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#1 Feb 28 2013 at 6:36 PM Rating: Excellent
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Wal-Mart's supply chain was supposed to be the best in the business. Like, seriously, the cash registers would keep track of how many units of detergent sold that day so that the appropriate amount would arrive on a truck in three days.

However, somewhere the bottom has fallen out, and Wal-Mart doesn't have inventory in some stores. At all.

Speculation is that they squeezed their suppliers one too many times, and many of them are quitting now before they end up like Vlasic pickles.

So the suppliers are tightening their credit requirements, and tell Wal-Mart that they cannot pay Tuesday for a hamburger today any more.

Wal-Mart employs approximately 1% of the working US population. Them going under would single handedly plunge us back into a recession as bad as 2008.


Edited, Feb 28th 2013 7:36pm by catwho
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#2 Feb 28 2013 at 7:03 PM Rating: Excellent
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Walmart going down in sales would mean other stores need to pick up Walmarts slack. Most people working there are unskilled and can work at any other retailer with no issues.

So a decrease in Walmart performance may equal an increase in K-mart sales, because the consumer can't get a product or the service at Walmart, and in ideal situations if Walmart started closing stores other retail chains would need to hire more people to keep up with demand.

In the end it would be a push or a slight decrease maybe.

It's funny someone on my FB posted a big huge thing about how our government should take a look at Walmart and emulate them because Walmart is SO profitable(It was one of those stupid Like and share if you agree things). But Walmart makes money because they bully their suppliers, pay next to nothing for wages, offer almost no insurance or decent packages, and sell cheap crappy products without finding out why they are cheap.

Honestly I'm surprised there hasnt been more public backlash at Walmart because of some of their practices. Locking people in a building overnight, unpaid overtime, forcing skipped breaks, telling their employees to use Food stamps and government funded programs to have a decent living conditions. All the while they post record profits every year.
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#3 Feb 28 2013 at 7:33 PM Rating: Good
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BeanX wrote:

Honestly I'm surprised there hasnt been more public backlash at Walmart because of some of their practices. Locking people in a building overnight, unpaid overtime, forcing skipped breaks, telling their employees to use Food stamps and government funded programs to have a decent living conditions. All the while they post record profits every year.


I don't know, I've thought there's been considerable backlash at Walmart in recent years. Despite that the plain truth is that lower to lower middle class folks are more concerned with the convenience that Walmart provides along with the low prices than business ethics. And that's probably the majority of their business. Poor folks may grumble a bit about things, but ultimately they'll still shop there. Particularly in rural areas where the majority of local businesses were driven out when Walmart moved in, so they have little choice left.

Also, lots of businesses are using inventory management techniques to drive down their operating costs and increase their performance numbers. Amazon did it, so did Dell when it started their JIT (just in time) model. Many more companies, particularly big ones that can muscle around their suppliers due to their large business, are using their clout to demand that suppliers keep the product on their shelves till it's needed thereby reducing inventory.

It's a technique that works, despite the fact it's still just a shell game and creative accounting for the shareholders (at least in my view, an economist might disagree).
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#4 Feb 28 2013 at 7:57 PM Rating: Good
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#5 Feb 28 2013 at 8:32 PM Rating: Good
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I read the article and it was somewhat confusing. While they had identified other real problems leading to loss of business, none of them seemed to cause the breakdown in the restocking chain. Has there been a massive upsurge in successful shoplifting? If items are shoplifted they won't show up as needing to be ordered and restocked.
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#6 Feb 28 2013 at 8:45 PM Rating: Good
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Kakar wrote:
I don't know, I've thought there's been considerable backlash at Walmart in recent years. Despite that the plain truth is that lower to lower middle class folks are more concerned with the convenience that Walmart provides along with the low prices than business ethics. And that's probably the majority of their business. Poor folks may grumble a bit about things, but ultimately they'll still shop there. Particularly in rural areas where the majority of local businesses were driven out when Walmart moved in, so they have little choice left.

Also, lots of businesses are using inventory management techniques to drive down their operating costs and increase their performance numbers. Amazon did it, so did Dell when it started their JIT (just in time) model. Many more companies, particularly big ones that can muscle around their suppliers due to their large business, are using their clout to demand that suppliers keep the product on their shelves till it's needed thereby reducing inventory.

