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Business Insider has a piece about Greg Foran, the Walmart US CEO, noting that he told a UBS Global Consumer and Retail Conference this week that “shoppers will soon be able to return purchases without walking more than a few steps inside a store,” an innovation that will help customers avoid long and annoying waits to return items at service counters.

The story says that “employees called ‘customer hosts’ will soon have the power to process returns and issue refunds at store entrances.” Foran said that “the customer host will have the technology to do a refund for you right there, including cash.”

The Business Insider story also offers a number of quotes from his appearance:

• “There was a period in time when Walmart was David and Sears and Kmart were Goliath. And it's always fun being David. Everyone loves David. No one likes Goliath … We woke up at some point in 2000 and whatever and found out we were Goliath. And when you are Goliath you find that there are other Davids that start throwing stones at you and you've got to learn to deal with that. If you become immobile, you just end up taking a lot of hits.”

• “This concept of the store being more than just a good store but being a fulfillment center feels like a pretty safe bet … So place your bets where you know you've got it right. Put a foot in the water on some of the other things, and let's test and learn. And some of the others, maybe you just sit back and wait and see.”

• “When we heard that Lidl were coming, trust me, what a galvanizing moment for the eastern seaboard for Walmart. We just got people fired up — North Carolina and South Carolina and Virginia — and said we're going to take the battle."

• “I love competing and I think competition makes us better … It galvanizes an organization into doing something. So I like it. Bring it on.”
KC's View:
Love the idea that returns can be taken at the front door. I don’t go into Walmart that often, but there always seems to be a line at the service counter. It is very smart to cast an appraising eye on the store and look for the pain points … and then do something about them.