Walmart profits down due to theft, left seems happy

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Walmart profits down due to theft, left seems happy

Postby Bill Whatcott » Wed Aug 19, 2015 4:21 am

Walmart security camera picks up this woman as she makes off with $750 worth of merchandice.
Notice she is well fed and clothed. She made it out of the parking lot in a four door vehicle.

The comments section of this story is telling. A number of left oriented posters are defending those who steal from the world's largest retailer.

For those who believe Canadians are hungry and therefore entitled to steal, they should come here to the Philippines and you can see real hunger. I see people laying on the street covered in flies and in my first day when I went to the market nearly ran out of pesos trying to help people who have no social safety net and no hope of ever getting a job. The leftists here badmouthing Walmart's wages and talking about hunger don't even know what they are talking about.

I worked for a short time at Walmart after losing my nursing career in my battle with Planned Parenthood. The pay was less (less than half) than what I made as a nurse, but the work (stalking shelves was not that challenging either.) If Walmart payed stockers what the government borrows to pay nurses, Walmart would be bankrupt in a week and most of you would moan as you would lose your most affordable source for granola and sandals.

Here is a cursory list of what the poor in Canada have, (Filipinos living on the streets of Lipa do not have any of this), Food banks, soup kitchens, welfare, student loans and bursaries, EI, a job if you are not choosy and are willing to look. No, Canada does not have a hunger problem, it has a moral problem and that is why there is theft.

I should also note I only see the churches trying to alleviate hunger here and the nuns and ministers who do the work are mostly poor (By Canadian standards) themselves. The hunger alleviation, at least in Lipa is sporadic. In Toronto a free food connoisseur with a bus pass could literally hit 21 free food outlets and eat at all of them if he/she started for breakfast at 8 am and finished with supper at 6 PM.

Furthermore, when Canadian public sector employees, judges, Liberal and NDP activists, and academics show up here in the Philippines, they don't come to do humanitarian work, they usually only come as sex tourists.

Bill Whatcott

Wal-Mart is getting hit so hard by thieves, it’s actually weighing on the retailer’s earnings

Kyle Stock and Shannon Pettypiece, Bloomberg News
August 18, 2015 1:24 PM ET ... s-earnings

Walmart’s theft problem swelled in a period when it was hiring employees, paying them more, and bulking up staffing across the board.
AP Photo/Danny JohnstonWalmart’s theft problem swelled in a period when it was hiring employees, paying them more, and bulking up staffing across the board.

Wal-Mart has a shrinkage problem, and it’s not the Seinfeld variety. It’s the kind that, in retail industry jargon, refers to stealing and losing stock to damage or poor inventory management.

In explaining a fairly dismal quarterly result on Tuesday morning, the massive retailer called out shrinkage again and again. In the press release, it was mentioned three times. In the conference call, it came up 13 times. That’s a lot of shrinkage. Walmart sales, in fact, were pretty decent, but expenses weighed on the company’s profit. Part of those expenses entailed writedowns for inventory that just disappeared. Store employees say they have seen everything from customers stealing meat in their pants to thieves bursting out a back door with a shopping cart full of electronics to be loaded into a waiting car.

What’s more, Walmart’s chief financial officer, Charles Holley, said he expects the problem to persist. Walmart is restarting a program to teach employees how to spot thieves, be they coworkers or would-be consumers. Meanwhile, it is auditing its entire supply chain to “close gaps” while it adds staff to parts of stores in which items tend to vanish. Many stores now station an employee at the exit to check customers’ receipts.

Walmart is also dealing with waste from poor management of stock rooms and inventory, said Holley. When backrooms get clogged with merchandise, it can be difficult to know what items need to be marked down and moved to the sales floor. And too much food is getting damaged or going bad before it can be sold.

How big of a problem is shrinkage? For the typical vendor, it amounts to about 1.4 per cent of sales, according to a 2014 survey by the National Retail Federation. About 38 per cent of that is caused by shoplifting, an additional 35 per cent via theft by employees, and the rest reflects damaged goods, cashier errors, and other administrative slip-ups. Walmart hasn’t said how much stuff is being nicked, but at that rate, it would be losing roughly US$7 billion a year to thieves. In short, the return on any kind of shrinkage-prevention program is probably pretty good.

The thing about shrinkage, however, is that chief executive officers don’t like to talk about it, which makes today’s statements from Walmart particularly telling. Of all earnings conference calls by Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index companies in the past year, shrinkage was mentioned on only 21 occasions. It’s been a bit of a problem at Whole Foods and the “Dollar” stores, but executives typically cite stealing only when they are cracking down on thieves.

Lowe’s, for example, has been bragging about “best-in-class inventory shrink performance.” Home Depot said its theft- prevention added .07 per cent to its gross margin in the fourth quarter.

Walmart’s theft problem swelled in a period when it was hiring employees, paying them more, and bulking up staffing across the board. Meanwhile, the company has a second shrinkage problem to contend with this morning: its stock price.
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Bill Whatcott
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