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Confidential Wal-Mart Memo Discloses Substantial Drop In Store Traffic Compared To Year Ago

Tyler Durden's picture


As if we needed another confirmation that the US consumer is running on empty, here comes Bloomberg with valuable disclosure from an internal, and supposedly confidential, Wal-Mart memo on store traffic patterns which indicate that in US store locations open for at least a year have seen a 2.6% drop in traffic in the February to June period compared to a year earlier. While this may not sound huge, keep in mind the company is massively leveraged to even the smallest marginal moves in traffic, courtesy of already razor thin margins. Specificall, the Wal-Mart stores in question had "82.8 million fewer visits through the first five months of the company’s fiscal year." More than anything this is an indication of just how exhausted the US consumer is becoming if even the most beloved, widespread and cheapest option for purchases is now being shunned outright. Bloomberg continues: "Wal-Mart’s plan to recapture customers by returning thousands of products to U.S. store shelves has failed to reverse a decline in foot traffic at the world’s largest retailer, said Jeff Stinson, an analyst at Cleveland Research Co. That’s primarily because Wal-Mart’s core low-income customers are shopping less and going to other retailers more often, according to two recent shopper surveys." This should not come as a surprise to anyone, since frequent Zero Hedge readers will recall the post in which the CEO of Wal Mart America said that "shoppers are running out of money"; and there is no sign of a recovery." When it comes to marginal traffic, it appears shoppers have just run out of money. And that includes those who no longer pay their mortgage and pay for everything with their now well maxed out credit cards.

Bloomberg reports:

Wal-Mart, led by Chief Executive Officer Mike Duke, is restoring an average of 8,500 products to its stores to lure back shoppers still pinched by persistent unemployment and gas prices that have risen 36 percent in the past year. Sales in U.S. Wal-Mart stores open at least 12 months have declined for eight straight quarters.


Wal-Mart’s traffic decline comes as some of its direct competitors are getting more visits.


Wal-Mart’s decline is close to the 2.5 percent drop in shopper traffic at all retailers from February through June, according to retail industry data provider ShopperTrak in Chicago.


The two shopper surveys, from Morgan Stanley and retail consultancy WSL Strategic Retail, found that the removal of items from stores in 2009 to reduce clutter wasn’t among the top reasons why shoppers are visiting Wal-Mart less frequently.


“Consumers are not very concerned about removed items or breadth of assortment,” Mark Wiltamuth, an analyst at Morgan Stanley, said in a July 11 report that included the survey. In the WSL survey, 7 percent of Wal-Mart shoppers said they were going there less because it stopped carrying products they buy.

The scariest news for Wal-Mart: it no longer has the deep discount retailer halo it has held for decades:

Many shoppers don’t believe Wal-Mart’s prices are the lowest anymore, the surveys found. These consumers are shifting more of their spending to dollar stores, Target, and supermarkets such as Kroger’s, WSL said. Both surveys polled about 1,500 shoppers.

“The biggest surprise from our survey is that Wal-Mart appears to have lost some of its low-price reputation,” Wiltamuth said in the report. “Wal-Mart now has a price perception problem.” The New York-based analyst rates the shares “equal-weight.”

“They are taking incremental mini-steps at a time when they need to knock shoppers’ socks off,” Liebmann said.

The possible culprits for the drop are many, but none of them change the fact that there is less shopping happening:

Traffic declined by an undisclosed amount at U.S. Wal-Mart stores in the fiscal year ended Jan. 31 after increasing 1.3 percent in the previous year. Shopper visits continued to drop in the first quarter of the current fiscal year. Duke has said customers are making fewer shopping trips and spending less when they do shop because of higher gas prices.


“Our priority right now is trying to provide that opportunity for customers to go to one place and have everyday low prices on the full assortment that they purchase,” Duke said at an April investor conference.


Wal-Mart has forecast that the change in second-quarter fiscal 2012 comparable-store sales in the U.S. would be negative 1 percent to positive 1 percent. Cleveland Research estimates same-store sales to be down as much as 2 percent.


“The data points don’t look great,” Dan Binder, an analyst at Jefferies & Co., said in an Aug. 2 note to clients. “There is downside risk to sales in the second quarter and potentially over the balance of the year.” The New York-based analyst cut his recommendation to “hold” from “buy” in the note.


In a May study from Deloitte Research, almost three out of four respondents said they are making fewer trips to the grocery store to save money and two-fifths said they are purchasing fewer items overall.

The worst news is that despite 3 years of failed attempts, US consumers appear happy to redirect funding from other sources of cash use, such as paying for mortgage (which will end up being the reason for a TARP 2 bailout of the banks soon enough), but far more averse to actually levering up, or, if they wish to do so, appear to no longer have the capacity. Which is easily the worst possible news for the Fed which is now actively preparing to launch QE3.


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Wed, 08/03/2011 - 12:47 | 1521033 LMAO
LMAO's picture

Confidential and thus printed here.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 12:52 | 1521049 EvlTheCat
EvlTheCat's picture

Did you even read the opening paragraph before you posted?

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:53 | 1521365 LMAO
LMAO's picture

No, I don't give a fuck. I'm a headline chasing HFT algo and that's why we are bouncing of the lows on this Bloomberg wall-mart concoction which isn't worth a bucket of spit. But, but, feel free to read any garbage of your liking.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 14:14 | 1521456 Fish Gone Bad
Fish Gone Bad's picture

I frequent a Mexican supermarket that is fairly close to a Ninty-nine cents only store.  I listen to the customers as they shop and they are constantly making comparisons to Wal-Mart.  The closest Wal-Mart is maybe 4 miles away.  Towards the end of the month, a lot of local stores will have few customers in them, including the Staters Brothers supermarket.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 18:04 | 1522163 A.W.E.S.O.M.-O 4000
A.W.E.S.O.M.-O 4000's picture

"I frequent a Mexican supermarket"


Well excuse me John D. Rockefeller!

