|The Wal-Mart Challenge for March 1, 2012: Will you take it up?|
Bill Simon, CEO of Wal-Mart’s U.S. business, at a Goldman Sachs conference last week, on behavior at a Walmart store around midnight at the end of a month:
“The paycheck cycle we’ve talked about before remains extreme. It is our responsibility to figure out how to sell in that environment, adjusting pack sizes, large pack at sizes the beginning of the month, small pack sizes at the end of the month. And to figure out how to deal with what is an ever-increasing amount of transactions being paid for with government assistance.
“And you need not go further than one of our stores on midnight at the end of the month. And it’s real interesting to watch, about 11 p.m., customers start to come in and shop, fill their grocery basket with basic items, baby formula, milk, bread, eggs,and continue to shop and mill about the store until midnight, when electronic — government electronic benefits cards get activated and then the checkout starts and occurs. And our sales for those first few hours on the first of the month are substantially and significantly higher.
“And if you really think about it, the only reason somebody gets out in the middle of the night and buys baby formula is that they need it, and they’ve been waiting for it. Otherwise, we are open 24 hours — come at 5 a.m., come at 7 a.m., come at 10 a.m. But if you are there at midnight, you are there for a reason.”
It was just last year that Wal-Mart's CEO was taken to task for slow sales:
Wal-Mart's core shoppers are running out of money much faster than a year ago due to rising gasoline prices, and the retail giant is worried, CEO Mike Duke said Wednesday.
"We're seeing core consumers under a lot of pressure," Duke said at an event in New York. "There's no doubt that rising fuel prices are having an impact."
Wal-Mart shoppers, many of whom live paycheck to paycheck, typically shop in bulk at the beginning of the month when their paychecks come in.Lately, they're "running out of money" at a faster clip, he said.
"Purchases are really dropping off by the end of the month even more than last year," Duke said. "This end-of-month [purchases] cycle is growing to be a concern.Thank God for the reloading of the EBT card! Thank God for TANF/Welfare on the 1st of the month! Why don't you go see exactly for yourself who relies on government assistance in your area. Hint: unless you live in a very white area, it's going to be primarily Black people and other racial minorities:
Of course, it was a lie. In 1990, the black-white breakdown for Aid to Families and Dependent Children (AFDC) was 41 percent black to 38 percent white. In 1999, the gap widened to 38 percent black to 31 percent white (with Hispanics constituting 25 percent). Blacks were only 12 percent of the population over this time period—so the image of the black welfare queen used by Ronald Reagan was rooted in reality.
The most recent racial breakdown of welfare recipients is from 2009. Officially, welfare is now called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The racial makeup of Americans on the dole is as follows: blacks 33.3 percent, whites 31.2 percent, Hispanics 28.8 percent, Asians 2.1 percent and American Indians 1.3 percent.Remember, Black people are only 13 percent of the US population. Hispanics are roughly 15 percent. Disproportionate much?
When the proverbial "S*it Hits the Fan" (SHTF), Wal-Mart's Just in Time inventory system will no longer be necessary as a business strategy to improve the return on investment. Cost-saving techniques won't matter in this world. A BusinessWeek article discussed the possibility of a world without Wal-Mart:
In fact, many of the stores on Main Street are having a hard time as consumers cut back on frills and buy only the basics at the big-box stores. "Don't worry," Kunstler assured me, "they'll be forced to shop on Main Street whether they like it or not, after the big-box stores like Wal-Mart go out of business."
A world without Wal-Mart? "That's impossible," I told Kunstler. According to its corporate Web site, there are 7,390 Wal-Mart stores and Sam’s Club locations that employ 2 million people and serve 200 million customers a year. In fiscal 2007, Wal-Mart earned $11.3 billion on revenues of $348.7 billion. This doesn't sound like a business that's going under anytime soon. Among the folks working for the world's largest private employer are two of my siblings, I will note.
Kunstler begged to differ with my belief that Wal-Mart is Depression-proof. "There are three things that will kill Wal-Mart. No. 1: Its 12,000-mile merchandise supply line [to Asia] will collapse. Second, its just-in-time delivery, with the 'warehouse on wheels,' cannot be sustained in the face of stubbornly high diesel prices. Third, Wal-Mart customers are going to lose their income [and ability to get more credit]," he said.This is a scenario I'm totally for transpiring, for it would mean that centralized control of the American people has collapsed. But the first step to event occurring begins with a simple a Flip Cam: Take the Wal-Mart challenge.
Go qualify the people who are reliant on the redistribution of your tax revenue to survive and who, in a SHTF moment, would be without a lifeline.
Go to your Wal-Mart at midnight on March 1, 2012. Film what you see. Talk to the shoppers who help drive up sales, all using their reloaded SNAP/EBT card or TANF/Welfare, courtesy of you the taxpayer, to help purchase food for mouths that they can't feed.
What would happen if the SHTF and the dreaded Day the EBT Card Stopped happened? Go see for yourself at your local - or nearest - Wal-Mart.
It's the Wal-Mart Challenge. Take it. The videos will go viral. Never underestimate the power of what a simple video can do.