Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Poor Wal-Mart Experience Isn't Limited to Belmont Ave.

The family was in Wal-Mart last weekend and it was not a pleasant experience. We don't shop Wal-Mart often because I'm not a fan of some of their business practices but sometimes they are close by and cheap. This trip to the store on Belmont Ave. in Liberty Township made me remember other reasons I disliked them.

We needed a floor lamp and couldn't find them. I asked someone for help and was told that if they had them, they were in the Home Living department. I was directed to look under the big sign with a picture of a smiling woman on it. I asked if she could tell me which aisle and was told, no, she didn't know.

Perhaps Wal-Mart should hire guides instead of greeters.

There is a story up on Bloomberg that expands on the bad experiences people have at Wal-Mart stores. The chief compliant is bare shelves and poor service. It seems unlikely that the world's largest retailer has a problem getting stock to the sales floor. After all, it won't sell sitting on pallets in the warehouse. The Bloomberg story makes a strong case and matches some of what I've seen.

Poorly stocked shelves that are sloppy with items in disarray and a poor selection are something I've noticed. At times the shelves look more like tables at a flea market than a professional retailer. Another item people in the Bloomberg story complain about is the checkout process. They have a point. I don't understand how you can have 30 registers but only man 5 or 6 and allow lines to overflow into aisles.

I'm not trying to get on the bandwagon knocking Wal-Mart but this article caught my eye because so much of what it says coincides with what I've seen locally. Other stores are cleaner, neater and have friendlier staff so that's where we'll be shopping, even if I have to drive a little further.Wal-Mart spokespeople may say there is no problem with their stores but I think experience tells us differently.

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