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Old 08-16-2013, 06:02 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
20,003 posts, read 16,497,779 times
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Fortunately, the free market is even more powerful than WM and the overall economy is not beholden to this giant. Poor customer service, online retailers, and empty shelves are hurting WM, not the macroeconomic picture.

Wal-Mart Disappoints Wall Street and Customers Alike | LinkedIn
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Old 08-16-2013, 06:22 AM
 
Location: Knoxville TN
358 posts, read 907,279 times
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So, is your economy humming "Happy Days are Here Again" or "Buddy, Can You Spare Me a Dime"?
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Old 08-16-2013, 06:33 AM
 
Location: USA
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Went to Walmart early yesterday morning to buy a 4 cup coffee pot. They were out, but, 18 were on order and would be available that evening. I went home and cleaned up the old one.
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Old 08-16-2013, 06:46 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inave View Post
So, is your economy humming "Happy Days are Here Again" or "Buddy, Can You Spare Me a Dime"?
Housing market here in the Triangle is booming again, was hard to find a home under $100/sqft when they were just 80-90/sqft last year.

The point is that the dynamics of Wal-Mart being a bellweather for the economy no longer apply since Wal-Mart is causing it's own downfall. Ergo, Wal-Mart performance is becoming decoupled from macroeconomic performance of the country as a whole.
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Old 08-16-2013, 06:59 AM
 
642 posts, read 906,547 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summers73 View Post
Housing market here in the Triangle is booming again, was hard to find a home under $100/sqft when they were just 80-90/sqft last year.
^ failure to see same patterns of housing bubble since investments firms are buying by the 100s and renting out...its like once a bunch of hedge funds sell a stock, this is what will happen to housing [again] except it wont be due to a credit crunch, it will be due to a bunch of investment firms all dumping at once.
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Old 08-16-2013, 07:29 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
20,003 posts, read 16,497,779 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red3311 View Post
^ failure to see same patterns of housing bubble since investments firms are buying by the 100s and renting out...its like once a bunch of hedge funds sell a stock, this is what will happen to housing [again] except it wont be due to a credit crunch, it will be due to a bunch of investment firms all dumping at once.
Most if not all of the purchases are primary residences with no intention to rent out.
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Old 08-16-2013, 07:41 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
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The Wal-Mart customers that keep it going are not concerned with customer service, because the bulk of them are in the lower half of median family income, that's why they shop there, for the low prices. They are also not hurt as much by online retailers because the bulk of their customers have no credit cards. What's hurting them is a combination of those lower 50% having a far harder time with inflation, as prices for everything continue to rise while their incomes remain flat, and perhaps more importantly, the Wal-Mart "Neighborhood Store" concept. They have started to build new stores in more affluent areas where people would be likely to shop for big-ticket electronics but have limited them to groceries and a few household items. The cost of land and construction on these is far higher. In the last year or so they opened two stores in nearby Bellevue, WA, where the median family income is well over $100,000. I have visited both and there is rarely more than 1-2 checkstands open, with no lines, and the prices are higher than those in stores in other areas, so
they are not going to attract lower income people from nearby cities where the stores are in sketchy areas.
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Old 08-16-2013, 08:06 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
20,003 posts, read 16,497,779 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
The Wal-Mart customers that keep it going are not concerned with customer service, because the bulk of them are in the lower half of median family income, that's why they shop there, for the low prices. They are also not hurt as much by online retailers because the bulk of their customers have no credit cards. What's hurting them is a combination of those lower 50% having a far harder time with inflation, as prices for everything continue to rise while their incomes remain flat, and perhaps more importantly, the Wal-Mart "Neighborhood Store" concept. They have started to build new stores in more affluent areas where people would be likely to shop for big-ticket electronics but have limited them to groceries and a few household items. The cost of land and construction on these is far higher. In the last year or so they opened two stores in nearby Bellevue, WA, where the median family income is well over $100,000. I have visited both and there is rarely more than 1-2 checkstands open, with no lines, and the prices are higher than those in stores in other areas, so
they are not going to attract lower income people from nearby cities where the stores are in sketchy areas.
I disagree. I believe its the migration of customers fed up with poor service and empty shelves. Amazon is stealing their business as evidenced by their explosive growth.
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:13 AM
 
Location: Carmichael, CA
2,087 posts, read 3,430,534 times
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I started shopping exclusively at WalMart when I was furloughed during the Recession, and still shop there. During bad times, some of their customer base "trades down" and buys their groceries at the Dollar stores, when times get better, some of their base "trades up" and returns to Safeway, etc. When I saw the reports of their sales being down, I was wondering if increased jobs had returned some of their customers to higher-end stores.

I also shop at the new Neighborhood Store--yes, it was empty a lot when I first started going there, but it's pretty busy now. Given that it's in a better neighborhood, I have less of the "interesting" people to deal with. The stores are very nice and clean (at least so far) even though certain items will be priced a bit higher than the Super Stores.

I've also questioned the shelving issue--I couldn't get a particular type of oatmeal for like three weeks. I didn't get a good answer. The three stores in my area have all resolved that issue though. I wonder if it was some kind of inventory-tighening after the holidays? I started noticing it in late January, I think.

As for the customer service. When I go to a store that has what I think are high prices, I expect good customer service. When I go to a store with the lowest prices, I'm hoping somebody will put my stuff in a bag--that's about it.
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:15 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
20,003 posts, read 16,497,779 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cb73 View Post
I started shopping exclusively at WalMart when I was furloughed during the Recession, and still shop there. During bad times, some of their customer base "trades down" and buys their groceries at the Dollar stores, when times get better, some of their base "trades up" and returns to Safeway, etc. When I saw the reports of their sales being down, I was wondering if increased jobs had returned some of their customers to higher-end stores.

I also shop at the new Neighborhood Store--yes, it was empty a lot when I first started going there, but it's pretty busy now. Given that it's in a better neighborhood, I have less of the "interesting" people to deal with. The stores are very nice and clean (at least so far) even though certain items will be priced a bit higher than the Super Stores.

I've also questioned the shelving issue--I couldn't get a particular type of oatmeal for like three weeks. I didn't get a good answer. The three stores in my area have all resolved that issue though. I wonder if it was some kind of inventory-tighening after the holidays? I started noticing it in late January, I think.

As for the customer service. When I go to a store that has what I think are high prices, I expect good customer service. When I go to a store with the lowest prices, I'm hoping somebody will put my stuff in a bag--that's about it.
Our local grocery store (Kroger) consistently has better selection and prices than our area Wal-Marts, and the median income is about 50-75% higher than average while still having a low cost of living.
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