Walmart's Problem: More Stores, Fewer Employees
Products, staff, customers disappearing from the aisles
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2013 8:46 AM CDT
In this May 16, 2011 photo, the Walmart logo is displayed on a store in Springfield, Ill. Consumers spent less on big-ticket home items such as furniture and appliances in May as the housing market continued...   (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

(Newser) – Walmart's shelves are looking empty these days, and it's not because the product isn't available: The company simply doesn't have enough employees to restock them, store workers tell Bloomberg. The big blue retail behemoth has added 455 US stores over the past five years, but its workforce has dropped by 1.4%—that's about 20,000 fewer people to put toilet paper and socks out on shelves. And as employee ranks thin, other problems bubble up, Bloomberg notes: longer check-out and customer service lines, for instance.

A Walmart spokesperson denies anything is amiss. But the company's sales growth has slowed, and its own CEO reportedly admitted last month that it is "getting worse" at stocking shelves, though he pinned the blame on the fact that "we run out quickly and the new stuff doesn't come in." Employees agree. "There are gaps where merchandise is missing," said one California department manager last month. "We are not talking about a couple of empty shelves. This is throughout the store in every store. Some places look like they’re going out of business."

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Mar 27, 2013 9:51 PM CDT
Well I can attest their ammo shelves are looking pretty bare these days ;-)
Mar 27, 2013 6:45 PM CDT
TRUTH BE TOLD ...... IF Bloomberg would have done more research .. and not asked the "store employees" instead of research, on why some store shelves are empty, or lack stock on some shelves .. they might have found out the real reason for it .. and not printed this op-ed opinionated trash. Walmart's doesn't lack workers, and people applying for jobs .. and that's "not" the reason .. some shelves are empty .. they're just "sold-out" of those products. Walmart's online business is unbelievable in price, delivery, and service .. and small business's empty store shelves .. to resell at their smaller stores. I always shopped at other stores and thought Walmart's sold cheap goods .. but about 8 years ago .. I found out Walmart's sold cheap and best brand goods .. and their service and delivery plans are unbeatable. ----------------------------- REALLY
Mar 27, 2013 3:11 PM CDT
Who would want to work for them? They are going to squeeze their suppliers & their employees and in the end , customers out the door.