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Wal-Mart (WMT +0.6%) customers barrage Bloomberg News with anecdotal complaints about empty...

Wal-Mart (WMT +0.6%) customers barrage Bloomberg News with anecdotal complaints about empty shelves and long lines after a disparaging report on the retailer was issued last week. Though the allegedly-understaffed company dismisses the development as the rumblings of a "handful of people," analysts agree the company's workforce is spread dangerously thin.
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Comments (18)
  • redarrow5150
    , contributor
    Comments (1012) | Send Message
    Asking help for a WalMart or Discount store is about as useful as being told you will pay less in taxes.
    2 Apr 2013, 01:12 PM Reply Like
  • Jason Tillberg
    , contributor
    Comments (1261) | Send Message
    I concur.. there is not that many employees around the store to ask for help Vs say Home Depot which seems to have lots of folks available for help.


    I was in walmart on sunday morning..granted it was Easter.. but could not find baby tylenol and there was no one around to help me find it .. certainly there was a lot of empty shelves too.
    2 Apr 2013, 01:14 PM Reply Like
  • Sean Erickson
    , contributor
    Comments (270) | Send Message
    Ive never experienced empty shelves on my walmart visits but im sure it differs area to area
    2 Apr 2013, 01:21 PM Reply Like
  • panjok2
    , contributor
    Comments (46) | Send Message
    One or two people don't find what they want or when they are very busy and it's all of a sudden a store wide thing. The people (like yourself) who find everything they want have no reason to comment or complain!
    2 Apr 2013, 06:13 PM Reply Like
  • jw4golf
    , contributor
    Comments (340) | Send Message
    analyst agree, is that like economist agree?
    2 Apr 2013, 01:22 PM Reply Like
  • LarC
    , contributor
    Comments (17) | Send Message
    What a timely article. Apparently it really depends upon the WMT location. The WMT I usually shop at has been a disaster. Empty shelves, no employees, One or two registers open and the self-check register didn't work right. The self-check lady walked away and we were all stranded. Today I went to the WMT near a very upscale neighborhood and it was clean, staffed, stocked, and 8 suits were walking around looking at shelves. Verrrry interesting !
    2 Apr 2013, 01:31 PM Reply Like
  • Dividend Garden
    , contributor
    Comments (445) | Send Message
    Same here. I am long WMT, but recently have been seeing a lot of empty shelves...quite frustrating as an investor.
    2 Apr 2013, 01:36 PM Reply Like
  • Brandond
    , contributor
    Comments (376) | Send Message
    I'm semi retired so I do all the shopping in the house; groceries (Whole Foods, Demoulas and Stop & Shop) and the usual stuff purchased at Home Depot/Lowes. I don't drive all over the place comparing prices but I pay attention to prices and I have a photographic memory. Occasionally I will go to Walmart and I'm amazed that their prices on many food items, lawn fertilizer, health items and other home goods are NOT cheaper than other local stores. In fact, Target seems to be cheaper on everything. Given the shopping experience at WMT and the fact that so much of their stuff is sourced from China, I don't see why folks view them as THE discount retailer.
    2 Apr 2013, 01:43 PM Reply Like
  • panjok2
    , contributor
    Comments (46) | Send Message
    OH hogwash!!! lol Yes, there are some things that are not any cheaper at Walmart but the store as a whole beats Target any day of the week! I work at Walmart and I also shop at Target for certain things but Target as a whole, is a lot higher than Walmart. Both have key items where they get back what they lose on other items though, hence the reason I shop at both stores.
    2 Apr 2013, 06:22 PM Reply Like
  • wiley 66
    , contributor
    Comments (25) | Send Message
    I too am long WMT. Have shopped several WMTs and found some are lacking of all the concerns but one thing they all have in common is a lack of open registers. I wish they would treat their employees better, open registers and with cleaner and better stocked stores.
    2 Apr 2013, 01:51 PM Reply Like
  • otterclub
    , contributor
    Comments (5) | Send Message
    Isnt it funny, we want the best of service. we want a quality product, we want the shelves to be full with variety etc and guess what want the lowest price too.....are we honest to ourselves, as a business owner, would we do keep up with all this and still have the best price.
    2 Apr 2013, 01:51 PM Reply Like
  • barnsterb
    , contributor
    Comments (20) | Send Message
    I sold my WMT stock for just the same reason listed above. Several times no carts (believe it or not they weren't brought in). Most days no wipes and a lot of empty spaces on the shelves. Not easy to find help.
    2 Apr 2013, 01:51 PM Reply Like
  • Bear Bait
    , contributor
    Comments (673) | Send Message
    ....been a problem at my local Walmart for about a year now.
    2 Apr 2013, 03:34 PM Reply Like
  • samsptl
    , contributor
    Comments (30) | Send Message
    I am and always will be long WMT. I enjoyed my 38% last year, and the continued growth this year is looking pretty good. Wife is an 18+ year hourly associate, so let me give you our take on this. She is well paid and has turned down most advancement pleas presented to her. She works hard - takes her job performance very personal. Her biggest complaint is she is surrounded by co-workers that just want to collect a paycheck for doing as little as possible. Her store has lots of freight in the back room and lots of empty shelves out front. The people that are supposed to process freight don't and the management won't compel them to. So she spends half her shift searching for and processing the freight she needs and making sure the shelves she is responsible for are filled. Guess that's why she consistently has double digit YtoY sales growth. The difference you see in shelf stocking store to store is not WMT's fault, it is the individual store's fault.