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 14:19 | 1521471 Richard Head
Richard Head's picture

So how's that WMT long position going?

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 15:56 | 1521765 samslaught
samslaught's picture

wasn't welfare recently reduced by 10% or so?

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 15:56 | 1521768 samslaught
samslaught's picture

wasn't welfare recently reduced by 10% or so?

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 17:25 | 1522071 Moe Howard
Moe Howard's picture

10% welfare reduction + 10% welfare reduction = 20% welfare reduction? Really?

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 14:16 | 1521461 JR
JR's picture

Isn’t breaking into confidential information Murdoch’s specialty? Is Bloomberg now taking over where Murdoch left off? And, of course, there’s the believability factor.  It’s difficult enough to believe government reports let alone Bloomberg’s analysis of government reports; and now we’re supposed to believe “leaked” reports of a company that Bloomberg would not be supporting.

Shades of Schumer versus IndyMac?

And, to make matters more suspect, this story is, in essence, six months old.  Somebody has just warmed over the story and attached some statistics to it.  It’s just a repeat of the banker-cabal attack on Wal-Mart.  Bankers don’t like Wal-Mart? How about that avalanche that materialized when Wal-Mart tried to establish its own bank?

Spot on, LMAO.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 14:40 | 1521536 LMAO
LMAO's picture

Schhhh, you are stirring the sheeple and they are in Junk-mode.......

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 15:06 | 1521606 Redstone
Redstone's picture

BOO! Whoops. I didn't mean to start a cattle... I mean a sheeple stampede.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 12:51 | 1521038 Mercury
Mercury's picture

They can always hope for a last minute, Q4 binge to stock up on 100w incandescent light bulbs before the government makes them illegal in 2012.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 12:49 | 1521041 UGrev
UGrev's picture

I have found so many deals at the many dollar stores around my area. Canned foods, rice, beans.. utilty items.. for a buck. 

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 12:59 | 1521094 problemfixr
problemfixr's picture

Keep in mind that you get what you pay for...

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:48 | 1521345 UGrev
UGrev's picture

yeah, I do.. losts of times it's decent brand goods or goods made by the same company for a chain that was bought out on bid. I agree there are some crappy things there too.. but that's why you have to sort through it and pick the good stuff. 

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:57 | 1521389 problemfixr
problemfixr's picture

Agreed...My wife picks up a few things there occasionally.  Cannot beat the $1 Mylar baloons.  Just saying that a lot of stuff is junk.  Kitchen stuff, no worries.  I'm just thinking that the $1 food would not necessarily be the highest quality ingredients.  But what do I know? I do not buy food there.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 14:03 | 1521413 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

I lost my mind when I found two-packs of light sticks for a buck.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 20:28 | 1522454 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

I bought a cheap, Chinese made paint roller for $2 at Dollar General the other day, because ACE was a few miles away from the rental I was painting.  It didn't last one room before it broke.  Duct taped it to finish the job, then tossed it.  It was the worst, cheapest piece of crap I had ever used.

Thu, 08/04/2011 - 06:55 | 1523132 burncycl
burncycl's picture

I hope you're not a professional painter by trade. Trade painters know all too well the cheapies at the dollar stores aren't worth it.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 17:33 | 1522093 Moe Howard
Moe Howard's picture

Hard to sort out the counterfeit Colgate they had a couple of years ago that had anti-freeze in it.

I bought some name brand dishwasher packets there a couple of months ago for a slight discount, then used them later. My wife asked me if there was something wrong with the dishwasher, the dishes and glasses were not very clean, and the forks & spoons were very bad. It took a couple of days before I realized it could be the packets I got at the dollar store causing the problem. So I went to my normal supermarket, bought exactly the same brand and type, and did a load. Night and day. So I don't know if they were selling seconds, QC failures, or counterfeit. I know this, however, I did not get a deal.

I'm all for bargains, but sell me dodgy goods and I don't ever come back.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 19:28 | 1522328 UGrev
UGrev's picture

The dishwasher stuff is a known issue. They have removed the phosphates (the shit that actually cleans) from the detergent. From what I understand, it was due to greeny pressures. I bought name brand shit from the store at a much higher price and the same crap  happened with un-washed utensils etc. 

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:52 | 1521363 problemfixr
problemfixr's picture

Obviously, at least 5 (for now) ZH members are dollar store shoppers.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:56 | 1521381 Sancho Ponzi
Sancho Ponzi's picture

I'm not sure why the article doesn't mention Amazon. I pay AMZN $79 a year, buy tons of stuff, pay no sales tax, don't have to start and drive the car, and have everything delivered to the house in a couple of days. The stuff I can't get from Amazon is purchased at Costco. Pffft WalMart.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 15:56 | 1521769 malalingua
malalingua's picture

and with prime membership you get unlimited instant videos. 

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 19:30 | 1522334 UGrev
UGrev's picture

I have a prime membership too.. I find lots deals on foods and good. The saving on shipping has paid for my account already. 