It's a technique that works, despite the fact it's still just a shell game and creative accounting for the shareholders (at least in my view, an economist might disagree).


The problem is the lower class will always go where things are cheapest, if the convenience is about the same. Why go to Walmart for a nifty digital camera, if I can just order it for 25% cheaper from Amazon on my phone, and if I really want get it next dayed for the same price as Walmart. Department stores will always have a place for basic necessities but Walmarts low prices are getting beat by online big time.

In store you get someone that doesnt know the product, or has general knowledge, on online usually there is 100s of reviews from people that are novices-experts. Also sites like Amazon arent forcing companies to always sell at that price, they negotiate and say hey give us X amount at this price and we will sell them in a sale, we will take this much and you can keep this much.

Walmart seemed to say we want your product at X price, so we can sell it at X price giving us a profit. If you don't agree well we just wont have your product in our stores. The Vlasic pickles story shows that, suddenly their more premiere pickles were undercut by their cheap ones. It looks good in the short term but you kill yourself in the long term.

I'm a lower class myself never having made more then 20k in a year, I rarely buy stuff at Walmart just because I know I can find it cheaper at other places, and usually has a better quality (I almost never buy food at Walmart).

Overall Walmart created the cheap consumer, but other companies improved upon it, those with tighter budgets are only 'deal' shopping and I rarely see good deals at Walmart, because local grocers can beat them out with weekly deals and specialize in only food, and have stuff like double coupon days.

i.e. My local grocer has a flyer every week with 5-8 pages of all the different foods on discount. Walmarts weekly flyer is 80% other departments, 20% food. Walmart has the always low price on 24 packs of soda for 7.50, while the local store is 8.49 but they they constantly have deals where you can get a 24 pack for 6.99 or 5.99, and the weeks where that deal isnt around, usually 12 packs are on some sort of sale 5/$10(rare) 4/$12. While Walmart ALMOST never has deals like that. In the end Walmart can't keep up, because even on the weeks where there isnt a discount on soda, the grocer will have a sale on something else, and the 50cent to a dollar I would have saved at Walmart wouldn't be enough to cover my cost of driving across town/time wasted.

Because local and smaller stores can say to companies, hey were going to have a big sale this week on your produce, so we want a big amount for just this weeks, what kind of bulk deal will you give us. While Walmart says we want to sell your produce at this much cheaper then other places and we always want this price, so give it to us @ this price.

Edit: My excuse is writing is my worst subject.
Seriously I need to hire an editor 1/10th of a penny for every mistake found. payable only in Rupies after being converted from pesos






Edited, Feb 28th 2013 9:11pm by BeanX
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#7 Feb 28 2013 at 8:50 PM Rating: Good
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Oh yeah before anyone comes back with price matching, which Walmart does. You know how muhc of a hassle it is it price match a bunch of food thats a few cents or dollars cheaper, while in a busy store, or if you're like me and almost always use the self check out. Convenience would be Walmart pre price matching other stores without me having to do the work to find all the deals.
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#8 Feb 28 2013 at 9:03 PM Rating: Good
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Around here, Walmart's grocery division was hurt when they opened the Aldi. Aldi's food is just as cheap, if not cheaper, and of a generally higher quality. They also have some specialty products the Wally World wouldn't think to carry. Hellooooo marzipan bars! Smiley: drool
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#9 Feb 28 2013 at 9:15 PM Rating: Good
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catwho wrote:
Around here, Walmart's grocery division was hurt when they opened the Aldi. Aldi's food is just as cheap, if not cheaper, and of a generally higher quality. They also have some specialty products the Wally World wouldn't think to carry. Hellooooo marzipan bars! Smiley: drool


Aldis scares the **** out of me too. Anyplace that sells gallons of goats milk, but yes I have shopped there also at one point in time. On average their food did taste better then Walmart brands, but they also save money with not giving bags out, and I guess the deal with quarter deposit carts , which I have no clue what that's about.
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#10 Mar 01 2013 at 8:42 AM Rating: Good
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Walmart is pretty decent when dealing with disaster relief, and I guess they're good for places where you need a tank of gas just to get milk, but beyond that meh.
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#11 Mar 01 2013 at 9:09 AM Rating: Excellent
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BeanX wrote:
I guess the deal with quarter deposit carts , which I have no clue what that's about.

