What has happened to Wal-Mart today? Who is in charge and is there anyone left who cares about customer service and good value?
I can’t say on what day, exactly, the world turned to shifting sand, but I can say that greed is the fuel that runs the corporate world. According to Jonathon Turley, Wal-Mart’s CEO Michael Duke earns more in one hour than a regular employees earns in one year. At $35 million annually, Duke is sitting pretty. Does he really care about Wal-Mart employees or her customers? I doubt it.
” Sam opened the first Walmart in 1962 at the age of 44 in Rogers, Arkansas,” according to Walmart Corporate. Sam Walton built his business by working long, hard hours. His personal goal was to give customers great value and good customer service. Sam knew that any business needed repeat customers if it was to grow.
Sam Walton’s beliefs concerning good service and his values of helping everybody lead a successful life caught the attention of President George H. W. Bush, who awarded Sam the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1992. Mr. Walton said this as he accepted the medal, “If we work together, we’ll lower the cost of living for everyone…we’ll give the world an opportunity to see what it’s like to save and have a better life.”
Mr. Walton died at the age of 74 in 1992. During his lifetime, he amassed a fortune, but gave millions of dollars to charities, scholarships and universities every year. Mr. Walton was not a greedy man, but a wise businessman who was frugal. The more he earned, the more he shared. Walton made his employees associates, allowing them to own shares in the company. The more the employees saved by keeping theft to a minimum, the more Walton shared with his employees in the form of a quarterly bonus.
Today, the company is open to public trading. A board of directors govern policy and set standards. The remaining Walton children are major shareholders, but don’t have anything to do with the day-to-day operation of Wal-Mart stores. You might say that each store is accountable to the shareholders and the Board, but the store managers at each individual Wal-Mart store ‘steer the ship as they see fit.’
This means your local Wal-Mart could have a manager who pushes his employees so hard that the stress leaves them in no mood to be kind and pleasant to the customers. No one in any Wal-Mart is available to assist you with heavy items or help you get your purchases to your vehicle. Employee smiles are as rare as unicorns and all of the employees answer, “I don’t know. I don’t work in that department,” when asked a question by a customer.
It is difficult to become too angry with the employees when you realize they are workhorses for minimum wage. To make matter worse, some store managers cut their fulltime employee’s work hours from 40 to 32 or less each week they feel the store isn’t earning enough money. This is in spite of the store’s daily take of one to four million dollars. So why cut hours when a store is that busy?
Remember, the more money a store saves, the more money available as bonuses. However, the store manager receives the lion’s share of the bonus. By working employees fewer hours, but working the remaining employees to the breaking point, the manager saves money in wages. He always gets the largest percentage of the bonus, called My Share. I don’t think Old Sam would be too happy with this arrangement.
Wal-Mart websites claim to buy only from suppliers who follow a manual of standards. They also claim they purchase from thousands of different suppliers around the world and locally. When was the last time you purchased anything from Wal-Mart that did not say, ‘made in China?’
China probably doesn’t comply with a single standard set by Sam Walton. Yes, Wal-Mart offers cheaper prices, but the value isn’t great. In fact, the value on most items isn’t even good, in my opinion. Of course, any store that receives supplies from China is offering inferior products to the public.
Wal-Mart runs local small businesses out of business. Who can compete with the world’s largest company? They employ millions of people worldwide. On the surface, that looks good. One problem, though. Wal-Mart employees with small families qualify for food stamps and Medicaid. Let’s see, the CEO earns $35 million a year. The average fulltime new hire earns about $12,500 a year. Yep, Duke earns more in one hour than a Wal-Mart cashier or shelf-stocker earns in one year. Those bonuses that employees get? Guess what, their hours are so severely cut, in some areas, that the bonus doesn’t even make up for the lost hours. Isn’t it a shame that Wal-Mart employees can’t even afford to shop in the store in which they work? We aren’t talking upscale Department stores, we are talking big box discount stores.
Sam Walton would be enraged if he could see what has happened to his legacy. He would bust Duke’s salary to that of a bus-boy at Denny’s Restaurant and keep his tips. Greed will eat a person up like a slow-growing cancerous tumor. I wonder how much Duke donates to charity?
- Don’t Steal from Wal-Mart! (gnosticbent.wordpress.com)