Filthy Walmart!

The Walmart is Taylors, SC is disgusting! One Flickr user decided it was up to him to document the filth. His Flickr set features over 100 photos of how positively post-apocalyptic this Walmart has become.

The shots were taking at 8:30 pm, the store closes at 9. To really know whether this store is dirty, we’d have to see shots of what it looks like the next morning. Even so, this is an insane mess.

What the heck is going on, Walmart #1244? Perhaps a manager shorting hours to get a bigger bonus? — MEGHANN MARCO

Filthy Walmart [Flickr](Thanks, Tom!)

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  1. Citron says:

    Is it closing or something? I went to a K-Mart closing for some inconcievable reason and it looked like that.

  2. Ah, the irony of the cleaning-supplies aisle being absolutely filthy is sublime.

    Also: Gross.

  3. homerjay says:

    Meh.. its Walmart. Are we really that surprised?

  4. abartonkc says:

    Ahh, I guess the saying “You get what you pay for” still holds true, even for mega-corp Wal-Mart. I’m guessing for the only employees this Wal-Mart can get for $5.50 an hour isn’t interested in how the store appears to customers. But hey, if you don’t mind a disgusting environment you might save 30 cents on a package of light bulbs. I’ll take my business elsewhere in hopes of avoiding the need for a tetanus shot after visiting Wal-Mart.

  5. etinterrapax says:

    I didn’t work at a Super Wal-Mart, but I can well imagine the store looking like this after a busy Saturday in a high-volume location. It’s a downward spiral, really. The store looks messy, so people who shop there don’t feel any respect for the place or the merchandise. So they half-eat apples and toss the rest back into the bin. And the employees on the sales floor are taking customer phone calls, helping people find things in the store (I can’t speak for all Wal-Marts, but I definitely did a lot of this), trying to keep ahead of the mess so we wouldn’t have to stay all night zoning, and being called up front to cashier. That system, incidentally, is a major weakness in WM’s customer service strategy. You catch hell if they page for cashiers and you don’t go up, even if you were helping a customer at the time. But you also catch hell if you aren’t in your department to take phone calls, zone, and wait on customers. And the customers shit on you royally about seven times out of ten because they’re legitimately frustrated by the lack of help, or they’re just jerks. It’s such a no-win job that you can’t do it well for trying.

    It’s been years and I’m still bitter about it.

  6. Wal-Mart relentlessly slashes employee hours to the bone as a standard method of doing business. This is what results.

    I’m amazed that he was able to take over 100 photos without trouble from management. Shows how deserted this store must have been.

  7. Citron says:

    etinterrapax, I know exactly how you feel about it. I’m still bitter too. Wal-Mart is a terrible place to work.

  8. robbie says:

    Eh. Many of the pics simply show empty shelves. Being out of stock is not the same as being “disgusting.”

  9. WindowSeat says:

    I’m going to split this baby down the middle: Management at this store sucks and the customers are trashing the place as well.

  10. Hoss says:

    So this is why Wal-Mart doesn’t want us taking pictures in the stores! If only Sam Walton was alive to visit that store — he’d behead everyone in management and personally clean up the store.

    Wal-Mart is on a downward slide. Tesco (Britian’s largest grocery/general retailer) will take a big bite out of Wally when they open in the US later this year.

  11. any such name says:

    Cannot Find Server – 100 photos is nothing. I spent 24 hours in a Wal-Mart with friends in college, and one took about 400 photos. No one noticed until like 10am or something (and we’d been there since 2 in the afternoon the previous day).

  12. Kornkob says:

    Tesco might have problems making inroads because of infrastructure problems. The big boxes and Walmart in particular have soured a lot of communities on brokering land deals to build their buildings on.

    Not that I wouldn’t like to see someone step up and put pressure on through solid competition but at least in wisconsin news I’m seeing a story every month or so about some community standing up to their city leadership and shouting down the moving in of walmart.

