Market Minute: Walmart Can't Keep Its Shelves Stocked

Produced by Drew Trachtenberg
Walmart stores see decline
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Walmart (WMT) is reportedly losing customers because it doesn't have enough employees to keep the shelves stocked. According to Bloomberg, the company has added nearly 100 new stores a year over the past five years, but its total employment has declined. Target (TGT), Costco (COST) and other retailers are picking up some of the customers defecting from Walmart.

J.C. Penney (JCP) is stepping away from its ill-fated strategy of everyday low prices. In a bid to recapture budget-conscious shoppers, it's marking up store brands so that it can offer big discounts on those same items.

The federal bankruptcy court overseeing the case of American Airlines parent company (AAMRQ) holds a hearing today about the company's planned $11-billion merger with USAirways (LCC). If the deal gets the go-ahead, it will create the world's largest carrier.

Another big bank has been hit by a denial of service attack. Wells Fargo (WFC) says its website experienced unusually high traffic, but that client information was not compromised.

Toyota (TM) has raised its forecast for U.S, auto sales, citing improvements in consumer confidence and the overall economy. It says demand for the Camry and the Prius is strong. And General Motors (GM) today rolls out the new version of its pricey Cadillac CTS, which has been losing ground to German and Japanese rivals. The new model is expected to offer GM's first-ever eight-speed transmission.

Shares of Mattress Firm (MFRM) are firming. The company's earnings were a bit soft, but its forecast for the full year topped expectations.

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Everytime I g to my lcal Walmrt hey never have what I need . I have to fght and argue with them to get th products in the store. If Sam Walton was alive he would not have this. I have a friend who knew him personally.

March 27 2013 at 1:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The last thing anyone should be reading about Walmart is that they are having trouble keeping shelves stocked. What kind of managers do they have that they are not keeping stock out so customers can buy. That is grounds for some very serious ass kicking. Saving pennies on help to give dollars as bonus money. Fire a bunch of managers or put them stocking shelves. James Connor.

March 27 2013 at 12:31 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Not only do they not stock their shelves that don't have anyone to help you take your baskets to your car so it is for that reason I don't shop there anymore. I shop at Target or I order it online. I pay a little more at Kroger for grocery but I get plenty of help and they have what I want. Walmart would do much better if people stopped shopping there but until that happens they really don't give a damn.

March 27 2013 at 12:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

With more stores should come more money for their Walmart employees.

March 27 2013 at 11:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They need to carry more guns and ammunition.

March 27 2013 at 11:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

No kidding! Every time I go into a WalMart to get some labels, or envelopes, you can count on them being out of at least one or both of the items. Try to get some 2 cycle oil for the boat and 1/2 the time, again, out. Just bought a grill, and they had 1 on the shelf. Now their out on that grill. This all makes me wonder why so many people complain about the "capitalistic system". Here we have a giant company that if they continue, will implode. Can you say Xerox? Can you say ATT? Do a good job, give the customer what they want and at a fair price, and you will always succeed. Concentrate only on the bottom line and not your people and your people will make the customer go away. This is not rocket science, but MBA's have taken all their education and made our system a joke.

March 27 2013 at 10:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

There really is little training at Walmart, people are hired and watch a video and set loose to do what they can. They are told to go fill in for a cashier even if they haven't been trained to work as a cashier, holding up the lines while they try to figure out the machine. And most of them get fed up and quit, and so more people are hired, and so it goes. I know this for a fact. Also, maybe as everywhere else, fewer people are hired and expected to do a whole lot more work to make up for the fact that there ARE not enough employees.

March 27 2013 at 10:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Walmart has never had a good reputation for customer service. At least not since Sam Walton passed away in the 1990s. If the capitalist system truly works Walmart will soon have done to them what they did to Sears and J.C. Penney.

March 27 2013 at 10:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lora Maag

It's simple really. Employees are getting fed up with being required to do the jobs of 10. We are all hired for a specific department but we are all expected to pick up the slack in other areas, even though people hired in those other areas are hired in at a higher rate. For example, a sales associate being pulled away from their job of restocking shelves to go up front and ring register. Cashiers make more than floor associates but we do not get that difference in pay when we are required to ring. Then turn around and we floor associates get chewed out because our freight isn't worked or our department is a mess. Hire more associates and start treating them all the right way and there won't be staffing problems anymore!

March 27 2013 at 10:04 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Lora Maag's comment

notify the state on their working practices and pay inequalities---do a search--they're there.

March 28 2013 at 10:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My Walmart has empty shelves all the time. The store is getting dirtier and more disorganized by the day and only 2 or 3 out of 20 check out lanes are ever open. Now, I pretty much only go there to use the pharmacy which isn't owned or staffed by Walmart anyway, they're contracted by Walmart.
I'd rather spend a few extra cents and go to my local supermarket where the store is clean and the shelves are fully stocked.

March 27 2013 at 9:58 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to sadiemae1214's comment

wallie world in my zipcode is well stocked and checkout is no worse than the only other supermarket out here.
they were doing inventory last week and there were a FEW empty shelves in the clothing dept and seemed like things were being shifted around to new locations/aisles.
supermarket was fine,pet food/garden center fine.hardware was fine etc.

March 28 2013 at 10:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply