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Walmart ended up competing with itself

Published: September 27, 2013 4:00 AM

The movers and shakers that comprise the brain trust at Walmart headquarters are scratching their heads. They can't figure out why their sales are slumping, along with their profits. Their warehouses and back rooms are filled to the ceiling with products that aren't selling as well as they should be. It doesn't take a business genius to see what went wrong. It simply takes someone with a little common sense.

Let's consider the Streetsboro store as an example. A couple of decades ago Walmart decided to build a store in Streetsboro. They got the standard 10-year tax abatement from the city and proceeded to build their store. Of course, nine years later they closed up shop at that store and built a Super Walmart a little ways up the road. This has been the Walmart practice throughout the country.

By undercutting prices they managed to drive out most of the competition. The Streetsboro store not only drew consumers from Streetsboro, but also drew consumers from the surrounding communities. Shoppers came from Aurora, Ravenna, Rootstown, Stow and many other nearby communities.

But then Walmart got greedy. They felt that since the Streetsboro store was doing so well, they should build more Walmart stores in neighboring communities and their profits would surely soar. So they built stores in Bainbridge, Kent and some other nearby communities. But instead of profits and sales increasing, they began to shrink. Shoppers from Aurora, Rootstown, Stow, etc., were no longer shopping at the Streetsboro store. They had other Walmarts closer to home. So, in effect, Walmart ended up competing against itself.

As a result, they began to cut back on their overhead by letting some employees go and cutting back on their full-time employees and replacing them with part-timers in order to avoid providing any kind of benefits. And still, profits and sales are declining. For their latest gimmick they are launching a "Made in America" campaign. But it may be too little, too late.

Steve F. Berecek, Hiram

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johnraven43 Sep 28, 2013 5:56 PM

The "Kent" or "Ravenna" Walmart is at the Ravenna Twp-Franklin Twp border.  I believe it is commonly refered to as Kent but is actually in Ravenna Twp.  The Streetsboro orginal Wal*Mart opened acouple of years before the Ravenna.   It takes a specific number to staff a store.  If the customer base is spread through too many stores, the prices would have to rise to support the minimun number of employees.   The Kent K Mart closed.  K Mart does have different items especially since a few years ago WalMart adopted a policy of wanting to sell the goods before they had to be paid for, thus only the quickest moving items would be stocked.


little_r_republican Sep 27, 2013 12:54 PM

They can cmpete with themselves all they want....I want the lowest price for comparable goods etc.

childofgod Sep 27, 2013 10:55 AM

The Kent - Ravenna Wal Mart on SR 59 opened before the Streetsboro store by a few months.

user_20921 Sep 27, 2013 10:28 AM

I was in the Streetsboro store a few days ago and was pretty surprised at how messy and understocked the shelves were in the store.  I have no desire to go back in there.

grampa Sep 27, 2013 9:39 AM

Kent doesn't need a Walmart.  There is a Walmart in Ravenna, and another one in Brimfield.  I still shop at the Streetsboro Walmart because, for some reason, many of the prices are lower there than in the Ravenna Walmart.  I buy groceries at Giant Eagle, though, because both Walmarts have only four motorized carts and on most days three of them are out of order.  GE, even though it's a much smaller store, usually has around eight of them.

Ian_Maserb Sep 27, 2013 6:45 AM

There is no Walmart in Kent.