item is in stock only to drive across town and then find they do not have the item?

    Big box store's selection of items is finite as well; you can only cram so much into even a wallyworld. Amazon gives me access to nearly unlimited selection and choices.

    I don't see Walmart disappearing right away, but I do see online shopping growing by leaps and bounds as more people come to realize the benefits.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 4:14 PM, Patricio87 wrote:

    I used to love going to local stores in the 90s. We had a electronics store and a sports goods store. Then walmart moved in and they went out of businesx. I hate walmart, it's an awful place to shop. It's cheap as hell but awful.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 4:56 PM, servererror1 wrote:

    I have a love/hate relationship with WalMart. I love their prices, but hate to go there. It is a pretty negative experience, mainly due to the quality of their employees, particularly in the larger population center areas.

    I wouldn't really miss them if they were gone, but they won't be.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 5:06 PM, ozzlefinch wrote:

    I largely stopped shopping at wal-mart simply because the products they sell are cheap. I don't mean cheap price wise, I mean cheap quality wise. If I need to purchase something, I need it to work. I don't need it to fall apart after one use. Dime store junk is what they sell. I would rather look around either online or at a mom and pop and get something that might cost a little more, but I know will last me for a good long time.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 5:30 PM, jazzlett wrote:

    Yes indeedy. Walmart came in and slowly dominated the retail business which contributed to Service Merchandise, Fred P. Gattas, Circuit City and countless other retail within your own city and across the country. Now it appears that their prices are going up. Thecustomer service is way down and poor service. Went to the pharmacy on Friday , they had my prescription bagged under another person's name. When the cashier tried ringing it up it would not register based on the prescrition # and the bar code on the label, however I was glad for the bagging number system they have in place because I might have woke dead according to what the prescription was.

    That was about minutes before it was straighten out.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 5:42 PM, SewerStarFish wrote:

    If the entire chain is run like the local store, then the answer is an inevitable "yes, Walmart will fail." The local 'super store' is not well maintained, its shelves having gaping areas reminiscent of a Soviet era east bloc store, and the employees do not seem as invested as they once were.

    To me this is very similar to the decline of Sears and then Kmart, only larger in scale.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 6:57 PM, Vector wrote:

    It would be a God send to see Walmart fail. Over 80% of their products are made in China. Over 40% of their clientele are on Welfare.

    Thank Goodness there are nine of those white trash stores near where I live.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 6:59 PM, wstr wrote:

    The fact that Walmart notoriously treat their employees poorly (even compared to other retail giants) guarantees that I will not ever hold any of their stock - both the moral aspect as well as the fact that that's oftentimes a sign of a company that can't continue to grow forever. Especially as more and more Walmart workers have been striking and picking up steam doing so.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 8:03 PM, kamanalo wrote:

    Greed is the root of all evil and wealth is a fruit of that evil.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 8:29 PM, violian wrote:

    Totally wasn't expecting an article predicting the demise of Wal-Mart. It's totally not out of the question because when I was a kid, yes, you would never predict Sears would end up in trouble like they are today. Nowadays, if you go to a Sears, it's just empty shelves and empty foot-traffic. These days, people want clean and trendy stores. Wal-mart - yeah, most of the Wal-Marts around here is a mess - just things dumped on the shelves and loose items everywhere. Probably why K-mart is struggling - an article I read 2 years ago observed the disdain condition of K-Mart stores and how it is an eyesore the instant you set foot through the doors.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 8:52 PM, craftyscrapper wrote:

    I often shop at Kmart and the store I patronize is clean, well-stocked and the customer service is superb. Same with the Walmart I shop at. I don't think on-line shopping will totally replace in-store shopping because they are items we need daily and right now not 3 days from now and women will always need to shop in real brick and mortar stores. Its our stress reliever. I once worked at Wallyworld when I was younger and was given no prior training before being thrown behind a cash register. It was OJT which was not new to me but it can sometimes irritate customers who have to wait to have an answer to a question. I even got tired of waiting for price checks and once told a customer to "name her price" having to wait 10 minutes in "express lane" for a price check will make you think twice about coming back. The problem with higher management is they think that we will continue to come back because of the great prices regardless of bad customer service and condition of the store . The think I hate about Walmart is I know they don't give a crap about their employees or customers. Its that almighty dollar they care about.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 9:03 PM, sassycat wrote:

    wal-mart is a joke of the biggest size that is why i shop at Family Dollar the prices are better the people are much easier to get along with. Anyone with just a littlle brain power can tell that wally world just tries to lure you in with a small deal and cause you to spend way more than you wanted when you first went in. My family has stopped shoping at wal-mart it just is not worth the trouble to drive all of the way into town and get in the mess of getting in and out of wal-mart

