Monday, September 18, 2006

Behind the Counter

If you haven't added 'Behind the Counter' to your must read Wal-Mart websites, please do so now. This is a well-written, amusing blog that talks, mostly, about the customers that shop at Wal-Mart. That's because the blogger is a two year employee that works behind the service desk.

Todays entry is a bit different, a few excerpts:

It is my opinion, especially after working in the store for two years now, that Wal-Mart as a whole is a soulless evil entity. The long-term AND short-term goals of the company involve only the acquisition of cash ad infinitum. There is not one single goal of the company that is about anything other than making money, no matter how many sides of their mouth they talk out of.

For about six months, we actually had an associate whose only job on Saturdays was to buy the newspaper as soon as it was delivered to the newspaper box outside, go through the sale papers and then mark all of our comparable merchandise down to a few pennies below whatever Target, Kmart, Kroger, et al. was selling it for.

Well, that never did work. Because Wal-mart is unable or unwilling to hire enough help, the two girls on the modular team were put to work stocking. One told me that she never actually did any price changes before she quit two weeks later after nearly breaking her leg on a pallet of cosmetics.

So you see, the solution is there. Wal-Mart just won't utilize it - because it believes that it can have cake, ice cream and a soda - and get double helpings too. It is the same logic that has the fitting room attendant serving as the telephone operator. Fewer people doing more work.
But the post is actually about the technical aspects of how prices are actually changed in a Wal-Mart store. And, why sometimes the lower price does not show up at the cash register.