A few years ago, Walmart tried an experiment with their staff greeters who stood at the doorway of every store: they moved them away from the front door. Sure, they would still greet people who they encountered, but their jobs also involved directing customers to an open register, or performing tasks inside the store at a time when Walmarts were catastrophically short-staffed. Now Walmart is testing the idea of maybe reversing that decision. [More]
Back in 2010, we pointed out something kind of silly and unfair that happened at one reader’s local Walmart: there was an old computer game on the shelf. This happened to be a multiplayer game, which required access to servers to play. Those servers were shut down in 2009, making the game completely useless if purchased in 2010, or in 2013, and it’s just as useless now. [More]
Members of the public, local government officials, and Walmart employees aren’t buying Walmart’s explanation that five stores in four different states all had to close abruptly on the same day until because of problems with their plumbing. Yet Walmart stands by that explanation, even in the handout it distributed to employees when announcing the store closures. [More]
Does the idea of placing an online grocery order at Walmart and then simply visiting the store to pick it up appeal to you? Walmart is now experimenting with a few pilot stores where you can do just that, and now they’re experimenting with special discounts to get customers to try it out. [More]
The Raiders of the Lost Walmart are a bold group of retail archaeologists who comb the big-box stores of the world for whatever the exact opposite of treasure is. They find obsolete technology available at prices so high that it deeply confuses savvy shoppers. While knocking $20 off the price of a 4-year-old blender and putting it in the “clearance” section is a decent strategy to move some housewares, it works less well for external hard drives. [More]
Two Texas 18-year-old men have been accused of treating Walmart customers like some kind of animal to be hunted. Police say the twosome blew darts at shoppers, including an elderly woman on a motorized scooter and a 10-year-old boy.
When a product says “Money-Back Guarantee” on the label, it’s not out of line to assume that you’ll get your money back if you don’t like it, right? That’s what one Sam’s Club customer thought when he bought some seriously subpar house-brand vodka at the liquor store at his local Sam’s Club. The problem: the store, corporate, and the distillery disagreed about who should honor that guarantee. [More]
It must have been very unnerving for a man in Georgia when he noticed that two tough-looking men were following him around as he left Walmart. They caught up with him, claiming to be security guards from the store, and brought him back to Walmart. Police say that the suspect thought they were “thugs” and pulled a knife on the men, then called 9-1-1. [More]
A week ago, Target made the surprising announcement that it is closing its Canadian division. Meanwhile, things aren’t bad in the Canadian retail sector for all discounters from across the border: competing American invader Walmart announced that it’s opening eleven new
Supercenters Supercentres in eight different provinces by the end of January 2015. [More]
Happy first day of tax season! Today is the first day that you can file your federal income tax return. Most Americans have to file a tax return, but a substantial number of people still don’t have bank accounts and conduct life in cash. Walmart wants to keep people in that situation away from check-cashing stores…and keep them in Walmart with a great big wad of cash in their wallets. [More]
For several years now, we’ve followed the proliferation of tinier and tinier Walmarts across the American retailscape. From the supermarket-sized Walmart Hometown stores to the gas station and convenience store called Walmart To Go, the retailer has experimented with store formats that are not enormous. Now the Tiny Walmart Menace has spread to Mexico, where its mini-grocery chain called Bodega Aurrera Express hopes to use low prices to draw customers. [More]
We’re going to guess that Walmart cashiers see plenty of customers in the course of a day who can’t afford all of the items that they’ve selected and must put something back. Yet something made a cashier in upstate New York stop and reach into her pocket when an older man at her register couldn’t afford to buy all of his food, contributing forty dollars of her own. [More]
Have you placed an online order from a store while you were standing in one of their brick-and-mortar locations? In an interview with CNBC (Warning: auto-play video), Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said that the company’s analysis shows something interesting about how customers shop using their smartphones. 10% of orders placed on mobile phones are actually placed while customers are standing inside the store. Is it because the items they really want are out of stock? Are online prices lower? McMillon doesn’t say. [CNBC]
How does a package of beef become contaminated with the hallucinogenic drug LSD? Authorities in Florida and in the federal government have been trying to figure that out for the last right months. Last week, local police in Tampa released their report and made the case inactive. They still have no idea how the drug got there. [More]
In the field of retail archaeology, some items are more common than others. For example, the Raiders of the Lost Walmart have excavated examples of the MobiBLU, a tiny MP3 player that dates back to around 2005, from the electronics departments of many Walmart stores almost a decade later. They have hilariously high prices, ranging from $109.73 to $60. We’ve been tracking this item since May of 2013, yet Walmart can’t mark it down to a more appropriate price of maybe five bucks.
It’s a war out there in the world of retail, and having the lowest prices around is a weapon every brick-and-mortar store has been trying to keep in its arsenal. Not so easy when online retailers like Amazon are constantly lowering prices. All that might change for Walmart, as store managers have been told it’s time to officially start price-matching Amazon and others.
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. [More]