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 10:05 PM, axle57 wrote:

    I would rather shop at Target and give my money to France than to China. Walmart will always suck at retail. You pay your help crap wages, threat them like crap and you deserve to fail. I shop at the dollar stores, on line, and any other place but Walmart. I'd like to see the ceo's digging ditches and being whipped daily. The other retailers failed because of arrogance, greed and stupidity, which is what is being taught in our universities, where the hell do you think we get such corruption? It's taught in our schools of higher learning.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 10:10 PM, wiggy365 wrote:

    we shop at dollar tree, dollar general, and local grocery as much as possible to avoid wally-world. especially in grocery, every time time i find an item i like at wal-mart with a very good price, it sells out. can't find it for days or weeks, then it's back at a much higher price, or that brand is gone and replaced by an inferior brand at a higher price than before...

    clothing is mostly ghastly as wal-mart, housewares and hardwares are mediocre quality and full retail, with limited selections. on a lot of items, ebay and amazon is way competitive.

    however, a lot of grocery prices are still pretty good at wal-mart, but not like it used to be. Though not close, i still go to aldi's as much as possible to stock up. I don't know if aldi's has as much kirkland discount brand stuff as it used to, but that is a brand you see a lot of at costco...

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 10:26 PM, Gloriacurtis2 wrote:

    Walmart it's time to come back to the USA and take China off the label. Your own country is the best investment to make now. Show us your really loyal and things will turn around for you real fast. Pretty soon all of these businesses that belong in the USA will start to feel the heat and come back home where they belong, so don't feel alone.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 10:37 PM, adc1440mgw wrote:

    I don't use Amazon for most things. Would not buy shoes, clothes, etc. because they need to be tried on. Electronics is bought in person and discussed with a sales person. Shipping costs have been rising year after year and shipping back items that you may decide will not work, fail under warranty, sized wrong, etc. so I will used the brick and mortar store. If I need a specialty part, that is about the only time I shop on-line except for vitamin supplements and parts that I know will work. AND yes, a big part of Walmart's problems stem from too much products from China, especially in the grocery end.

  • Report this Comment On February 02, 2014, at 11:19 PM, Texson wrote:

    Yes, Walmart sells cheaply made Chinese products. But so do all retailers, even Amazon. Try finding an American made appliance these days. Very few exist. One thing that I think plagues Walmart is inventory control. It seems they have a huge theft problem, by both customers and employees. There is a Walmart in a nearby town that is said to have so bad a problem that the local police have quit responding to calls from the store. They can't sell merchandise that is slipped out the back door. At another store the new manager was advised by other managers not to take the job because of the theft problem.

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 12:05 AM, buttapecangodez wrote:

    Walmart has dominated retail especially since their stores have groceries (now). However, Walmart is an example of how a giant corporation fails at checks and balances. There is no clear accountability for lack of knowledge or poor customer service from line staff to store management to corporate support. Store policies are not uniformed nor enforced. One store will have seamless transactions. While other stores will be staffed with a different set of policies that seemed to be "made up." Complaints to corporate are always directed back to the store management. How can a chain survive when they continue to hire incompetent people? With the array of options available in online shopping and other mass retailers, why spend your money at Walmart?

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 12:24 AM, Brent420 wrote:

    I hate walmart.spend a hundred dollars and only get a few things. They need to fix there policy's too. My cousin got into some trouble when he was eighteen . He applied for work there and actually got the job. They spread the process out for five weeks just to tell him they could not hire him. I know a couple of people I went to high school with that were charged with sexual misconduct . I walked in the other day and low and behold who is stocking their shelfs. I was taken aback. Not to mention my cousin turned down two job offers waiting on his orientation . But I'm sure since I saw the predators working there walmart will never get there hands on any of my money

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 7:29 AM, folly25 wrote:

    Hi! Minority here. Sorry, puppybone69, but that was the most ignorant thing I've ever heard. And yes, very racist.

