Wal-Mart is America’s largest retailer.
But as the American economy declines, Wal-Mart does too.
Brian Sozzi at Belus Capital Advisors recently took a series of photos that he says illustrate how understaffed Wal-Mart locations have become.
“What spurred this investigation?” asked Sozzi. “On Wal-Mart’s recent analyst day, it was shared that the bottom 10% of its U.S. stores (300 or so) were producing a same-store sales result of -7.5%. Umm, wow?!”
Wal-Mart’s workforce has fallen by 120,000 since 2008, and during the same time the company has added several hundred locations, Bloomberg reports.
“To drive an impulse item that could help profit margins don’t you need to have the product in stock to lure in the eye?” Sozzi asks:
“When was the last time you went to a supermarket and veggies and frozen meat were not in stock?” Sozzi asks. “Supermarkets may not offer everything, but they do what they do quite well: offer customers trust that product will be there when they want it.”
These shelves are totally empty.
“Notice it’s the “Great Value” Wal-Mart private label out of stock….there is an economic message here as well,” Sozzi writes.
“A national brand out of stock in Hanes seems weird,” Sozzi writes.
These napkin shelves are semi-empty:
So is the Charmin display:
The coffee section isn’t stocked:
“Associates are not emotionally connected to Wal-Mart’s brand, meaning an unwillingness to go above and beyond to execute for the benefit of customers,” Sozzi says.
“Retail is detail…so why is that cereal box upside down?” Sozzi asks.
This display is also lacking:
“One golden rule of supermarket retailing: be in stock on spices,” Sozzi writes.
The rice display isn’t properly stocked, even though it looks like an employee moved some boxes to the front:
This marketing material is wasted by being in the front of the store where no one will see it, Sozzi said:
This rogue cart makes the aisle look messy:
These boxes obstruct shelves for customers:
Those shopping for baby gear can’t even look at the display:
Store displays are a mess:
The shoe department shows a lack of organisation:
Men’s pants are difficult to get to:
Here’s an abandoned clothing rack:
“Not only are these apples sitting in the water section, but they were soft to the touch (look at the dent in the middle one)…suggesting they have been sitting for a while,” Sozzi writes.
“Wal-Mart’s old school motto: ‘stack it high and watch it fly!'” Sozzi notes. “Apparent new motto: “drop it low so it sells slow.”
The bottom line, according to Sozzi?
“Associates are not emotionally connected to Wal-Mart’s brand, meaning an unwillingness to go above and beyond to execute for the benefit of customers,” he writes. “The company is not keeping pace with Wal-Mart’s desire to end the careers of traditional supermarkets while continuing to aggressively open supercenters.
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