When the CEOs of Walmart and of Jet met for the first time, they fell in corporate love. The two men couldn’t stop envisioning the future of their companies together, sketching out their dreams of combining Walmart’s inventory and supplier relationships and Jet’s e-commerce algorithm. The companies announced their engagement this week, and Walmart CEO Doug McMillon explained what it was he ever saw in the startup, which has barely been selling to the public for a year. [More]
A dog owner in West Virginia did what she probably thought was the responsible thing while out with her pets, leaving them in the car with the engine running while she was inside Walmart. However, in one of the best arguments against automatic transmissions that we’ve ever seen, the dogs shifted the car and drove it very slowly into the outside of the store. [More]
Do you remember Walmart’s ’90s ads featuring the animated smiley face character? According to the company, the character first appeared in stores over 25 years ago, and later as an animated character in TV ads. Perhaps capitalizing on the popularity of emojis, the mega-chain is bringing Smiley back in its marketing after a 10-year absence.
For a while, Walmart tried a bold staffing experiment: they reassigned employees serving as greeters, a position that serves as both a friendly face and a theft deterrent. Instead of standing at the door, former greeters were to help guide customers to the checkouts, or help them find items in the aisles. That experiment began four years ago, and Walmart brought some greeters back about a year ago. Today Walmart announced that greeters will return to their rightful place in all stores. [More]
Two years ago, Walmart announced that it would sell inexpensive organic food to a mass market under the Wild Oats brand, at lower prices than national brands of certified organic products. After just about 2 years, Walmart is ending its Wild Oats experiment, deciding instead to begin selling organic items under its own house brand, Great Value, and also sell more fresh produce. [More]
It was almost three years ago that one of the Raiders of the Lost Walmart excavated their first MobiBLU, a mini MP3 player that was the hottest entertainment technology available from Walmart in 2005. Somehow, the devices are still on the shelves at Walmart, sometimes at the original full price, never drawing any interest from paying customers: only from the camera lenses of our brave retail archaeologists. [More]
With competitors like Target and the Kroger and Albertsons families of supermarkets pledging to sell only cage-free eggs, Walmart apparently didn’t want to be left behind. The mega-retailer announced today that by 2025, all of the eggs it sells in Walmart and Sam’s Club stores will come from hens that were not raised in individual cages. [More]
On the shelf, the 48-ounce carton of Swanson’s chicken broth brags that it’s 50% bigger. “50% bigger than what?” the cynical consumer might ask. The fine print tells us that it’s in comparison to the company’s 32-ounce container. This is all factually true, but the problem is that while the package makes shoppers think that they’ll get more, they’re actually paying more per ounce to buy the bigger package. [More]
Theoretically, buying combination packs or buying an item in bulk should save you money. You’re giving the retailer more money, right? Only the pricing logic of big-box stores doesn’t really see things that way, and that’s where Target Math comes from. Target Math is when you pay more per unit for buying in bulk, like this combo-pack of printer ink where you pay an extra eight cents for the privilege of having your cartridges in one box. [More]
A woman who set off the security sensors at the Walmart in Blackman Township, MI in the wee hours of Monday morning wanted to show employees that she had nothing to hide. Police say that’s why she pulled her shirt up and her pants down to show that she had no merchandise concealed under her clothing. However, there was the matter of the cart full of merchandise that she pushed into the foyer. [More]
No one wants their personal, private health information plastered on the internet for all to see. While that wasn’t exactly the case for Walmart, the retailer announced this week that a few thousand of its online pharmacy customers had their prescription histories and other basic information visible online for a four-day period last month. [More]
The closure of 154 Walmart stores earlier this year wasn’t good news for anyone, except for perhaps some small-town storeowners and well organized resellers. One group that’s really benefiting, even though they’d probably rather not, is a splinter group of what used to be known as OUR Walmart, a group that is not a union, but works to share information between employees and organizes protests and strikes. As store closings continued, they noticed their Internet traffic is up. [More]
In retail archaeology, it’s exciting when an excavation turns up a new type of artifact that has never been studied before. Reader Paris is one of Consumerist’s Raiders of the Lost Walmart, the brave explorers who hunt down retail antiquities in the world’s big-box stores. He found something that we had never seen before: another variety of decade-old MP3 player with a comically high price tag and free downloads from the Walmart Music Store, which shut down in 2008. [More]
We expect that Walmart stores are crammed full of merchandise and people, and they look wrong when they no longer have either. Walmart recently completed a round of store closings, including the entire Walmart Express chain. Naturally, some of our readers were there, and brought their cameras.
The Walmart Express experiment was a teeny proportion of the more than 5,000 stores that the retailer claims across the United States: fewer than 150 tiny Walmarts in small towns across the country. Walmart pulling the plug on its experiment has a very real and very terrible effect on the people who live in those small towns. In some places, it leaves them without any local grocery stores or pharmacies. [More]
Shoppers at Sam’s Club will no longer need to ensure that they have the correct credit card on hand or that they’ve brought cash: as of February 1, 2016, the warehouse club will begin accepting Visa credit cards in its stores, finally making all four credit card networks accepted in its stores. [More]