    1) If Walmart fails, it will have nothing to do with stealing. If they're not making enough profit to keep the gazillion stores they have open, they will die. Period. Changes in consumer behavior will be the cause.

    2) Amazon's successful sales-wise, but they're having problems, too. Here's a quote from a USA Today article:

    "Paradoxically, Amazon said late Thursday that its profit and revenue both grew in the latest quarter. Still, the world's largest online retailer said its results fell below what Wall Street was expecting as costs rose in tandem with revenue.

    But Amazon faces different problems than its bricks-and-mortar peers. Amazon's results were hurt because its costs are rising along with its meteoric revenue growth.

    As it struggles to balance its operating costs with revenue growth, the company said late Thursday that it is considering raising the fee on its Prime membership, which offers free two-day delivery on most items."

    The more people buy, the more money Amazon has to spend to ship all those "black-proof" goods. Right now, they're having problems finding a balance.

    3) Walmart doesn't cater to minorities. They cater to anyone looking to save money on groceries, and anyone with a pulse would like to do that. Mostly whites shop at the Walmart I visit the most -- and no, they're not the so-called "white trash" variety.

    4) Do you really think blacks only steal from white-owned businesses? If people are desperate, they'll steal from anybody! Black-owned businesses have to contend with theft, too.

    And you know, white people steal, too. Just saying.

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 10:05 AM, VikingRog wrote:

    WalMart is an example of people's beliefs in the truth of advertising. WalMart is NOT always the cheapest, without going to Amazon or other online stores. Local retailers are smartening up, you can easily beat WalMart but just being pleasant to the customers, when I walked into a WalMart (haven't been in our store here for several years) my mood would always go down, always! Employees could care less if they ran you down and God forbid you ask one of them for help! We have shopped locally for several years now, keeping our money in our town, not sending it to Bentonville, AK.!!! Support your local economy, that is the future not a mega company like WalMart, they will eventually go the way of Wards, Woolworths and others!! If you are like me, it CAN'T HAPPEN QUICK ENOUGH!

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 10:10 AM, devc1110 wrote:

    Don't be fooled by Amazon's growth either, much of the actual profit in Amazon doesn't come from the .com business, much of that comes from Amazon Web Services and the other " Tech" ends of Amazon's business. We had a great example of why Amazon's growth is limited in the retail .com sector as the recent Christmas season shows, Amazon is hindered there by the ability of OTHERS to deliver product for them, many customers burnt once will not be back, just to have late packages and broken promises. Jeff Bezos is as susceptible as any other CEO of a "retail" company that can quickly sour in the public's eye.

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 10:11 AM, devc1110 wrote:

    Don't be fooled by Amazon's growth either, much of the actual profit in Amazon doesn't come from the .com business, much of that comes from Amazon Web Services and the other " Tech" ends of Amazon's business. We had a great example of why Amazon's growth is limited in the retail .com sector as the recent Christmas season shows, Amazon is hindered there by the ability of OTHERS to deliver product for them, many customers burnt once will not be back, just to have late packages and broken promises. Jeff Bezos is as susceptible as any other CEO of a "retail" company that can quickly sour in the public's eye.

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 10:23 AM, vet212 wrote:

    I seriously doubt Wally World is headed toward failure anytime soon. with stores all over the world and building more with sales orders of magnitude higher than any competitors failure does not seem an option

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 10:40 AM, gregw wrote:

    Walmart's downfall would be it's own fault. Have you been inside of one of their stores lately? The Madison WI area stores are filthy and unorganized. They have junk in the isles and many empty shelves. It takes forever to check out. They don't want to hire people to work and it seems like the ones who do work there don't want to do anything. Customer service is really lacking.

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 12:35 PM, Paddlinpals wrote:

    Having seen first hand the begining of K mart's demise back in the early 1980's and from what I can see going on in Wal Mart stores, they are at the beginning of the end. It amy take a long time though. Remember it took KMart until 2003 or so to go bankrupt, but the disease started almost 20 yeas earlier.

