Wal-Mart May Be Retail…But Retail Is Not Wal-Mart

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If I needed any further evidence to cement my opinion of market analysts as overreaching in their attempts to grasp at straws, I got a snoot full of it reading analyst reports on retail Christmas sales—the ones that confuse Wal-Mart with the retail sector. Hey pals, as Wal-Mart goes, so does the retail sector not necessarily go. In fact, this year we see the retail sector minus Wal-Mart headed north while “the big ugly” (as I call it) going south.

So why did Wal-Mart post a .1% loss on same-day sales for the post-Thanksgiving shopping assault while competitors including Target and JC Penney reported solid gains? I’ll give you three guesses, but one of them had better be lousy customer service.

Fortunately for those of us mortally offended at the big ugly’s business behavior, customers are starting to gag on Wal-Mart’s menu of shoddy merchandise, lackadaisical service, untrained employees, sub-human wages, razed earth (or razed downtowns) competitive aggression and—oh yeah—low prices. Worse yet, Wal-Mart is trying to upgrade merchandise and raise prices without addressing the customer service and customer perception issues dragging it down, which only underscores these shortcomings. Wonder what genius thought up this “upscale” business strategy?

And how’s this for a pre-Christmas present—going to your local Wal-Mart to watch shoppers marching out of the store to the tune of, “We’re not going to take it…?” Yeah, wrap that one up with a bow and I’ll take it home with me.

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