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  • U.S. orders more testing on Trinity guardrail after ruling [View news story]
    You make a guardrail, somebody plows into it at high speed and gets dead. You can not manufacture a device that protect you 100% of the time when you use poor judgment or are involved in an accident.

    The lawyers are the only ones who argue that in injury lawsuits.

    What I want to find is a device that protects me 100% of the time from the fookin lawyers. Only in America where "money" is the root of all evil can this kind of lunacy survive and prosper. We are hopelessly hosed.
    Oct 22, 2014. 12:42 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wal-Mart to seek settlement in Morgan case [View news story]
    For the love of Buddha, this case should have been settled out of court long before it hit the airwaves. There is no way Walmart could win on this one given the celebrity status of Tracy Morgan and the fact that Walmart's driver was apparently speeding and tired as well. To argue this case in the media is just stupid. Sometimes companies need to be taught a lesson. This is one of those times. I hope they break it off in them.
    Oct 1, 2014. 08:57 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wal-Mart CEO breaks from tradition [View news story]
    Instead of cancelling those Saturday morning pow-wows they should take that opportunity to brainstorm and figure out how to get the groceries from the distribution center to the stores gondolas before anymore customers storm out and go to the competition where they can buy a bill of groceries without suffering all those out of stocks common to Walmarts. I am wondering just how many quarters do the same store sales have to keep falling before they do something to mitigate it, like hiring more stockers and throw that worthless POS ordering system in the dumpster.
    Sep 29, 2014. 05:10 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Where Wal-Mart Went Wrong In China [View article]
    For the last 20 odd years the prevailing wisdom in Bentonville lived by the following mantra: "If we build it, they will come, no matter how we treat them. We (Walmart) are invincible, we can do no wrong".

    Walk into a Walmart today and you will find so many holes on the shelf that it looks somewhat akin to a block of cheese. Their same store sales have been on the slide for the last 24-36 months. The handwriting has been on the wall, the management just refuses to believe it. Instead they blame all sales declines on the weather or down turns in the overall economy. Take off the blinders guys.

    The Chairman of the Board needs to charter a bus, load management up and take them for a 7 day tour of their Superstores to look at the store shelves and the backroom inventory. After they tour a store in each town he should then take them over to a grocery store run by any of the national chains and make a comparison. See who has the most "holes" in the shelf and where the customers can buy a full bill of groceries without running into empty demand items after 4 pm.

    Management spends so much time looking at man hours they fail to take into consideration that you can not do business out of an empty wagon for long. They keep talking about hiring more people to get the product on the shelf but at the store level that never seems to materialize.
    Sep 12, 2014. 11:13 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Where Wal-Mart Went Wrong In China [View article]
    For the last 20 odd years the prevailing wisdom in Bentonville lived by the following mantra: "If we build it, they will come, no matter how we treat them. We (Walmart) are invincible, we can do no wrong".

    Walk into a Walmart today and you will find so many holes on the shelf that it looks somewhat akin to a block of cheese. Their same store sales have been on the slide for the last 24-36 months. The handwriting has been on the wall, the management just refuses to believe it. Instead they blame all sales declines on the weather or down turns in the overall economy. Take off the blinders guys.

    The Chairman of the Board needs to charter a bus, load management up and take them for a 7 day tour of their Superstores to look at the store shelves and the backroom inventory. After they tour a store in each town he should then take them over to a grocery store run by any of the national chains and make a comparison. See who has the most "holes" in the shelf and where the customers can buy a full bill of groceries without running into empty demand items after 4 pm.

    Management spends so much time looking at man hours they fail to take into consideration that you can not do business out of an empty wagon for long. They keep talking about hiring more people to get the product on the shelf but at the store level that never seems to materialize.
    Sep 12, 2014. 11:13 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Who Is Taking Wal-Mart's Customers And Why? [View article]
    Apparently this is exceedingly hard for Wall street, individual investors and most assuredly the Board of Directors as well as Walmart executives to grasp. The problem is not new nor is it unique. It does not have to do with manipulating a balance sheet any more than it does with blaming your problems on competitors or the weather.