    Wal Mart has crossed the threshold where they have too many stores and not enough qualified people to properly run them. Like their predecessors, they are desperately trying to manage from outside the store and restricting payroll hours in an attempt to squeeze extra margin from their stagnant sales. This just makes things worse.

    Also their competition hase wised up , especially in the grocery side and are winnng WalMart customers because they offer service and are able to tailor their assortments to the local demand, which Wal Mart is either unwilling or unable to do.

    The other major problem they face is Public Opinion. Dirty unshoppable stores, a perception that their shoppers are somehow lower class (ever looked at "people of Wal Mart"?), and the growing sentiment that they pay their workers poorly (which is not really true) are weighing heavily against them.

    They could escape this deat spiral, if Sam Walton were still alive, but not with their current management.

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 5:47 PM, bmmohio wrote:

    If Walmart fails, China Fails. Would be cool if they sold a little more Made in the USA products, European products or even Canadian products. Only if they put a flag on a price tags people might think before acting.

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 6:31 PM, amisstree wrote:

    WalMart is a joke. My observations conclude:the majority of employees are dolts. I go into my local Super WalMart any day of the year, any time of the day, and the lines are ridiculous. My problem is, WalMart has 30 registers, 3 are open. If they had 5 registers and 3 were open, they'd look a little less incompetent. I see a new product advertised on TV or in a magazine, will my Super WalMart have it? Absolutely NOT!!! People want what they want when they want it. We don't want to see gaping spaces on your shelves where merchandise should ideally be. Hire American employees who speak English in America. I ask an Indian lady where to find a product, she looks at me and tells me "I no understand". Are you 8hitting me, I am in America whose primary language is English, and you have the audaciousness to hire an employee who tells me "I NO understand". Where am I? Hire NON-English speaking dissadents to work overnight where they will have less contact w/ customers. Everytime it rains, there are dozens of bright yellow buckets ALL

  • Report this Comment On February 04, 2014, at 9:04 AM, SeminoleJet wrote:




  • Report this Comment On February 04, 2014, at 9:04 AM, duudaa wrote:

    I am sorry to say I think Walmart will be around a long long time. In a collapsing economy people are forced to buy cheap. I can go to walmart and pretty much buy everything I need with one stop.

  • Report this Comment On February 04, 2014, at 9:22 AM, jord1353 wrote:

    I had a comment about Sears, i feel if they would not have a, let's say a baby outfit, for something like 44.00 retail and then slash the price by 20, 30, 50% and just sell it at a reasonable price then i think more people would be interested in at least stepping foot into Sears. They need to revamp their whole program, start with commercials that tickle the consumers buying bone. So good luck with making Sears less expensive and more affordable. Thanks for your time

  • Report this Comment On February 04, 2014, at 9:57 AM, Grandmabooboo wrote:

    I think this analysis and prediction is pretty accurate. One of the biggest draws for WalMart was it's "one stop shopping" convenience which is absolutely vital in both surburbia and in more rural areas of the country....which are after all, the demographics which made WalMart "King".

    40 years ago, beside my living room chair where stacks of catalogs. Everything from the children's school clothes, household items, and ALL my Christmas shopping....I did from these catalogs. The reasons were fourfold. 1, I worked 7 days a week and catalog ordering was more convenient. 2, I live in a rural area and had to drive a great distance to get to most of these stores, 3, the stores we did have were of a smaller footprint and didn't carry a full inventory of available products. 4, I could comparison shop with my feet up and a cup of coffee by my side.

    Today, I shop in basically the same way, but on the internet. Yesterday, I was "shopping" for nightstands for my Granddaughter. As is the case for about 70% of WalMarts household goods, they do NOT stock the items, but THEY (WalMart) order them from Wayfair and charge a fee for being the "middleman". But wait!!! It gets better! When WalMart's site send me to Wayfair, I notice that these nightstands do NOT just come in either black or white...but Wayfair has hot pink ones, and lime green ones....and passion purple ones too!!! Just what a 13 yr old girl will love....but, not from WalMart. I have to get them through Wayfair....a few dollars cheaper...and I can have them 2 days sooner....shipped directly to my house.

