Boresnakes taken off Wal-Mart Shelves?


December 10, 2003, 11:15 PM
I dropped by Wal-Mart today for a few necessities and so, of course ended up in sporting goods! ;)

Perusing the wares, I noticed something odd--where the boresnakes should have been, there was instead, a typed note posted.

The note listed part numbers and stated something to the effect that the products had been removed from the shelves at the request of the manufacturer. (At least I'm pretty sure that's what it said.) At any rate, there were no boresnakes to be had...

Anyone have any idea what's going on???

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December 10, 2003, 11:22 PM

This is a steady seller ... ***?? I am so far puzzled here ..... anyone else have a clue?


December 11, 2003, 02:06 AM
Product recall, perhaps? Does the manufacturer have a website?

Captain Scarlet
December 11, 2003, 03:25 AM
I wonder what happened to the boresnakes they use to sell at WAlMART??
I have not seen any since last year? I also remember they were made by
a different company and it was not called "boresnake" it was a different
brand but same design. I wanted one in .30 caliber for my SKS.

seems like they dont stock these anymore?

Angus MacDuff
December 11, 2003, 05:01 AM
Hoppe's makes the real boresnakes

December 11, 2003, 05:34 AM
Though I haven't been to a WW in quite a long time, a buddy of mine does and remarked about some products that for a time are stocked then disappear.

The way It was explained to me by a friend whom used to sell spices to WM is....

After much wait and cancellations , he representing his company "finally" "was granted" 15 min. for a presentation, he leaves prosepective. After much time and 'sweating" he is informed by a secretary if and when rec'd or rejected. Rejected but allowed to re-submit he is "advised" that lets say black pepper COSTS the company to mfg 50 cents, WM "will pay him 15 cents" that is there offer. WM informs him and his company that if they want their product they will sell to WM for 15 cents, the company cost base is NOT WM concerns.

Add the sales pitch of WM on how many people shop at their stores and Sam's , exposure...blah blah...WM is doing HIM and The Spice company a favor. My friend had heard stories, didn't want to sell to WM but his bosses wanted him to.

Against my friend( the rep) advice, the spice company agrees to WM TERMS.[ Remember it COSTS the company 50 cents, they are agreeing to sell for 15 cents...35 cent LOSS) Spice company had the product as per WM TERMS in WM stores within 30 days. Spice company refilled orders even tho the spice company did not recieve any payments, none, nil, zip until 120 days later. My rep friend did not get any commissons until after 120 days either.

I used black pepper,as an example- the whole line of products was "discounted" in the same fashion. Anyone whom has bought spices knows that some spices are expensive!

So Spice company "plays the WM game" and decides it does not like NOT getting paid, the reputation feedback of the company is negative ( cheapened in the public per polls, and letters spice company receives) and still waiting on monies.

The Spice is pulled from shelves and the spice company is out the monies and time to retrieve it --WM is not going to ship back..."if you want it, come get it".

Customers then ask "why is so and so Spice Company Brand not being sold in WM?".

Just one example and applicable to many products besides boresnakes.

I have not been in one myself ( WM) but I do hear people talk about the same deal with various products. Besides when the special product is made to "WM spec's" , there are no more. See The Black&Decker Fiasco some years ago.

My gunsmith can order me boresnake, the local Mom&Pop have boresnakes, I can get from Brownell's.

You teach people how to treat you...I will not personally be a doormat for anyone...especially the almighty( cough, hack , spit) WM.

I've never met Tamara, don't know where she works or how they do business. I'd prefer to go to a store like where Tamara is, and if I had to pay $2 more for a boresnake I would. I bet I would leave with more than $2 in customer service, education about a firearm/ammo/history/upcoming special events. I bet if a firearm came in I was interesed in I'd get a call. I bet if I had an emergency repair they could get me up and running. It's the principle of the Customer/Business relationship. They care if I keep coming back and make referrals to them.

But I'm a relic I'm told.

December 11, 2003, 07:26 AM
I'd prefer to go to a store like where Tamara is, and if I had to pay $2 more for a boresnake I would. I bet I would leave with more than $2 in customer service, education about a firearm/ammo/history/upcoming special events. I bet if a firearm came in I was interesed in I'd get a call. I bet if I had an emergency repair they could get me up and running. It's the principle of the Customer/Business relationship. They care if I keep coming back and make referrals to them.

Most definetly agree.