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:27 | 1521228 serndipity
serndipity's picture

Shopping at the Dollar store is great,  it's so convenient and casual and you don't have to get all dressed you're going to WalMart or something.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:51 | 1521319 Pegasus Muse
Pegasus Muse's picture

You mean like these fine folks?

A cop I know who works the counter-gang unit shops WalMart to stay abreast of the latest trends in prison tattoos.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 15:04 | 1521603 dolly madison
dolly madison's picture

Or do you mean like these people:

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 12:50 | 1521045 Newsboy
Newsboy's picture

Turn off half the lights.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:17 | 1521182 spartan117
spartan117's picture

Went to a BestBuy and noticed that this is what they did.  It's normally quite bright in there, but not this time around.  Dark as hell.  Not sure if it was for one day or standard policy going forward.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:39 | 1521289 hannah
hannah's picture

same here at 2 different best buys....they had the lights turned off on every other aisle. i thought they were replacing bulbs but they usually do that at night and they have to bring out those huge lifts.......

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:41 | 1521300 aheady
aheady's picture

Walmart turns off the fucking air conditioning.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 15:05 | 1521604 fallout11
fallout11's picture

Have noticed this as well, in addition to the lights being "off" frequently. Here in the Deep South it is often 80deg F in the store and people fanning themselves in the checkout lines, which have not shrunk in length any....Wal-mart has also cut back in terms of staffing, usually less than half (or even less than 1/3rd) of the checkout lines are staffed even at "peak" times (weekend afternoons, for instance).  As always, your mileage may vary.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 17:43 | 1522120 Moe Howard
Moe Howard's picture

I was in walmart this afternoon, it is payday week at nearby Fort Knox. The place was a ghost town. I went straight to a human cashier. I saw more employees milling around in the various areas than customers, and got harrassed by a kid in hardware several times, who saw I was buying screws and told me I could buy a bucket of those screws at Lowes for a couple of dollars and would have enough for years. I said that was a good point, however, I need the screws now and Lowes is a 28 mile round trip so the money I saved would be consumed in gas, never mind wasting my time.

My point? I think the sales are down at Walmart in my area. This is not normal, not even a couple of months ago.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 12:50 | 1521046 BaBaBouy
BaBaBouy's picture


Don't squeeze the Charmin ...

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 12:52 | 1521050 3.7.77
3.7.77's picture

Being beat by the dollar store, what's next maybe a six bit store.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:32 | 1521252 kito
kito's picture

"dollar" store today, "1000 dollars" store next year.....

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:42 | 1521311 hannah
hannah's picture

the dollar stores around here have about 20% of their merch price above a dollar now. before it didnt matter the size but now if an item is a 'jumbo' size they want $1.39 or $2.99......

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 14:14 | 1521453 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

"99cent stores" - they're out there apparently.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 12:52 | 1521051 LoneStarHog
LoneStarHog's picture

This makes complete sense when compared with the recent data that ILLEGALS (INVADERS) are returning to Mexico for employment, since unemployment in Mexico is 4.5%.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:09 | 1521136 OutLookingIn
OutLookingIn's picture

Yes. As an interesting aside, border agents are now reporting more illegals climbing the fence to go south!

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:12 | 1521154 Idiot Savant
Idiot Savant's picture

So you're a native american indian, LoneStar??

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 14:22 | 1521485 Richard Head
Richard Head's picture

You should rethink the "Savant" part.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:16 | 1521172 konputa
konputa's picture

Sweet, let's ship our unemployed off to Mexico and then build a wall around it.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 15:38 | 1521703 Dr. Acula
Dr. Acula's picture

> ILLEGALS (INVADERS) are returning to Mexico

Ah, a socialist.

You think that all land somehow "belongs" to the public, so therefore I can't let Mexicans onto my own property - i.e. the property that I have property rights over - without your permission.

The same lack of ethics that says you can violate property rights in this instance is applicable to many other instances. For example, stealing peoples' wealth through taxation. But of course you haven't thought through things consistently. You just want property rights violated in ways that you choose. 

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 12:52 | 1521054 Missiondweller
Missiondweller's picture

That same CEO said he expected a huge jump in inflation by July of this year. Sure would be interesting to hear from him as to whether that is happening.


Also too bad we nolonger have MIT's real time inflation numbers. Wonder what ever happened to that?

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:22 | 1521207 fuu
fuu's picture

It was showing everyone what the Emperor's clothes really looked like.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:26 | 1521223 zuuuueri
zuuuueri's picture

you have the gold price, thats a fairly useful working estimate for inflation. 


Wed, 08/03/2011 - 12:53 | 1521055 Henry Chinaski
Henry Chinaski's picture

Aldi! bitchez

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 14:24 | 1521491 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

Trader Joe's, in the Aldi "family" - shopped there for years, starting to see the creeping clawbacks in quality, including "mechanically reclaimed meat" in some of their pre-cooked stuffs (don't eat them, but I watch). . . also of interest is a new scam of 15oz cans with labels that say "net wt. 15oz, DR WT 10oz" - which equates to opening a can and seeing it only 2/3 full - that's with a 10c price hike every 4 months this year. . . most folk aren't noticing yet.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 12:53 | 1521056 Internet Tough Guy
Internet Tough Guy's picture

Dollar Tree, bitchez.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 12:58 | 1521081 Missiondweller
Missiondweller's picture

First time I went to a Dollar Tree I was shocked how cheap things were. Thank god I don't need to shop there out of necessity but sure is interesting.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 14:50 | 1521551 Sofa King
Sofa King's picture

