Sunday, June 26, 2022

EDITORIAL: WHAT IS WRONG WITH WALMART #02022?

 THE FOLLOWING IS AN EDITORIAL.

ADDENUM: NEW MATERIAL ADDED JUNE 29, 2022!

I have been a customer of the Walmart franchise for many years now.
I know times are tough.
The pandemic­čśĚ alone has had a serious effect upon the global economy, yet there is absolutely no reason why the safety of both employees and customers need be at risk.
I am not blaming any employee for the situation I'm about to report on. They're just following orders and trying to keep their jobs.
However, among other rules, I have it on good authority that the Walmart Corporation does NOT allow any pallets, with or without merchandise, upon the public selling floor after 7 in the morning.
A rule that my local outlet, #02022 has broken on at least 5 6 occasions that I can document.

May 16, 2022
THE FIRST, May 16, 2022.
Although this is a "back aisle" and one would not normally be in the vicinity unless you truly needed something from there, I did.
Hence discovering the mess and took a picture of same with my cellphone that I later posted on my Facebook wall.
The first stack is empty pallets, with several more full of merchandise beyond that going all the way to the magazine wall at the end of the aisle that also serves as the divider between this portion of the store and the outer edge of the Electronics department.

THE SECOND, May 26, 2022
As you can see by the dates between the two incidents, I do not go to any store daily, but I do visit several on a regular basis, including the Walmart in question.
This time the only aisle affected is the magazine aisle.
Being the avid reader I am, I always check this department out if wherever I am has one and was shocked to discover what I saw that day.
Granted, the merchandise was relatively neatly stacked along one side, provided no one needed anything the pallets were blocking, but still...
May 26, 2022

THE THIRD, June 5, 2022
Same aisle as the second incident, only this time the pallets are centered in the middle of said aisle and merchandise on the second pallet, including a coffee maker and a microwave oven look like they're leaning to the left, if not on their way to falling outright.

Having worked over 20 years in the retail industry myself until my heart/medical issues took me out of "the game", I could cut the employees some slack depending upon the circumstances.
But besides there being no one around to even ask about the situation, while no one from that side of the equation was available either, management should definitely know better.
June 5, 2022

Hence I contacted Walmart's corporate office and let them know what was going on not only on this day but about the two previous incidents as well.
I was thanked for informing them of the situation and promised it would be corrected immediately.

HOWEVER...

THE FOURTH, June 8, 2022
As you can see in this cellphone picture, there were only 2 pallets in question blocking the rear of the magazine aisle. One of them full of air conditioners.
This was less than a day after I had contacted the Walmart corporate office and decided to remain
June 8, 2022
silent, although I had posted the first three incidents on my Facebook page.

Now you'd think that at this point it would be "All's well that ends well." Right?
WRONG!

THE FIFTH, June 22, 2022
I have THREE different images to share with you from my most recent visit to the local Walmart in question.
The first is from the same magazine aisle of past incidents.
June 22, Image 1 of 3

It is just one lone pallet of I have no idea what, but once again it is totally blocking the front entrance of that aisle.
Aisle blocking, besides the potential safety hazard it poses, is also a fire safety risk.
What if someone had entered the aisle from the other side when the fire alarm started blaring or something worse happened?
They'd have only one way in or out of that aisle with the other one blocked.

The other two images, believe it or not, are both from the Grocery section of the store!

June 22, Image 2 of 3
As you can see in the second image, while there is plenty of center aisle space in which to leave something, as clearly represented by the customers being able to still navigate the diary aisle to shop this, as well as every situation illustrated in all the other images, IS a safety hazard!
And for the record, I am taking the photo with my cellphone so that is not me bent over looking at the yogurt.

The third and last image is in the central aisle of the store from the Grocery side entrance of Walmart #02022.
The swinging doors at the far end of the picture are to a storage area although, only being a customer, I have
June 22, Image 3 of 3

no idea what is actually kept back there.
The pallets are on either side of displays that were already placed in the center aisle, which makes for a longer trip around them if someone had to leave in a hurry in case of fire or some other emergency.

NOW THEN...
To repeat my previous position, having worked over two decades within the retail industry mostly between Macy's and Office Depot, I am not trying to get any hard working employees in trouble.
I was actually able to talk to a couple of staff on duty June 22 but other than "Can I help you?" and other Customer Service related statements, no one either could or would say anything about "the proverbial elephant in the store."
And of course, no member of the management staff seemed to be on duty at the time.
Or at least, none that I actually saw for myself.

I seriously debated whether or not to post the more recent pictures, let alone even say anything.
I know times are tough but even if whoever left all the pallets in the pictures was just following orders, those who gave the orders should know better.
While all the freight involved was probably put up in time and the empty pallets removed, I shudder to think what might have happened had there been an actual emergency of any nature while those obstacles hindered floor travel.

ADDENDUM: THE SIXTH INSTANCE, JUNE 29
June 29, Image 1 of 2

Had to go shopping again today and once more my local Walmart #02022 apparently still hasn't gotten the message.
The first photo is the Magazine aisle totally blocked from front to back. I have no idea what is on any of these pallets, but the boxes upon the front 2 certainly don't look safely stacked. Noticed the bottom two facing the cross aisle where I was standing when I took the picture with my cellphone.
If those two boxes should happen to give in from the weight they're bearing, the ones on top would come spilling out into the cross aisle with no warning!

June 29, Image 2 of 2
The second is a view of the "back aisle" the Magazine aisle connects with and as you can see, the pallet line from there extends outward.
As far as I know, the floor is level. Can't say the same thing for the merchandise on the pallets.
And once again, no sign of a manager on duty and no employee in the vicinity could or would discuss the matter with me when asked.

Hopefully the next time I set foot in my local Walmart the situation will be corrected and (presumably) never happens again.

But still waiting for that to happen as of June 29, 2022.

Lee Houston, Junior
Editor-In-Chief: The Free Choice E-zine
June 26, 2022

THE ABOVE WAS AN EDITORIAL.

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