Big corporations are complex entities. They look glossy on the outside but behind that facade, there are all sorts of shady secrets they try hard to keep hidden. And the more the corporation has to interact with the general public, the more frantic it gets trying to keep the rotten underbelly from being exposed. With that ominous introduction, you probably know what’s coming. Walmart is in the title so obviously, we’re going to look at 10 secrets Walmart doesn’t want you to know.
Store-brand Supplements Are Not Worth It
Not the darkest secret in the bag nor is it the biggest skeleton in the Walmart closet but we’re just getting started here. Now the thing about supplements is that unless they’re prescribed by a doctor and come from a reputable and trusted source, you should really steer clear from them. But some people find them hard to resist. After all, taking a pill is always much easier than stuffing one’s face with green veggies. And if you are one of those people who just can’t do without supplements, then the last place you’d want to stock up on your precious pills would be Walmart. Especially their store-brand supplements. Why? Well, for one thing, the pills may not contain as much of the beneficial ingredients as is written on the package. I mean it doesn’t take a genius to figure this one out. The supplements are cheaper than in other stores and even cheaper than other brands sold right next to it, so something is up. And that’s what’s up. The good stuff that’s supposed to benefit your body is missing. In other words, you could be just shovelling down a bunch of placebos stuffed with flour and sawdust. So just because they’re cheap it doesn’t mean you’re saving money. Most likely you’d be throwing money down the drain for something that will do you no good at all.
Now we all know that discrimination in the workplace is a serious problem. And most large corporations do their best to polish their public image and show that this kind of behavior is not tolerated. For years Google would go with “Do No Evil!” It was a good motto until lawsuits piled up against Google then they dropped it. Walmart prefers to go with “Equal Opportunity Employer.” It sounds good and gives the brand a spotless clean image. But how true is that motto? And is Walmart really an equal opportunity employer? Judging by the lawsuits, we’re going to say no. And it’s not just that thing about equal opportunity either. There’s been a slew of discrimination against pregnant women, but it’s not just that. It’s against women in general. There are two decades worth of sexual harassment lawsuits to take into consideration. For years the company has swept under the rug all complaints of sexual harassment that employees had filed against their colleagues. Instead of taking action and putting a stop to the rampant problems, the company chose to look the other way. This has led many of the victims of such horrendous behavior to either leave the job or bear it silently. Most of the job descriptions the company puts out in its ads make it clear the job is male-oriented and targeted towards men not women.
Avoid Walmart Organic Food
Organic groceries imply lack of antibiotics and clean and healthy food to put on your table. Of course, this healthy food comes at a price. Organic food is usually pricier than its non-organic counterpart. But if you can afford it, you won’t have a problem with paying a little more. Unless you’re shopping in Walmart that is. Because then you’ll be paying a whole lot more to get your organic food than you would at other retail chains. In general, the food section in Walmart is its least appealing one. In fact, you’d do yourself a big favor doing your weekly grocery shopping at other places such as Aldi or Trader Joe’s. The low quality of the food items and the price tags both make Walmart a bad choice. And this problem is nowhere more obvious than in the organic section. A recent review of the major retail chains has found that Walmart usually charges its customers a lot more for organic food than its competitors. If you have the time you can check it for yourself. Just visit the websites of the retailers near you and compare prices. You’ll find that Walmart’s prices for organic food are always higher than other retailers.
No Background Checks
Every employer no matter how big or small tries to vet new employees before hiring them. This is especially true if the employee is someone who will be interacting with the customers. Background checks ensure that the staff has no criminal records or violent past that might put the public at risk. It’s also a great policy to ensure the company will not be liable for lawsuits if an employee loses it with a customer. Which makes it all the more puzzling that Walmart will not follow that reasonable policy of checking the background of their employees before hiring them. And since Walmart has a firearms section you can begin to get the picture here. What if a convicted felon started handling firearms at Walmart? And if you think this was a remote possibility, then think again. Someone once posted on Reddit, the social platform, how Walmart had hired their convicted brother to work in the hunting department. Now the safety of everyone who enters the store is at risk. This includes not just the customers but also the other employees who have no clue what kind of person is handling firearms in the hunting department. And of course not having background checks means Walmart might hire people previously accused of sexual harassment in their previous jobs, thus exacerbating their own sexual harassment problems.
As with most businesses, Walmart usually tries to attract customers by offering discounted prices online. You just go to their website and browse around. You’ll find daily promotions and discounts on several items and products. As we said, this is a normal practice that almost all retailers do. And if you go to the store you will find the same product being sold at a different price. There’s no scam here. Because the online prices change almost on a daily basis, the various outlets of the giant retailer don’t adjust their prices to match those offered online. So that’s where you come in. Now Walmart’s policy is if the same product has a lower price on a Walmart website you will get that discounted price not the one at the store. So while shopping at Walmart make sure to have your phone with you. Enter the name of the product on the Walmart website and see the price it offers. If it’s less than the price at the store, show the discounted price to the cashier and they will adjust it on the spot. Just remember that the product has to match the item in the store. Same name, brand, and size.
