Walmart self-insures its workforce, rather than relying on an outside insurer like Cigna or Blue Cross; this means that it gets to make judgment calls that other firms cannot, and that has led the retail giant to a pretty weird place: for certain procedures that it believes to be overused by local hospitals, it flies its employees (even front-line, low-waged employees) to see the nation's top specialists in out-of-state facilities where they receive "concierge, white-glove care that was reserved at other companies only for highly paid executives."
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Last week, Jackson Racicot, a 17-year-old employee of Walmart for over a year, was fed up with his job and the way Walmart's management treated him. But instead of just walking out, he let them – and everyone else in the store – know he was quitting by announcing it on the store intercom. And he didn't just stop there. Not only did he announce that he was finished, but he let the store and its shoppers know exactly why.
"Attention all shoppers, associates and management, I would like to say to all of you today that nobody should work here, ever. Our managers will make promises and never keep them. Not only that, they will preach to us about how they care about their employees, but about a month ago..." Racicot begins. After explaining what happened and lodging his complaints about the company, he ends his announcement with, "Fuck management, fuck this job and fuck Walmart," to cheers from the shoppers.
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"I got fed up," he said later in an interview with the Edmonton Journal, revealing that he already had a new job lined up before he quit. "I don't regret what I did, I went into this knowing what will happen."
Living in what’s essentially a tiny house on wheels, I love eBooks and eBook readers. They allow me to maintain a complete and growing library without the space and weight gains that owning shelves full of dead tree editions come with. I own over 2,000 eBooks. I review eBook readers and provide tips on using them for one of the other outlets that I write for.
None of this prepared me for the news that Rakuten Kobo has paired with Walmart to sell eBooks and at least one of its lower-end ebook readers at Walmart.
According to The Digital Reader, Walmart will be selling Kobo’s base model Aura reader and possibly some of the company’s other excellent E-Ink reading devices as well, in store and online. This, to me, makes a lot of sense.
Given the issues that Walmart is having with Amazon drinking their fiscal milkshake these past few years, making a bit of space for eBook appliances seems like an easy way to attempt to take a bite out of a market that Amazon pretty much owns in North America—dedicated electronic reading devices. It makes sense for Kobo too: despite their making some really great hardware, they’ve been having a hell of a time making in-roads against Amazon’s Kindle eBook readers and the massive scope of content that Amazon provides. Having their gear in a national chain might help to move Kobo’s pieces a little further across the board.
What I am surprised by, however, is that, in addition to Kobo’s eBook readers being available in-store, Walmart will also be selling gift certificates for particular book titles. Read the rest
Walmart has been whining about Amazon drinking what it considers to be its milkshake for some time. Sucking cash out of the pockets of the same low-income earners that you pay just enough to keep alive is a seriously competitive business. With Amazon's online shopping dominance in North America has left Walmart’s brick-and-mortar empire only capable of making Scrooge McDuck money when it’s really Jeff Bezos money that they’re after. In an effort to top off their coffers, Walmart’s been pushing, hard, into catching up to Amazon in the area of online sales. Earlier this week, they announced a partnership with Microsoft that’ll ensure that Walmart’s online shopping experience is faster, more secure and a lot more reliable. Maybe it’ll help!
If not, plopping out yet another online video streaming service to compete against Amazon Prime video and, perhaps you’ve heard of it, a little thing called Netflix, will totally help them to make the crazy-hunting-man-because-he’s-the-most-dangerous-game cash that they’re so horny for.
From The Information (subscription required):
Discussions are still ongoing, and the retailer may eventually decide against offering a service. But Walmart executives believe their customers, particularly in the middle of America, would be interested in a lower-cost option than what is currently available, the person said. Netflix and Amazon are seen as more popular with people on the East and West Coasts of the U.S., one of the people said.
Yeah. No matter what middle America’s viewing habits might be, or how little they opt to charge for the privilege of watching Highway to Heaven on-demand, I don’t know that I trust Walmart to pull this off. Read the rest
This video by YouTuber Alex Berman lays out how retailers like Walmart profit even when they are pricing goods, like milk and eggs, well below cost. It comes down to volume and convenience. If they get enough customers buying items with a high profit margin for convenience sake, they can afford to price many items below cost to lure them into the store.
(reddit) Read the rest
UPDATE BELOW: Walmart says it was a "prank" but doesn't say what evidence they have or identify the prankster.
Someone snapped this astounding photo at a Walmart where one of their "Own the school year like a hero" marketing campaign signs was displayed on a case of rifles.
