Skip to comments.Your Wal-Mart Shopping Experiences
Posted on 02/21/2010 11:45:36 AM PST by Captain Peter Blood
About six months ago Wal-Mart instituted a new reorganization at the store level and I would like to know in this space of time what your shopping experience at Wal-Mart has been.
Before the reorganization there seemed to be enough help to service the customers, keep the floor stocked and take care of the store. Since the reorganization it seems the opposite is true.
Six months ago the store management structure was changed along with hiring and staffing procedures.
Wal-Mart now has a store manager, at least two shift managers, they supposedly handle all day to day operations; Several assistant managers, a new position called Zone Merchandise Supervisor, and the Department Managers.
The Zone Merchandise Supervisors are in charge of what is known as pads, those are large areas of the store such as Apparel, Entertainment, Grocery and Hard Lines. These people took over several of the functions that the assistant managers had except they are paid hourly. They supervise the Department managers and merchandise their areas. A lot of responsibility for basically a two dollar an hour raise.
All hiring is done through a district hiring office, there is no hiring allowed at the individual store anymore. Wal-Marts plan is for most all stores to be 70% part time workers and 30% full time. All hiring needs for a store have to be in the form of a requisition to the district hiring office, especially if it is for a full time position.
All hiring and staffing needs are based on the allotted hours for a particular department and more importantly how many pieces of merchandise are sold on an hourly and day to day basis. These figures are updated on a monthly and quarterly basis.
The implementation of this plan though has lead to staffing shortages and an inability for management, especially the Zone Merchandise Supervisors to be able to do their jobs as originally outlined.
The following is a typical day in Wal-Mart Store management routines:
At around 7:00 AM the Store Manager tours the store with the day Shift Manager where they take notes of what needs to be done.
At 8:00 AM there is a management staff meeting where various notes are given out to the assistant managers for their areas.
At 8:30 AM the assistant managers meet with their area Zone Merchandise Supervisor to give them the notes they got and the ZMS divvies those notes out to the area Department Managers to get done usually by the close of business that day.
Next up is, starting at 9:00 AM the Shift Manager, and a assistant manager along with an area ZMS do a more detailed tour of an area where more notes are generated that will be given to a specific Department manager to do in a specific time frame.
These type of tours go on all day to catch every ZMS area to tour at least one department.
Then at approximately 2:30 p.m. and again at 4:00 p.m. ZMSs and then assistants meet with senior store management to see how many notes were completed for the day.
So you see the new structure is about giving out tour notes, things that need to be addressed or done in departments , Zones of the store and, a lot of meetings.
One of Sam Waltons most famous quotes for Associates was that, Well take care of the associates and they will take care of the customers. I am not sure I believe that is true anymore.
What have your shopping experiences been in Wal-Mart these last several months? Have you found things about the same or have you found customer service lacking? Are the front check- out lanes always crowded with not enough cashiers?
I would like to hear feedback on this in order to gauge what is going on in other parts of the country.
Very little assistance from non-existent associates.
the two Bobs strike again!
I walked into a Wal-Mart one time around ten years ago and walked out 30 seconds later and have never gone back.
Still disgusted with the removal of fabric departments and more disgusted with the so-called crafts they replaced them with.
I love Walmart!
It’s been OK. I go in, find what I want, pay for it, and leave. I really haven’t had a need for sales help, and would not go to Walmart in situations where I might need help.
“Are the front check- out lanes always crowded with not enough cashiers? “
Yes and they removed most of the self-checkout lanes that made up for the lack of warm bodies.
Employee helpfulness is good in the electronics and sporting goods departments at our local but sorely lacking everywhere else.
[then again, we know the guy who runs the sporting goods department, personally. YMMV]
great prices, not so great smell near the end of summer due to customers that don’t like to bathe.
true story; I shop elsewhere during those months.
I have NEVER seen this at Wal-mart. Long lines and cheap prices.
Every store is different (as expected)
Prices are still way better than major markets in my area
Somersworth, NH store has better stocked shelves than either Rochester or Portsmouth, NH
And... I have successfully made it past the greeter without being noticed the last two times I went in (I always play that game when going to WalMart).
Just like every store, same goes for WalMart.
I see what I want/know what I want..pay..leave.
I go to Costco. Walmart is a depressing place; people there do not like working there.
Walmart. I live in Denver Colorado and I had a Walmart built near me so I decided to go in and see how it looked and to buy some personal items. I couldn’t find my way around the store because all the signs were in Spanish. I felt like I walked from the US into Mexico. I will never go back.
I go there as rarely as possible but it doesn’t seem to matter what I need they don’t have it. I’ve begun to think of a it as exersize. I go in, walk all over the store because I no longer know where anything is, finally find where it is when it is in stock and walk out with nothing.
