July 10, 2015

The decline and fall of #Walmart

Much has been written the past few years about how Walmart stores are getting every more ... slovenly is the right word ... on stocking shelves and various other things. I need provide no links.

Six-eight foot high pallets of oil, two-liter sodas and everything will remain stacked, wrapped in plastic shrink wrap, for two, three, or even four or more days after being wheeled on the floor. Sometimes, it takes a couple of days for those pallets just to get to the section of the store where they belong.

Most Walmart managers don't care, to be honest. And, I know this from my own professional background.

They make bonuses, in addition to base salary, based on percentage of net profits. Most of them figure the easy way to do that is hire fewer people.

The problem is actually worse, in some ways, or potentially so, in small towns. After all, in a bigger city, I can go to another WallyWorld. Or Target, for many things.

In a small town, my only option other than Walmart is Family Dollar or Dollar General. And, they have a more limited selection on many things.

Again, I know this from experience — professional as well as personal.

Take automotive. In many small towns, Walmart's the only place besides new car dealers to carry new tires. On things like oil changes, it vastly undercuts local repair shops and such.



If you can get the tires or oil change.

On the professional side, our delivery driver went to Walmart a couple of weeks ago to get new rear tires.

Out.Of.Stock. He was told they weren't likely to have that size in stock for a couple of weeks. Nothing that special on the tire size — back tires for a Dodge Caravan.

I went to Walmart Tuesday, at about 6:45 p.m., for an oil change. The one guy working the bays was closing the doors.

"It's almost 7," he said. Yes, but a routine passenger car oil change doesn't take more than 15 minutes, and besides, you're supposed to be open.

Yesterday, I went at 6 p.m.


I'll get my oil changed at a wrecker and small repairs shop a half block away from our office.

On the tires? Walmart's road hazard warranty sounds great, right? But, if you blow a tire, really blow it and not just puncture it, and the nearest Walmart doesn't have a new one in your size, it doesn't really mean much, does it?

Next time I need tires, I'll probably go elsewhere, too.

Yeah, it's bad enough in bigger cities, but, in many a small town, Walmart the corporation knows that it's run old department stores out of town. Low/no growth small towns may still be loyal to local repair shops, but they — thanks to Wally — may have higher overhead on many things.

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