The news today tells us that Walmart isn`t having any trouble with the increasing prices of gas, medical costs, and so forth. As consumers run out of money, we all seem to want to stretch the dollar farther. With ongoing lower prices, the company is experiencing increasing profits.
So how long can you cut prices (and quality) before we reach a
crossover point? At what point does the quality of an item become SO
cheap, it falls apart before you get it out of the package?
We`ve been noticing changes in our local Walmarts. We shop at several
because of either location or in the past, because we couldn`t find
particular material in each individual store. (Walmart has discontinued
all fabric anyway, so we don`t shop there as much.)
At first we saw that this "last-minute warehousing" idea is working
oddly. More and more, we find empty shelves, out of stock, and items
simply gone or discontinued. Then they came up with an idea to use a
computer to put cashiers in place during peak times. That means during
off-peak hours there are massive lines, wating for at least 10 minutes
or more, and the self-check counters are closed.
Now we`re seeing "the same" (supposedly) items with a different brand.
Upon close examination we find important differences in quality. For
example, we used to buy our shipping envelopes---10x13---at Walmart
because we got a good price on 25 per package. We still get the same
price, but a different brand. Oddly enough, the glue doesn`t stick, the
paper rips, and the seams open up as soon as you put anything into the
Then there are paper trimmers that have one instead of three
guiderails, cut on a crooked line, and break if you use them more than
a few times. The list continues.
We`re starting to pay higher prices, shopping at more traditional
stores (when we`re not simply shopping online instead) because we`re
tired of cheaper and cheaper crap. Has anyone else noticed this?
If so, at what point do you think you and other consumers are going to
throw up their hands and stop buying Walmart merchandise simply because
it doesn`t work anymore?