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zippyjet
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"Falling Service" Has Wal-Mart Jumped The Shark?

Fri Jan 19, 2007 3:44 pm

It seems, that during the past several years, the Wal-Mart stores in my area have taken a nosedive. The aisles seem congested, but items are poorly stocked and the shoe department can best be described as helter skelter.
The stores seem dingier and more rundown. At least the employees are still generally courteous. What gives? There is one newer store that is not a "super" Wal-Mart that still seems to be clean, well stocked and the employees friendlier than the norm. Is Sam Walton even alive? Is the mega
retailer now run by bean counter bottom line yuppies? Have you found Wal-Marts in your town to be worse, the same or better than they were five years ago?

falling prices or falling service?
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aa757first
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RE: "Falling Service" Has Wal-Mart Jumped The Shark?

Fri Jan 19, 2007 4:17 pm

I haven't shopped at Wal-Mart for about two years. But, did anyone really expect good service from Wal-Mart? When a pair of socks cost $0.73, you can't expect to have great customer service.

AAndrew
 
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zippyjet
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RE: "Falling Service" Has Wal-Mart Jumped The Shark?

Sat Jan 20, 2007 11:51 am

Quoting Aa757first (Reply 1):
you can't expect to have great customer service.

Had no trouble with the Customer Service; just the fact that the stock, condition of the stores has taken a nosedive. In the long run, crappy stock/merchandise control costs the company; inventory loss, deterioration, added labor costs in fixing a problem that has gotten worse.

[Edited 2007-01-20 03:53:35]
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desertjets
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RE: "Falling Service" Has Wal-Mart Jumped The Shark?

Sat Jan 20, 2007 11:56 am

Quoting Zippyjet (Thread starter):
It seems, that during the past several years, the Wal-Mart stores in my area have taken a nosedive. The aisles seem congested, but items are poorly stocked and the shoe department can best be described as helter skelter.
The stores seem dingier and more rundown.

Most Wal-Marts that I've been in never seem to be in a good state. In general I dislike shopping there b/c they aisles are narrow and crowded with crap on palettes and such. I think much of it, especially in the smaller stores is that they are trying to fit too much on the floorplan.

Target, TBH their service is about on par w/ Wal-Mart, generally keeps their stores in better shape. Wider aisles, lower shelves (Wal-mart generally used the very high shelves in their stores) and less items on palettes in the main aisles. Generally a more pleasant environment.
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ltbewr
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RE: "Falling Service" Has Wal-Mart Jumped The Shark?

Sat Jan 20, 2007 12:18 pm

Have the 'jumped the shark' - perhaps they have. They may be too big to have the flexibility needed to be the above all competition. Too much centralization in Bentonville. The destruction of regional discount stores (although some of them were not particularly good either) and family owned smaller specialized retailers hurts the same places they have stores in. They depress wages (especially for supermarkets) hurting buying power. Not recognizing changing demographics has lost them customers. Having all but a few stores where one has to drive to get to keeps away non-drivers. Other local, regional, speciality competition, including from other discount retailers, too tight inventories, poor choices in inventory, the pressure to hold down labor costs per store (usually capped at 17% of revenue) thus leading to uneven store appearance are all factors for Wal-Mart.
Wal-Mart has badly failed before, like in Germany (which they got out of last year) and in some South American countries. In the past, they had bad years when the economy was poor or if oil prices go up big, or if war or other economic variables.
Wal-Mart is a relatively newcomer to my home area of Northern New Jersey. I do find variables from store to store, from ones opened a few years ago to one just last fall, even from week to week as to their availability and presentation of product. I have also been in a number of them over the years in the USA as seen the same issues in them as well. But I also find some of the same issues at Target and K-Mart too.
 
MaidensGator
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RE: "Falling Service" Has Wal-Mart Jumped The Shark?

Sat Jan 20, 2007 12:32 pm

I went in a Wal-Mart in Montgomery County Maryland about a year ago and I couldn't believe how ratty it was compared to the ones here in Florida. It was dirty, the shelves were bare, overall nasty. Here at least they're clean and usually have what you're looking for. Big difference.
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sccutler
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RE: "Falling Service" Has Wal-Mart Jumped The Shark?

Sun Jan 21, 2007 3:48 pm

In my experience, Wal-Mart shopping in a large city (such as Dallas) is an experience to be avoided- crowded, generally dirty and no darned fun; for discount-store shopping in town, I prefer Target, whose management seem to have found the formula for discount stores without the grimy feel.

On the other hand, I have had cause to shop quite a bit at a very large Wal-Mart in a more rural setting (a town of, maybe, 10,000 or so), and it is worlds better than any I have seen in the big city. Clean, well-stocked, service from folks who (1) speak English, (2) seem to care, and (3) actually know the products.

In addition, this store has the best-implemented energy conservation lighting I have ever seen, with skylights designed such that, on a bright sunshiny day, there are very few electric lights on at all, yet the store is bright and airy. As the daylight dims, automatic sensors power up lights on an as-needed basis. Good planning, I think, probably cost-effective and certainly environmentally beneficial.
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ACDC8
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RE: "Falling Service" Has Wal-Mart Jumped The Shark?

Sun Jan 21, 2007 4:29 pm

Our local Wally World is still a great place to shop. Very clean and great selection. The only 2 times I can recall any shelves being empty were the snow shovels after our first snowfall of the year and the Christmas tree department a week before Christmas.

It's one of my favourite places to go shopping, not as good as The Real Canadian Superstore (my home town has the nation's largest), but Wally World is just as good as it always has been.
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