Check out Lake Research Partners’ new polling data on Walmart:
Today marks one year since the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory building, which killed more than 1,100 Bangladeshi garment workers. As we have noted before, Walmart, the second-biggest purchaser of apparel made in Bangladesh, was listed as a customer for a factory located in the building, and orders for Walmart goods were found in the rubble. Sadly, Walmart’s response to the tragedy has been woefully inadequate.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the food stamp program, now known as SNAP, which one in seven Americans now relies on to have enough to eat. As Marketplace reported last week, Walmart is the biggest beneficiary of this taxpayer-funded subsidy: It brings in the largest share of food stamp dollars of any retailer, about $13 billion in 2013. Walmart even acknowledged the significance of SNAP to the company in the annual report it released three weeks ago.
On-the-ground Walmart store associates have said for years now that systematic understaffing is at the root of the company’s operational problems. After several quarters of weak earnings, bad press, and reputational problems stemming from understaffing, are Walmart execs finally—finally!—acknowledging the severity of the understaffing problem and taking steps to solve it?
Remember Walmart’s “bold commitment” to “leading an American renewal in manufacturing” and “bringing jobs back to the U.S.”? (You know, the “bold commitment” that garnered instant skepticism from industry observers?) How’s it going so far?
The breakdown of Walmart’s “productivity loop” is catching up to the company again, as equities research firm Wolfe Research cited the effect of persistent understaffing among three reasons behind its downgrade of Walmart from “market perform” to “underperform” in a research report this week.
As the Wall Street Journal reported last week, new Walmart CEO Doug McMillon “woke up Thursday morning to find a personal message from worker advocates asking for better pay and treatment splashed across a full page ad in his hometown newspaper,” the Benton County Daily Record.
From Wall Street Cheat Sheet: