When I would go to the “Dirty” Walmart in St. Louis (if you’re from North St. Louis County you know which one and it rhymes with Best Clorrisant) I would always joke “We don’t hire cleaning services and pass the savings on to you!” Which just had to be true. That Walmart was just filthy. Nothing like the giant, mega Super Walmart in the “nice” part of St. Louis County. But then even that Walmart started to get a little “Walmarty,” with the empty, unstocked shelves, the clutter, the old merchandise, that general “What a dump” feeling I have about most Walmarts, compared to a “Dirty” Target store, which is just being a filthy hipster Target and is dirty “ironically” as Targets ARE NOT supposed to be dirty.
And yet they are.
But anyway, Wally World, what gives?
From The New York Times:
Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer and grocer, has cut so many employees that it no longer has enough workers to stock its shelves properly, according to some employees and industry analysts. Internal notes from a March meeting of top Walmart managers show the company grappling with low customer confidence in its produce and poor quality. “Lose Trust,” reads one note, “Don’t have items they are looking for — can’t find it.”
But why Walmart? Was it “We cut our employees and passed the savings (and rotten fruit) onto you?”
“In its larger supercenter stores, Walmart can’t keep the shelves stocked, and that is driving customers away,” said Terrie Ellerbee, associate editor at the grocery industry publication The Shelby Report, in an e-mail.
She traced the problem to 2010, after Walmart reduced the range of merchandise it carried in an attempt to make stores less cluttered. Customers did not like the change, and Walmart added merchandise back, but with declining sales then, it did not add back employees, she said. “Without enough labor hours to get those items back, not to mention to do routine stocking, shelves were left bare,” Ms. Ellerbee said.
The New York Times also writes that before the recession, Walmart was averaging around 338 employees in its stores. That number is now 281 per store. Yet, the number of employees were cut while Walmart continued to add hundreds of stores.
This all makes the old Walmart slogan “Always low prices. Always,” sound more like a threat. Rotten fruit and fewer employees (yet impossibly MORE stores) is just the beginning of making sure your already marked down goods from China are even more marked down. Since they already fired the cleaning lady, I imagine those greeters will have to go. Sure, it was a sweet idea to give grandpa a low wage job to help augment his measly social security checks, but bump that. You can’t let toilet paper cost more than $6 for a 24-pack. They should probably get rid of 90 percent of their checkers and go to total automated check outs. Just have “Check Out Managers” who sit in a booth and make sure people don’t get too confused or rob the store blind. In fact, forget managers, just replace them with armed security. That should keep shoppers honest. But don’t spend too much on security … so hire ex-cons. They already have both weapons and crime experience, so they’ll be able to spot a shoplifter from ten aisle out and deal with them accordingly.
See? Problem solved, Walmart. Just turn all your stores into an understaffed, automated hell with armed criminal guards. It’ll still take most folks a week to notice any difference because they’ll be too distracted with how filthy the Walmart is.