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bdlngton

Frustration with Walmart

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The first Wally's I saw was in Okmulgee, OK probably in the early 80's, it was a hole in the wall, you could have done inventory on a post it note. Some years later I sold to WalMart Corp in AR, it was an experience.

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I have to say that I shopped at Publix in Florida and it was the same thing. I liked a certain flavor or product and the shelves would be empty of it within a day or two. The kid who restocked would have a "hundred" bottles of the flavored iced tea that would seldom be purchased but would have only three or four of the popular ones. I once saw two people fighting over a bottle of iced tea with lemon flavor and it became physical. I'd have been in the thick of it had I been there first!

I saw the same thing in the produce section. Eventually I met a neighbor who was in charge of the produce section and he took umbrage at my (I thought) constructive criticism. He was all of 22! The same occurred in the frozen foods section. I would bet that folks had the same trouble using Giant Eagle in Pennsylvania. Bottom line; it has always baffled me that something so simple could become so complex. I used the comment boxes often at different Publix stores but nothing ever changed. I think that the same is probably true here, too. Heck, I like crunchy peanut butter but try to find THAT on a regular basis even at Super Lake or Soriana. I don't need advice on where to find it I'm just pointing out that either very few folks like crunchy peanut butter or the rows of various brands of creamy peanut butter are telling me that nearly everyone wants creamy style. How come the shelves are filled with that but you might find only one or two bottles of crunchy style?

That's just an example folks. It happens on both sides of the border. :010:

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To be the devil's advocate...........

How about making change? Usually there is no concept of how to do it (NOB style). Today my husband got 9 ten pesos coins in change and when I had the big food order, the same thing. No paper money and then, they will ask you to wait because they don't have any coins. But I do think it is a management problem. Train the cashiers.

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Back in maybe 2003 or 2004 Super Lake started carrying a certain rye bread, mind you it wasn't great but at least rye bread. This went on for a couple of months and sometimes it was there, sometimes not. After about a month of no rye I asked Pancho was' up?

"Oh, we couldn't keep it on the shelves so we quit trying". That might tell you all you need to know.

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"Oh, we couldn't keep it on the shelves so we quit trying". That might tell you all you need to know.

/facepalm

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How come the shelves are filled with that but you might find only one or two bottles of crunchy style?

Face it Monessen...No one but you likes "crunchy" pnut butter ! :)

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To be the devil's advocate...........

How about making change? Usually there is no concept of how to do it (NOB style). Today my husband got 9 ten pesos coins in change and when I had the big food order, the same thing. No paper money and then, they will ask you to wait because they don't have any coins. But I do think it is a management problem. Train the cashiers.

If we want NOB style, then why are we in Mexico? This is where we get SOB style. Doesn't take very many days here to find that out. ;) If the change thing is a management problem, then EVERY WM in Mexico that I have ever been in (quite a few over the years in many cities) all have poor management. This is not the only one that will give you 15 of the 20-centavo coins to make a 3 peso change. :(

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Back in maybe 2003 or 2004 Super Lake started carrying a certain rye bread, mind you it wasn't great but at least rye bread. This went on for a couple of months and sometimes it was there, sometimes not. After about a month of no rye I asked Pancho was' up?

"Oh, we couldn't keep it on the shelves so we quit trying". That might tell you all you need to know.

What a "super" quote !

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It's the attitude they have that they are doing the customer a favor by being open at all.

That is exactly correct. Check how many times they say thank you when you pay. Notice when Mexicans go thru the line and pay...who says "muchas gracias", the Mexican customer, never the cashier. Something is wrong with that. :(

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I believe the WM employee NOB has a vested interest (however small) in the store. Here in Mexico, certainly not, just a pay day. Probably the manager too. So, who cares if you buy, or are unhappy, etc., they get paid either way. I think that is true of many places that hire someone to run their business for them here.

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I've had a different experience with cashiers at "our" Walmart almost every time. The vast majority of the time they smile, are very pleasant and can't think of a time when they didn't say gracias. Of course I always move up to the counter with a big smile and an Hola. And I usually ask how they are doing and say hello to the kid putting stuff in bags. When they give me my change I always thank them and can't remember a time when they didn't reply in a very pleasant manner and generally wish me a buen dia. Seems like we almost always get back whatever attitude we put out - here and anywhere else in the world.

There have probably been a few times when that hasn't been the case but very rare. Seems like the cashiers here are generally at least as pleasant as those NOB if not more so. I'm not sure I would be smiling after a long day working for such low wages and having to deal with some of us all day.

I agree with others that point out that we ARE in Mexico so it is US that need to adapt. In our case we are here specifically because it is not the same as NOB and don't have any interest in trying to change anything. Not that we never get frustrated or shake our heads but for the most part are able to remember that we made a conscious decision to live here and make a real effort to roll with whatever happens.

