Walmart observations

Super S
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Walmart observations

Post by Super S » February 20th, 2019, 10:06 am

I have been noticing a decline in the Walmart closest to my home.

A little background: Several years back, a second Walmart was built in Longview, WA on the edge of an industrial area. After it opened, the west Longview location (the one I am speaking of) was completely gutted and expanded into a supercenter, but lost its auto center and optical department and also lost its restaurant (although a Subway and McDonalds are in the parking lot) It does however have a bakery and deli.

Anyway, I have noticed that floors are not being cleaned regularly, there are spots which have been neglected (this location kept tile floors). I have also noticed a rather high number of burned out bulbs and failing ballasts throughout the store, and some departments look like they haven't been touched in months. This store has not been updated since it reopened, however, the other location has received an interior remodel. I have heard that this store has been underperforming since it reopened (which would explain why this one seems less crowded), but am wondering if the neglect is a sign that they are considering closing the location.

The staff seems ok, but the rest of the store lately just gives a real impression that something isn't quite right.

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Re: Walmart observations

Post by SamSpade » February 20th, 2019, 1:21 pm

There's the third store south of town as well, near Woodland, right?

Not sure what else to add. You have talked about Fred Meyer finally updating their store in Longview, so there must be some signs of good retail sales in the area. :)

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Re: Walmart observations

Post by Super S » February 20th, 2019, 7:19 pm

SamSpade wrote:
February 20th, 2019, 1:21 pm
There's the third store south of town as well, near Woodland, right?

Not sure what else to add. You have talked about Fred Meyer finally updating their store in Longview, so there must be some signs of good retail sales in the area. :)
Yes there is Woodland, but it's about 20 miles south.

Perhaps Fred Meyer is having some effect, but a visit to the Three Rivers Mall would give a whole different impression about the state of retail in the area.

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Re: Walmart observations

Post by SamSpade » February 20th, 2019, 10:31 pm

Off Topic
Based on some investigative reading/digging, it would seem like the Cowlitz County economy has taken a hit as the market shifted for lumber and paper products due to political whims.

That might also have something to do with the success (or struggle) of the local retail scene.

I couldn't find if the Port of Longview or (former Weyerhauser) timber mill unions resolved their disputes with their employers. In 2018 they were at an impasse.
https://tdn.com/news/local/in-loss-for- ... b3d22.html

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Re: Walmart observations

Post by Super S » February 20th, 2019, 10:41 pm

SamSpade wrote:
February 20th, 2019, 10:31 pm
Off Topic
Based on some investigative reading/digging, it would seem like the Cowlitz County economy has taken a hit as the market shifted for lumber and paper products due to political whims.

That might also have something to do with the success (or struggle) of the local retail scene.

I couldn't find if the Port of Longview or (former Weyerhauser) timber mill unions resolved their disputes with their employers. In 2018 they were at an impasse.
https://tdn.com/news/local/in-loss-for- ... b3d22.html
The economy has struggled for years in Cowlitz County. But the area is in a weird position as people from Vancouver/Portland are starting to move north and housing prices are climbing.

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Re: Walmart observations

Post by storewanderer » February 21st, 2019, 11:23 pm

Wal Mart has been a bit strange when they close stores. The signs that a store is closing are not always there. It seems like for them it comes down to stores with "issues" like theft or similar in which case even very busy stores have closed.

Wal Mart is making a lot of changes like eliminating overnight stocking in stores that do under $60 million a year in sales (I guess that is low volume in Wal Mart terms- for most retailers they'd love that sort of annual volume).

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Re: Walmart observations

Post by Alpha8472 » March 24th, 2019, 5:01 am

Walmart is closing 9 stores including 1 Supercenter and 7 Neighborhood Markets. The Supercenter is in Lafayette, Louisiana.

I would suspect that the Louisiana store is closing due to shoplifting. I have friends who work for Walmart and the propaganda that Walmart tells them makes it seem like the situation is dire. All employees must combat shoplifting or else your store is next to close. This has led to fear and panic for the sake of keeping their jobs. If losses from shoplifting are too high your store will close, even if the store is packed with customers day and night.

Walmart is planning to open less than 10 new stores in the next year. This insane obsession about closing stores even if busy is illogical.

Walmart has a metric. If the store has too much loss due to shoplifting, the store will close. They don't care if it is a high volume store or if the store is the only discount store for 100 miles around.

The company needs to combat shoplifting of course, but closing down a store with no competition is stupid. Just because a store is less profitable than the company prefers makes no sense. The business will lose money from the loss of potential sales and customers will be very upset. For example, even years later Oakland, California residents still talk about their Walmart closing. That was the closest store to San Francisco. There is no Walmart in San Francisco. People have to drive 40 minutes away to find another Walmart. This is insane.

Walmart needs to stop focusing on closing down stores and start opening new stores in profitable middle class areas. There are plenty of cities that do not have any large discount stores.

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Re: Walmart observations

Post by Super S » March 24th, 2019, 7:44 am

As for the store in Vancouver, WA (which I have already mentioned in another thread), I am not convinced shoplifting was a factor. Especially since the Target in the same shopping center is currently undergoing a remodel (this is a conventional Target store) That location was a spot WinCo vacated when they built a new store down the road. It almost hints more at possible lease issues than anything, or a possible conflict of interest with Target, and these Neighborhood Markets have to some extent taken Walmart away from their strategy of building mostly freestanding buildings. The other Neighborhood Market location in Vancouver is in a freestanding location that Walmart built.

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Re: Walmart observations

Post by storewanderer » March 24th, 2019, 10:01 am

I think most of these closing Neighborhood Markets are for performance reasons. That format is a loser and always has been a loser. I've seen a few busy ones in northern California. Those are the only busy ones I've ever seen. Everywhere else I've ever gone to one, they are ghost towns.

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Re: Walmart observations

Post by Alpha8472 » March 24th, 2019, 6:13 pm

One Neighborhood Market in San Jose, California is closing. It used to be a Safeway. The Safeway could not make it, and it was at a busy mall. There is a Target in the same mall.

There is a larger Lucky supermarket across the street. I am surprised that Walmart could not make it against the Lucky. The pricing alone at Lucky is higher, but Lucky had more of a selection.

The pharmacy at Walmart had competition from the CVS inside Target, but Walmart has those $10 and $4 prescriptions.

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