Sam Walton, began his retail career when he started work on June 3, 1940, at a J.C. Penney store in Des Moines, Iowa. In 1945, he met Butler Brothers who owned a chain of stores called Ben Franklin and that offered him one in Newport, Arkansas.
Sam Walton was extremely successful in running the store in Newport, however, when the lease came up for renewal, he could not come to agreement on the existing store’s lease renewal nor could he find a new location in Newport. So, he opened a new Ben Franklin franchise in Bentonville, Arkansas, but called it “Walton’s Five and Dime.” He was able to get higher sales volume by marking up products slightly less than the competition.
Today, Walmart is the world’s largest public corporation by revenue. In the U.S. Walmart is the largest private employer and is the largest grocery retailer. Walmart also owns and operates Sam’s Club.
When you walk into a Walmart, especially a newer one, you can get a good idea of all the technology they employ. Each Walmart must spend millions of dollars in surveillance systems, electromagnetic theft protection, phone/paging systems, registers, computers and so on.
However, there is a couple things Walmart will not pay for; Customer Service and Quality Products!
Walmart employees are poorly paid. (I think Walmart wants us to believe that they have to pay employees less, to keep prices low!) Besides a very small handful of people at each store, Walmart employees are inattentive, disrespectful, lazy, uneducated, poorly spoken, and unable to do the job. A simple request for help is an extreme inconvenience for most of the employees.
The door greeters are too old and feeble to do anything other than say hello! They don’t understand technology and are probably the most grumpy elderly I have ever seen. It is obvious that the employees don’t have to pass a positive personality test to work at Walmart. They don’t even have to speak or understand English.
Walmart can also be blamed in part, for the Chinese and plastic society we live in. Walmart’s buying power is as much bad as it is good. For Walmart to sell a product, that product’s manufacturer/producer has to agree to sell the product to Walmart, at Walmart’s named price. If the manufacturer refuses to sell at Walmart’s named price, Walmart will have a third world country produce it as a generic and sell it cheaper than the name brand. This from a store who used to advertise the abundance of US Made products it sells.
Another example of buying power issues is in the electronics you can buy at a Walmart. If you are considering any electronics, I recommend you avoid Walmart like the plague. Walmart may have items resembling those of other retail stores, but you will actually very rarely find the ‘EXACT’ same item. You may buy a 42″ Sony TV from Walmart for $50 less than Best Buy, but when you get home you are likely to find that the standard warrantee is not as long, it doesn’t come with some of the same features and/or doesn’t come with the same box components needed to hook it up.
Many times, electronics from Walmart will carry a model number, which at first glance looks identical to that of another store. However if you pay close attention you will find that many times it has extra characters. These extra characters can mean that the item is actually a factory referb, when you think it is new. It could also mean that it has a shorter warranty, or is limited in some fashion to the similar model numbers at another retailer.
Next time you get ready to buy something from Walmart, STOP! I would encourage you to buy from another ‘LOCAL’ store in town, even if it is more expensive. It is a lot better for your local economy, and you will likely get a much higher quality product; certainly better service.
If you have to shop at Walmart, because all the other competition in town has gone out of business, I’m sorry. Take a bull horn with you. You will need it if you need help. If the help you get doesn’t speak english, demand someone else. When/if you finally get english speaking help, don’t take any crap from them. If they aren’t happy to help, get someone else, again. Make a point that you are a customer spending your hard earned money in the store, and you could go elsewhere with it.
If you are at Walmart to buy a TV, Computer, Laptop, Digital Camera, MP3 player or other device, don’t make the decision that day. Have a Walmart employee get you out the product box to look at. Write down the part number (P/N), model number (M/N) and serial number (S/N). Also get the technical support number for that manufacturer. Then go to a Sears, Best Buy, Circuit City, Target or other retailer and do the same. Before making your purchase, call the manufacturer and compare your notes. The manufacturer will tell you that if the model numbers and/or part numbers are not exactly the same, you are not comparing apples to apples.
Lastly, if you are going to shop Walmart’s stores, the least you can do is demand products which are Made in the USA!