    For Otterclub, I see nothing wrong with expecting quality product, quality service, stocked shelves, all with a low register tape. That's what Sam Walton founded the company on.


    For Brandond and others pointing at China sourced product, take a real close look at the individual product in question. Don't look at the brand name or the packaging. Look at the product itself. Cabelas sporting goods was selling a pack that I wanted - outrageous in price. I located the exact same pack with different tags and different brand label on it at our local Meijer Store at a much lower price. I finally bought it at WalMart for even less before our employee discount. I did enough research and found all three brands are produced in the same off shore factory. I see this all the time.


    For the WMT investors..As an investor, what is more important to you, the profitability of your investment? Or lots employees standing around waiting for a customer to come in the door? If my manufacturing business doesn't have the sales receipts to carry the burden of the labor costs, I either force my sales higher, or I reduce my manufacturing costs. If I don't, I won't be as profitable. And going in that direction doesn't benefit anyone.


    When is the last time you spoke to the store manager or called 1-800-Wal-Mart and voiced your concerns as a stock holder? Try it some time. Especially the home office. You might be surprised at the response you get.
    2 Apr 2013, 04:49 PM Reply Like
  • redarrow5150
    , contributor
    Comments (1012) | Send Message
    No that would be a WALMART problem. That's like saying I bought a new car and the dealer shouldn't fix the problems but corporate should. Last I knew the Walmart banner and store are owned by Walmart not some franchise.
    2 Apr 2013, 10:35 PM Reply Like
  • Still the Best
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    Some people just like to grumble. I find Wal Mart to have in stock the items needed and the prices are right. Many shoppers are simply too tight to know good marketing procedures. After all, nobody drives a ModelT car anymore. Marketing is completely different, too, in 2013!!!
    2 Apr 2013, 05:38 PM Reply Like
  • modway
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    I used to love shopping at Wal-Mart. I can remember their bragging of 99% stocked shelves and when they would open another cashier if there were more than 3 people were on-line. Today they have cut back on the variety of products and don't even have all of them on the shelf as well as not caring how long the check out line is. They have succeeded in causing me to take about 60% of my business to Publix where the shelves are filled, the produce fresh and they even want to take my purchase and load it in my car. Sam must be turning over in his grave.
    2 Apr 2013, 05:50 PM Reply Like
  • 12Betseyj
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    I work at walmarts , and like working there, but the one thing that drives me crazy is lack of cashiers.the chekouts are always empty of merchandise,hire people to fill the checkouts, and be backups if a register needs to be opened.
    3 Apr 2013, 06:05 AM Reply Like
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