Saves them from hiring a guy to collect carts or having carts rolling into cars, into the street, etc. A quarter is enough incentive to bring your cart back yourself or grab a stray one you see sitting out.

I've been in some raggedy-*** looking Aldis before but there's two on my way home from work that are fairly new and in smaller towns which are a lot better kept up. I like stopping there for milk, eggs, bread and various frozen or snack type items. Their store brand chips are *** though (well, the kettle style chips are good). I used to buy them for my kid for lunches until one day I ate a bag. Now I make a special trip to the "real" grocery store for name brand chips.
BeanX wrote:
Anyplace that sells gallons of goats milk

I've never seen goat's milk there but it makes me chuckle to think that they could put goat milk on the shelf at Whole Foods and people would be all over themselves about how exotic it is and no doubt better for you and comes from impoverished goat herders from the Sierra Madre.

Edited, Mar 1st 2013 9:13am by Jophiel
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#12 Mar 01 2013 at 9:50 AM Rating: Decent
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The problem is the lower class will always go where things are cheapest, if the convenience is about the same. Why go to Walmart for a nifty digital camera, if I can just order it for 25% cheaper from Amazon on my phone, and if I really want get it next dayed for the same price as Walmart. Department stores will always have a place for basic necessities but Walmarts low prices are getting beat by online big time.


The lower class generally doesn't have the means to order from Amazon (they don't qualify for credit cards) and is generally not buying a nifty digital camera in the first place because eating is more important that taking pictures of their malnourished children. If you can afford a digital camera without skipping a bill you're likely not lower class. (Also, who buys a digital camera at walmart?)
#13 Mar 01 2013 at 10:00 AM Rating: Decent
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Walmart going down in sales would mean other stores need to pick up Walmarts slack.

That's not how that works, most of the time. If there even is a supply chain issue here, it's more likely a function of sales for Wal Mart being way down. Lean supply chain depends to a certain extent on predictability of future sales, and contrary to the press you read, the reality is that Wal Mart's supply chain analytics are very, very, very basic. Amazon's supply chain system makes Wal Mart look like children at a lemonade stand. This is most likely a problem with inelastic predictions not taking into account the dip in sales related to the payroll tax restoration in the beginning of the quarter, leading to high inventory, then that being depleted quickly as the poors get tax return loans. Not really a problem positionally for them. Almost certainly not a problem with suppliers, virtually any of whom Wal Mart can destroy out of hand if inclined.
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#14 Mar 01 2013 at 10:08 AM Rating: Excellent
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Yodabunny wrote:
(Also, who buys a digital camera at walmart?)

Craptons of people. The same people who buy computers from Walmart.

Actually, a camera from Walmart makes even more sense since your average user probably only needs an array of options found on any half-decent camera regardless of whether you buy it from Walmart, Best Buy, Target or wherever.
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#15 Mar 01 2013 at 10:12 AM Rating: Decent
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The lower class generally doesn't have the means to order from Amazon (they don't qualify for credit cards) and is generally not buying a nifty digital camera in the first place because eating is more important that taking pictures of their malnourished children.

Wow, easy there. Fat poor children are more of a problem than malnourished children. There's a hunger problem in the US, but let's not get into hyperbole. The hunger problem isn't cannibalizing consumer electronic sales, that's crazy talk.
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#16 Mar 01 2013 at 10:23 AM Rating: Good
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catwho wrote:
Wal-Mart employs approximately 1% of the working US population. Them going under would single handedly plunge us back into a recession as bad as 2008.


And about 80% of them are on food stamps, and none of them have health benefits. All hail the almighty Wal-mart! Too big to fail! What other machine could we expect to take the burden of corralling our lowest classes?
#17 Mar 01 2013 at 10:30 AM Rating: Decent
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And about 80% of them are on food stamps, and none of them have health benefits. All hail the almighty Wal-mart! Too big to fail! What other machine could we expect to take the burden of corralling our lowest classes?

Sure, but let's not ignore the valuable service Wal Mart provides to the community by keeping people who shop at Wal Mart 5 towns away from me.
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#18 Mar 01 2013 at 10:46 AM Rating: Excellent
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BeanX wrote:
Overall Walmart created the cheap consumer, but other companies improved upon it, those with tighter budgets are only 'deal' shopping and I rarely see good deals at Walmart, because local grocers can beat them out with weekly deals and specialize in only food, and have stuff like double coupon days.