Zach S
December 11, 2003, 07:39 AM
I hadnt noticed. I got my boresnake at the same place I bought most of my guns.

December 11, 2003, 08:35 AM
Walmart does other tricks when it stocks as well. Walmart will sell shelf space at their stores to a manufacturer or distributor. It then becomes that company's job to see that the shelf is stocked with their goods properly. If the company doesn't stock they don't sell.

December 11, 2003, 09:13 AM
Walmart does other tricks when it stocks as well. Walmart will sell shelf space at their stores to a manufacturer or distributor. It then becomes that company's job to see that the shelf is stocked with their goods properly. If the company doesn't stock they don't sell.

That's common place in most grocery stores, especially soda.

December 11, 2003, 09:46 AM
WM never had anything other than the 12 guage bore snake anyways around here...

December 11, 2003, 10:09 AM
Frankly, the 'snakes at Wal-Mart were not that great of a bargain anyway. I was always amazed at how they were the same price you could get in a gun store (well, some gun stores) and actually more than it would cost to buy from Natchez or a similar dealer.

An aside: anybody else think that $15+ is 50% too high for a boresnake in the first place? We're not talking about something that's super-high tech or expensive to produce, after all.

I love the boresnake I have for my AR, and I'd probably buy them for other calibers that I shoot, but for the price I just can't see that it's worth it. I'll stick with my rods, brushes and patches, I guess, until the cheap boresnakes hit the market when the patent runs.

I'm not going to run down WM's price on WWB, that's for sure.

December 11, 2003, 10:13 AM
Wal Mart is one tough company to do business with.

At over $250 Billion in revenue per year they are bigger than the next five forture 500 companies combined.

Wal Mart alone accounted for nearly 12% of the improvement in productivity in the economy in the past year. This is directly attributed to their offering business to companies and those companies having to become vastly more efficient in order to meet the terms of the Wal Mart deal.

Companies commonly completely revamp their delivery systems just to meet Wal Mart requirements.

The good news for the consumer is that I can buy 25 shot shells for my shotgun there for $3 and a box of 90 pigeons for $4

Not all vendors last there.

December 11, 2003, 10:37 AM
Another common Walmart policy is if Your product is on their shelves, they don't pay you until after it sells. They don't pay for their inventory. The producers pay for Walmarts inventory.

December 11, 2003, 10:47 AM
Hey, they spent the $$$ on their computer system so they can do that. You play their game, and have your price structure where you can live with it, you'll make $$$.

December 11, 2003, 10:51 AM
Walmart has a lot of policies where they make all the money and their suppliers pay all the costs. Great for walmart, maybe good for their suppliers if they can do it, but I doubt its the most efficient system in the end.

December 11, 2003, 11:09 AM
But I'm a relic I'm told. haha ...... if you're a relic at 10 yrs younger than me Steve then .. well, guess I am a ''wannabe'' fossil!!!:D

Since my earlier post and sorta unthoughtout knee-jerk response ..... and reading your example/analagy ... indeed it is quite easy to see how these things are no longer there.

I'll usually go your route tho like others too ... and support my local guy. I think I only really ''cheat'' on my local gun shop by buying .22 value packs and White box from WW .... other than that tho I certainly have no prob paying a few cents over.... maybe even a saving in gas covers it!

When I recently got my SRH with red dot .. my local guy worked me what I regard as a very good deal .. the gun price was hugely undercutting the list price (which we all know is ridiculous anyways!) ... but also the Millet red dot was at a better price than last one I had from another source.

Overall I'd say that nurturing a good relationship with the local shop pays off in many ways. They get regular business ... and you get fair deals... plus I have no probs having him on the case for transfers. Works for me.

December 11, 2003, 11:47 AM
Wal-mart's so big, I heard they applied for UN membership!

(OK, so that was lame, but it is a real comment overheard by me...)

December 11, 2003, 12:05 PM
I gop to Walmart once a month or so, check prices and mark ours down wherever possible...

Wildwearecheaperthan WalmartAlaska

December 11, 2003, 12:09 PM
I've seen a generic brand of "boresnake" show up on my Walmart's shelves. I've been wondering how long till Hoppes sued the company that sells them. (I'm assuming Hoppes patented the imbedded bristles in cord design).
Erich: I agree that Walmart's price is too high, as it is for many of their gun accessories. Pyrodex for $14.99? No thanks, the guy at the local gunshow has it for $12.75.

