Frugal Friday: Missing From a Wal-Mart Near You Edition
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Happy Friday everyone! About a month back I wrote a post called You Bought That at Walmart and it touched a nerve with many readers. In fact, it is one of the highest commented blog posts on Frugal Rules as well as one of the most shared socially. I know that I am not alone in my disdain for Walmart as my good friends Greg and Holly also wrote of their hate towards Walmart a few weeks ago. Not surprisingly, their post was also received many comments. You mention the Walmart name and you seem to get a broad range of responses, usually people either view them as a necessary evil and some just downright hate them. That is why this article from Bloomberg stood out to me this week as there is growing disdain directed at Walmart. This article was not unique either as it is at least the third article I have read from major news sites in the past few weeks. All that coverage about Walmart has me pondering at what point is the convenience or cost-saving of Walmart not worth the hassle of shopping there?
If you do not want to read the article, I’ll give you the crux of the issue. The issue is that people all over the U.S. are finding that their Walmarts are increasingly running out of items on their store shelves. This has resulted in some customers choosing to go to either Target or Costco as they look to stretch their grocery budget. Add this to the completely understandable disdain for their ridiculous checkout lines and people are getting increasingly embittered against Walmart. The items in question are not specialty items, not that Walmart sells “specialty” items, but you get my point. The items are for common, everyday staples that you would expect any grocery store to have in stock. Both Mrs. Frugal Rules and I have noticed this at our local Walmart. Despite shopping there at various times during the day and week, we have seen a growing issue over the last few months where we go there to do our shopping only to walk out with several basic items still left to purchase because we couldn’t find them on the shelves. Most recently it was paper plates. Before that, the ever-elusive head of green cabbage.
The article does not necessarily go this far, but I believe the crux of it might just be boiled down to good old fashioned corporate greed. The article cites an analyst from Bernstein & Co. stating that Walmart’s workforce has become 120,000 employees lighter over the past five years. Added to this, the company has continued to add stores to its growing empire, 455 over the same period, bringing them to a grand total of 4,005 stores in the U.S. alone. The article cites that Walmart has roughly 1.3 million employees here in the U.S. working in their stores, so let’s do some math. If they have 1.3 million employees, then that averages to roughly 324 employees per store; adding back the lost 120,000 employees lost would add back roughly 30 more employees…or just over 9% more employees in each store. It’s no wonder that employees are seeing things fall by the wayside and that they’re being given too many tasks to complete in a given shift which, in turn, might be to blame for this new disdain for Walmart. All of this has my analytical mind wondering if this is corporate greed trying to squeeze more profits or if it’s just dumb luck. I would tend to say it’s the former as opposed to the latter, and they take on further risk of driving away customers to their competition, albeit small in many smaller communities.
Thank you for listening to my Walmart rant, so now on to more important topics. I was once again increasingly busy this week but was still able to read some good blog posts. I encourage you to check some of them out and explore the sites as you’ll find a wealth of helpful info along the way.
Blog Post of the Week
Celebrating National Financial Literacy Month on The Heavy Purse
Who knew that we had a Financial Literacy Month? I did, but not which month it was. Shannon is right on track with her post in stating “Every single person handles money so becoming financially literate shouldn’t be considered optional but a requirement.” I could not agree more with Shannon. We all, as we grow older, become responsible for our money and are shortchanging ourselves and those around us when we make poor financial decisions. If you want to read more about this “celebration”, then I encourage you to read Shannon’s post as it genuinely made me pump my fist.
Other Blog Posts That Ruled
Which is a Better Investment: Real Estate or Stocks on Financial Samurai
Should You Go to College? on A Young Pro
Ordering From an iPad – What Will Be Automated Next? on Young Adult Money
Investing in Stocks and Technical Analysis – An Introduction on The Wise Dollar
We Gave Frugal the Finger on Average Joe Money
Odd Search Terms
Great stocks to invest in that will make you rich…Penny stocks for sure!
I bought this at Wal-Mart…I am truly sorry!
Should the middle class save their money or spend their money…stick around for a while and it’ll be obvious what I think!
Don’t believe Buffett…You must not like to make money!
How can I retire ever without savings…Simple, you can’t!
I’m so excited for summer vacation…So am I!
Why do my co-workers east so much fast food…Because they’ve not read my Confessions of a Fast Food Employee yet.
How are people different from the rest of us…They’re not alien like you and me!
What are your thoughts? Have you experienced the empty shelf at Walmart recently, or have you given up on them altogether? Have a great weekend everyone!
Photo courtesy of: Ron Dauphin
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