Walmart Bosses Want More Grocery Sales, Store Managers Complain About Understaffing

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Walmart’s big bosses are unhappy with the mega-retailer’s grocery sales, but store-level bosses are in turn unhappy with the number of staff members they’re allotted to keep the shelves stocked and clean. What does this mean? A media war of words, where Walmart sent an “urgent” and “highly sensitive” memorandum to store managers last month, and one manager in turn leaked that memo to the New York Times to expose why the milk and vegetable sections at your local Walmart look so crappy.

The news that Walmart is having trouble keeping shelves stocked is nothing new: we shared information on exactly that from Wally World employees a year and a half ago, but Walmart management apparently wants better results specifically in the grocery department, where stocking and marking down perishable items like vegetables and meat is vitally important if stores don’t want to throw possible income away.

Walmart management has asked for daily records of how much meat and dairy is thrown away, and has asked stores to start marking down items earlier in the day to make sure that someone buys them. That’s great news for fans of clearance meat, but trouble for store managers who don’t have enough employees to keep on top of inventory and actually marking down those perishable items.

One assistant store manager somewhere in the American South talked to the New York Times about current issues in selling more grocery items. Unfortunately, this manager says, they haven’t been able to get enough staff coverage to get older meat and eggs checked and discounted. This manager tells the Times that the store has had to throw out milk, eggs, and produce that could have been sold at a discount instead of pitched into the dumpster.

Walmart Memo Orders Stores to Improve Grocery Performance [New York Times]
Excerpts From Walmart Memo [New York Times]

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