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Rep. Paul Gillmor (R-Ohio).
In its ongoing search for new levers it can pull to boost profit, Wal-Mart Stores seems to have found a new favorite target: suppliers. First, it asked vendors earlier this year to cut out the regular contributions they make to promotions, and instead use those savings to lower prices. Now, the world's largest retailer is strengthening its grip on its suppliers, saying it will begin charging fees for stocking and warehousing inventory. In a letter to the approximately 10,000 suppliers affected, Wal-Mart said the purpose of the change was to bring "consistency to the collection of allowances related to the growth of our business and suppliers' use of the Walmart supply network."Bowman continues:
CEO Doug McMillon seems to recognize that the Wal-Mart of old won't cut it anymore, as rivals like Amazon.com and Costco Wholesale take share from the superstore chain and consumer demands change. Wal-Mart has been losing its low-price advantage, leaving it little else to stand on.When the pond gets smaller, the fish get smaller, grow legs and a finds another pond, or die. Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.
If you’re planning on shopping at a Wal-Mart on this holiday, you may encounter a throwback from the company’s past. The Wal-Mart greeter is making a comeback at the front of some stores. In about 300 of its 4,500 stores, the company is testing a new program to cut down on theft. “A few years ago, greeters were moved from the front door entrance to what’s called ‘action alley,’ which is over by the self-checkout area,” says Wal-Mart spokesman Brian Nick. Now the company is experimenting with moving them back, to greet customers as they walk in and let would-be shoplifters know someone is watching. “They serve a twofold function,” says Paula Rosenblum, managing partner at Retail Systems Research. “Ideally they make you feel welcome and, theoretically, they nip a few basis points off of shrink.” “Shrink” is the industry term for merchandise lost to shoplifting, employee theft, and vendor fraud. It cost retailers an estimated $44 billion last year, according to a new survey by University of Florida criminology professor Richard Hollinger. Wal-Mart greeters will sometimes check receipts at the door. In other stores, the company is adding “asset protection” specialists in bright yellow vests.I doubt however, that bright yellow vest---I can't get this image out of my head---would have helped the situation in Macon Georgia.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. violated federal law by failing to provide reasonable accommodations to an employee at its Hodgkins, Ill., store who was disabled by bone cancer and failing to stop harassment of the employee, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed yesterday. According to Julianne Bowman, the EEOC's district director in Chicago, who managed EEOC's pre-suit administrative investigation, the Walmart store initially agreed to comply with employee Nancy Stack's request that the company provide a chair in her work area in the fitting room and limit her scheduled work hours because treatment for bone cancer in her leg limited her ability to walk and stand. After complying with her scheduling accommodation for many months, the store revoked it for no reason. And the store did not ensure that a chair was in Stack's work area, at one point telling her that she had to haul a chair from the furniture department every day, which was of course hard for her to do given her disability. Finally, the store transferred Stack from the fitting room to a greeter position, which did not comply with her restrictions on standing. To add insult to injury, Bowman added, a co-worker harassed Stack by calling her names like "cripple" and "chemo brain," imitated her limp, and removed or hid the chair the employee needed in her work area. Stack complained repeatedly, but the store took no action to stop the co-worker's harassment.Cripple and chemo brain? Does the employee think their in second grade or what?
These retailers have to consider the people who would be offended. “Their image is tremendously important to them, with their employees, with their shareholders, with their investors,” [Howard Davidowitz, chairman of Davidowitz & Associates Inc., a retail consulting agency and investment banking firm based in New York] said. “There’s no way they can be associated with this.” “Number one, [you’ll be] turning off millions of customers if you sell [the Confederate flag], number two, [you’ll be] turning off your own employees,” Davidowitz said. This is particularly crucial for Wal-Mart. “Most of their employees are part time employees — many of them are minorities,” Davidowitz said, also mentioning that selling the flag “will demotivate” employees. “If you’re Wal-Mart, there is nothing more charged than race. That is more nuclear than any of [Wal-Mart’s other] issues.”Yet, I have no doubt that Walmart has been selling Confederate battle flags for more than 50 years and I've never heard of any customers or employees protesting. What has changed is the leadership of the company. I suspect, but cannot know for certain, that if the massacre in Charleston had happened in 2014, Walmart would have still been selling the flags in 2015. Is this yet another example of Doug McMillon's vision? Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.Walmart, Wal-Mart
Walmart is going all out for America, pledging to buy an additional $250 billion in American products. To that end, the world’s largest retailer will host a manufacturing summit next week where it will look for U.S.-made products to sell. The event starts three days after the Fourth of July and promises to be a star-spangled affair. But one item that probably won’t make the agenda: The made in the USA labeling mess on Walmart.com that the company has pledged to address after TINA.org brought the issue to corporate officials.Be sure to take the organization's Are You Smarter Than Walmart? quiz. Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.