What is even more shocking is that the quality of some of the items at the Dollar Tree store is better than the quality of items at Target, Walmart, etc.  The quality product stores currently have an item quality problem. You can even find things Made in the USA at Dollar Tree stores.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 12:53 | 1521059 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

People are moving down stream.  I do the house hold grocery shopping and I do not see any huge savings at Walmart. I think they did a good job of convincing people they were the lowest price out there. Now that times are tougher people are finding out that is not the case.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:00 | 1521098 1100-TACTICAL-12
1100-TACTICAL-12's picture

Fuck Wally-Martinez , H.E.B is the best here in TX, and they buy as much of their shit local as they can,,,

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 20:57 | 1522509 Iam_Silverman
Iam_Silverman's picture

"H.E.B is the best here in TX"

You betcha!  The massive H.E.B. in Burleson is worth the extra 30 minute drive because they are doing their level best to put Aldi's, Krogers and WalMart out of business.  They regularly have canned goods (Hill Country Fair) priced at 3/$1!  Every time I go there I buy a case of each (corn, peas, green beans) for the larder.  I wish they sold ammo.  That is about the only reason I visit WalMart any more.  They pretty much have the lowest prices on .22LR/.22WMR (the only things I cannot reload).

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:01 | 1521108 weinerdog43
weinerdog43's picture

The last time I was at a Wal Mart, I brushed up against some shelving to let, ahem, a somewhat larger patron squeeze by.  Unfortunately, there was a huge blob of what appeared to be axle grease that ended up on my shirt.  I decided that I was not going to try to save .18 cents at the risk of $30 shirts. 

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:09 | 1521139 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

When you consider the size of their clientele you would think they would have bigger aisle. Kind of like driving a Hummer through Europe.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:16 | 1521174 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Those $30 shirts are available for $3 at the Salvation Army store.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:58 | 1521341 Big Corked Boots
Big Corked Boots's picture


Wed, 08/03/2011 - 15:08 | 1521614 fallout11
fallout11's picture

Yes, but usually with stains and holes already applied. No thanks.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 14:34 | 1521515 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

WallyWorld's 'huge savings" have always been a huge scam - like most retailers, they put their loss leaders in the aisle end caps, or bins down the centre aisles - and then bump up the prices in the periphery.

From the "smiley face Made In America!" campaign to the handouts to new hires on how to apply for food stamps & other benefits subsidising their "policies" - the perfect amrkn corporate business model, sucking the life out of independent mainstreet business, shit the nest, move on. . .

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 15:23 | 1521661 goldfish1
goldfish1's picture

shit the nest, move on


Wed, 08/03/2011 - 12:54 | 1521062 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

if you told the people all the past months of unpaid mortgage payments were no longer owed if they just started making monthly payments from this point onward........they would still NOT make future payments.......GAME OVER !

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 12:55 | 1521069 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Rollback, bitchez.


Wed, 08/03/2011 - 12:57 | 1521076 EvlTheCat
EvlTheCat's picture


Wed, 08/03/2011 - 12:56 | 1521072 Rossalgondamer
Rossalgondamer's picture

"other retailers" = $ Store

Which is really only a half-step away from taking stuff directly out the back of a truck.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:18 | 1521185 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

Impromptu markets on the side of the road, set up by illegals are cheap.

Yuppie farmer's markets, not so much.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 15:10 | 1521618 fallout11
fallout11's picture

The free market at its most fundamental, I might add.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 12:57 | 1521074 Sutton
Sutton's picture

Their shoppers are moving up to Tiffany's, LuLuLemon, Coach and Nordstrom's.

Ben's QE123 has worked perfectly.

He is a genius.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 12:57 | 1521075 pepperspray
pepperspray's picture

The wife says she likes the Bonus Bucks she racks up at K-Mart.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 21:02 | 1522519 Iam_Silverman
Iam_Silverman's picture

"The wife says she likes the Bonus Bucks she racks up at K-Mart."

Are you old enough to remember S&H Green Stamps?  Or even Gold Bond Stamps?  Shooooooot, Piggly Wiggly was the place to shop!

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 12:57 | 1521077 artvandalai
artvandalai's picture

I also think it's because their service is getting worse and not better. They seem to be using ever fewer human cashiers leaving longer lines. To me it's noticable. They want you to use the self checkout instead.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:12 | 1521152 RmcAZ
RmcAZ's picture

+1... the last time I went to a WalMart, all they had open was self-checkout, and they did not have bags (!). You had to BUY the bags from the lone person who was running all the self-checkouts. I said fuckit and walked out with all my stuff and no bags.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:13 | 1521162 karzai_luver
karzai_luver's picture

You are among the last that will see self-check unless Homeland Security is ramped up in the parkig lot.


Walmart was/is being ROBBED blind by peeps using the self lines and the 80 year old dude that is guarding the line is in on the scam.


They are shutting down those lines everywhere.


The service(bwhhaahahaa) at the regular lines is third worldish. The whole environment in most of the Walmarts we see is toxic. people on the floor hate to be there.

Nice that they let us park the RV in the lot and you can't mess up bottled water,yet anyway.

On the "guest worker front" , yeah the downsize has hit that market here as well.


We have let go and cut back about 30 cash only jobs in the last month and those people and their spending are GONE. Oh and they spent everything they made, everything.



Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:21 | 1521200 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

Walmart's store policy is to let people shoplift if the item is not more than $20.

Many ghetto dwellers know this, and take advantage of it.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:31 | 1521244 karzai_luver
karzai_luver's picture

Grab 20 bucks of stuff and wander on out and see what happens!


