Last week, Walmart had a stock fire sale. Walmart's usually stable stock price tumbled 11% as the company said at its annual investor day that higher wages for associates will dent profits by about $1.5 billion in the 2017 fiscal year, following a $1.2 billion hit this fiscal year. Serious types put the blame for Walmart's decline on competing online stores and the increase in labor wages. Certainly those are factors but collectively they ignore the single biggest challenge for Walmart: The failure to accept revenue.
Here are 5.99 ideas for fixing Walmart.
1. Man the cash registers. It is impossible, at least for me, to give Walmart money if there is no cashier at the register. On average, there are 28 registers at a Walmart and only two working cashiers. That leaves 26 registers incapable of accepting revenue. What is the ROI on that?
2. When the store is open, but the garden center is closed, I have to go to Home Depot. When the store is open keep the garden center open and manned at all times. This holds true for the pharmacy, eye glass center and hair salon.
3. The customer service counter is never lit and is always staffed by a single employee. The length of the line for customer service is overwhelming. While in line for customer service it is not possible to shop; there is no revenue generated from waiting customers.
4. Where exactly is the manager? I have never met the manager. Put the manager in brightly colored clothes emblazoned with big letters that read: I Am the Manager. Otherwise, instead of buying things, I go from employee to employee and ask, "Are you the manager?" And they say, "I will get her." But she never arrives.
5. When I am shopping online, do not give me the option to "pick up in store." I really didn't think I had to go over this, but the reason I shop online is that I don't want to go to a store. Walmarts are far away and I won't take the kids there because they will want things they don't need. Whenever I have made the mistake of indicating that I will pick up an item at the store it suddenly disappears from the menu. When I get to the store, I have to wait in the long, long, long customer service line (see item 3 above) which is never pleasant.
5.99 Please tell the three employees standing near the restroom that they should break up their chat and open a cash register. Please tell the six employees at the in-store Subway to put down the meatball grinders and help me carry my boxes to the car.
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