  13. bones says:

    There store got in that state because the customers trashed it. It’s amazing that customers (I’ve watched them) throw things on the floor, open food and eat it in the aisles then leave the dripping remains on stacks of clothes to sell, drop battles of syrup/ketchup/mayo and break them and just walk away, give their kids sticky gooey candy and let them run around wiping their hands on other products, leaving used baby diapers (yes with poo) on the food aisle shelves, leaving frozen or refrigerated food in other departments to spoil and stink, put out cigerette butts on the carpet, have a child vomit on racks of clothes and just walk away, come into the store with horse feces and mud and hay stuck to their shoes and wipe the mess off on the carpeted areas, the list goes on. The store would need a 20 person dedicated cleaning crew on call all the time to pick up after these customers. If you tried what’s pictured here in a friend’s house you’d never be allowed in their house again. I’m no Wal-Mart fan but come on, this is customer wanton destruction and filth of a merchant’s property, not Wal-Mart’s fault.

  14. etinterrapax says:

    If Tesco is willing to take over existing retail buildings, they’ll find more success. I know we had one Whole Foods-sized location in town here, and I was desperately hoping we’d get a specialty grocery, but apparently the best they could do was a consignment shop. Honestly, in that kind of square footage, I give them six months. One of Wal-Mart’s very worst behaviors is relocating locally, sometimes less than a mile away, and abandoning its custom buildings. The least they could do is clean up after themselves. Having Wal-Mart in your community is like having a poorly-raised teenager in the house.

  15. Kornkob says:

    Having looked closely at the pics now I can see both sides.

    On the one hand at least half the images represent normal retail/grocery disarray and debris. Customer related misplacement. Low stock levels. Normal debris from products like sugar, detergent and the like that tend to ship in containers that leak. Food scattered on floor. Open product (ie– somebody been grazing). Onion skins– not ‘filthy’– just the normal debris.

    However, looking more closely the other half just doesn’t look right. Hard dried liquid detergent spills. Applesauce dried to black (and not staining the cardboard on top of it indicating it’s old). Rotten fruit left out on display. Vegetable displays that desparately need cleaning.

    In the end though: This display is another example of someone blowing a bunch of stuff out of proportion in order to call attention to the stuff that really is broken. That manager needs a smack in the head but then again the intarweb needs a kick in the butt for exaggerating the story— especially when it doesn’t need the exaggeration.

    I think this story would be stronger if he culled about half the images so that the real issue was exposed with greater focus.

  16. DeeJayQueue says:

    It looks to me like most of the wreckage was done in the Pantry section, with a little bit to the outlying departments. I posit that the Pantry Manager got fired/quit, Upper Management decided to try and foist the responsibility off on one of the other Dept Managers, who wasn’t having it. An argument was had in which the sentence “Aw, come on that department runs itself” was uttered. The Dept Manager took them up on it, and was trying to see how long they could go without actually DOING anything, to measure whether or not the Pantry could actually Run Itself.

    Or something like that.

  17. Michael says:

    No Nazi t-shirts, though, so they must be doing something right.

  18. AcilletaM says:

    Wisconsin has another advantage to standing up to the big box stores – minimum markup law. Walmart can’t come in and undercut everybody.

  19. Chaoticfluffy says:

    In about 85% of those photos, I either do not spot anything substantially wrong, or I see a store that has not been restocked in forever. In a further, say, 10%, I see typical grocery debris, like scattered sugar on the sugar shelf and onion skins in the onion bin, or customers being stupid f*cks and leaving things wherever they feel like it and not picking up after themselves. Only about 5% struck me as a serious failure on the store’s part (i.e. the rotton peach/nectarine, etc), and I don’t argue with the fact that those ones are serious problems. I’m no wal-mart fan, but ITA with KornKob – if the photographer wanted to make a point, he ought to have culled the collection to only photos showing serious problems, or at least highlighted/labeled those ones. Fifty-seven pictures (estimated – I’m way too lazy to count) of “omg look they are out of dish detergent/apples/sugar” does not an indictment make.

  20. North of 49 says:

    its january. Odds are 3/4 of their staff they had over the Christmas insanity has been given the axe. The rest just don’t have the time, or the extra arms, to do everything.

  21. Kornkob says:

    Wisconsin has another advantage to standing up to the big box stores – minimum markup law. Walmart can’t come in and undercut everybody.