One Wednesday night I had 45 minutes to kill, I went in grabbed around 5 things and was in line for 30 minutes, then I was going to be late so I left my basket and skeedaddled.
Sam's still has it's value. They are my facvorite ATM. You buy a loaf of bread and get $20 to $100 as needed! In the age of the debit card this is a big savings!!!
Target does not sell ammo.....one reason why I won’t shop there.
I just recall lots of kids, out of control, running around screaming and their parents who looked as if they were not capable of raising a goldfish.
DITTO! my shopping trips to Wal-Mart are down to about twice a month and I get as little as possible, mostly my coral Calcium and hubby’s jelly beans. When there was a fabric department I bought other grocery items there...clothes are shoddy made in china crap now geared for teens, not my old qeezer age.
The last time my sister went to walmart the bonehead ghetto cashier asked her if she “had enough kids” (she’s got 8 beautiful children ranging in age from 3 to 16). My sister answered her, “Somebody’s got to contribute bright, beautiful children to the gene pool.” ‘Nuff said.
My closest Walmart is the only one still selling guns/ammo.
There are some great deals at Costco, the quality is good, the store is clean and their shoppers actually change their children’s diapers on a regular basis.
Gone from bad to worse. We have two in Idaho Falls. One sucketh mightily. I avoid the other like the plague. Seems like I have problems finding what I want because they are out and they don’t seem to care anyway.
My problem is the people that frequent the stores. Low class, overweight, and slovenly. The parking lot is littered with trash; the store is too. There is merchandise on the floor, no customer (except me?) will ever pick it up... people waddling around buying cheap Chinese garbage that they don't need and can't afford on their credit card with their ugly, dirty kids running around...
The employees are different. The older, non cashier workers are nice, friendly and helpful, especially the guys who help with returns that stand by the door at night. The younger kids are worthless and would be better off forced into building a Giza-sized pyramid out of the thousands of plastic soft drink bottles that line the parking lot and surrounding landscape
Depends on the location of the Walmart. The SC store in high class Los Colinas is poorly stocked 9/10th of the time, while the other SC just 10 miles down the road in middle class Grapvine is cleaner and ALWAYS stocked plus the employees are friendlier and helpful. The Walmart on Midway in Dallas is Spanish only but is well stocked and the employees are helpful.
The Walmart on Forest is DREADFUL.
The employees and customers openly curse and are rude to the each other.... but it just seems normal to them in that part of town. Cell phone talk by employees is everywhere. When you ask for help it’s like “Can’t you see I’m busy and on break”? The local customers are LOUD and rude. I’ve seen them dump merchandise on the floor and just leave it there to go talk on the cell phone. The lines are long and people actually block the main thoroughfare in front of the check out lines trying to prevent the line from being broken by people walking though. The parking lot is race track and ear splitting music is played from guys just waiting in cars for their current girlfriends to finish shopping.
I come really close to having an anxiety attack when I go to Wal-Mart. Way too many people, too many kids running around unattended, the aisles are too narrow, and too few check out lanes. The parking lot is always packed like the day after Thanksgiving shopping. I only go there if it’s the only place I can get whatever it is I need. Thank goodness that only happens about 3 or 4 times a year.
I haven’t been to WM in a while. Sounds like they are centralizing in a way that Sam Walton would have hated.
My Wal-mart has gone way downhill starting last fall.
They used to greet you with a smile, and offer a cart at the door. Now when they actually staff a greeter, they turn their backs when you walk in, and/or stand around talking to other staff while you maneuver your cart around them.
The shelves aren't stocked properly anymore either. I called one manufacturer who said that Wal-mart had lots of their product in stock, but the woman I spoke to in the store told me they weren’t allowed to order product from the warehouse. “Only head office does that.”
Yep- since they do not carry fabric I basically do not shop Walmart because that was what took me into the store, even though it was only so so fabric. Where my daughter lives, fabric went out, scrapbooking was expanded. The comment I made online to Walmart at the time was there were four other stores in that town to buy scrapbooking supplies. None to buy fabric.
“their shoppers actually change their childrens diapers on a regular basis.”
You just summarized a huge amount of information in very few words!
“...and I would like to know in this space of time what your shopping experience at Wal-Mart has been.”
The Wal-Mart in Stoughton, WI is superb. ‘Little Old Norwegian Grandmas’ run the registers (all Farm Gals; you should see them throw around 50 lb. bags of dog food!) while their Grandkids manage the store and the departments.
The store is always neat as a pin, super-clean, well-stocked and organized.
There isn’t a single thing I buy there ever few weeks that is not from a local distributor and Made in the USA.
