Posted by GMBJG (+53) 7 years ago
What is the problem with Walmart? There are so many empty sheleves, coolers or bins it looks like it is going out of business. The eemployees stand around visiting. When you ask one of them a question the same answer every question ime. This isn't my area, I don't know. It is very poorly managed to say the least.
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Posted by NDJ (+144) 7 years ago
And to think,it has improved.
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Posted by Kacey (+3159) 7 years ago
Billings Walmart has massive empty shelves too. So many people stock up the first of the month. Several things I wanted were just not there.
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Posted by NDJ (+144) 7 years ago
The walmart in williston has no empty shelves.I think it might be one of the highest grossing retail stores in the U.S.
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Posted by Don Birkholz (+1288) 7 years ago
The last time I went to WalMart in MC, the employees were so busy filling the shelves, it was hard to get around.

A 42 ounce carton of oatmeal in a regular store can easily cost over 5$. With WalMart selling the same size for around 2.50$, I can see why it is hard to keep the shelves full. Especially after I have just bought 10 of them.
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Posted by Amorette F. Allison (+1917) 7 years ago
Wal-Mart went into the grocery business with the same idea of having almost no employees to stock high turnover areas. When sales dropped early last year, they did what they always do. They cut employees to save costs.

Then the management made the incredible discovery that if NO employees are there to stock the shelves or help the customers or work the cash registers, they can't make any sales.

So, early this month, the corporate headquarters made a big announcement. They are going to hire more people to put out the merchandise that is stuck in stockrooms and warehouses because there was no one to move it. Can't sell it from the warehouse.

I am always amused by companies that think employees are a burden and a cost and serve no purpose. Then they find out, as the sales fall, that human beings DO have a function in corporate America. They are the ones who do the actual work, as opposed to paper pushers in offices.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17321) 7 years ago
I am celebrating the fact that I did not walk into a WalMart once in 2013. Thus far, I am keeping that record intact.....but I may brake down here soon.....WalMart in Helena does get some fresh vegetables that no other store seems to get, and I have a hankering for some okra and tomatillos.
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Posted by Amorette F. Allison (+1917) 7 years ago
Wal-Mart is the only place in town we could find figs for figgy pudding. Was not impressed with the stocking of the shelves or general cleanliness but they had figs and we made pudding. Twice.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14950) 7 years ago
The only reason I go to WalMart is that going to Target would require a shower, and I am short on time.
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Posted by Lincoln (+148) 7 years ago
We get tomatillos at our Albertson's here in MC.

I hear ya on the okra, though- I grow it myself in summer.
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6165) 7 years ago
Gunnar, tomatillos are very easy to grow. At the end of the season I freeze them whole and use them all winter in stews and chili.
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Posted by Katlan (+157) 7 years ago
As a walmart employee in MC, I do agree that the shelves are way too empty. The management sucks. They would rather order cheaper product with less quality which is stupid. The only reason I am even there is because no one else in miles will pay the same amount and the benefits are good. The management doesn't really care about employees or customers. One employee informed me that the store manager herself stated once "we are here for the company, not the people" in my personal opinion, a store manager like that shouldn't be a store manager at all. If it wasn't for "the people" then the business would go to crap. if it wasn't for "the people" the store would make no money and would end up going out of business...

When it comes to the shelves being empty tho, you can blame the management for that. just because the employees are talking to someone doesn't mean they are slacking off...the employees don't order the product, the managers do. and of course the managers have no clue what to order because they just sit in the office doing paperwork. I admit most of the department managers and the Zone managers actually get their hands dirty and actually work with their department but the actual managers, they don't help at all. Ive seen so many managers pulling employees away from their department to another one, but yet they don't do anything to help at all. they wont lift a finger to help. As a stocker in the store, I HATE that the shelves are empty, but whatever we get on our truck is all we get. If it doesn't come on the truck, we cant stock it because we don't have it...

As a walmart employee, I apologize to all of the customers that have ever had troubles at our miles city walmart. I do admit, the customer service should be improved. The managers aren't training enough...they are usually like oh this is the department you will be working here. Figure it out... To the part where you said that the employees say they don't know where a product is at, they might either 1.be telling the truth. We only get trained for the one specific department that we work so sometimes we just might not know.But that is not an excuse. I work in one department but even tho I don't always know where something is, I still do the best I can to help a customer find whatever they are looking for.if I literally have no idea where to even look, Ill find someone that works closer to that department and direct them to the customer. the other reason employees will say that is 2. the obvious answer. they are too lazy to just walk to show a customer where something is or to go into the back to see if there is something there. Its dumb. walmart is run like crap. they cut hours so they don't have to pay so much, and so they don't have to give as many benefits like medical insurance. if they cut anymore, a lot of employees will be working part time which means we will lose our amount of benefits. they treat the employees like we don't matter to the store, and they just don't care.

