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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Couponing at Walmart

@Walmart is often mentioned in management books and articles as the most successful retail organization in the world. Without a question, they have the most sophisticated logistic system in the retail industry, bar none… until it fails miserably.

My wife and I sometimes work as contract merchandisers for vendors. We often find ourselves in Walmart working alongside their employees.  One night we had to reset a cosmetics wall.  We overheard a conversation between a stock person, who was trying to make sure the merchandise was put up in the right space, and the nighttime assistant manager.  The assistant manager was irritated because the person was taking the time to look for the right place to put the merchandise.  The assistant manager told the stocker, “We pay you to put in on the shelf.  We do not pay you to find the right place to put it and we don’t pay you to think.”

Is it any wonder why you go to Walmart and find can upon can of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup in all the wrong places and an empty space where the chicken noodle should go?  Since there is no room for any other type of soup, all of that soup stays in the back.  No one at Walmart cares because they have soup in stock and the shelf is full.

The other day I was stopped by the door greeter (bouncer).  She wanted to take her highlighter and color on my receipt as a way of preventing shoplifting.  It ticked me off because all they do is hold the receipt and color it.  They do not look in the bag to see what I have.  Does the receipt match what is in my bag? No one knows but me.

When I complain about this, an assistant manager is called.  This child of a manager comes up to handle the situation.  I find it difficult to take anyone seriously who dresses for work showing all the cleavage she possesses. Seriously, where does Walmart find these people?  If you do not know enough to look professional at work, how am I going to take what you have to say seriously?

The assistant manager states that corporate made the decision that a “door greeter” will have to ask everyone, or at least a random sampling, to see their receipts.   I called 1-800-Walmart and was told a market manager would call me back.  Nope, nada, zilch.  What happened was they sent the message to the store about me being upset.  The little unprofessional manager answered them that she explained that the door greeter was just doing her job.  I agree; she was doing a job that did not have to be done.

Meanwhile, try to find any type of help inside the store.  Do you want to get a yard of cloth cut in the fabric department?  Good luck; it isn’t happening.  Once, my daughter needed to have cloth cut.  We waited over an hour for assistance. We asked at the switchboard and at the photo lab for assistance.  After waiting an hour, a lady shows up to cut the cloth.  While she was there, over 15 people showed up to get cloth cut. Imagine how much they could sell if they actually had someone in the department full time.

Recently we have tried to reduce expenses by utilizing coupons.  Guess what, our Walmart does not accept coupons anymore.  You can find coupons online that say on their face “Redeem at Walmart”.  But, the system has been upgraded with new software and it will not scan the coupons.  No problem. If your coupon won’t scan, you simply do not get to use it.  A software upgrade has made it impossible for Walmart to manually enter the coupons.

I can no longer walk far due to diabetic foot ulcers.  The carts at stores like H.E.B., Lowes, etc., make it easier for me to get around.  At our Walmart, you can never find one working and fully charged.  It simply is impossible.
Someone at Walmart corporate has made the decision that if they block the registers with impulse items  where customers can not get to the registers they will sell more stuff. When it is pointed out to store employees that a shopping cart will not fit through the maze of containers of impulse items, store employees say, “We know; we don’t like it either. Corporate decided that is how it is supposed to be.”  At Walmart, the word corporate should be translated as “Too stupid to know anything about retail”.

Walmart has continued to help me see that it is simply easier, faster, and even cheaper to purchase my general shopping items at CVS, Dollar General, and HEB.  I now try my best to stay out of Walmart.  I sure will be glad when Amazon finally has this whole grocery delivery thing worked out.  When they can deliver the product at a comparable cost, in good condition, I will use them. For now, they are too expensive and the items are damaged. But soon Amazon will stomp Walmart like a bug.  

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