In 1997 I moved from Marshall, Texas to POTEAU, OKLAHOMA. There is a WALMART SUPERCENTER in Poteau and since I have been a loyal WALMART shopper (and continue to be) I began shopping there.
Over the next few years I noticed that items that I had been buying, particularly in the GROCERY DEPARTMENT were vanishing from the shelves.
I have been a bottled water drinker since 1980 and on a shopping trip to my SUPERCENTER the best spring water they sold wasn't on the shelf. The WALMART guy told me they were out until tomorrow. When I went in the next week, there was no Ozarka Spring Water (2 1/2 gal) on the shelf and the price tags were gone.
I spoke to the Grocery Manager and he told me that there was no call for Ozarka Spring Water. The shelves were filled with Great Value Water, WALMART'S brand (if you've had good spring water, Great Value Water is really a step down in quality. Really).
After my next visit I called Ozarka Water in Dallas, Texas and was met with shock. The next week, Ozarka was back on the shelf at WALMART.
But - Over the next few years I noticed that other products were disappearing from the shelves (canned chile (Jimmy Dean Sausage Chile, Stagg Ranch House Chicken, the good stuff, now it's nearly all Hormel), canned salmon (Honey Boy Skinless and Boneless and Honey Boy Red Salmon - now all you can buy in skinless & boneless is Carnation, not solid like Honey Boy but stringy and mushy), certain paper products (10 1/2" paper plates), bar-b-que sauce (K.C. Masterpiece Mesquite of all flavors), Grand's Blueberry Biscuits (hey - isn't that Pillsbury), Good Sense Oriental Snack Mix and on and on.
At a Sunday Bar-b-que with friends, the subject came up and we put together a list of approximately 15 items that had disappeared from our - I emphasize - OUR WALMART SUPERCENTER. I took the responsibility to talk to the manager at WALMART and they got two (2) cases of KC Masterpiece Mesquite on the shelf that lasted less than 2 weeks and then it again disappeared. The other 14 items - sorry.
I talked to the Canned Meat Manager at WALMART HEADQUARTERS in Bentonville, Arkansas and she bombarded me with "well it seems to be personal preferrence on your part". She repeated this a few times as an attorney would. I told her that if it was a matter of personal preferrence that she started it with her decision. I only exercised my personal preference as a customer to the extent that I bought what she decided would go on the shelf.
OK, OK, what's the point?
Our WALMART SUPERCENTER is not a SUPERCENTER. It is one of the older WALMART STORES. I have visited other WALMART SUPERCENTERS in my travels and discovered this - THEIR GROCERY AILES ARE 30 TO 50 PERCENT LONGER THAN OURS. So, if a new product comes out or you strike a better deal with StarKist, Hormel or want to promote your store brand, there's only so much shelf space and good bye sometimes better products.
I've spoken to some of these companies directly; and sure, they would love to sell me their products but they won't take it to WALMART because well, WALMART is the largest retailer in the world, and they don't want to upset anyone there.
Poteau is a small town with two other supermarkets. When I went to the manager of one of them to see if he might order and carry some of these products he was honest. He said, "When WALMART SUPERCENTER comes to town it draws down their customer base to the extent that they can't afford to carry extra items. Essentially, they get locked into the products that WALMART promotes or their own store brands".
I know there are other small town WALMART SUPERCENTERS that do the same to you. While writing this a person I hardly know added the Grands Biscuits to my above list.
So when is a WALMART SUPERCENTER not a WALMART SUPERCENTER. Maybe when it's too small. Clickhere to read other Rip-off Reports on Walmart