Oh, make sure you are in black face so you get the free pass.




Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:45 | 1521296 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

Just hang out at the conveniently located McDs at the exit and observe.

Educate yourself, or STFU.

NEW YORK ( -- Wal-Mart is moving away from what it called a zero-tolerance policy on prosecuting shoplifters and will now only prosecute anyone caught taking merchandise worth $25 or more, according to a published report.

Ignorant is no way to go through life.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 14:39 | 1521531 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

Just hang out at the conveniently located McDs at the exit and observe.

so, you're saying you hang out at McDonald's in WalMart and interview people as to their "ghetto" address, as per your reportage?

Ignorant is no way to go through life.

no kiddin'


Wed, 08/03/2011 - 15:35 | 1521691 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

I'm a student of life. I've had all my pc illusions shattered.

Now I just deal with life as it arrives through my -- according to the pc liars -- lying eyes.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 20:38 | 1522467 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

"pc illusions/liars"?  use a laptop, less sad-face.

I still call bullshit on your "ghetto" commentary - just another made up story to fit prejudices.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 21:05 | 1522522 Iam_Silverman
Iam_Silverman's picture

"I've had all my pc illusions shattered."

So, now you're a.....Mac?


Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:54 | 1521368 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Not recently, but I've definitely seen a woman get gang tackled outside the door by both traditional and undercover security forces over a sweatshirt...  I'm pretty sure they take any kind of shoplifting seriously...  maybe they won't prosecute, etc., but they sure as fuck get their digs back.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 14:34 | 1521509 Agent P
Agent P's picture

I'll second that.  I was within five feet of a woman who got taken to the pavement with so much authority, it would have made your avatar proud.  I'm not sure what she took, but the six people that came after her were not happy.  She was quickly escorted through an inconspicuous door just inside the main entrance, where I presume she was waterboarded and flogged. 

The whole thing was over in a matter of seconds.  My kids looked up at me with the most serious "WTF?" looks on their faces...all I said was, "That's what happens to you if you steal.  Don't forget it." 

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 15:24 | 1521671 pods
pods's picture

Sorry, if someone did that to me without so much as a spoken word I would have to see it as a imminent threat to my life, and act accordingly.  


Wed, 08/03/2011 - 15:51 | 1521751 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Well, bruce leroy, it's gonna be pretty tough to kick some ass at the bottom of a pig pile...  dunno if you ever played football, but it's difficult to breathe, let alone mount any majestic ass kicking spree.

Further, it's one thing if a group of people bum rush your house in the middle of the night and don't announce who they are or what they are doing...  you have a totally different set of rights and responsibilities when it comes to being in a public place and having stolen items from said place in your possession...  If you want to tack on some additional felonies to your criminal record, that's fine, but my suggestion is to take a few to the kidneys and face and sue them later...  (but purchase the items you stole at another establishment...  you know, for added burn).

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 16:03 | 1521797 pods
pods's picture

Sorry, last place I would be is a pig pile.  In order for that to happen one would need to lose their situational awareness in order to be rushed like that.  If someone is walking towards me I do not put my head down and shirk it off. I greet them cordially, and I would notice several guys following me in Walmart.  It ain't difficult to know what is going on around you.

The last thing I would have in my possession would be a stolen item as well, especially at Walmart.

No criminal record, but that is beside the point.  I do not cede my rights when I walk into a public place, and neither should anyone else.  If someone who works there wants to inquire about something, fine.  If a gang of store thugs try to rush me?  Sorry, ain't gonna happen.   


Wed, 08/03/2011 - 17:48 | 1522133 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

I realize that tossing rentacops and geriatric door greeters isn't that difficult, but the way this scenario works is as follows: steal shit, walmart employees start trailing you, you make for the door, on the other side are a couple rentacops waiting for you, you turn around and the other employees have blocked you in... 

Yes, if you haven't stolen anything, they don't have a right to do shit...  but, if you have stolen something, they can do whatever is reasonable under the circumstances to retrieve their property...  the only way they can ensure that this will happen is to prevent you from leaving...  (although I've seen some get a mouthful of pavement...  close but no cigar).  Further, if you've stolen something, you don't get to escalate the situation...  so being situationally aware is meaningless unless you're planning on adding felonies to the list of charges or you have some viable means of escape (which you shouldn't if they've got you cornered).  All you can do is drop the stolen goods and run...  and hope to beat the cops getting there.

If you haven't stolen anything, then I advocate doing everything reasonable to protect yourself...  which may very well include testing whether rentacops wear cups or an elbow drop off the cashier table.  You don't give up any authority by walking into a public place (well, it certainly doesn't carry the same rights as your abode, but I digress), but you do give up plenty when you're in possession of stolen goods from the very business in which you're phystically present.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 21:12 | 1522540 pods
pods's picture

I gotcha now. I was looking at it as I was not stealing, and you were seeing it as a stealing situation.

Agreed on all points then.


Wed, 08/03/2011 - 15:25 | 1521673 goldfish1
goldfish1's picture

scarred for life

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 12:58 | 1521080 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture




...Wal-Mart’s core low-income customers...going to other [higher priced] retailers more often...

Wealth effect!

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:00 | 1521100 financeguru500
financeguru500's picture

No wealth effect. This is a misunderstanding about what the low income shoppers are shopping for. i believe they are finding more and more clearance sales at more expensive places that bring the prices to Walmart levels or even lower.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:34 | 1521264 karzai_luver
karzai_luver's picture

That's a big part of it , even with the tax giveaways to lure the Walmart into town to crash the local business the overhead on those monsters is still big big big.