Harsh Work Conditions
We’ve all heard it before. Giant companies benefiting from sweatshops in poor countries where the work conditions are abhorrent and the workers get treated unfairly. It has to do with cutting down the cost of labor and increasing their profit margins. Higher profits mean the shareholders are happy and the top executives in the company get enormous annual bonuses. But what has Walmart got to do with this? Well, apparently, everything. You see, Walmart has someone else to please besides the shareholders and the stock market. And that is the customer. The only way to please the retail customer is to offer cheap prices. Price wars are a common thing among retail giants. But how do you cut down costs and offer the customer a good product at a low rate while still showing good profit margins at the end of the fiscal year? Well, the answer is in the sweatshops that use child labor in poor countries. And it’s not that Walmart directly hires these workers and subjects them to these subhuman conditions. But Walmart deals with the companies that employ these people. Even when the media exposes the harsh conditions in these factories, you would think that Walmart would stop working with them. But that’s not what happens. Since profit is the goal, the corporation will not bother with things like workers rights and fair pay as long as they happen thousands of miles away.
Keep an Eye on Deep Discounts
There are two types of shoppers. Those who drive to the nearest retailer with or without a shopping list. They go in there, grab a cart and start filling it up with the stuff they need. Then they head to the nearest checkout, pay, and leave. And there’s the other type of shoppers who go prepared. They check online and compare prices. They know which days the retailer offers discounts on groceries and when there’s a promotion in the meat section. That type of customer knows what they want, when to buy it, and in many cases, how much they will pay for it. Now guess which type pays less and winds up with the best deals? The second customer of course. Walmart and other retail giants rely on the first type of customer to make a profit. It’s true, Walmart offers discounts, but these are mainly targeted at the second type of customer. The one who searches and compares, and decides where to shop. Even big discount events like Black Friday shouldn’t be taken for granted. In the days leading up to Black Friday keep an eye on the prices of the items you want to buy. Then you’ll know if you’re really getting them at a good discount on Black Friday or if you’re being ripped off.
The Early Bird
You must have heard of the early bird adage. Well, it’s more than an adage and it’s not just that your mom was trying to get you out of bed in time to catch the school bus. And if you were wondering what kind of worm you were supposed to catch as you hustled bleary-eyed every morning to get to school on time, well, Walmart has got the answer. See, the retail giant tends to offer big discounts on groceries early in the day then take them down around noon. These discounts are usually on food from the previous day which hasn’t been sold and would be returned unless you snag it first. Bread from yesterday gets a hefty discount before the bread is removed from the shelf. So if you manage to make your way to the store early in the morning, you’ll find most of these food items sold at a great price. And that is the worm that the early bird gets. It’s a lot of savings on food. Do you think that’s worth getting up early for?
The Clearance Section
This is not exactly a secret, but most people who spend hours shopping at Walmart go blissfully unaware of its existence. We’re talking of course about the clearance section. Now, every Walmart outlet has got one. And they keep it out of the way as much as possible. That means you’ll need to do some digging and walking around looking for it. Or you could just ask the manager where they keep their clearance section. So why would you want to check them anyway? Well, for the great discounts obviously. These sections have everything the store has failed to sell. Instead of returning it or dumping it in one of their stores, they keep these items piled together in a secluded section. You can find toys sold cheap or even electronics. Keep in mind that not all outlets will keep their heavily discounted items in one place. You can find them on the lowest shelves for example. So you will need to literally dig deep and bend over to reach those valuable items. That’s the real takeaway here. Don’t go shopping without a plan. Be prepared to research and spend some time looking for the best deals and big discounts.
Say No to Walmart Furniture
Who doesn’t love cheap stuff? All along we’ve been focusing on how to get the best deals and pay less to get more. So what’s wrong with Walmart’s cheap stuff? Well, nothing if you’re buying bread or non-organic vegetables. But if you’re buying durables such as furniture, then you’d better shop around. When it comes to furniture you don’t want to go cheap. This is not something you’ll be buying every day, week, month, or even year. You want your furniture to last until you get tired of looking at it and replace it. Walmart furniture has a knack for collapsing when you least expect it to. It’s as if that furniture had a mind of its own, with no sense of loyalty. The furniture tends to get bored with their new owners quite quickly. So just when you’re about to get used to your new couch or chair or that quaint coffee table with the weird colors, your brand new furniture calls it a day and commits a treacherous act of self-destruction. So while the price seems great at the time, as many have said before: you get what you pay for. Get more bang for your buck by checking out my other awe posts. Thanks for reading!