    It is almost like all of the people and institutions mentioned above never shop at Walmart. Oh, they might dash in for a loaf of bread or something in the hardware department occasionally but they never spend an hour pushing around a grocery cart. Why do I mention "grocery cart"? Because the grocery department is what drives everything at Walmart. Without groceries Walmart is just another hardware retailer. The grocery traffic is necessary to sell everything else you find in a large box retailer. Without the grocery traffic those 200,000 square foot boxes are unprofitable.

    Walmart has been driving grocery customers away from its locations for several years now because they simply refuse to dedicate the resources necessary to keep the grocery shelves well stocked 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is a huge problem but nobody in Walmart management or apparently Wall street sees the connection between poorly stocked grocery shelves and traffic. All one has to do to see the problem is to make several shopping trips to a local Walmart with the intent of purchasing a weeks worth of groceries. Don't go at 7 in the morning because you will generally find the grocery gondolas fairly well stocked as well as being "faced out". Facing out is a term that means having your grocery stockers manually pull product from the back of the shelf to the front of the shelf. This gives the appearance of being well stocked but in reality is only a head fake.
    Take your shopping trip at 5 pm. It is in the afternoon that the "holes" and the "out of stocks" began to appear on the shelves. Unless you have a background in high volume grocery stores, most people do not appreciate the significance in keeping shelves well stocked throughout the day and night. A weekly grocery shopper is a very fickle animal. She, or he will tolerate only so much abuse before they will walk out to find another store that can deliver what they want. Generally speaking, if they make 3 store visits and still have to go to another retailer to finish their shopping list, they will drop you faster than a bad habit the following week. You leave a bad taste in a grocery shoppers mouth 3 times in a row and you have lost them to another. It might sound like a bad country western song but ask any long term retail grocery person or their wholesaler and you will hear the same. Grocery retailers live or die by the percentage of out of stocks they have on their shelves at any time.

    To make matters even worse, the back rooms of most Walmarts are cram packed with groceries that somehow can't find their way to the shelves out front. Seems like a small problem, right? Well it isn't. Until management commits to hiring more people to get the groceries from the back room to the shelves, this problem will just get worse and worse as more and more customers leave Walmart in favor of other grocers who understand how important it is to keep the shelves stocked all the time, not just at 7 am in the early morning. The other problem is that Walmart relies upon their POS (point of sale) system to order groceries. When a case of any particular item goes through the checkstand up on the front end, the computer will automatically generate an order to be delivered from their distribution system. In theory, that type of system should work. In Walmart's case it never works because they don't hire enough stockers to get the newly ordered groceries to the shelf. So, it just sits in the backroom. Soon, the pile of groceries in the backroom gets so large and unmanageable that it is just ignored and left alone. The majority of Walmart store managers see the problem but they are powerless to add employees until Walmart management identifies the problem and commits to hiring new workers in the grocery aisles.

    Walmart management spends the majority of their time watching the daily price of Walmart stock, not keeping their shelves well stocked. But, that is starting to change as the word gets out and the stock price goes sideways and creeps lower and lower. Management seems to think the way to do business is to always have the lowest price in town. That doesn't do you any good if you don't have the item on the shelf in the first place.