    Groceries....I'm pretty much stuck with WalMart because, they're the only act in town. We do have a Krogers, but not only are their prices slightly higher, they often don't have the sizes I'm looking for. For some odd reason, our local Krogers does not carry the 29 oz. size of many products that I regularly buy. So, on grocery shopping day, I have to go to 2 stores, WalMart for canned goods and cleaning products...and Kroger for meat, and fresh vegetables because WalMarts produce section is literally disgusting....what little there is of it....fortunately, there variety of fresh produce is severely limited. All Krogers would have to do to get me to shop there exclusively is come closer to WalMarts price on Swiffer Jet cleaning fluid and carry 29 oz cans of whole tomatos and tomato sauce.

    Books? I buy 3-5 books a month...every month. WalMart (and Kroger) price per book $5.97. Amazon price....$2.99....$ shipping.

    Let's face it....WalMarts success was built on convenience...and serving the suburbs where people didn't convenient choices. Over 30 years, I've watched WalMart become just a big...glorified Dollar General.

  • Report this Comment On February 07, 2014, at 5:18 PM, MTROB wrote:

    Its funny, how I read all the reviews about Walmart, K mart, Sears and all the greed and bad customer service. Not one review talked about Costco They are doing just fine, management knows how to treat there people. They pay a living wage, train there employees, They have stacks of resumes of people that want to work there. They don't want to be the giant of the industry just doing business like it should be run. Now LOOK AT Tandy, Radio Shack I worked for them in the 80's there stock was in the 30's. Now its 2.70.They paid there employees a wage plus commission and for every dollar you invested in the company they matched it. All that disappeared in the early 90's when greed set in and they forgot how Charles Tandy wanted his company to be run.

    As the story goes treat employees right & Pay right

    and your company will take care of itself. Your employees are your best customers in and out of the store.

    When you quit growing your company and dump on your employees what happens next XXX


  • Report this Comment On December 22, 2014, at 3:54 AM, WE666 wrote:

    100% of Walmart management and employees alike are pure evil, Walmart is nothing but criminals themselves. I'm furious that Walmart is still in business, i will be satisfied when all of the Walmarts worldwide, especially here in USA goes completely under and bankrupt and Walmarts worldwide goes completely out of business for good and Walmart is no and long forgotten. Walmart should have never been in business in the first place.

  • Report this Comment On May 06, 2015, at 3:51 PM, FrustratedFool wrote:

    Here is why I think brick-and-mortar retail will fail.

    1. It takes way too much time to shop in these huge stores. If you are in a hurry and were hoping for a quick in-out experience, be assured that you will get stuck in the checkout line. Suggested solution: Allow staff members to check out from anywhere in the store, especially if they are checking out just one or two items (a la Apple).

    2. I always get lost in Walmart. Where do they keep the dinnerware again? I need some new glasses but can't find them. Ok, I will ask for help. Now I spend the next 10 minutes looking for help.

    3. Nothing is in stock when I need it. So I was in Walmart today to buy new glassware. They only had wine glasses there. And do you know the worst part. When I went to Walmart around Christmas to buy wine glasses, they were not in stock. In two of the stores I checked?

    4. Buying clothes is an even bigger ordeal. Because first I have to find something that I like. That takes about 1 hour. After that, when I finally find what I like, it is not in my size. What's the point.

    Now why I prefer shopping on amazon. I just type in the search criteria and see everything they have immediately. I can even sort by size, color, style etc. Shopping is much easier, faster and cheaper.

    Example- I just bought a red top (online). Though i would buy matching earrings. Went to Walmart. They had NOTHING in stock. Standing right there at the jewelery counter, I went online searched and placed order for a red earring on amazon. It may be coming from China and may not reach here for another month. But, hey, I found it in less time than it takes me to open my garage door and get in the car. So why bother with Walmart.

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2015, at 12:35 AM, happyman32 wrote:

    I think Walmart could go under because of the way they treat their employees. I worked there once and was treated so badly. I worked very hard but was never really rewarded for my hard work. Instead I was made fun for my work ethic and so forth. So yeah its a bad place that needs help. I on a personal note I was fired for being depressed after a breakup. Instead of working with me to transfer me to another store they fired me. That's ridiculous in my book and my friends/family thought it was too.

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Travis Hoium

Travis Hoium has been writing for since July 2010 and covers the solar industry, renewable energy, and gaming stocks among other things.

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