Town Square

Expect Long Lines at Incoming Walmart in Nob Hill Location

Original post made by Giddy with Excitement, Another Pleasanton neighborhood, on Mar 27, 2013

Ah, Nob Hill, get ready for that beeootiful Walmart grocery store you've been so eager to have.

Walmart worker activists have been saying for a while that the company is causing itself problems by understaffing stores, leading not just to overworked and underpaid workers but to poorly stocked shelves and long checkout lines, but big-money investors weren't listening. Now, a major Bloomberg article by Renee Dudley backs them up:

Last month, Wal-Mart placed last among department and discount stores in the American Customer Satisfaction Index, the sixth year in a row the company had either tied or taken the last spot. [...]
Wal-Mart is entangled in what [MIT operations management professor Zeynep] Ton calls the “vicious cycle” of under-staffing. Too few workers leads to operational problems. Those problems lead to poor store sales, which lead to lower labor budgets.

While Walmart has added 455 stores in the past five years, it has cut its workforce by about 20,000. Workers complain that they're too short-staffed to move products from the stockrooms to the aisles, while customers complain that they can't find basic goods, leading some to shop at competitors, including Costco and Trader Joe's among others.

Costco's CEO recently argued to raise the minimum wage, but Walmart management is attempting to keep labor costs at rock bottom levels. Apparently Walmart's efforts to minimize labor costs are backfiring. Costco's better paid employees are happier and more productive. Higher worker productivity at Costco is making up for the difference in wage rates.

Costco isn't the only chain to find that better pay translates into higher productivity; the same is true at Trader Joe's and convenience-store chain QuikTrip.

Walmart dismisses the complaints about bare shelves and lack of customer service as coming from "a handful of people." But when a reporter goes into a store and sees lines "about five deep" and "empty spaces on shelves large enough for a grown man to lie down," sights replicated at multiple stores, more than a handful of people are affected.

Thanks again to Kathleen on a parallel post for that nifty promo piece and glossy photo. Too bad the photographer didn't go inside to photo the overworked and underpaid workers, the bare shelves, the long lines, and customers made dizzy for the store's chemicals and lighting. Have at it all you Walmart supporters!


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Posted by Gail
a resident of Gatewood
on Mar 27, 2013 at 5:25 pm

Long lines won't bother me in the least! I plan to shop there and am glad the store will open soon!

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Posted by Kim
a resident of Charter Oaks
on Mar 27, 2013 at 6:30 pm

This is nonsense written by someone opposed to the store. The San Ramon Walmart market is open and there are rarely lines. Way better than anything Safeway offers. I don't work for them, but do go to the San Ramon market instead of Safeway. Prices are 30 to 40% less and the store is gorgeous with lots of selection, wide aisles, perfectly stocked shelves and plenty of staff. Their shelves are far better stocked than safeway's.

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Posted by Milo Thompson III
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 27, 2013 at 9:31 pm

Like I've said over and over again ... People are constantly predicting DOOM for each step of change that takes place. The problem is that the predictions are coming true. It's all delusional.

Long lines! People in Africa starving! The economic collapse of the planet! The nation falling asunder the Big O Administration!

Meanwhile, stock markets soar, countries are finding equilibrium, and the change has been as all changes are ... both good / bad / and permanent.

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Posted by Giddy Up!
a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 27, 2013 at 9:32 pm

Don't worry, Giddy, if you're correct those evil market forces will show WalMart the door. There won't even be any need for government intervention.

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Posted by desperate goons
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 27, 2013 at 10:29 pm

boy, those union thugs are getting pretty desperate, eh? Kinda like trying to round up the cattle after they are out of the barn.......union goons, your ship has sailed, the fat lady has sung, the parties over....pick your favorite goons are toast. Go the way of the dinosaurs already.

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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Mar 30, 2013 at 10:10 am