Un-Occupy WalMart

We need to exhume Sam Walton, wrap his entire body in copper wire, then re-bury him and replace his tombstone with a strong magnet. That way we can conduct electricity as he continuously rolls over in his grave.

Seriously, do you think Sam Walton, founder of WalMart, would be pleased at the reputation of his retail giant? Do you think that he dreamed of starting a company that would be known for low prices and an awful shopping experience? Do you think he would be proud of the way people avoid his store if at all possible?

I used to think it was just my local WalMart that had this reputation, but I found that if you start talking about it everyone has their story…and it usually ends with “I only go there when I have to.” Here’s my criteria for when I go to WalMart:

  1. When I really need to save some money and the savings will be substantial.
  2. When no other store offering a particular product is open.
  3. At extreme hours when no one else is there.

The problem is that WalMart knows its clientele. It knows they are low to lower middle class citizens who have no choice but to shop at the place offering the lowest prices. They know that their customers will still be there even if they have only 4 registers open. They know their customers can’t afford to go somewhere else that won’t make them wait over thirty minutes before they push their carts full of now-thawed frozen goods out of the men’s clothing department and into the actual line. They know they won’t lose customers if every empty parking spot is filled with abandoned shopping carts. And don’t get me started on carts that roll straight or have round wheels.

I’m sure Sam Walton didn’t visualize a store whose customers dread shopping. So why doesn’t WalMart change? It could if it cared to.

The McDonald’s closest to my house has, for as long as I can remember, been known for poor service. They are slow, rude, and inaccurate. If I want a Quarter Pounder with Cheese I will drive three miles to a different McDonald’s knowing that I will be home earlier than if I would have gone to the McD’s 500 yards away. At least I did until about a year ago. A new manager took over last fall and started training his employees to be respectful to the customers. They listen to your order and get it right. They work hard to make sure your order is ready quickly. If there is a problem they apologize and fix it. A business can change its reputation and regain customers who have shunned them.

When are you going to change, WalMart?

Better question- When are enough people going to decide that saving a few bucks on groceries isn’t worth the hassle so WalMart will notice?


About Jeff Postlewaite

high school principal since '07, father since '04, teacher since '03, husband since '03, sound tech since '96, UVA fan since '92, gadget junkie since '89, Christian since '88, Giants fan since '84, golfer since '83, brother since '83, human since '81

Posted on September 6, 2012, in Society in General and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I’m with you on this one. Anytime something breaks in our house, I ask my wife where she bought it. Most of the time, the answer is Wal-Mart. Things that don’t break come from other stores. So if you need something for a single (or short-term) use, go ahead and shop there. But you get what you pay for.

  2. Just moved to a very beautiful historic small town and the only other grocery store is 80 miles away so I am stuck shopping at walmart. All the locality owned stores were driven out by walmart. The town I moved from had many locally owned grocery stores and a butcher and a baker. I hate shopping at walmart poor produce, I guess poor people don’t eat veggies. At least the produce dept. doesn’t smell like rotting food any more. The long lines and no help from the staff just make this experience worse. Lets not even talk about the people of walmart there is a web site for that.

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