Anywho. I am done ranting and raving. have a good day
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Posted by Jim Birkholz (+186) 7 years ago
Katlan, I was surprised by your comment about Walmart paying more and having better benefits. I suspect that you are comparing them to places that have to try to compete with Walmart and have to sink to below their level of compensation. If you compare them to non-retail or CostCo, they wouldn't be as favorable.

What percentage of your co-workers would you say are "full time"? What percentage do you think are on some government assistance to make ends meet?

Do you get health insurance through Walmart? My s-i-l worked for WM two years ago and the insurance was barely worth the cost. He's with Steinmart now and the insurance is better but still not as good as what I get through my employer (not retail). If you do get insurance via WM, have you compared it to what is available via the new healthcare markets? If so, how does it compare (with subsidy).

As for the original topic, Walmart will always squeeze every penny, by squeezing management. After all, the Walton family only owns about half the wealth in the US and they didn't get that way by making the customer experience any better than they absolutely have to. Some managers are better at doing more with less, so stores will vary, but you will never find one that has full shelves, enough employees to help customers, etc. Some markets are more profitable than others, and those stores won't be quite as bad. It's a race to the bottom, and it's gobbling up everything else and feeds on itself. Cheapest products > more sales > competition fails > low wages > can't afford to shop anywhere else > cheapest products (repeat forever until society collapses).

Until this society stops worshiping/tolerating greed and starts demonstrating greater appreciation for altruism and shared prosperity as a social norm will we and our grandchildren have any hope to escape this downward spiral into the morass. We need more worker-owned businesses. Excessive wealth is stolen wealth and hoarded wealth should bring shame as more people see the truth of it.
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Posted by Steve Allison (+981) 7 years ago
The reason for less then full big box stores is they need to turn the merchandise at least 3.5 times a year to make a profit. That means if sales are running at a 3.5 million dollar pace you can only use 1 million dollars to stock the store. Now I do not know the local WalMarts actual numbers, used these to make the math easier. I ran the Bozeman K-Mart for many years and the state's limited population causes many problems with big box store rules and methods of making a profit particularly when computers are given control over things like inventory. The alternative is to have the advantages of big box pricing and somewhat increased selection go away and live without them.

[This message has been edited by Steve Allison (1/15/2014)]
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Posted by Katlan (+157) 7 years ago
Jim- The insurance is really cheap but not really worth it. I myself pay $36 a paycheck(every 2 weeks) but the deductible is $2700. We have to pay the deductible before they will cover anything. This is a little stupid because sometimes the doctor bill is less than that. they wont cover anything at all until that deductible is paid for. I'm only 19 years old so its obvious that $2700 is a lot to pay. Especially beings I live on my own and have bills, insurance and loans to pay for. I barely make it by day-by-day let alone trying to make my check last for 2 weeks.

To answer your question about how many people are part time, that's kind of hard to configure. For the employees I know, there are only a few employees that are classified as "part-time" but they weird thing is. Walmart has cut us full-timers down so much that a lot of the time, us full-timers are working less hours than the part-timers. For example, I am a full timer and this last week, I only worked 31 hours. But one of my friends that works at walmart as a part-timer, worked 35 hours. How does that make since? Rumor has it that the owner of the store in MC is working on dropping all employees down to part time...I can guarantee that if I was forced to drop down to part time, I would have to find another job. I really don't want to do that for the simple fact that I want to have a good job reference. The job that I had before walmart, I was there for 2 years. While at walmart I really want to strive to work longer than that. it shows that I am committed to my work and I would have a better chance in the future to score a really nice job. If I knew of a better paying job spacifically in MC I would jump on it like there was no tomorrow but I haven't found one yet.

I do enjoy working at walmart for the simple fact that 1. The pay is great. 2. I get medical insurance. and 3. I became friends with a lot of the employees I work with and because of them, I look forward to going to work. But honestly I would trade any of that for a job that I am treated with respect and I am acknowledged for the hard work I do. They don't credit you for anything. Example: If I were to gain over a one million dollars for the company, they would be oh it was the manager that deserves the credit because they trained her. How is that fair? I don't know if all walmarts are like this or if its just a few. who knows that answer really?
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Posted by Amorette F. Allison (+1917) 7 years ago
The 'owner of the store' is the Walton corporation. Wal-Marts are not independent franchises like Ace. They are corporate owned, although the building and property probably belongs to someone else.

All corporations dislike employees and consider them a necessary evil at best. A corporation would be happiest if they had three employees--the CEO, his secretary and a part-time, no benefits janitor. They always cut employees first because they are easiest cost to cut. Then when sales drop, they blame everyone but the fact that there are no employees to help customers.

[This message has been edited by Amorette F. Allison (1/17/2014)]
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Posted by Bob L. (+5094) 7 years ago
I love you, Amorette. But you're painting with a pretty broad brush here.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17321) 7 years ago
Amorette, you have officially gone off the deep end.
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