Wed, 08/03/2011 - 14:48 | 1521546 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

It's no secret that larger grocery stores that stock multiple "flavours" of products, particularly perishables, are not moving the goods through like they used to, and mid-week shopping finds many things marked-to-move on "sell by" dates.

They're caught up in a loop that served them well when folk felt "prosperous" & rewarded themselves with "gourmet" variety - smaller stores, more careful selections offered, on the horizon.

Meanwhile, there are "grocery outlets" that also sell what is manufactured - some at full price in the supermarkets, same product cheaper in the outlets, until they lay off more people & downsize the manufacturing side, endless contraction. . .

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 12:58 | 1521082 SurferNate
SurferNate's picture

$0.99 store bitchez.  The one near me now stocks produce!

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 12:58 | 1521083 Calls and Putz
Calls and Putz's picture

Fact - Target is now cheaper than WalMart.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 12:58 | 1521084 financeguru500
financeguru500's picture

Yep, Walmart is not the cheapest place to shop anymore. People are spending more and more time at outlet stores and looking for clearance items at Target.

For instance, I went to the William Sonoma outlet while out shopping and found a really nice chef brand cast iron skillet for $12.50. This is a steal versus buying a cheaply made Walmart cast iron skillet for $26.95. Upon getting home I inspected the quality and thickness of the $12.50 skillet and found it to be significantly thicker and sturdier than the Walmart one.

Same thing goes for buying clothes at Target. You can go find the clearance rack and find shirts, pants, shorts etc for anywhere from 30-75% off usually buying each item for less than $6. This is for quality clothes made at Target versus the usually cheaper quality clothes at Walmart.


Though I have noticed a disturbing trend lately at Target. I usually shop there about once every two weeks and for the past 2 months, I have noticed their clearance items are usually only marked down 30% for general merchandise with clothes still at 30-75%. This is disturbing because usually you can find general merchandise clearance for 60% but lately it has been impossible to find anything marked down that low. I think Target is getting to a point where it is also razor thin on margins when it comes to clearance items.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:13 | 1521161 trav7777
trav7777's picture

I shop at Bloomingdales in an expensive mall for kids clothes.  There's a rack in the back where you can get like the $80 jeans and Polo crap and because they were returned, they are discounted sometimes twice.  I've picked up desirable brand stuff (for teens, you know how it is) for like Target prices. 

People who blindly just buy things are idiots

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 14:54 | 1521559 Peterpaul
Peterpaul's picture

Or you can use slickdeals to track which online sites are having the best clearance sales and buy as needed without leaving home. I just loaded up on school uniforms for my kids from Land's End. I bought two years worth of uniforms for about $5.50 per shirt or pair of pants...

It is amazing the quality you can buy if you are knowledgeable about the brands, pricing cycles, and PATIENT!!!!1

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 16:29 | 1521901 Smiddywesson
Smiddywesson's picture

"People who blindly just buy things are idiots"

That would be me Trav.

I can confirm what Trav is saying because my wife has shown me that the big name stores have the deepest cuts when they want to move things.

The problem is I hate to shop. 

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:26 | 1521224 Max Hunter
Max Hunter's picture

Clearance items at Target are a great deal.. Most of the time.. And even Walmart clearance is good.. be very careful in both places to check for quality.  I have a general rule though, I no longer by anything from Walmart with moving parts..

I even go to Close Out places like Big Lots too.. Found some really nice fairly high quality docker slacks.. real soft material I personally love them...  my size.. for 12 bucks.. Cool colors and they fit great.  I also got a new pair of cleats for softball, Pony's .. paid 8 bucks for them..

I do much of my grocery shopping at Costco.. and Walmart.. and another local outlet that is very competitive on groceries..

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 12:58 | 1521086 slicktroutman
slicktroutman's picture

I could never understand the stupid "Greeter" at the front door welcoming everyone to the store. I hate Walmart. They so perfectly represent what is wrong with America (China outsourcing of jobs/products)......

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:05 | 1521121 Doyle Hargraves
Doyle Hargraves's picture

WalMart Greeters Bitchez!

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:17 | 1521180 karzai_luver
karzai_luver's picture

They are greeting you only as a sherrif in a country jail would.


They are cheap security.



Wed, 08/03/2011 - 14:34 | 1521499 SilverRhino
SilverRhino's picture

Actually we have a guy at my local Wal Mart that sings to every customer coming in the door.   He's actually quite good and brings people back.


Wed, 08/03/2011 - 21:11 | 1522537 Iam_Silverman
Iam_Silverman's picture

"He's actually quite good and brings people back."

Is this a continuation of the shoplifting thread?

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 12:59 | 1521095 slyhill
slyhill's picture

Garden, and the rabbits it lures, bitchez.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 12:59 | 1521096 carbonmutant
carbonmutant's picture

If Walmart isn't buying China isn't selling...

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:00 | 1521099 TaxSlave
TaxSlave's picture

This is Bad News for China.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:19 | 1521196 DonnieD
DonnieD's picture

Waiting on an entrepreneur to open the Peso Store and take all of the dollar stores customers.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:50 | 1521352 Missiondweller
Missiondweller's picture

LOL! Actually, in the SF Bay Area we have Mi Pueblo. Pretty close to that.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 15:41 | 1521718 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

El Rancho and Fiesta here. They compete.

