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Wal-Mart (WMT -0.3%) may be losing sales due to a thin workforce unable to keep store shelves...

Wal-Mart (WMT -0.3%) may be losing sales due to a thin workforce unable to keep store shelves stocked, according to a growing number of anecdotal reports from unhappy shoppers. While the company increased its store count 13% over the last five years, the number of employees fell 1.4% - leading to less customer service and some stores tipping toward the disorganized side. It's a trend that may be working in the favor of Costco (COST +0.2%) and Target (TGT -0.3%).
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Comments (12)
  • SA Editor Samir Patel
    , contributor
    Comments (163) | Send Message
    There are several Wal-Marts near where I live (no surprise, since I live in suburbia). The giant one seems to run fine, but the neighborhood market (grocery store concept) is severely understaffed. At one point, there were literally three employees visible in the whole store, one of whom was on break, and the other of whom was supposed to be at the customer service desk, where I had to wait 15 minutes for something fairly routine. The prices are great; the service not so much. Interesting to hear that it's not just a local issue.
    26 Mar 2013, 12:19 PM Reply Like
  • wyostocks
    , contributor
    Comments (8867) | Send Message
    The three stores that I have been in lately are all dingy, understocked and understaffed. Additionally, they have shoved so many displays in the aisles that it is next to impossible to maneuver a shopping cart through them.


    Much nicer experience to shop at Target.
    26 Mar 2013, 12:20 PM Reply Like
  • Richard's way
    , contributor
    Comments (24) | Send Message
    The Wal-mart near me is always understock. Many items I buy repeatedly are never instock. The inexpensive razors I buy (similar to Gelette Trac 2, have been unavailable for at least 2 weeks. They are always out of the 64 oz V-8 juice, even the deli continuously runs of of certain items. The other nearest store which is 17 miles one way from my house is never out of stuff and they have lots of help in the deli and at the check-out.
    26 Mar 2013, 12:31 PM Reply Like
  • Tricky
    , contributor
    Comments (1791) | Send Message
    Agree with all of the comments above. As a specific anecdote, the toy shelves at the stores near us are particularly thin compared to visits in previous years.


    It appears that the accountants need to be reined in a bit.
    26 Mar 2013, 12:38 PM Reply Like
  • Jack45
    , contributor
    Comments (5) | Send Message
    Costco vs. Walmart? You're kidding. They aren't even in the same league. One pays their workers a living wage, the other is said to exploit its workers.


    My wife won't even let me shop at Walmart, simply because they don't pay their workers a living wage and provide benefits. Now, where would you rather work?


    Our Costco's are terrific and the staff adequate (not necessarily plentiful), courteous, attentive, and cheerful. Average household income of shoppers at Costco? More than 50% greater than at Wally's World. Does that tell you much? Maybe, maybe not. When I ask for something simple, the response is utterly prompt and helpful, [almost] always.


    Where do I spend tens of thousands each year? Obvious, isn't it?
    26 Mar 2013, 01:14 PM Reply Like
  • tampabay
    , contributor
    Comments (371) | Send Message
    Whatelse won't your wife let you do? Pick your restaurants,gas stations,Doctors?..does she help with your stock picks?...just wondering? "tens of Thousands"? DO you eat a lot? or is it TV's and furniture or clothes you buy at Costco? Try the Mall...
    26 Mar 2013, 08:08 PM Reply Like
  • wyostocks
    , contributor
    Comments (8867) | Send Message
    Just wondering, do you ask the workers at every store, restaurant, doctor, etc, their wages before you shop there or do get your wife to do it for you?
    Do you actually know the wages and benefits of all the costco employees?
    Time to man up.
    26 Mar 2013, 11:18 PM Reply Like
  • Terry330
    , contributor
    Comments (870) | Send Message
    WallMart employees are non-union, most receive federal food stamps and Medicaid.
    26 Mar 2013, 01:22 PM Reply Like
  • wyostocks
    , contributor
    Comments (8867) | Send Message
    And that bit of wisdom adds what to the thread?
    Lay off the Kool Aid terry.
    26 Mar 2013, 01:43 PM Reply Like
  • Jack45
    , contributor
    Comments (5) | Send Message
    And, so are Costco workers. What of it? Pay people well, respect the workers, provide health care, offer seriously good working conditions and unions become a less attractive option to workers. Simple, huh?
    26 Mar 2013, 03:56 PM Reply Like
  • alonzel
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
    I personally like Kohl's. They are also very pleasant and courteous. The stores are clean and the staff is visible and are willing to help.
    26 Mar 2013, 03:56 PM Reply Like
  • redhawk725
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    Wow, do you people even know anything about Walmart???? I do agree that the shelves are not as full as in the past, but I have friends and family that work there and they live just fine. They get quarterly bonuses, health benefits, a discount on non food goods and produce. Yup they are a horrible company to work for.
    27 Mar 2013, 01:54 AM Reply Like
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