Out-of-stock charges off base in produce, Wal-Mart says - The Packer

Out-of-stock charges off base in produce, Wal-Mart says

04/17/2013 12:50:00 PM
Tom Karst

“If you are having an in-stock problem in New York or Chicago, somebody is going to write about that,” he said.

Another contributing factor could be the change in how stores are managed and supervised, Peterson said, with less experienced workers in the department.
Store-level attention to produce merchandising is changed from what it used to be, Peterson said.

“They used to have produce merchandisers that went into stores to teach, train and supervise, and they don’t have those anymore,” he said.

Standardized containers — RPCs — are being used more as a fixture than an operation scheme, Peterson said.

“They are moving toward conventional merchandising schemes more than RPC-oriented execution.”

Labor factors

There are many analysts who believe Wal-Mart sales increases are not as robust as they once were is because of strains on their labor force, said Dick Spezzano, California-based retail consultant.

While the chain has a system of automatic replenishment with reorders after a certain level of sales, there can be breakdowns in the system.

“What we hear is the product is in the back room but not getting on the shelves,” he said.

If that is the case, the problem of store-level execution is the critical issue, Spezzano said.

“Sam Walton used to say they have ordinary people doing extraordinary work,” Spezzano said.

“When you have ordinary people doing ordinary work, it doesn’t quite cut it,” he said.

Wenninger said Wal-Mart is investing in its staff and efficiencies in the supply chain.

“We’re investing in sourcing, replenishment and our store associates to bring this to life,” he said.

Wenninger said the chain surveys 500,000 customers per month, and Wenninger said customer satisfaction numbers have trended upward over the past two years.

During the past three years, Wenninger said Wal-Mart has established produce buying offices in all the major growing regions of the U.S., Mexico, Central America and Chile.

“We’ve also invested in improved replenishment systems and are undertaking significant associate training and monitoring initiatives focused on in-store execution,” Wenninger said.

Specifically, Wenninger said Wal-Mart has introduced what it calls the Global Replenishment System across produce to help ensure the chain has the right amount of produce in the right place at the right time.



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ted benatovich    
boynton beach fla  |  April, 18, 2013 at 01:12 PM

i would love to discuss your problems. my background is supermarkets in western n.y.+ i have a vast knowledge in so in many departments, your problems can be solved profit to be made please feel free to contact me at 1-561-361-4102.WEGMANS IS A GREATEXAMPLE THANKS PLEASE CONTACT ME ANY TIME TED

PB    
April, 19, 2013 at 02:55 PM

PLAIN AND SIMPLE, WHEN THE VENDORS WERE MANAGING WAL-MART'S INVENTORIES, THEY WOULD ALWAYS MAKE SURE THEY HAD PRODUCT, THEY WOULD COVER THE CENTERS WITH SHORT BUYS FROM LOCAL SUPPLIERS-- AS IT STANDS NOW- NO ONE DOES THIS-- IF PRODUCT IS REJECTED- NO ONE RESPONDS WITH ANY PRODUCT TO FILL THE VOID??

Ben Hedges    
Virginia  |  April, 22, 2013 at 09:39 PM

Walmart's grocery volume depends on shoppers combining dry goods purchases with grocery and customers have started to drop the grocery side of their weekly visits. Grocery staffing is being cut as it contributes to less of the overall site sales, and frozen and dairy take priority over produce. Several Managers have told me only Hispanic and some Asian shoppers and big produce buyers and they tend to do their regular grocery shopping elsewhere. The demand just isn't there to justify the labor in the produce dept.

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