Of all the above actions, I like the idea of the “produce school” for Walmart produce department associates. This investment could pay big benefits for those associates who actually stay in the produce department for any length of time - hardly a certain proposition.
Of course, the weekly independent produce department checks will provide accountability, but the public will never know the results of those internal surveys.
As one observer told me, this produce initiative speaks to Walmart’s thin skin over recent criticism about out-of-stock issues. For Walmart’s sake, this latest volley has to be more than marketing by news release.
Walmart execs may do well to refer to a recent Fresh Produce Industry Discussion Group thread on the perceived deficiencies of the Walmart produce department and how those can be rectified.
Most discussion group members estimated that only between 20% and 40% of Walmart’s shoppers buy fresh fruits and vegetables from the retail giant. So it goes without saying that Walmart has much work to do to even attract more of its own shoppers to the fresh produce department.
Check out a new discussion about Walmart new produce push on The Packer's Market: