Wal-Mart polishing its fresh produce image

06/06/2013 09:33:00 PM
Pamela Riemenschneider

“From a union standpoint, Wal-Mart has always said we don’t have specialized departments,” he said. “People may do some tasks within stores but they’re all essentially trained the same.”

David Livingston of DJL Research, Pewaukee, Wis., is skeptical of the initiatives. The Fresh Produce School could be no more than a 15-minute seminar in the break room, he said.

“Remember, this is Wal-Mart we are talking about,” he said. “My guess is this is more for the press release, annual meeting … etc. … and to deflect attention from flat sales and bribery scandals. Wal-Mart has a lot to overcome with its perishables reputation.”

Changes boil down to in-store execution, Peterson said.

“I think their buyers do a reasonably good job for the size of the company,” he said. “Then when they try to execute it at store level, it becomes a whole other thing.”


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Gary    
Dayton  |  June, 10, 2013 at 09:12 AM

Wal-Mart must not have started its initiative yet. I shopped in a super center this weekend. Here are my findings: 1) no sale able sweet corn. Very little on display and all was poor. 2) small peaches - no eye-appeal 3) all bananas were very yellow. 1 day home life 4) all avocados were very ripe. 1 day life 5) cashier rang personal sized watermelon as seedless ($1.52 difference) 6) No large (slicers) bulk tomatoes 7) No excitement in the department. Nothing said "buy me". There was no impulse to buy. 8) We shopped at noon on Saturday. There were some good items - 2# strawberries; cherries.

Produce Guy    
Texas  |  June, 11, 2013 at 09:03 AM

Produce is NOT the same as groceries. You need flexibiity and specialized personel to have a successful produce department. You CAN NOT give away produce at the volumes that Walmart uses. Conclusion: Unless Walmart reinvents itself and changes methods and systems completely (very doubtfull),local retailers have not much to fear from this announcement.

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