And finally I am with Monessen. LOVE crunchy peanut butter. Pretty much the only thing I bring back when we go NOB. Some people see the glass as half full and some see it as half empty. But some people just don't like the glass.

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I've had a different experience with cashiers at "our" Walmart almost every time. When they give me my change I always thank them

Exactly, I think that is the way it goes all the time, you always say"thank you", they never do. They are not taught to do so. But, this is Mexico, and if we are here , as you say, by choice, we accept it and move on. That should not prevent us from being polite. :)

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Back in maybe 2003 or 2004 Super Lake started carrying a certain rye bread, mind you it wasn't great but at least rye bread. This went on for a couple of months and sometimes it was there, sometimes not. After about a month of no rye I asked Pancho was' up?

"Oh, we couldn't keep it on the shelves so we quit trying". That might tell you all you need to know.

This story was circulating at the time I moved to Ajijic, in 1999. I was told it had happened some indefinite time before I arrived, not with rye bread but with another product I've forgotten. I hate to burst anyone's bubble, but I believe it's an urban legend.

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If we want NOB style, then why are we in Mexico? This is where we get SOB style. Doesn't take very many days here to find that out. ;) If the change thing is a management problem, then EVERY WM in Mexico that I have ever been in (quite a few over the years in many cities) all have poor management. This is not the only one that will give you 15 of the 20-centavo coins to make a 3 peso change. :(

Our several WMs are not as you describe your WM. What cities do you travel to to observe their local operation so well or do you simply pop into a few across the country and take it from there? [assume]

If you don´t like the 20 centavo coins give them to the person bagging and your problem is solved.

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"I've had a different experience with cashiers at "our" Walmart almost every time. When they give me my change I always thank them"

Exactly, I think that is the way it goes all the time, you always say"thank you", they never do. They are not taught to do so. But, this is Mexico, and if we are here , as you say, by choice, we accept it and move on. That should not prevent us from being polite. :)

Always say thank you when completing a transation, it is the custom, you have been served. Why should a cashier say thank you when you pay for your stuff? Where NOB do they do that? They might say thank you for your business or have a nice day or "vaya bien" when you complete the sale. But thank you for paying? I don´t get what your complaint is?

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To be the devil's advocate...........

How about making change? Usually there is no concept of how to do it (NOB style). Today my husband got 9 ten pesos coins in change and when I had the big food order, the same thing. No paper money and then, they will ask you to wait because they don't have any coins. But I do think it is a management problem. Train the cashiers.

I don´t like to get 3 or 4 or 5 $10 peso coins so ask for "billetes" and they give them to me or get some if they are out from somewhere else and I wait until they do. They always get me some everywhere except OXXO because they have the safes they fill up during the day and cannot get into it and sometimes they are out of $20s and $50 billetes [bills].

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What I don't like is that every time they put out an ad they place SOL beer on sale at Walmart and they have never carried what the ad has or SOL beer of any kind for that matter.

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Since as Computer Guy pointed out Wal Mart corporately are known as masters of inventory management systems my theory is that there is a special computer program in use in México that ensures that ultra-popular items are never reordered. After all, if they're reordered they will arrive at the store and have to be stocked, which creates excessive work for the employees, who are only there for a paycheck after all. :D

So that explains why popular items disapper never to return, but I have no explanation for the one store in town that one would think would always have change for any sized bill never having it without a hassle, except that it's one final chance for local management to make sure we know how much our business is appreciated...... ^_^

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I don´t like to get 3 or 4 or 5 $10 peso coins so ask for "billetes" and they give them to me or get some if they are out from somewhere else and I wait until they do. They always get me some everywhere except OXXO because they have the safes they fill up during the day and cannot get into it and sometimes they are out of $20s and $50 billetes [bills].

Me neither. Alan. And just like you, I tell them I want billetes, and after frowning, and looking around, and me not moving, they start checking other cashiers, and often have to find a supervisor who can go get the billetes and I finally get my billetes. Never a "sorry for the inconvenience", but I got my billetes, until next time. Now, I expect it and am ready.

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The supply side is a big player in large chains stores like Walmart, Costco, Sam's and Home Depot. A lot of the product there is supplied on a type of consignment basis - the stores only pay for what is sold. This is why, in the North at least, they have no problem honoring warranties, open boxes, etc - because they will ask the supplier to pick it up, or will throw it out. It is most often thrown out. If a food item expires, it is all thrown out and not paid for. If they give it to employees or charity, then they will have to pay the supplier. This would explain the notion that when an item sells well, it is not stocked. The suppliers have no problem with their regular channels, there is no need to 'dump' an overstock item. If an item is popular, it is hard for an independent retailer like Superlake to get a good wholesale price. They can donate to staff/charity though because it is already paid for.

