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Another Wal-Mart Thread--Opinions Please

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by fiVe, Apr 13, 2006.

  1. fiVe

    fiVe Senior Member

    Jan 7, 2003
    West Florida Panhandle
    I've read a few threads here on THR about Wal-Mart ceasing the sale of firearms (or firearms/ammo) at some stores. Yesterday, I was in the Wal-Mart nearest my home and I happened to ask the Sporting Goods clerk (had Assistant Manager on his name tag) about this. He said in June they will begin re-modeling this store(it is currently a SuperCenter, but it was converted from a standard store). After the re-modeling, they will no longer sell firearms. I asked him why they are doing this. He said he was told it was due to sales, but he said it is really just some social experiment that someone way up the management chain wants to try. He said, "I told them it was a mistake. We have a lot of hunters in the area, and we sell a minimum of 2 guns a week". There are 3 other supercenters in our county which he said would all continue to sell as before.

    This store stocks approx. 20 rifles/shotguns. I'm no expert on any of this, but is 2 guns/week really not worth their time? It's not that it really bothers me all that much (Buck and Bass is closer than Wal-Mart anyway), but I find this "social experiment" (yeah, sure) angle to be irritating. I guess some decisions are just best left un-pondered.

    Thoughts? Comments?
  2. AJ Dual

    AJ Dual member

    Feb 20, 2003
    The Wal-Mart's that have been pulling firearms are one of two things:

    1. Poor gun sales or poor profit margin on gun sales. Even with Wal-Mart squeezing their suppliers and the sweetheart deals they get on guns and the Winchester White-Box value pack bulk ammo, I'd wager that the gun sales and the WWB ammo are just to drive ancillary sales for the rest of the sporting goods department.

    It sucks, but it's not a conspiracy, nor is it political. Everyone knows Wal-Mart is a hyper-efficient company that tracks every last penny. If something is doing surprisingly well or surprisingly poorly HQ wants to know why, and wants that item either removed, or re-stocked yesterday…

    2. Several Wal-Mart's have been dinged over improper Federal and state firearm paperwork, gun inventory etc. They can't pay the $7.00/hr clerk that has to cover automotive, paint, and the toy department enough to fill out a 4473 yellow form properly.

    They don't necessarily want to quit selling guns, but their economic wage model just doesn't make it practical. Some areas the Wal-Mart has the pick of the litter for that $7.00/hr, some retired military officer, or white-collar exec. working part-time to supplement his pension etc., while Wal-Marts in other areas can barely find someone able count to twenty without taking their shoes off for $7.00/hr…

    It's entirely possible that Wal-Mart is just "easing out" of guns, I won't discount that completely, but for right now, I'm more inclined to thing Wal-Mart is just "right-sizing", which any business needs to do to survive and prosper.

    Everyone who's been asking managers about the guns gets different answers, generaly with the manager's own opinion mixed in. If it is #1, I can imagine Wal-Mart being loath to admit sales weakness in anything, IMO. And if it's #2, do they want to admit that their employees are morons? I doubt that too.

    My closest Wal-Mart in the SW suburbs of Milwaukee remodled just this past year, and the gun counter got improved. They've had the same sporting goods dept. manager for several years now. And that may be part of the reason. (He gets to wear a special camoflauge Wal-Mart sporting goods shirt in the fall...)
  3. Freddymac

    Freddymac Member

    Mar 16, 2006
    You shouldn't be buying guns or ammo at walmart anyway.

    You should be buying them from your local gun shop. You should be supporting local businesses. These people are facing more bureaucratic BS every day, coupled with increasing costs and decreasing profit margins. What would happen if our local shops start going out of business? Are you really willing to let these large corporate stores be your source for firearms? What happens when they decide not to carry guns or ammo any more because of a law suit or some anti gun executive steers the company in another direction? Do you think that 16 year old high school punk behind the counter is going to give you reliable advise? None or those people care about our sport or our rights. Your local shop owner on the other hand is the tip of the spear in our fight to keep our right to bear arms. Please support them. Do business with them. Don't sell out the local guy for the 62 cents that you save at Wally world.

    P.S. sorry for the rant.

  4. Havegunjoe

    Havegunjoe Member

    Jun 8, 2004
    Try a "Social Experiment" of your own.

    Shop elsewhere! Support your local gun shop even if it cost you an extra buck or two. I can find ammo on the internet for example for as low or lower than Wally World.
  5. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 29, 2002
  6. Camp David

    Camp David member

    Sep 21, 2005
    If Wall-Mart can't hire knowledgable gun salesmen, I don't believe they should sell guns or ammunition! That opinion might not rest well with the Gun Lobby but in the interest of avoiding crime and selling guns to would be criminals or untrained users, I believe an educated and knowledgable gun salesman is at least one step in the crime prevention process...