But then, a few towns over, the Wal-Mart where my Mom shops is a dirty, filthy mess with surly help. She hates it.
How the owners can allow such extremes is a puzzle...but IMHO, the younger generation of owners are just milkin’ it for the cash, now that Sam Walton is gone.
A great many variables impact the operating overhead that MUST be met simply to open the doors, turn on the lights, bring in the cashiers, and stock the shelves, long before the company can even think about a profit. All of these costs are part of the price of every single item.
This is not just specific to Walmart. A lot of national chains function this way.
At least one WalMart here in ABQ still has fabrics - noticed them day before yesterday.
Last time I went, I waited 30 min for someone to open the case and sell me the only box of .357s.
Good for your sister.
I remember back to the early 90’s an on the job interaction I had. I was working with one woman (who was “PC when PC wasn’t cool,”) She was just aghast that another woman in the office was pregnant with her third child. In her view, 2 should be the absolute max and more than that was a drain on the environment and everyone else’s resources.
At the time I was already pretty sure I would be single for life and not have children so I simply told her, “Oh, that’s okay, she can have one of mine.” It was one of the few times she was actually left speechless.
CatDancer— “your favorite place and mine (sarcasm) ping”
Wally-world is the store of last resort.
Never had a problem with Walmart. I love the selection, and I love buying stuff without ever being worried about getting ripped off (as has happened, on occasion, at just about every store that I’ve been to). I think that Walmart has its low mark-up on everything.
There comes a point were low prices no longer make up for the shoddy merchandise, grimy surroundings, non-existent customer service, and store staff that look like they were extras in a 3rd rate zombie movie. Wal-Mart is fast approaching that. Which is a major reason why I dropped Sam’s Club for Costco years ago.
My local WallyWorld is fantastic.
Very helpful and friendly associates.
Store and restrooms are always very clean.
Stockers always willing to help or kindly move out of your way when they are stocking.
Longer lines, less stock on the shelves. Many employees don’t want to be there but do enjoy texting while they work.
LOL. One of my favorite sites, I check it every week.
I don’t shop WM that often - since we were married about 3yrs ago, my wife took over all the regular shoppiing.
The WM near my office closed, and it’s replacement is too far away for me to get to at lunch.
Generally, I go for RV stuff, since they’re the only choice I have besides Camping World (too far away and too expensive) or online (often too slow). Sometimes I buy car stuff if the price is right.
I shop there at Christmas a lot, as they seem to be the first to go with 24 hour operation, and I do my shopping in the wee hours of the morning to avoid the crowds.
I can’t say I noticed a change as of late, but then I go in expecting not to be able to find anyone to help me, and to have to wait in line to get out. I did notice that large parts of the store were completely unstaffed, which did seem odd. Usually, I just expect people around who don’t know anything about the products on the shelf - but I didn’t see one associate in the personal care, gardening, home, or auto/hunting/RV departments.
On that last trip, I was there primarily to buy a pair of Tracfones, which IIRC, are about $20. The model I wanted was in stock, but had one of those locked doohickies on the wire. Strange - the $100 cards, which are nearly the equivalent of money and easy to take and conceal, where there for the taking. Maybe they had to be activated. Anyhow, more expensive phones (and other items througout the store) were not locked. That meant I had to get the one associate in electronics, who was running the register back there, to leave his post checking people out so he could unlock my two $20 items.
Not a huge deal, but had I been there at another time, could have been more of a PITA.
That reminds me, a week or so ago, I went into a Walmart I discovered was on the way home from work to check it out. Stopped there right after work at about 5:15. It was a zoo. I know it isn’t WM’s fault that it had a lot of customers, but half the registers were unstaffed, and the remainder had people lined up into the aisle. Lots of staff wandering around though, except they were eating (I kid you not), talking on their cells, talking to each other - anything but making the store operate. I’ll never set foot in that store again, and it turns out to be super-convenient for me - I could have been a regular customer.
I have a love/hate relationship with WalMart. Love the prices and the fact I can get everything I need in one stop. They have the best gas prices in town. My store is a fairly new supercenter, clean and well stocked. But it is under staffed on the front end and lines are long. And for some reason they keep most of the self service registers closed. I hate the clientele. Sloppy, pushy and rude. Horrible parents — they are verbally abusive to their children. And don’t get me started on the Mexicans and their unattended children or the Spanish signs in the store. I’ve learned to go before 8:30 AM and avoid most of the irritants.
I go to WM every 2 weeks. The stores are laid out much better like a department store. Everything else is the same.
I do all my major shopping at Walmart. The stores in Moscow Id (northern part of state) & Jerome Id (southern part of state) are great. I save lots of $$ and enjoy my time there.
BM for later. Wifey is an CSR for Wally world