Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Wal-Mart shoppers now jumping the “Fail-Mart” ship in droves

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, February 6, 2011

Personal experience from this evening’s shopping:

Brentwood, TN – Having earlier gone out for an appointment in the early evening hours, I decided to stop by the local Wal-Mart (WMT) on Nolensville Road/US Hwy 31 and purchase some grocery items on the way home. It was purely coincidental that “Super Bowl Sunday” was/is tomorrow.

One of the first stops I made at the “super Wal-Mart” (one that has a grocery store), was to the dairy case. Dairy cases are always located in the rear of every grocery store. (Why? It’s a regularly purchased/staple item, so the “marketing gurus” deliberately decided to place those items (milk, bread, dairy) in the rear of the store in the hopes that by walking through the store and seeing other items, you would purchase additional items. However, of late, Kroger grocery stores have been placing milk in a refrigerated case in the aisle immediately adjacent the check-out stands. Go figure.)

Nevertheless… as fate would have it, there was a solitary “Great Value” brand (the WMT store brand) All Natural Sour Cream Grade A in a 24oz/1lb 8oz/680g (large) container. There were plenty of other brands available, but the GV branded stock was depleted. The solitary remaining GV branded container had some store debris on the lid, making a somewhat poor cosmetic appearance, but was otherwise sealed and intact.

Here are some additional facts.

The stock/UPC # 7874211909
Date/Time of purchase/transaction: 02/05/11
Time: 19:51:23 CST
Items Sold: 28
Total: $89.87
Manager: Jason Lankford
Phone: (615) 331-4666

I wanted to use two sour cream packages, and picked up another nationally-branded product, with the intent to request the store sell the nationally-branded product at the store branded price because the store had sold out of their store-branded product. The GV All Natural Sour Cream Grade A in a 24oz/1lb 8oz/680g (large) container was priced $1.44, while the next lowest-priced similar item, in a similar size was $1.98.

Essentially, a two bucks versus a buck fifty. You do the math. Save half a dollar for the same thing. Why not?

At the check out stand – I used the “express” aisle – and first thing, alerted the clerk of my request. I wanted the nationally-branded product at the store-branded product price, because the store had sold out of their store-branded product. (A “sellout” of such an item in such a time frame essentially points to poor prior planning.)

The clerk informed me that, “I’ll have to check with my manager,” to which I replied, “please do,” as she set off, and I awaited her return. In courtesy, I then turned to the customer immediately behind me and explained the scenario to her. She was kind, and said she’d do the same thing, and expressed that she was not upset saying that, “Life’s too short to be angered by every little thing.”

The clerk returned, and informed me that the manager refused my request. At that point, I told the clerk I politely said that like to speak with the manager, whereupon she then departed, and shortly returned with him.

Again, I explained the scenario to him – because the store had sold out of the store-branded product (I had purchased the solitary remaining product) and I would like two sour cream containers, that I would like him to sell the nationally-branded product to me at the store-branded product price. (Are you beginning to feel any frustration? I was calm, cool and collected, however.)

The young manager – whom appeared aged perhaps 25-32 years of age (I am his senior, by at least a decade) – announced that, “I’ll sell it at a 10% discount,” to which I replied, “I’d like it at the store-branded price.”

He repeated, “I’ll sell it at a 10% discount,” to which I responded, “you can keep it.”

It seems to me, that if a store’s management is so poorly executed that they run out of a product at an expected time of high demand, they should either 1.) give the product away for the sake of good customer relations, or at the very least; 2.) grant the customer’s reasonable request.

Both such incidents point to one thing, one thing, and quite clearly: poor management.

My experience is not exclusive, apparently. Here’s a national story witnessing how WMT is losing money because of their poor management decisions.

“Bernadette Clark used to visit Wal-Mart here twice a week. Now it’s twice a month. She got fed up last year when Wal-Mart stopped stocking some of her favorite brands and she couldn’t count on low prices. “It gave me the opportunity to look elsewhere,” she says. “I shop around more.”

“Three years ago, Wal-Mart ruled for convenience, selection and price. But today it is losing customers and revenue, and smarting from decisions that backfired.”

Wal-Mart, humbled king of retail, plots rebound

2 Responses to “Wal-Mart shoppers now jumping the “Fail-Mart” ship in droves”

  1. You also have to watch Walmart for store pricing. They will have one price at the shelf and a higher price in the register. I have caught them many times doing this.

    Blessings on you and yours
    John Wilder


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