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I just got back from my first visit to the new Wal-Mart here in Modesto on McHenry. What follows is the first impressions of a person who was in retail for a decade (was an ASM for K-Mart back in the day. . ) and was in business for a total of two decades.
I had heard from those in my wife's office that the new W-M was not at all up to par. Calling it a "superstore" was a bit of a misnomer the food section was undersized. . but I digress.
As I walked up to the store, just for the heck of it, and feeling in a jovial Xmas eve mood, I asked a guy who had just come out, what if he thought it was the greatest store ever. He looked at me, like I was crazy, and shook his head and said "NO."
I put that off as shopping fatigue.
I entered the store, and tried to get the attention of a managerial type to find the Christmas cards quickly (guy here - don't like to shop, let me get in and get out). She turned away before we made eye contact (point for her) Undaunted, I followed along until she joined the "clot" of three other sales associates. I let her deliver her urgent message (apparently picked up at the Service Desk just prior) then asked the assembled brain trust where the Christmas cards were. One young Mensan looked at me, said something I couldn't make out, and walked by me. Two girls stood there as they had before I came up and said nothing. Ms. Managerial walked by my saying she would show me. I followed in tow. As we hurried to the cards, I told her of my experience in the parking lot. I am not sure her opinion could have been lesser had we been standing in a hold chatting. (If you don't get the reference, don't worry, only 2% of the population can probably.)
So finding my card and then the electronics dept, I found one clerk who must have just transferred in from a place where the people still give a damn about customer service. She helped me find my DVD and I went to the checkout area. There the clerk was looking around (not for customers to help, but to probably make time move faster). I asked her if she could help me. No response. I came around the end of the checkout station and placed my DVD on the counter. Her response. None, no greeting. She did continue to gaze off in other directions (if only she was actually watching customers, I would have been impressed. . . ) She finished our scene, her lethargic, and me, wondering why I didn't listen to my wife's co-workers. Modesto needed another Wal-Mart like this one, like a hole in our collective heads. The jobs and tax revenue are nice, but jeeeze. Wonder how long this place will last in next year's economy. The parking is way inadequate and 8 of ten employees I interacted with were strictly bush league. Sam, I am sure you are rolling in your pine box. . .