The Wal-Mart that I regularly frequent (located in Panama City Beach, FL) has been under renovation and remodeling for about the past month. So it was with relative calm that I noticed that their excellent postcard carousel was not in its regular place near the front door, because just about everything has been moved around during this hectic period of construction and relocations.
After making an inquiry at the service desk, as to where they had been relocated, it was determined, after some phone calls to the stock room, that postcards had been removed from the sales floor permanently. I was shocked, no more postcards for sale at Wal-Mart???!!!
The very courteous lady working at the service desk agreed with me that it didn't make much business sense to remove postcards from the merchandise mix of a store located in the heart of a beach town. Not only that but Wal-Mart had the largest selection and best prices on postcards anywhere in this area and I USE POSTCARDS!
After inquiring as to who I could contact about this matter, I was given a toll-free number to call that put me in touch with their corporate headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas. Within three minutes I had a live service representative on the line who took down all of the pertinent information and said she would forward it to the appropriate persons in charge of such matters. She thanked me for calling and asked if she could help me with anything else. I said no and politely hung up.
It was not with a little surprise that I received a voice message on our phone this morning from the manager of the Panama City Beach store thanking me for calling Wal-Mart headquarters and alerting them to this particular situation. He agreed that it was a mistake to remove these items and said that they would be reinstated just as soon as there was a final clearance from the corporate office. He thanked me again and said that they would be back on the sales floor in the very near future.
I had placed my call to Bentonville on Thursday and the problem was resolved with a personal response on Sunday via the corporate headquarters of the largest retailer on the planet! Now try getting that kind of response from any branch of the government. Take your pick and good luck!
Why do so many people choose to label Wal-Mart as "evil" and "predatory" when it has in fact gained all of its wealth and market share through voluntary transactions with its customers, who are free to shop wherever they want?
Why are these very same people just as reluctant to label their own government with the same type of terminology? It is the government, after all, which obtains its wealth by theft and coercion and is currently responsible for the bloody deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent, mostly impoverished, people. It always bewilders and amazes me to hear otherwise intelligent and apparently sane people utter such nonsensical clap-trap.
Pretty soon I'll be sending out more Florida postcards. I'm just waiting for my friendly neighborhood Wal-Mart to put them back in their store where they belong.