retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• In North Dakota, the Bismarck Tribune is taking shots at Walmart over the company’s decision to cut more than 11,000 jobs from its Sam’s Club division - and, specifically, the impact on a Bismarck Sam’s, where the effects could have broader implications.

The issue is one of communications.

“If you called the Bismarck store to ask how many local workers were cut,” the Tribune writes, “management would refer you to a corporate phone number, which would connect you to a recorded message, which referred you to a Web address, which contained a press release about the company’s decision to eliminate in-store product demonstration staff.

“If you got through to a representative for Walmart, the parent company of Sam’s Club, you might be told that ‘all the information we have available is on our Web site’.”

For the record, the job cuts at the Bismarck Sam’s appears to be 17...though the paper says that Walmart isn’t commenting on the record.
KC's View:
Also for the record, the average number of cuts per Sam’s is said to be about 20, and the companies to which Walmart is outsourcing certain responsibilities are said to be hiring many of the people being laid off.

So the issue here is not so much unemployment as it is a sense of being stonewalled.

To be fair, this is only one side of the story. But it remains a good cautionary note about perception.