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Wed Apr 22, 2015, 08:04 AM

What's in the pipe for closed Walmart stores?

Wal-Mart Stores abruptly closed five supercenters this week to work on plumbing issues plaguing the units, but the retailer could wind up repairing more than just the pipes.

A spokesman for the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer told SN Thursday the company was hopeful that the stores — located in Tulsa, Okla.; Midland, Texas; Livingston, Texas; Brandon, Fla.; and Pico Rivera, Calif. — could reopen within six months. In addition to “extensive repairs” required to plumbing at the stores, Walmart would also look at what other improvements can be made to upgrade the units, the spokesman added. He declined to elaborate.

Greg Foran, Walmart’s U.S. CEO, in a recent investor presentation said the company was at work on “reinventing” the supercenter in concert with changes to the retailer’s distribution model. Foran cited an opportunity to improve space allocations and adjacencies, ambiance, navigation and flow. While it was unclear whether any layout changes would necessarily come to the closed stores, the units are being cleared of all equipment and fixtures so as to address the plumbing, the spokesman said.

The five stores, which closed Monday, had the most incidents of plumbing issues in Walmart’s entire fleet of stores over the last two years, the spokesman added. He characterized the problem as “recurring clogs and leaks.”

http://supermarketnews.com/store-design-construction/whats-pipe-closed-walmart-stores

From the industry trade publication Supermarket News. The comments section below the linked article seems to offer the generally accepted skepticism of this rather "interesting" move by Wal Mart in regard to these 5 suddenly closed stores.

11 replies, 1011 views

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Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply What's in the pipe for closed Walmart stores? (Original post)
Sherman A1 Apr 2015 OP
OKNancy Apr 2015 #1
Sherman A1 Apr 2015 #4
OKNancy Apr 2015 #7
Romeo.lima333 Apr 2015 #8
djean111 Apr 2015 #2
Sherman A1 Apr 2015 #3
Hassin Bin Sober Apr 2015 #5
winter is coming Apr 2015 #6
L0oniX Apr 2015 #9
dixiegrrrrl Apr 2015 #10
Octafish Apr 2015 #11

Response to Sherman A1 (Original post)

Wed Apr 22, 2015, 08:12 AM

1. The one in Tulsa was nasty

I never went to it, but word is... it was awful.

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Response to OKNancy (Reply #1)

Wed Apr 22, 2015, 08:29 AM

4. From what I have seen over the infrequent

visits to Wal Mart. That would describe most of their stores.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Reply #4)

Wed Apr 22, 2015, 08:45 AM

7. I go to one in south Tulsa

My only other options are priced so high that it makes me ill.
It is clean and nice and has great meat and produce. I noticed the sell by dates are much better that other stores.
I think it's because they do a lot of business so they re-stock constantly.
Also they have a great Mexican food selection.

I used to do my personal boycott of Walmart until I retired. My financial security is more important than my disdain for WalMart.

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Response to OKNancy (Reply #7)

Wed Apr 22, 2015, 09:32 AM

8. tag

 

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Response to Sherman A1 (Original post)

Wed Apr 22, 2015, 08:15 AM

2. The whole situation is strange - but I have a hard time believing Walmart would voluntarily

 

forgo six months of profits just for spite. I do not like Walmart one little bit. My house is on a concrete slab, like Walmart is (at least here in Florida) and when the PVC water pipe sprang a leak, in or under the slab, I chose to have the whole house re-piped through the attic and walls, just to avoid breaking up the slab to fix one leak, and knowing there would be others. So it will be a big fat mess trying to re-plumb a supercenter. On the other hand, how many water pipes can there be? On yet another hand, the closing seem so abrupt. Whole thing is very strange.

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Response to djean111 (Reply #2)

Wed Apr 22, 2015, 08:28 AM

3. Agreed

But, IIRC Wal Mart did close a store in Canada that voted to unionize, so nothing surprises me from that perspective with this company. Losing a few stores to break a labor movement could very well be seen as the most cost effective approach to them. A side benefit could be what is described in the article... a chance to re-invent these facilities in a new direction, making them concept test-beds. Ideas have to be worked out somewhere, might as well be in stores where there are "plumbing problems".

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Response to djean111 (Reply #2)

Wed Apr 22, 2015, 08:33 AM

5. If it means beating back unions in the entire US chain? You betcha they would do it.

It's a warning to anyone thinking of voting for a union.

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Response to djean111 (Reply #2)

Wed Apr 22, 2015, 08:33 AM

6. I can believe they'd do it to put a chill on attempts to raise pay to a living wage.

There are a lot of Walmarts out there. In the eyes of the Waltons, writing off 5 stores may be cheaper than giving employees full-time regular schedules at $15/hour. And even if it doesn't make sense money-wise, there may be "I'm not going to let the little people boss me around" attitude motivating them to do this.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Original post)

Wed Apr 22, 2015, 09:35 AM

9. Mom and pop stores can move back in now?

 

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Response to Sherman A1 (Original post)

Wed Apr 22, 2015, 09:54 AM

10. Count me as skeptical also.

Why the abrupt closing of 5 stores for the same problem, as in the same exact time and day?
Why no heads up to the employees, who apparently had no clue the stores were having such severe problems.
And why announce that upon re-opening, employees will have go thru the hiring process all over again?

Lastly, how many of the 5 stores had employees talking union?

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Response to Sherman A1 (Original post)

Wed Apr 22, 2015, 09:56 AM

11. Serf City USA

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