December 11, 2003, 12:51 PM
Yeah I've seen the knock-off bore snakes at a couple Walmarts here in California, not many though. :mad:

Harold Mayo
December 11, 2003, 01:07 PM
I'll go off the topic a little bit but not totally...

I am 100% in favor of the free market but Wal-Mart has been courting disaster for itself. Like many big companies that are on top of the heap, they are arrogant. My father works in construction and has done business with several Wal-Marts over the past several years as they have put in Super-Centers. The work that he has done amounts to several hundred thousand dollars per store. He hates working for them because they won't pay in a timely fashion. One poster mentioned 120 days or so but WM took up to 8 MONTHS to pay in at least one instance. Although several hundred thousand $$$ is not even pocket change to the giant retailer, they still retain the money and use it when it should be paid out to others.

More and more people realize that WM isn't such a great thing and I hear more and more negative press about the company. At this point, the only thing that they really truly offer is convenience and I am more of a mind to go ahead and take a little more time going to other stores even if it's NOT as convenient rather than dealing with Wal-Mart.

December 11, 2003, 01:31 PM
Harold Mayo,
That is a game alot of the big corporations play. The longer they can withhold payments, the more revenue the money can generate for them. I work for a major corporation and they try their best to not pay the bills till the quarter change. The suppliers complain, but the accounts stay open because the orders are so large. They don't want to lose all that business because of late payments.

Harold Mayo
December 11, 2003, 01:35 PM
Yes, I know that. Just because everyone does it doesn't make it right. Also, Wal-Mart is far worse about it than any other company with which we've dealt in the past (or present, for that matter) since it is SO blatant about it.

December 11, 2003, 02:01 PM
One of the knucklehead programmers around here is always going on about this client is a $2,000 a month client, that one is 3 grand. Billing laughs at him and says, not if they don't pay they aren't. Up here, WalMart goes on about how they buy locally. Maybe if 'locally' means Hong Kong. Far and away most of thecrap they sell is made in SEA or other Third World countries. Mind you, WalMart Canada was also the first corporate sponsors of the Juneau Centre in Normandy. They got the thing off the ground. So I think, I'll still buy in Walmart.

December 11, 2003, 06:32 PM
WalMart knows the retail game better than a lot of its suppliers. Yes, suppliers have gone broke playing WalMart's game, but they made the decision to play. No one to blame but them. Because of the lure of volume sales Vlasic pickles screwed the pooch and is now under court protection. Hoove vacuum cleaners played the game also and lost big time.

There is a price to be paid when greed exceeds common sense.

Walmart is flying high now. So too was A & P early in the 20 century. So where is A & P now? Just about gone.

December 11, 2003, 06:47 PM
If WW asked for Boresnakes to be purchased below cost from the MFG, then they are off the shelves. People are in business to make money and eventually, WW will have problems getting suppliers. They are a middle-man, they can only make money by buying other people's stuff.

WSJ had an interesting article in how WW even squeezes local China MFG's to get the lower prices. Some of those MFG are making razor thin profits, now.

One can only squeeze so much blood from a stone.

December 11, 2003, 06:50 PM
Same experience here. Worked for an adhesives comapny whose Accounting head made it a point to always pay past due. The money that would have paid the bill on time stayed in the bank collecting interest. His normal mode was to pay 90 days past due. Made the company look like poop to creditors, but it sure made us money :rolleyes:.

December 11, 2003, 07:39 PM
If WW asked for Boresnakes to be purchased below cost from the MFG, then they are off the shelves. Classic example of how WM plays the game. A company comes in with a product, plays the games, pays the brib. . . . er, fees, conforms internal operations to WM's demands. Product sells and meets WM expectations.

WM calls the supplier in and demands a price reduction. WM determines what the price is to be, not the supplier. Why? Because WM has an idea of how much margin dollars are generated by that space by putting another product in its place. Incumbent supplier has option of accepting the price or leaving. What is not generally understood is simultaneously WM is negotiating with a foreign source for the same product. Typically China is willing to knock off a product for a fraction of the price. That price is what is used to screw down the domestic supplier.

Ain't managed trade wonderful? I refuse to call it free trade or even fair trade. China has 70+million "surplus" workers (their term, not mine). We call them unemployed workers. Now that China has a taste of economic freedom that 70+ million surplus workers become a threat to the government. Rest assured China will do anything and everything possible to put them to work. As long as manufacturing and manufacturing workers in the US are saddled with the inhuman tax and regulatory load, you can bet China will only become more important to America's ruling class.

