This is a video of my friend John in the store that I just watched. He says, “Walmart has the best prices in town.” I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love my Walmart. It’s so convenient, you feel like you’re in a mall, yet you get the best prices on nearly everything.
In the video above, John says the same thing to his dad about Walmart. As you can tell, my friend doesn’t like Walmart. He has a complaint about the fact that the prices on most of their products are way too high. I think he’s just a little upset that he has to pay more than his parents.
John’s dad is the man behind Walmart’s sales staff. My dad and I were talking last week about how I could be a sales associate in a Walmart in the near future. We both agreed that the retailing industry is in dire need of a new generation of sales people. For instance, the fact that I get to be the youngest person on the sales floor makes me feel more like the manager than the employee.
I think its a little too easy to label a product as “high.” Walmart’s product line is pretty high. It’s not like its a product you can’t afford to buy. I’m sure the majority of Walmart’s sales staff are not high school drop-outs. If you’re a Walmart employee or a Walmart sales associate, you know that the product line is just as high as the product line at a Best Buy.
The thing is that Walmart’s product lineup is so high that I think they’re even more high-profile than Best Buy. So, I guess I feel that way, too, but I don’t really see that high of a difference. There are only a handful of Walmart stores in my area (I’m in Michigan) so I think its a lot of people who know their product line, so its not really that big of a deal.
Wal-Mart has a product line that is so high that it puts a lot of pressure on its vendors and suppliers. Some vendors and suppliers are just doing what they can to make sure their products get into the hands of the customers, but Walmart has a product line that puts them in a really odd position.
They can’t just put out the product, they have to put in the money to get it on the shelf. This is a lot harder for Walmart to do and they have to worry about quality, time, and price. I don’t think Walmart is ever going to be able to completely get rid of the “pipeline that supplies a particular product” problem. The Walmart of today is much more of a “supply chain” store than a “wholesale” store.
I think the Walmart of today is still a very small market, so I don’t think this is an outlier. But I do think this is an important problem. The product is not going to disappear, or even go away. But it is going to be more difficult to have it be put out there than it is to have it go on the shelves.
This is not to say that there will be no need for a Walmart to make a comeback. Walmart is more of a product manufacturer than a retail store. And this is because the Walmart of today is still primarily driven by suppliers, not customers.