    There is a lot of work to do at Walmart. The culture has to change because as a mature company, it ain't working now.
    In the meantime Walmart's competitors love Walmart's inaction. It is good for their bottom line and they definitely know where their newly found business is coming from.
    Aug 31, 2014. 10:44 AM | 14 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Goldman Sachs Expresses Concern For Wal-Mart - Should You? [View article]
    The Walmart board of directors would be well served if the Chairman of such loaded them all up in a 15 passenger van over a three day period and took them out for a tour of a dozen or so Walmart Supercenters. I guarantee they would find hundreds of out of stock items (empty spots in the merchandising grocery shelves) as well as probably a thousand or more empty spots in the rest of the general merchandise departments. They would also find thousands of cases of groceries in the backrooms that can not find their way to the gondolas.
    The Walmart business plan does not commit enough labor to keep the shelves well enough stocked in order to keep the average grocery shopper from jumping ship and going elsewhere for what she needs.
    This has been going on for several years and it just keeps getting worse. It is almost like Walmart board members never shop at Walmart for groceries. If they did and knew anything about retail, they would know that you either deliver at the shelf or people go somewhere else.
    Aug 1, 2014. 10:29 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Windows 9: Start Menu To Return, Rumored To Be Free [View article]
    No doubt about it, Microsoft has clearly made a lot of users mad as hell. If it is not the Win 8 operating system it is something else which they despise. All it would take is one good, well running, intuitive operating system to get back into the good graces of millions of users. Now that new management is in charge, quite possibly that will happen. New management appears to put more stock into actually talking to real life users instead of moving around chicken entrails and reading tea leaves.
    Jul 21, 2014. 09:28 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A red flag on Wal-Mart's U.S. sales? [View news story]
    After watching the Senate hearings last night on C-Span I think the management at Walmart have all been moonlighting over at the Veterans Administration during the daytime. Both institutions have pretty much the same problem in that they are huge and full of less than brilliant bureaucrats. Somebody might be able to identify the problems but the culture does not take kindly to change. I know a number of full time employees who have chosen to make Walmart their employer. Everyone of them is counting their days to retirement so they can get out of that cesspool environment. They all echo the same sentiment that a monkey could do their job because the company does not recognize or reward a hard working employee. So, they all do just enough work to get by.
    Jul 9, 2014. 10:01 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A red flag on Wal-Mart's U.S. sales? [View news story]
    Well, it must be rocket science because nobody at Bentonville can see their biggest problem. If they do see it, they evidently can't put a change into place to change it. Walmart does not cater to poor people any more than it caters to rich people. They build stores all around the company, (using their own demographics) stock them with their own mix of products which they ship to the stores from their own distribution centers and open them up for business to the public.

    This all sounds incredibly simple but in reality is far from it. It is however very doable because every other public retailer such as the grocery chains do it every day. If they have a problem, they do whatever it takes to fix it and move on in short order. Walmart on the other hand tends to blame slowdowns in sales and traffic on every thing but the root cause, evidently because they can't fix it.

    Walmart drives customers away from it's stores in droves everyday of the week. They spent millions to entice customers to enter their stores and buy whatever they need somewhere within the walls. Along the way, they hope to make it somewhat of a pleasant experience, at least pleasant enough that the customer will want to return.

    What is the biggest problem at Walmart? They can't deliver. They can't deliver the groceries from the backroom to the stores shelves. Their lousy POS system orders groceries instead of a human with a computer wand. They have no idea what they have in their backrooms as far as back stock (inventory). So, what does all this mean? This means that at any given time Walmart will have hundreds of out of stocks on their grocery shelves, especially the demand items. If a customer tries to buy all their items at a one stop location, Walmart is going to disappoint them time after time. Sooner, rather than later that grocery customer is going to say "You know, if I always have to go to Alberson's (or somewhere else) to finish my shopping trip after I go to Walmart, I should just skip Walmart and go somewhere else in the first place. And, they are doing it. Walmart may have the lowest price, but if you can't buy it there, price is of no consequence. If you schedule your shopping trip after 5 pm, the out of stocks are even worse. Why is this lack of product on the grocery shelves such a make or break deal? Because the entire store relies upon the traffic the grocery department delivers to drive sales.
    Jul 8, 2014. 05:19 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Online Revenue Can't Fix Wal-Mart's Near-Term Growth Issues [View article]
    Walmart just doesn't get it!
    Their lack of growth over the last two years is primarily because they can not figure out how to get the groceries from the distribution centers to the store shelves. That sounds exceedingly simply, and it is for every other grocery chains in the country, but for Walmart, they just can not deliver. Their stores are full of out of stocks week in and week out, month in month out. It is a perpetual problem. They refuse to commit the labor to keep their grocery shelves full and well stocked. If you go to Walmart to buy food for your family, you are not going to put up with constant being out of demand items. Before long you will find a store that keeps the shelves stocked with food all day long and not just from 7 am till 3 pm. It has actually gotten so bad that many stores now pull people out of all the other departments at 3 pm and they go over to the grocery department and "face" the shelves for an hour. This is nothing more than a band aid approach to the real problem, which is to commit more resources (read-hire more people) to keeping the grocery shelves stocked throughout he day. Grocery customers are leaving Walmart in droves every day because they simply can not buy what they want, when they want it.
    Jun 23, 2014. 09:03 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Highlights from Wal-Mart's Shareholder Meeting [View news story]
    Re:Why would I want to buy something online and pick it up in the store?

