Walmart’s Self-Inflicted Wound

“There’s no manpower in the store to get the merchandise moving,” says Tifft, who oversees grocery deliveries and is a member of OUR Walmart, a union-backed group seeking to improve working conditions at the chain. “Customers come in, they can’t find what they’re looking for, and they’re leaving.”

Walmart has had a labor problem for quite some time now (as we’ve learned from Josh Eidelson), and now the discount retailer may be doing some self-sabotage. Walmart’s cost-cutting measures ended up reducing stores’ staff, which has resulted in a lot of empty shelves and a lot of customers leaving to competitors like Target, Walgreens and Kohl’s for things they can’t find. Walmart has also placed last on a “Customer Satisfaction Index” survey.

And competitors are reminding customers that Walmart isn’t always the best place to shop. Grocery stores like Publix has started advertising campaigns arguing that Walmart doesn’t always offer the lowest price. The competition is good because it leads to lower prices, which means a win for customers. Maybe the competition could get Walmart to get their act together and fix some of their labor problems as well.

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