Walmart's Charles Crowson told CNNMoney that they're "not happy" about this and is "working diligently" to make sure the sign is gone.
The company initially stated that they identified the store location and removed the sign but according to Crowson, they were mistaken and actually still trying to find it.
UPDATE from the Associated Press:
“We have definite proof it was a prank,” Walmart spokesman Charles Crowson told The Associated Press on Friday evening...
Crowson wouldn’t say what proof the company had: Was an image manipulated? Did a customer move a sign for a joke? Did an employee deliberately or inadvertently place the “Own the School Year” sign on the wrong display?
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The National Enquirer's circulation peaked in 1988 at 4 million, while today it averages 325,000 copies sold, mostly to low-income, over-80-year olds. Its best retailer is Wal-Mart. It does not publish any material critical of Donald Trump. Read the rest
Walmart is recalling a product described as "Organic Marketside Spring Mix salad" after decomposing vegetable matter was found around a dead bat it sold to a Florida customer.
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The company said it worked quickly with officials to remove the entire batch of salads from store shelves, and only one line of its products had been affected.
"Fresh Express takes matters of food safety very seriously and rigorously complies with all food safety regulations including the proscribed Good Agricultural Practices," a company statement said.
Firefighters were able to douse the flames within minutes, but not before smoke filled the Princeton, Texas Walmart and forced shoppers to evacuate. Four were treated for minor injuries and a suspect, Jario Briceno-Barrientos, will face the heat in court after allegedly using lighter fluid to set fire to a pile of clothing.
Princeton police were able to arrest the suspect after posting surveillance video of him on their Facebook page. "Due to the overwhelming support from the citizens we were able to capture the suspect," the Facebook post read. "Thank you, everybody, for your continual help and support!"
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Workit is an Android app from OUR Walmart, a pro-labor/pro-union organization: it allows Walmart workers to ask questions about Walmart policy and employee rights, which are answered by a database compiled by using IBM's Watson to come up with answers to hundreds of frequently posed questions; questions can also be answered by other users. Read the rest
A Walmart in Panama City, Florida removed this display after the photo circulated on Twitter, infuriating a lot of people. The World Trade Center was made from stacked cartons of Coke Zero. The American Flag consisted of cans of Coke, Diet Coke, and Sprite.
"We hold this moment in our country’s history in the highest regard, and there was nothing disrespectful intended by the display," Walmart said in a public statement.
image from: @online_shawn Read the rest
Starting in 2000, Walmart began an aggressive cost-cutting campaign that removed greeters, reduced floor staff, and replaced cashiers with automated checkouts; the more this went on, the higher the crime-rate at Walmart soared, everything from shoplifting to deadly violence. In true Walmart style, the world's largest retailer has offloaded the costs associated with this crime to tax-funded law-enforcement. Read the rest
We've heard countless stories about people brewing up meth in Walmart bathrooms, but now police have found a meth lab underneath a Walmart in Amherst, New York! They discovered the underground lab inside a culvert below the store's parking lot and a crew in hazmat gear is now clearing out the tunnel. From WIVB:
“We’ll talk to the proper authorities to figure out what we need to do to make sure that’s not accessible anymore,” said Captain Scott Chamberlin.
He said they did not receive any tips. The culvert was checked during a random preventative patrol.
“Routine patrol, that’s what we do every day,” said Captain Chamberlin.
We asked him if it’s routine to check underground.
He said, “We check in various areas that people who might be up to no good, might be using for no good.”
Members of the NYSP Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team passed buckets of evidence up from the manhole.
“Spray paint can, some various chemicals, a liquid we believe is methamphetamine,” said Captain Chamberlin.
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Two dogs left in a car in the Fort Wayne, W. Va., Walmart subsequently crashed it into the supermarket. WSAZ reports that a witness thought someone was messing with her "until she noticed the face of the driver was a dog's."
She says a second dog was in the passenger seat, and after the wreck that dog somehow managed to roll the window down. The store paged the owner of the car, who turned out to be a woman the witness described as looking to be in her late 70s. The car owner said she left the car running while she went into the store so the dogs could stay cool, and the dog had managed the get the car out of park.
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Alice Walton, heiress to the Walmart fortune, donated $353,400 to Hillary Clinton's "Victory Fund" and another $25,000 to the Ready for Hillary PAC. Read the rest
A pharmacist fired by Walmart after reporting safety problems
was awarded $31m in damages by a jury Friday. Read the rest