    Because many of the items featured online are not available on the shelves of the stores. Their online presence is really like a whole different store. Often times the online price will be quite different than the price at the store level.
    Jun 7, 2014. 06:36 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wal-Mart misses by $0.05, misses on revenue [View news story]
    Did you ever notice when sales or profits begin to slide south, the typical large multi-national behemoth will tend to blame things like the weather, foreign currency conversion or anything else which takes the onus off of the real underlying problem of management not doing it's job properly?
    In the case of Walmart, its grocery department which unquestionably drives traffic to the store has it's own set of problems. Namely, the grocery side of the store is run in such a manner as to severely antagonize customers. I would defy anyone who goes to the store to buy a basket full of food without encountering out of stocks and empty shelves. Other grocery chains do not have perpetually empty shelves at 6 pm every day of the week. If they do, they figure out why and make changes. If a grocery customer habitually can not complete their shopping list at their regular grocery store, they will find another one who can. And they have. When grocery sales drive traffic to a big box store and management won't do whatever it takes to keep the shelves fully stocked, sales and profits drop off. It is much easier to keep a good customer than it is to go out and recruit a new customer. If you make a customer mad enough, they will leave. If you really make them mad, they are lost forever. Evidently, Walmart has not learned that yet.
    May 15, 2014. 09:59 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Hewlett-Packard: How Much Do You Spend On Cartridges? [View article]
    Buying a printer, any brand of printer, is akin to buying a car. The initial purchase price is just the down payment. If you buy a car that uses a lot of gasoline, your cost of ownership rises accordingly. If you buy a printer that is not very efficient when it prints, again your cost of ownership rises accordingly.

    When a car breaks down, you can generally get it fixed. Not so with printers and other office machines. Often times the plastic parts get brittle and suddenly without warning, your office machine will quit working. Take it to a service center and they might be able to fix it, but it will cost you more to do so than what it would cost to purchase a new one. Plus, it will take 3 or 4 weeks to get it back. All of this leaves a bad taste in the mouths of consumers. When you have bad results with one brand, invariably you switch to the competition, hoping for better results. All the time you are searching for the ultimate printer. It ain't there because no manufacture builds it. And the search goes on.
    Apr 14, 2014. 06:34 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The DOJ sides with broadcasters in Aereo case [View news story]
    The airways belong to the government and the use of such is open to the people of the land.

    The content belongs to whomever created it. It the broadcasters don't like the people using their content, let them come up with a new way of getting it to their subscribers without using the public airways.

    I for one, don't like getting 50 crap TV channels bundled into the 6 or 8 that I really watch...and having to pay for all of them. When I subscribe to a cable provider to stream me their content I would expect to pay for their content. What I don't want to do is have to sit through all the non-stop commercials that they bombard me with. There is way too much greed in this business and it is coming back to bite them in the butt. I hope the Supreme Court levels the playing field and comes in on the side of Aereo. If Fox and some of the other greedy broadcasters live up to their threat of pulling the plug on their cable, then that is fine with me. Somebody else will be happy to pick up the reins and give the people what they want instead of the broadcasters giving us what they want. The broadcasters have way too much power when it comes to delivering content to the public. If the FCC (or the government in general) was really looking out for the people, we would not be having this conversation.
    Mar 4, 2014. 12:32 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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