December 11, 2003, 08:04 PM
WallyWorld doesn't just use thier little tricks on the suppliers of the store merchandise.
The company I work for manufactures and supplies some of the equipment in the Wal Mart stores. I do repairs on our equipment and other brands.
We negotiated a reduced labor rate with them. No biggie, we do that with a lot of larger customers. They tried to dictate our parts prices, but the company said no, and there's nowhere else to go for many of these parts, so we won that one. Then Wal Mart said that to get thier business on competitive equipment repairs (not our brand), we would have to give them the invoices for any parts and THEY would decide what they would pay us for them. We don't work on competitive equipment at Wal Mart. :D

I'm glad my company stood thier ground against WallyWorld. We lost a little business, but hell, if WallyWorld had thier way we wouldn't have made any money on it anyway.


December 11, 2003, 08:48 PM
I may be a mistaken(or dumb) but I don't recall WM being so rapacious & arrogant before the sainted Sam W. passed on. Several towns here in Al. have flat ouy told WM they were not welcome and got a WMSC anyway Hell! the city of Birmingham gave 'em $10,000,000 to defray the cost of building a SC on the site of a defunct KMart. Talk about corporate WELFARE!!!

At anyrate I Itry to avoid the place as much as possible.

December 11, 2003, 08:57 PM
Moderators and fellow members; My reply is responsible for throwing this thread totally off topic. I apoloigize for that. I gave what I "felt" to be one of the "possible reasons" as to why borsnakes are not on some WM shelves.

I think the question is best answered by the individual WM store( s).

I may be wrong, I might be right, I may be somewhere in between. I reside in AR, as the crow flies WMs head ofc is ~ 4 hrs from me. I do recall when in '72 being approached to buy WM stock , either a $1200 , or $2000 deal. Hell I'm a Jr. in HS , I have much bigger priorites , will the War in' Nam continue, will I be drafted,... brunetts/blonds, muscle cars and street racing. I do know the "fear" of which Mr Walton was concerned with.

I grew up a in a certain era for which I'm grateful. In my short liftime and experiences I have seen changes. I have no problem with a business making monies. I do tend to pull for the Mom & Pop, customer service and the like. I had a former employer share with me the 3 factors that determine the price of any good or service: Greed, Greed,and Greed. Hate to say it, sad, but there is a lot of truth to this. Greed differs from profit and cost of doing business.

So maybe the original thread was about boresnakes and WM. As far as I am concerned this thread is done.

PERHAPS this thread -maybe, hopefully,...prompted...

An awareness has been made that one must research for themselves on how they choose to conduct a business, and treat people and the choice one makes wherever they choose to spend their hard earned dollars.

Mods I apologize, this one's done.


December 12, 2003, 04:31 AM
...Same experience here. Worked for an adhesives comapny whose Accounting head made it a point to always pay past due. The money that would have paid the bill on time stayed in the bank collecting interest. His normal mode was to pay 90 days past due. Made the company look like poop to creditors, but it sure made us money....
- Ha ha, you guys were small-timers. Wal Mart's standard payment terms are 6 months past the delivery of merchandise. So your company sells them some merchandise today and you deliver it ASAP, and they pay you ---- six months from now. The only times they pay early is if they are pretty certian they might get stung on the currency-exchange rate--but that hardly ever happens, because they have 6 months of market interest to cushion the blow.
- But anyway, Wal-Mart demands a lot of merchandise from a company, so a not-unheard of scenario is that a small company with an already-existing distribution/resale base finds after they negotiate a Wal-Mart contract that they Wal-Mart demands so much of their production that their other customers complain--and they cannot increase production soon enough to keep everybody happy. So they gotta choose to keep supplying either Wal-Mart or everybody else, and W-M is very aggressive on driving prices down.

December 12, 2003, 09:12 AM
I apoligize for the following thread hijack:

The internet sure makes it easy for us to second-guess the most successful retailer in US history, and probably in the world, EVER. 4 of the 10 richest people in America right now are part of the Walton family.

Wal-mart is an 800 pound gorilla that can command its own terms. It has revolutionized the retail world and has developed many policies that other companies copy. Working at a retail marketing company and studying Wal-mart exclusively for an extended amount of time, I am fairly familiar with the way they do business. Probably more so than their own employees, with the exception of executive staff.

