retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Responding to yesterday’s FaceTime commentary about my experience picking up an order at Walmart, MNB reader Rob L Vasseur, Jr. wrote:

This past summer I had a similar experience with a Walmart pickup. I was there to pickup a baby gate for a new puppy. I was also 1 week out from a second surgery of my broken right arm. First, I will say that I was in the wrong by not taking a cart back to the pickup area. That meant going all the way back to the front of the store, retrieve a cart, and return to the pickup area. Now, I’ve never bought a baby gate before (and most likely never will again), but those gates are heavy! My arm in a sling, the associate drags the gate out of the back room for me and sets it by my cart. I just looked at her and blinked. Now what was I supposed to do?

Luckily another customer waiting for her item asked if she could help and together we got the gate into the cart. Now to fight the crowded aisles to get to the front of the store and the exit. Of course, the greeter wants to check off my receipt to be sure it was my purchase! I vowed at that moment, no matter what the savings were, I would never utilize the Walmart BOPIS.


Another MNB reader wrote:

Don't know if your Norwalk Walmart had an outside Grocery Pickup area, but if it does, you can pick up dotcom orders there as well. Beats going inside every single day of the week, especially when you're doing grocery pickup at the end of a long day.

Nope. As I said, this was not a typical Walmart. It was as mediocre a store as that retailer probably operates.

Another MNB reader observed:

So you were one customer of a far larger number of customers who prefer to shop in the store rather than pickup...perhaps Walmart is thinking about these customers.

A fair point. But even so, do you really think that it makes sense to make BOPIS so inconvenient?

From another reader:

I had a completely different experience with my In-Store pickup.

When  I arrived at the store, I went to the CS desk and was told that the hours for in store pick up were until 8:00 Pm and it was around 8:30pm.

That was on me, I didn’t fully read my text notification that the order was ready for pick up. I asked the CS rep if there was any way I could pick the order up that evening rather than coming back the next day. She consulted with a manager who walked me over to a huge tower in the middle of  store where she unlocked the control panel.  I typed in my order number and ala the Jetson’s, my order was delivered through the tower.

It couldn’t have been any easier, couldn’t have been a better experience.

I’m not a frequent Walmart shopper and was shocked at both the level of Customer Service I received, and technology. The only question I had was why it was locked after 8pm.  It was completely self-service.
 




Also got the following email from MNB reader Mark Boyer:

Your FaceTime mentioning unsupervised kids reminded me of comedienne I heard once who said, “I was in Walmart the other day and the kids were misbehaving something awful, so I took a flyswatter and started swatting them. And then I remembered, I don’t have kids.”

Funny.



On the open carry debate, MNB reader Rich Heiland weighed in:

I live in East Texas - deep in the heart of gun country.

The argument that open or even concealed carry will put all kinds of potential heroes into public places is, well, garbage. There is scant evidence of anyone stepping up and stopping carnage.

As a reporter I have been in chaos. It is not like anything you’ve ever experienced. To think that just because someone can pop targets at the range they can react in a hyper-stressful situation, use their weapon effectively is just fiction. I have talked to police officers who hate the idea. Their fear is in response - if they go in a store and see multiple people with guns, who is the bad guy?

This whole macho idea that a well-armed Bubba is going to save the day is just gun-sales hype. Open carry is for those who never outgrew their childhood cowboy days or have a misplaced sense of manhood.

For the record, I once taught an NRA-sanctioned rifle program, have owned guns, hunted and love to range shoot.


“Well-armed Bubba”? That ought to get some attention.
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