Customers who flock to Wal-Mart typically purchase a variety of products in one comprehensive trip. However, consumers were irked recently when they discovered the big box brand had discontinued many of it products from its shelves.
Hoping to increase sales in its US locations, Wal-Mart began an in-store “Project Impact” revamp in September, exchanging products that were collecting dust for more popular lines. According to the store’s US Chief Operating Officer Bill Simon, certain “flavors, items, [and] sizes” didn’t sell and were pulled from shelves. Sounds logical, right? Well, Wal-Mart quickly realized that the move greatly upset some loyal customers as complaints piled in.[more]
Rather than buying a similar product or brand – but not the exact one customers had an attachment to – for $1 more at Wal-Mart, shoppers instead skipped shopping at Wal-Mart altogether and went to competitors that carried their favorite products. It turns out certain sizes and flavors for many food products are game-changing factors for shoppers, and that reality wasn’t lost on Wal-Mart. According to Simon, “[We] lose an $80 basket or a $60 basket and not just the dollar for the one-pound brown rice.”
Wal-Mart has begun re-stocking requests, almost 300 in total, to make peace with disgruntled customers. This swift reconciliation serves as a testament to the flexibility and openness of Wal-Mart as a brand, but the retailer is still looking for a long-term solution to cutting costs rather than “limited time” offers and plans to decrease prices slowly. Lower prices, presumably, are not something that will upset customers.