Monday, January 12, 2009

Nasty Filthy Boars

I was at the local Wal-Mart today, looking for a space heater. I love Wal-Mart, they always have what I want, and the prices are pretty decent.

Though they had a lot of space heaters to choose from, I was dismayed by the messy display. None of the space heaters were in boxes. Oh, there were boxes for them, but they were scattered on the shelves and some were even on the floor.

It was like a heard of wild animals rampaged through, removing all the products and leaving everything in a state of disaster.

I can understand people opening up boxes to check out the merchandise – I do that too occasionally, to ensure I’m getting something of quality and value.

But I am always neat, and if I intend to open something, I always look for one that is already opened, because I never buy something not in a sealed package.
It’s like buying underwear, would you buy a pair of undies from an open pack? You don’t know who – or worse what – they were on before.

Granted, a space heater isn’t as much of a personal item as a pair of underwear, but it is still better to have a non-opened package than one which may have been damaged by someone else, and simply placed back on the shelf.

Getting back to the Wal-Mart mess – I know we are in the midst of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression many moons ago, which is why I was just as amazed as shocked to see the mess. In retail, as with many other things in life, presentation has a huge impact on success. The neater and more inviting a store, the more likely people will actually buy things at that store.
It’s why many real estate sales people will tell you to make sure your house is spotless if you are selling it. Some even advise to bake an apple pie just prior to a showing – the smells of the apple pie will fill the house, making it all the more inviting to potential buyers.

Wal-Mart may be the largest retailer in the world, but they are certainly not immune from the recession we’re in. They even announced last week that their sales are down, and that they may have to take extra measures to ensure they don’t succumb to the same fate as the auto makers.

Maybe they haven’t started those extra measures yet, because having a messy – no FILTHY – store certainly stopped me from purchasing my space heater there. I went to the nearest competitor just on the other side of the mall, Sears, and got a nice unit there.

Sears had a far better display than mega Wal-Mart. They had one model out for every type on sale, which was plugged in, so I could try each one out before buying. And those not out for trying, were all in sealed boxes, neatly stacked and easily accessible, making it very easy for me to simply grab what I wanted and make the buy.

Today, Wal-Mart lost some of my business, which in these tough economic times isn’t good for any business – no matter how big or small that business is.

Maybe this recession will do us some good, and filter out the businesses that really deserve to be in business, from those that just don’t give a rat’s ass?

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