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After reading these posts, I cannot help but notice that it is just expats griping about not always being able to find their favorite NoB gringofood brands. Face it folks; you eat differently than your local neighbors, so why do you expect your KansasBrandGoodies to always be on the shelf? If you could read a few words of Spanish, you might easily find a substitute brand that is quite good; maybe even better, like Herdez Fruit Cocktail; a favorite of mine.

As for crunchy or creamy peanut butter of your favorite texture: Make your own with dry roasted peanuts, a bit of olive oil and your food processor. It only takes a few minutes and the result is delicious. There is no shortage of peanuts here.

For the rest of it, you may have to adapt. After all, the population of expats here is variable with the seasons and the economy. So, by the time the supply chain reacts, it is too late, or maybe too much. In other parts of Mexico, that factor is not so difficult to manage.

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Large stores are designed to have a reduced number of items (SKU) and to turn them over as much as it

possible. Specialty items are a nuisance and headaches for them so they discontinue them as fast as they can.

If Mexicans do not eat crunchy peanut butter you can be sure it will get discontinued. For specialty

items you have SL or Torito.

You should have been here pre Walmart and SOriana when SL veggies were left on the shelves to rot away rather than be removed or discounted.

Go and see how it is in small towns in Mexico before complaining you cannot get this or that or

complain that SL is too expensive.

In the other town where we live we cannot find butter in most stores, I finally got to the bottom of it. The butter is kept under key in the cold room because "people steal it" Butter means unsalted forget

about salted butter you should be happy to find butter.

You are not in the US so forget how it works in the US, it is irrelevant.

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Does anybody else get as frustrated with shopping at Walmart as I do? Or can anybody explain their business model to me?

It seems that they are often out of certain products. Why is it so difficult for them to keep all products stocked? I do remember asking once why they seemed to almost always be out of the sugar free, fat free peach yogurt and the answer I got was "Because it's the most popular." So why don't they stock more peach than strawberry and plain if that's what their customers are buying? I know that it has already been discussed how hard it is to find the Lurpak salted butter in stock yet there always seems to be the unsalted available. Why do they not stock more salted butter? Finding chocolate chips is like spinning a wheel of fortune. The freezer facing the main aisle at the end of the big freezer section is usually filled with bagels and English muffins. Yesterday it was stuffed full of bagels and one measly package of English muffins. And there were some package of bagels in the regular freezers too. In a country like Mexico which seems to produce fruits and produce year round, why are some not available in the produce section sometimes. Yesterday there was not a camote (yam) in sight.

Sundays are usually pretty busy because of all of the families shopping. Why would they choose that day to completely redo their cookie aisle and have all of the merchandise piled in carts and on the floor? Why do they not rearrange and restock shelves at night, or at least in the opening hours instead of in the middle of they day when there are customers trying to buy and just get by?

I know these may be foolish questions but there seems to be a lack of understanding of merchandising and providing for customer convenience, at least at the local Walmart.. Is there anybody out there with retail experience, especially in grocery, who can explain any of these practices? Or is it that they just don't care because they are pretty much the only game in town, save Soriana, which is further away for many.

First: out of México City, in the rest of the Country, the motto is: we always have done it this way.....end of discussion, even us Mexicans, can not understand that

2nd: People, out of Mexico City, are "a little" irresponsible, the manager asks for the merchandise, but people does not want to come "so far", so they just don´t come to make delivers, this happens also, with the dog food, owners ask for product, but for the sellers is "easier" to deliver merchandise in Guad, they don´t want to come to the towns. In México City, walmart works as in USA. That is why most of the people wants to stay in Mexico City, everything is better there, quality service, courtesy for clients, consideration, variety, stocks, new products, and more and more and more....

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The great Mexican comedian Hector Suarez made the phrase (no hay) famous through his satirical skits dealing with this problem,he was called (el No Hay) in them, so it's not just a gringo thing.When our corner store is out of things that should be in stock my wife refers to the owner as (el No Hay). :-)

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Back in maybe 2003 or 2004 Super Lake started carrying a certain rye bread, mind you it wasn't great but at least rye bread. This went on for a couple of months and sometimes it was there, sometimes not. After about a month of no rye I asked Pancho was' up?

"Oh, we couldn't keep it on the shelves so we quit trying". That might tell you all you need to know.

Definitely an urban legend. I heard the same story in Sint Maarten and St. Thomas. I'm totally with Rec. You get what you put out. I've not found the cashiers rude at Walmart but the change thing is annoying but I'm not in a hurry to catch a bus or get back to work. ^_^

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