I am unaware of any unethical trade practices of Wal-mart. They are able to make their own rules and anyone that wants to play the game can. Those that don't like the rules have to go play with someone else. Welcome to the free market. Don't tell me that you want the government to get involved.

Some of your comments sound like you want Wal-Mart to work like a big charity. Wal-Mart does what's best for Wal-Mart. Anything else is a disservice to the stockholders. Small companies become huge with good business decisions. Big companies become small with poor business decisions. If your company goes to Walmart at the wrong time, it will fail. However, if you handle your forecasts and production properly, you may very well become the biggest whatchmacallit vendor in history. Walmart has 1500 stores. If Ma-and-Pa can't meet the distribution demands of Wal-Mart, why should it carry them?

As to the mysterious spice company... They were never talked to by secretaries. It was a jr buyer. BIG DIFFERENCE. 120 days is below average for a company the size of Wal-Mart to pay a bill. 6 months is more along the lines of normal. It's certainly not Wal-Mart's fault that the spice company doesn't pay their commisions until they recieve payment for orders. Sounds like the spice company is bending over its own employees. Every job I've worked commission on, the commission is paid as soon as the order is placed. Can't hold Wally World responsible for a second rate employer.

John Ross
December 12, 2003, 12:44 PM
A relevant piece I wrote on this issue is at:


December 12, 2003, 01:00 PM
Thx for the link John ... you make some very salient points. I guess we have to try and avoid living in the past too much but .... nonetheless .... I cannot lose my sense of depression when I see so much on the shelves ''made in China''!!:(

These days .. the word ''niche'' has become I think ever more important for businesses to survive ...... it is way more difficult than it was once.

December 12, 2003, 08:33 PM
Walmart does some not so nice things, but their 'purchasing' power, their cost structure (non-union, as compared to many super market chains) and their IS (information systems) capabilities give them a huge competitive advantage. (They have incredible IS capabilities as I understand it.)

I've seen supplier revolts against another 1600 pound monster, but these were huge suppliers. Both sides sort of reached an understanding. It was not so much unit prices, but not getting paid until the product sold and so on. May work in retail, but not very well in high-tech.

TechBrute is on target. Boresnake is a slow mover (low inventory turns) where as 9mm or .45 acp white box is a very high mover (very high inventory turns). So, based upon the cost structure and inventory turns it may not make sense to sell Boresnakes in WW, if boresnakes want to make a profit.

It makes sense for Winchester to sell 100 round value packs for the prices they can because of economies of scale. They make more profit based upon volume. WWW askes for a cut price, Winchester crunches the number and agrees. Winchester then negotiates with its suppliers to cut raw material costs - brass and powder, etc... Sort of like trickle down economics. All parties make money through high volume unit sales.

Hence the answer - why does only WW carry the 100 round value packs, as asked in another thread on the board.

Mom and Pop store can't negotiate the volume discounts WW can. If you were to buy 2000 rounds per month from mom and pop, you'd try and negotiate a volume discount. I know I would, and mon and pop would then try the same from their supplier.

Most mom and pop stores will fail, but some wont, like P95carry mentions.

K-mart was killed by Target and WW may do the same to Target.

December 12, 2003, 08:51 PM
K-mart was killed by Target and WW may do the same to Target
This is where the Niche Market comes in. Just because a retailer is huge, doesn't mean it doesn't have its niche. Ask the nearest woman in a middle-class home. If they aren't truely counting pennies, they will go to Target. If you've been inside a Target and a Walmart, you'll know that you can't mistake the two. Target is much nicer, merchandised better, and carries slightly more upscale merchandise. It's not night and day next to Walmart, but enough that every single woman I know, without exception, would rather shop at Target.

December 12, 2003, 09:00 PM
Another one of many reasons I don't shop at Wally World.

Uncle Mikes of Oregon City, Oregon makes boresnakes as well. I thought they invented them.

Great product, I couldn't live without. I like saving my valuable time and the bore snake helps me in that regard. I own three of em thus far.

Relevant to this thread is the mention of so much Made in China merchandise. It's time to start buying American boys and girls.

December 12, 2003, 11:14 PM
Wal-Mart sounds like an HMO, deciding what they will and will not pay for services and goods. I still shop there though. There used to be a K-Mart in town here but they could never beat or even match WM prices. Families on a budget have to find the best deal even if it means shopping at evil Wal-Mart. :(

December 13, 2003, 03:07 AM
In my wallet I have a discount card for Safeway, one for Albertson's and one for QFC.

