"American chain of department stores WalMart does not employ enough people to keep their shops running smooth. Shelves will not always be stocked, staff is often unavailable for questions and customers have to wait a long time at the register", as Bloomberg found out.
This growing dissatisfaction is due to the cutbacks by the chain: between 2008 and 2012 the number of employees dropped by 120.000 to 1.3 million. This was in contrast to the 455 new locations opened up in the same period, bringing the total number to 4005.
According to the company itself, the results of Bloomberg are not representative. WalMart says it surveys 500.000 customers every month about the length of check-out lines, cleanliness of the shops and helpfulness of the staff. "Respondents give the company good marks: satisfaction would be between 90% and 95%", says WalMart. According to the company it were isolated cases and they were not representative for all stores in the United States.
'Isolated cases'-excuse infuriates customers
That statement triggered a lot of responses: more than a thousand people, spread across the US, wrote an e-mail to confirm the complaints. Most of them were loyal customers of the chain, which they liked because of its low prices and large assortment of products.
Two out of three Americans visit WalMart each month. Annually the company has 6.6 billion visitors, a number that rose by 23 million last year.