Wal-Mart announced Monday that Lima-area residents have generated a total of $31,980 for the West Ohio Food Bank. Through Wal-Mart’s Fight Hunger Spark Change campaign, families rallied together to help fight hunger in Wal-Mart stores and online. Nationwide, the campaign raised more than $10 million to support Feeding America and its affiliate food banks across the country. Altogether, 12 food banks in Ohio received more than $400,000 to support local hunger programs.I have to wonder how many Walmart employees regularly visit one of those 12 food banks. Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.
The removal this month of 50 trees, including six live oaks, to make way for a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market has drawn the ire of at least one Savannah City Council member and some residents. However, city staffers say the developer’s tree plan was in compliance with the city’s review process and almost five times as many trees will be planted as were cut down. Still, Savannah Alderman Tony Thomas criticized the removal at the end of the council meeting on Thursday and called for a review of the city’s revised tree ordinance, which was approved in April with increased incentives for preservation and penalties for violations. “We just passed an ordinance where we thought none of this could happen, and it did,” Thomas said.Replacing 50 mature trees with 250 saplings does not excuse Walmart's actions in this case. We don't know the ages of the trees destroyed, but I imagine that the Neighborhood Market will long be abandoned before the new trees even approach the natural grandeur of those destroyed. Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.Walmart, Wal-Mart, Savannah, Trees, Georgia
On Tuesday afternoon, Amazon became the latest in a string of high-profile companies like Walmart, Sears and eBay, to step away from the sales.We have a Welsh cousin visiting for a few weeks---part of the reason why I'm blogging so little, sorry---and the use of the term Yank came up when he asked if Americans found the term offensive. I told him that I, born in the North, did not, but that while I was in Australia in 1978 and sitting in a pub in Darwin with a friend from Houston, an Australian said words to the effect that we yanks were good blokes. My friend stood up and in a very offended voice said: I'm no damn Yankee! In that moment, I said nothing, and probably even thought his response humorous, but now, an older me with distance from the event wonders how my friend for Texas might have reacted if an African American sailor had been with us and the Australian had said nigger in a different context. I can't now nearly 40 years later, but I strongly suspect he would not have expressed such ire.] While Walmart took weeks (months?) to get this racist symbol off the shelves, the company announced the removal merchandise bearing the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia (not the Stars and Bars) from all Walmart stores.
Walmart Stores, the world’s largest retailer, says it has removed all products bearing the Confederate flag from its stores. In the wake of the Charleston church shootings, South Carolina governor Nikki Haley announced on Monday that she would take steps to remove the Confederate battle flag that has flown on the statehouse grounds for more than 50 years. Hours afterwards, Walmart said all items connected to the flag had been taken off sale. “We never want to offend anyone with the products that we offer. We have taken steps to remove all items promoting the confederate flag from our assortment, whether in our stores or on our website,” Walmart spokesman Brian Nick told CNN. “We have a process in place to help lead us to the right decisions when it comes to the merchandise we sell. Still, at times, items make their way into our assortment improperly – this is one of those instances.”The removal, of course, will have hiccups.
On Monday evening, various confederate flag-branded items were still visible on the Walmart website, although most were listed as out of stock and were not able to be purchased.Still, I give Doug McMillon serious chops for moving faster than his predecessors. Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.