I also have a Sam's Club Plus Membership Card as well as a Costco Executive Membership Card.

I buy where I get the best deal.

I buy White Box from Wally World.
I buy my Hydra-Skok from a local gunshop. They can sell it almost as cheap as WW and it gives me a reason to go in and browse around and take their free catalogues and it helps them stay in business.

I buy American when I can if it's affordable. But then so many "American" companies have their products made overseas. The Keyboard on my "American" Gateway computer was made in China. I have been told that there is NO company making computer keyboards in the USA anymore.

December 13, 2003, 03:29 AM
WalMart are nothing less than THUGS. It is however the ultimate expression of free market. I wonder how long they will be able to hold off the feds with anti-trust regulation.

Yes, it's all good and capatilast, untill it crosses the line from just un-ethical, to flat out violation of federal law.

I know someone who is sueing WalMart for patent infringment (it's blatant, pre-metidated, and deliberate.).

WalMart is so connected, and can buy so many lawyers, that he has been fighting them for TEN YEARS. Meanwhile they are getting rich off his idea. They will likely win the case.

WalMart does donate much money and resources back into the communities, but it is all PR. I bet they even run it that way on their taxes...

December 13, 2003, 09:02 AM
And what, exactly, makes them thugs? And what is this alleged patent infringement? The name of the case will suffice.

So to all the Wal-Mart haters, what should Sam have done differently?

Personally, I don't like shopping in Wal-Mart because they don't have anything that interests me. My wife won't step foot in there for several reasons. I just think it's really funny that people bash Wal-Mart on the internet, generally in ignorant, unfounded ways. I'm willing to bet that in most cases, someone got a case of bad customer service there and are still holding a grudge.

December 13, 2003, 05:26 PM
"patent infringment"

What does Wal-Mart produce that would be a patent infringment?
Wal-Mart is a retailer not a manufacturer.:confused:

December 13, 2003, 09:50 PM
Agreed TechBrute. Target also has some very good IS capabilties and I suspect they have not forgotten how they beat K-mart in the arena of customer service and however else someone wants to differentiate themsevles to make money.

BluesBear - I do the same thing, minus buying at WW (not one in my area).

Funny thing about patent infringment and WW. 5 or 6 years ago, as Amazon took off, Amazon hired a IS executive from WW, and he took some people with him. WW tried to block it, because they claimed / feared that Amazon would get systems capabilties that WW has. WW I suspect has one hell of an inventory / point of sale and auto-replenishment system. They had comms capabilities that no other IS shop I know of had. Very state of the art. Their IS was considered the standard against which IS shops measured themselves against.

Look how the automotive industry consolidated. How about guns, just to keep it on topic. Look how S&W signed the evil agreement. All for more business, since they hurting anyway. The invisible hand of the Adam Smith's free market then slapped S&W......

The free market is brutal, it can also be manipulated, but then the invisible hand slaps thing right. Adam Smith never said what the 'invisible hand' was. Could be mad consumers using guns and ammo to set things right, or intervention or mother nature.

December 14, 2003, 04:56 AM
Honestly all the FACTUAL information that i have heard about walmart make it pretty clear that it conducts its buisiness in the very same manner as most other very large retailers. People are talking about leasing shelf space and paying merchandisers for products AFTER they are sold like its not something thats been happening in grocery stores for the last 25-50 years. It appears to me that walmart just simply invested their money better than their competitiors and managed to avoid unionization. Add it up and its no wonder they make so much money.