    Not that Walmart hasn’t already come in and blown away local busiensses anyway, sometimes in some pretty nasty fashions (including at least one case of setting up shop in 2 rural towns long enough to kill the competition, then buying all the retail space and shutting down the local stores to push traffic to the Superstore in a 3rd nearby town).

    And if anyone wants to cludge through the code, here’s Wisconsin’s Unfair Sales Act. (be careful reading– it gets icky cause they have some different laws for gas, alcohol and smokes than for the rest of retail land).
    http://www.legis.state.wi.us/acts89-93/85Act313.pdf

  22. Tim Matheson says:

    The city I live in (Wisconsin Rapids, WI) used to have their Wal-Mart in the mall. Everyone said that the mall was a happening place because Wal-Mart brought business to it so more stores wanted to be in the mall. Then everything went Super Store and they started demanding more space (so I was told I didn’t live here at that time) and when they didn’t get it they moved to a location completely on the other side of town. The mall is nothing short of a dirt mall without so much as a Foot Locker. I am not even sure it can still be called a mall. Many small business owners went out of business after the corporate giant left. So in this case Wisconsin’s Unfair Sales Act did nothing to protect the lil’ guy. On another note my home town of Grand Island, Nebraska with a population of just under 50,000 got two brand new Super Centers on the North and South side of town. If you ask me there should only be one super center per 50,000 people. The result was many small business owners closing the doors. I really miss some of those ma n pop chains. South Park creators did an episode on this exact sort of business approach by Wal-Mart and they really hit the nail on the head as to what Wal-Mart is doing to rural America.

  23. Dustbunny says:

    I can believe that at least half of the mess was left by customers. This is why I shop at Target instead of Wal-Mart. At least Target’s customers don’t act like they were raised by wolves…

  24. krakbuste says:

    Umm…I don’t get it. Filthy Wal-Mart? So what? Couple of empty shleves and some rotting fruit. We get it, some of you people, ehhem-dustbunny-ehem, as highbrow that you decided to shop at Target, WOW, I’m impressed.

    Empty shelves sounds like good prices to me. Oh and that Flickr site, yeah? About the only thing I took away from that is a headache from the blurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

    Oh the plight on America, the scourge of WalMart. Give me a break. Stick to Consumerism not flaming Wal Mart, it really is so old.

  25. TWinter says:

    I read somewhere that Tesco is planning to launch in the US with something similar to their Tesco Metro stores in the UK. (They have several distinct formats in the UK, ranging from gas station convenience stores to huge super centers. The Tesco Metros are small stores in downtown and dense residential areas that are more like a supermarket than a traditional neighborhood store, but are still much smaller than the average US supermarket. The Tesco Metros in the UK stock lots of basic everyday stuff (milk, bread,fruits) and lots of convenience foods (prepared salads, high quality refrigerated meals, smoothies and juices, alchohol) the idea is that they are going to aim for a market niche that isn’t well served right now in the US.

  26. schvitzatura says:

    Wal-Marts that are not zoned properly are a hazard to shop in; backstocking inventory on the floor, especially high over customers heads on standard aisle shelving (not warehouse-grade) of heavy items is frightening.

    The difference between Wal-Mart and Target is as plain as the difference between Bentonville, Arkansas and Minneapolis, Minnesota…one is pile’em high ‘n cheap and the other is stock and merchansdies orderly, sober, pristine and just about the same price (probably within pennies)…which would be more appealing to most shoppers?

  27. MechaBlue says:

    It’s hard to convey the scope of something like this without getting the sweeping panorama shots and it’s hard to take the sweeping panorama shots without getting caught.

    The scene in each of these pictures, if in an otherwise perfect store, would register as something wrong. Even something like unstocked shelves and unfaced products is bad because it says that no one cares. If a store can afford the manpower to make sure that the toilet paper is arranged all purdy-like, it’s much more likely that the important stuff (hello meat department) is taken care of.

    Unfaced and unstocked shelves, messes on the floor, and random stuff lying around says that they are short staffed. Dried on messes say they don’t care. Rotting produce and meat lying around say they don’t care about the important things.

    I’ve seen very bad practices with meat at stores that looked far better than this. I would be very careful about purchasing anything perishable at a place that looked half this bad.