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Walmart Stumble Gives Grocers An Opportunity To Win Back Customers

04/04/2013

spoiled-food2Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, is getting bad reviews in its food department.

The company has cut so many employees that it no longer has enough workers to stock its shelves properly, according to some employees and industry analysts.

Before the recession, at the start of 2007, Walmart had an average of 338 employees per store at its United States stores and Sam’s Club locations. Now, it has 281 per store, having cut the number of United States employees while adding hundreds of stores.

Walmart charged into the grocery market about two decades ago, realizing that frequent trips by grocery shoppers could help improve traffic. Grocery made up 55% of Walmart United States sales in 2012, which was flat from the previous year. The company’s grocery prices are usually about 15% below competitors’, according to Supermarket News.

To put this in context Safeway customers are 71% confident in its fresh produce, the notes said, while Walmart customers are 48% confident in Walmart’s produce.

This presents an opportunity for grocers to market to consumers who may have switched to Walmart in search of lower prices. Freshness, quality, assortment and knowledgable staff are the hallmarks of true grocers. These attributes should be exploited like crazy while Walmart is stumbling. Price is always a factor but who wants strawberries that are 15% less if they spoil within 24 hours of leaving the store?

I can assure you that number is close to zero percent.

 

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