Crazy good prices on meat.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:57 | 1521386 Manthong
Manthong's picture

At the rate the dollar is going, it could be a Tienda Centavo.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 18:52 | 1521102 Manthong
Manthong's picture

The average Obama voter is shunning cheap Chinese crap from Wal-Mart for cheaper Chinese crap from the cheaper dollar stores.

Um.. OK, for the critics, how's this:  

Discerning redistributionists yearning for a fundamentally transformed America are changing their preferred source and caliber of Chinese imports to even lower levels.  

Actually, I like Walmart and I don’t mind the “Five and Dime” model for very inexpensive items. I frequented many a Woolworth’s and Kresge’s in my time when the cheap import stuff was Japanese.

It is an “interesting” phenomena and snapshot of changing American demographics that such strong influence and brand presence is being built in that vertical against a behemoth like Walmart given the low price points involved.

The concern is that the whole country is (d)evolving into “Dollar Store America”.



Thu, 08/04/2011 - 00:39 | 1522974 TheAlchemist
TheAlchemist's picture

The concern is that the whole country is (d)evolving into “Dollar Store America”.


I'd say it's more that people are looking for prices to stay stable which is impossible given the real rate of inflation which most people have no idea how to calculate but feel the direct effect of in their back pocket.

There is one food item I steadily watch the price of.  It's a common dairy product and is a name brand.  I've watched the price increase nearly 40% over the past 18 months, and it's not due to a lack of supply.

People are trying to find the best deals because their increase in income (if they still have a job) isn't outpacing the evermore rapid increase in prices.  It's not that the country is devolving into dollar store America, it's that people simply can't buy what they used to with what little they have left.

Thu, 08/04/2011 - 07:42 | 1523186 Manthong
Manthong's picture

And, " the whole country is (d)evolving into “Dollar Store America" because "people simply can't buy what they used to with what little they have left." on account of the fact that the freaking government steals the resources of the productive and synthesizes fraudulent resources in a delusional attempt to create an impossible multicultural, open border, secular, progressive, free, utopian paradise that is not in any way consistent with reality.



Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:00 | 1521103 Burgess Shale
Burgess Shale's picture

Dollar stores stink of chinese corner-cutting and poison baby food.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:01 | 1521109 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

Wal Mart prices have been skyrocketing for some items. You can't just go in there and buy everything anymore. I make a weekly trip there but endeavor to buy less each time. So far my bill has been half what it was.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:15 | 1521169 RmcAZ
RmcAZ's picture

It's transitory.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:05 | 1521112 vast-dom
vast-dom's picture

No shit. And foot traffic will increase in pet stores and slaughterhouses for wholesale horse meat.

Wal-Mart has on so many levels been long-standing part of structural problem; ie save a bit now and have nothing later; ie export your very own job away while maintaining untenable standard of living as compared to overseas worker that just replaced your ass. 

Shit b fucked up and none-too-confidential. 


Wed, 08/03/2011 - 14:56 | 1521566 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

at least 4 members of the Wal-Mart Walton family in Forbes top billionaires list.

that's really all you need to know about Wal-Mart.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:05 | 1521117 tim73
tim73's picture bitches! From CHINA! Cutting out the middlemen...

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:05 | 1521120 Caveman93
Caveman93's picture


Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:06 | 1521126 onlooker
onlooker's picture

I have shopped 99cent stores in California for years. This last 2 years I notice much more traffic and upper scale buyers. No Porsches in the parking lot but Mercedes not uncommon.


Costco offers some better buys than Wal-Mart if you don’t mind larger volume.


But lets face it, a lot of people are broke.


Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:18 | 1521183 trav7777
trav7777's picture

lot of people hedonically adjusting to poisoned food and soon to just poison in order to hang onto that Merc lease so they don't end up on Repo Games

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:21 | 1521202 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Melamine Mart is doing an IPO soon.

Their motto is:

Life is short. Eat a lot of Melamine.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 14:23 | 1521488 SoCalBusted
SoCalBusted's picture

Technically they are now 99.9 cent stores as they have increased their prices too.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 14:41 | 1521538 goldfish1
goldfish1's picture

First, Wal Mart prices aren't all that. Same for Sams Club - big WalMart.



The larger grocery store weekly specials are a much better buy. CVS sale items are a better buy. Dollar Tree where everything is $1 like a twin pack Diamond matches, graduations cards at 2/$1, gift wrap, generic oxyclean.


Also, middle class shoppers who have a bit of a brain aren't all about chinese WalMart.


People may not have money, but poor people get $$$+++ of food stamps that are taking up the slack where walmart would be feeling the pinch, imo.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:10 | 1521128 FedNoGoldYes
FedNoGoldYes's picture

There once was a country, U.S.

Who's Fed Chairman pulled levers by guess

It went down the tubes

as its leaders were boobs

Lipstick does not this pig dress


So were fucked and we certainly know it

And the markets, beyond the lies show it

Your paper is junk

Desipite all the bunk

If you have any cash you should blow it


So go out and get lots of gold

to avoid being thrown out in the cold

Or the banksters will steal

with the next debt ceilng deal

and mere words that were tested and polled


1913 is when shit got real

And the banksters were licensed to steal

If you don't want to get screwed

Listen to me, dude

You'd better get money that's real


My last word on the subject for now

As I watch PPT saving the DOW

... you've been given warning to heed

Get metals before the stampede

Or to bankster dictators you'll bow


Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:08 | 1521135 Sutton
Sutton's picture

When I need to buy a "I'm With Stupid" t-shirt, I go to Walmart.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:09 | 1521137 Hedgetard55
Hedgetard55's picture

Goodwill, bitchez.

