Thursday, July 2, 2009

WalMart Again

I went to WalMart yesterday. Try to contain your excitement.

I visited one of the stores that is undergoing a make-over. I blogged about it a few weeks ago, and this was the first chance I had to look around.

WalMart wants health & beauty to be near the groceries. It's part of an effort to keep customers from being forced to run all around the building. Colors are brighter. Aisles are wider. Shelves are lower. Life has meaning again.

Business has always fascinated me. I took a bunch of public relations, marketing, and advertising courses in college. It was interesting to see how the largest retailer in the country is trying to get more people through the doors and increase sales.

WalMart deserves credit for attempting to tweak an already successful formula. There are too many companies out there that resist evolution. They find something that works, and then stick with it while the competitors make changes that move them ahead. There dozens of examples. One readily pops into my head-- the U.S. auto industry. It did very little while the Japanese were cleaning its clocks.

I guess serious WalMart shoppers will be thrilled. I have to level with you. The changes didn't make a big impression. I walked out of there with a belt, a bottle of diet root beer, and a newspaper. The major reason I visit WalMart is it's always open.

It was around 8 am, so the store wasn't crowded. There was no issue with my major WalMart complaint-- slow check outs and long lines.

Some fellow shoppers seemed lost and annoyed. All you have to do is look at the signs hanging from the ceiling. We'll get used to it.