Bares repeating, deal shopping routinely outdoes the discount stores around here. Places like Walmart/Costco/Target are nice if you need something right now and can't wait until a sale. Other than that there's better ways to save money.
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#19 Mar 01 2013 at 4:02 PM Rating: Good
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Yodabunny wrote:
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Why go to Walmart for a nifty digital camera, if I can just order it for 25% cheaper from Amazon on my phone, and if I really want get it next dayed for the same price as Walmart.
The lower class generally doesn't have the means to order from Amazon (they don't qualify for credit cards)


Whoah, whoa, whoa. The USA doesn't have Visa debit cards?

Edited, Mar 1st 2013 5:05pm by Aripyanfar
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#20 Mar 01 2013 at 4:08 PM Rating: Good
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.... Yeah my Amazon one touch order is hot linked to my checking account via a Visa debit card.

However, the very poorest of the poor can't even get a checking account.
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#21 Mar 01 2013 at 4:32 PM Rating: Good
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Why would you not be able to get a checking account?

I think my bank account costs a massive €7.50 a year or so...
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#22 Mar 01 2013 at 4:44 PM Rating: Excellent
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I believe they ran my credit when I got my checking account. Wanted to make sure I wasn't going to bounce a bunch of checks and skip town, I assume. These days it's harder to leave someone with a bad check though between merchants being able to immediately scan even paper checks and use of debit cards.
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#23 Mar 01 2013 at 4:47 PM Rating: Good
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His Excellency Aethien wrote:
Why would you not be able to get a checking account?


The poors overdraft their accounts, thus leading them to quit leave the bank in a huff. They also tend not to hold the min. no fee balances.
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#24 Mar 01 2013 at 5:34 PM Rating: Good
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Ah, yeah. I can't overdraft my account unless/until I enable it ad it won't be enabled until I show I have a steady income.
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#25 Mar 01 2013 at 5:41 PM Rating: Good
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catwho wrote:
Wal-Mart's supply chain was supposed to be the best in the business. Like, seriously, the cash registers would keep track of how many units of detergent sold that day so that the appropriate amount would arrive on a truck in three days.

However, somewhere the bottom has fallen out, and Wal-Mart doesn't have inventory in some stores. At all.

Speculation is that they squeezed their suppliers one too many times, and many of them are quitting now before they end up like Vlasic pickles.

So the suppliers are tightening their credit requirements, and tell Wal-Mart that they cannot pay Tuesday for a hamburger today any more.

Wal-Mart employs approximately 1% of the working US population. Them going under would single handedly plunge us back into a recession as bad as 2008.

Ahhh, capitalism at its finest.
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#26 Mar 01 2013 at 5:54 PM Rating: Good
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Most banks don't do credit checks to set up an account (Some do), the check they do everytime is usually just through the check cashing services to make sure you dont have any outstanding bounced checks. if you have any you need to pay/clear them by paying them then some banks want to wait a year some will do it right there it depends.

I never use checks themselves because with a debit card you cant spend what you dont have unless your bank offers overdraft (it ranges can be turned on or off) most banks say you have to have 6 months direct deposit history before they will allow it. Usually its in the 500 dollar area maximum. This can be a life saver in dire events, like on a rent check your car breaks down.

As for having a credit card any sap can go pick up a Greendot or prepaid visa anywhere, **** even gas stations have em. Simon Mall has had Prepaid Visa backed Gift cards for about 12? years you can put any amount on from 20-2000 dollars and it cost 1.95. Thats how I used to pay for FF11 back in the day.

Also as for Lower class picking up digital cameras or having cell phones, A 35 dollar a month Prepaid cell phone is ussually way cheaper then having a house phone, and that phone is usually Unlimited Data text and minutes. The only costly thing about it is having to buy the phone upfront but they range anywhere from 30-200 dollars depending on what you want on the phone.

Also I was speaking of the close to poverty line and that general income bracket. The living check to check people. Yeah most goto bills but around tax time is when you can get the nice things, oh and H&R block puts your taxes on a prepaid visa card to for like 7 bucks, if you dont want a check or have a bank account to do it.



Edited, Mar 1st 2013 5:55pm by BeanX
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