I picked up a never been used Melitta espresso machine (real espresso machine with a pump) for $8.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:14 | 1521165 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



flag as awesome in so many ways (1)

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:28 | 1521232 -Michelle-
-Michelle-'s picture

Goodwill and a sewing machine.  I buy XXL men's clothing and use them as fabric to make my kids' clothes.  Much cheaper than buying yardage and the fabric is higher quality.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 15:09 | 1521610 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

Goodwill "bins" - where they warehouse the stuff that hasn't moved through the stores, which are silly priced on many clothing items locally - huge long waist high wooden tables piled high with clothes - some nasty, but if you don't mind picking through you can often find vintage silk, etc. - which can be "upcycled" into great one-of-a-kind clothing. . . yard sales, church rummage sales, same.

Years ago I used to frequent European street markets doing much the same - why look like everyone else, only cattle need BRANDing.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 20:31 | 1522380 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

CA, if you wanna pick through some serious piles, go down to Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.   they have a flea market every week where all the amerikon castoffs get shipped.   piles upon piles upon piles of stuff.    mostly branded (funny to see the Mayan men wear western brands while the women still dress in traditional garb), but some quality gems to be found everytime.    it's a scavenger's paradise.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 20:54 | 1522503 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

sadly, I don't travel like I used to - obvious reasons - but here's my related tale:

there's a famous/notorious street market in Glasgow Scotland, called Paddy's Market, under railway arches with indoor stalls & storage, but more outdoor "space" - it used to be pretty rough, but I loved it - the indoor spaces had HUGE bundles of clothing, like bedsheets tied round the clothes, and the (mainly) women would pull out a different bundle each time, put it on the ground & untie, etc. - I was always after a bundle I could see a particular piece of 40's or 50's patterned article, but those women were fierce about their patch - until they got to know me, no amount of begging would get them to pull one from their mental rotation!  Glasgow women are some tough gals!

different market, Brick Lane in London, similar tale - except the bundles were often old sari fabrics - which to my eyes, is 6-8 yds. of amazingly patterned cloth, often shot through with gold/silver threads. . .

I got by for a long while buying up clothes, remaking & reselling to hipster/musicians in Camden market, easy way to stay out of the "job" treadmill & meet fascinating characters. . .

(I do have some Guatemalan "ghost cloth" given to me - hand woven, with a faint figure in the background threads. . . beautiful)

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 21:50 | 1522633 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

haha great story, thanks.   yeah, the gold & silver threads always catch my eye too.   wonder why that is?

si, if you walk through the villages up in the mountains, you see that pretty much all the homes are dominated by a hand loom.   the sound of them all reverberate through the streets, like an organic techno beat.   very naturally psychedelic.

and si, that place is filled with ghosts, ghost and trickster spirits.   if you put that ghost cloth up to your ear, you might hear them tell you that they are flying North for the Winter, also that cloth will protect you always, no matter what happens.   but those are just old indian tales, right?

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:34 | 1521245 wang (not verified)
wang's picture

goodwill is great as are the other thrift stores  and some consignment stores

but the best are  Craigs List curb alerts and church sales expecially the ones in high income areas


but beware of bedbugs in  upholstered items espceially from thrift stores but also mainstream stores etc

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:48 | 1521343 aheady
aheady's picture

Goodwill is fantastic. They play great music to shop by (the records people drop off) and I'm sorry but there's nothing better than a good, already broken-in pair of dungarees.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 15:00 | 1521583 goldfish1
goldfish1's picture

Yard sale. Got a brand new Braun coffee bean grinder for $3.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 15:17 | 1521639 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

Yard sales are great anthropological *digs* - you can see what conned-sumers were sold, and watch the decline as things go from relatively "nice" to cheap 'n' nasty. . . and which items turn up over and over - like "Ab-buster" crap, or aluminuim cookware, or plastic dishes. etc.

and love the stuff still in the box, unused - grats on the grinder, ha!

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 15:26 | 1521677 aheady
aheady's picture

Always get a kick out of the microwave cooking gadgets... "You can grill, bake, and roast in the microwave!" RIGHT.

Sat, 08/06/2011 - 13:47 | 1531029 hurdygurdypauli...
hurdygurdypauliepoodle's picture

Errrm, actually you can.  I have a metal turntable, roast pan, grill pans as I have a combo microwave/bake/convection that looks and works like a microwave, because it is. Being it is about 22 years old, I guess you wouldn't have heard of them yet.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 15:35 | 1521698 pods
pods's picture

I cannot look when I go by a yardsale.  The kid in me will always see the fish tank or birdcage and Mrs. pods just does not see the need in having any more of that crap around the house.  I'm still a 10 year old inside thinking "this would be perfect for the baby birds I find."


Wed, 08/03/2011 - 19:17 | 1522294 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

ha, yes I have the bad habit of seeing things I can "repurpose" - luckily live on shared acreage, so not only is there space for storing "artifacts" most times someone else finds a use, and I'm off the hook!

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 16:35 | 1521925 Smiddywesson
Smiddywesson's picture

Goodwill.  I got a BrooksBrothers navy blazer for $5 and it was in great shape and my exact size.


Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:09 | 1521138 walküre
walküre's picture

Walmart should start offering precious metals. Maybe that will drive traffic back.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 13:10 | 1521142 Highrev
Highrev's picture

Lots of bad news. Sell-offs end with histronic bad news.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!