December 14, 2003, 05:51 AM
...It appears to me that walmart just simply invested their money better than their competitiors and managed to avoid unionization. Add it up and its no wonder they make so much money.
-Well, yes and no:
---->Wal-Mart got an unfair advantage early on-- they started expanding rapidly at the same time that Venture and Target were closing stores during an extended recession. The reason was that due to various sweetheart deals done early in Bill Clinton's political career, Wal-Mart got out of paying a lot of state taxes, in exchange for "reinvesting" those funds in expanding the stores into other states. Perdue Chicken did the same thing as Wal-Mart did, basically--if you remember, early on Ross Perot was for a time calling Bill Clinton "chicken man" because of all the political support he got early on in Arkansas. What Bill Clinton did for Perdue Chicken was excuse them from lots of state poluution laws that required expensive waste treatment and disposal--Perdue plants were basically allowed to dump waste directly into every major river in the state, and contamination levels soared to new heights as a result. Also, by being allowed to dump waste without treating it, Perdue saved a lot of money and used that to expand their operations--and is now one of the biggest poultry producers in the US today. Wal-Mart and Perdue basically bought the Arkansas governorship for Clinton--he had no other major backers. Odd coincidence, that....
---->Wal-Mart is run very well--they hired some very smart people early on into upper-level management. No other company spends the percentages that Wal-Mart does on internal tracking. Wal-Mart maintains the largest database and the largest real-time logistics tracking system in the WORLD, including government and military organizations! They spend several million dollars every year on pure (original) information technology research; and are considered to have the best large-scale database operation anywhere. Every store completely reports all transactions to the corporate data center every hour, sometimes even less. Go forth and find any other company so huge that has such a well-designed management system.
---->And nobody has to shop at Wal-Mart, and they don't do anything illegal. They offer a deal and retailers either take it or leave it--as do customers. The way they do business on the store level reflects lots of constraints in the total management system. I went in a few times and asked about Dynapoint 22LR's and even though they had the WMR's, the "sporting goods dept manager" didn't know anything about when they might get them, or who to call to even ask.... -which doesn't really sound like much of a management position to me, but oh well. For some things, Wal-Mart can get the lowest price around and the poor service is not an issue--but for others they dismally fail.

December 14, 2003, 09:33 AM
People are talking about leasing shelf space and paying merchandisers for products AFTER they are sold like its not something thats been happening in grocery stores for the last 25-50 years. It's not just the super-chains, either. Fry's Electronics only has 25 stores, but they demand that of any new brands approaching them.

Jeff Thomas
December 14, 2003, 11:19 AM
Great discussion. Especially like John Ross' piece at his link ... check it out.

I'm a VP for a Fortune 100 company, and I can tell you that WW is studied very carefully by many business people. I share frustration with the loss of smaller businesses, but let's get real ... John Ross puts it so well with his quote of Schumpeter ... this is indeed "creative destruction".

No one ever said the free market (albeit not as free as I would like) is fast, painless or perfect. But it is, in the long run, the most efficient way mankind has found to progress, and to make better lives for the majority of people.

Hate Wal-Mart? Well, if you're a low-income, single mom trying to figure out how to clothe the kids, buy school supplies or even toiletries ... well, it's a godsend.

Want a higher level of customer service, and more selection and advice for niche products ... like firearms? Then WW is not the place to go, and we all know that.

I've interviewed an exec in Bentonville ... they say they've spent more on their IT than NASA. I believe it. They are leaders in supply chain management. I'd wager than any exec at WW has a golden resume these days.

Someday, WW will be gone. It will be replaced by something even better, stronger, and, in the eyes of some at the time ... more brutal a competitor. That has always been the way.

We're in a challenging period now where we have higher productivity, but that is just the good side of a rough time ... we're working people very, very hard (when they can find jobs), and paying them less for their trouble. But we'll get through this, and odds are heavily in our favor that America will be stronger and more prosperous as a result.

Sorry to wear John Ross out, but he closes so well ... "It's always been that way, and it's not going to change." Amen.

Regards from TX

Phil Ca
December 14, 2003, 10:24 PM
The last time, months ago, when I went to Wal-Mart, I bought kitty litter. That seems to be one of the few things not made in China.\\:D

December 15, 2003, 06:46 AM
I read about these boresnakes somewhere, and I decided I wanted one. I looked around at WAL-MART, didn't see any. I am not too, well-versed in this whole gun thing anyways, so I thought I'd ask. I go up to the counter and ask.

I said to the clerk... "I am looking for a bore snake, do you by chance have any?"

He looks at me like I am crazy and says, "you mean for plumbing?"

(he had seen me browsing the gun cleaning supply aisle) and it was at the sporting goods counter.

I looked at HIM, like he was crazy... and walked away.

2nd Amendment
December 15, 2003, 10:37 AM
The satisfying thing to remember about Wally Wart is the earlier mentioned example of A&P. WesternAuto would be another one to keep in mind. The place may be flying high now, but in 20 years? And while their policies make them Big Bux now it's those same policies which will see them follow the same path as A&P and WesternAuto. Hopefully that predictable end result will help create some balance between bloated and over-grown mega-chains and small mom&pop outfits in the future.

December 15, 2003, 02:09 PM
Here's the answer: Don't shop Wal-mart, INVEST in it.

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