    This opinion is not to set up a further barrier in the gun acquistion cycle, simply a professional approach to the sale of firearms that could perhaps better be conducted in a real gun store as opposed to a cut-rate department store run, in most cases, by high school dropouts!

    A few years back I remember being in a Wall Mart buying cheap arrows for my bow; a few kids were over at the store's gun rack and the salesman was letting them aim the shotgun they were both looking at all over the store... bad horseplay with the gun which the teenage salesman had no control whatsoever over!

    If Wall-Mart has given up selling guns I don't feel that this is a terrirble loss for Gun Rights but perhaps a pro-active move that means more responsible gun dealers will exercise... even Mom & Pop stores generally exercise more control over guns and ammunition than I ever saw in a department store...

    Flame opinion if you wish but I just don't credit Wall Mart type department stores with exercising any responsibility whatsoever....
  7. thereisnospoon

    thereisnospoon Member

    Jan 27, 2005
    At my house

    Were you being, um,....what's the word I'm looking for.......oh, yeah...

  8. c_yeager

    c_yeager Senior Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Before there was a Walmart in my area, and before online ammunition sales gained momentum, my local gunshops routinely ripped me and every other sportsman off on ammo, and typically marked fireams over MSRP, and *forget* about customer service. I get better service at Wallyworld today than I got in the pre-internet gunshop, the kid behind the counter may not know crap about guns but he knows better than to patronize you. As far as I am concerned Walmart and the Net are keeping our local guys honest. If you think your local shop wont screw you given half the chance, then you are either wrong, or they dont know how to stay in business.

    I dont give charity to commercial enterprise.
  9. cbsbyte

    cbsbyte Senior Member

    Mar 24, 2005
    Cradle of Liberty
    I don't shop at Wal-mart but I understand why people do shop there. You should see some of the prices of Wolf ammo in the local dealers around here. $6.95 + tax for a 20rd box of .223. I don't think so. If you have a good one near you than, great shop there, but if you are in an area with local dealers who are a rip off then competition is welcome.
  10. PlayboyPenguin

    PlayboyPenguin member

    Feb 5, 2006
    Portland, OR
    Since I would rather have a catheter tube insterted by a careless and angry chimpanzee than shop at Wal-Mart I could not care less if they stop selling guns and ammo. I will never try to save $1 on a cheap chinese made shirt at the expense of the american worker and production industries. :mad:
  11. Car Knocker

    Car Knocker Senior Member

    Dec 28, 2002
    Salt Lake City, UT
    That was hilarious!!!! Support your local gun store - buy ammo on the internet. LMAO!!
  12. 308win

    308win Senior Member

    Jun 23, 2003
    Ohio - The Heart of it All
    Let's see now, here we have a Moderator is, according to his own link, posting:

    1. A cutting, often ironic remark intended to wound.
    2. A form of wit that is marked by the use of sarcastic language and is intended to make its victim the butt of contempt or ridicule.

    And we call this the High Road.
  13. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Senior Member

    Dec 30, 2002
    Deep in the Ozarks
    Isn't it odd how the same people seem to say:


  14. PlayboyPenguin

    PlayboyPenguin member

    Feb 5, 2006
    Portland, OR
    Howdy Vern

    I agree. That is why I couldnot care less. They could go to only selling size XXXL womens sturrup pants for all I care. I think that is already about 60% of their sales anyway.:D

    Couldn't resist the old Earnest reference in the title of my post.
  15. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Senior Member

    Jan 3, 2006
    The Dark Side of the Moon
    Nothing new under the sun....

    Didn't Sears used to sell guns in their catalogs? Did that make it harder or easier for average Joe's living in the stix to purchase fire arms? Did the "local" gun shops go balistic over this "unfair marketing by corporate giants".

    I'm no big Walmart fan....I generally avoid the place as much as possible.

    I'm also no big fan of corporate outsourcing & Chinease imports.

    But I'm wise enough to know that Walmart is all about one thing and one thing only.............$$$$$

    If a 50 s.f. chunck of floor space only sells 2 guns a week at 5% margin....by by guns, hello diapers! (or whatever other landfill filling disposable piece of made in China crap that Americans buy like hot cakes).

    As for impact on RKBA........they're opening up access to economy firearms and ammo to those Americans who can't afford to pump $20/box ammo. through a $1,000 pistol).
  16. MD_Willington

    MD_Willington Senior Member

    Oct 13, 2005
    Canuck in SE WA State.
    If they stop sellings in sporting goods, maybe they'll flog all the WWB... They do that with pretty much everything else... They have a clearance section... At least that is what they do at the two near me...
  17. Chipperman

    Chipperman Senior Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Essex Co, MA
    OK, just to add what I heard...

    I asked a Walmart employee in Salem, NH the other day. He said that the guns were out during the remodeling process for liability reasons, because the remodelers are subcontractors.

    The guns will be back when the remodeling is done.

    Who knows if this is true, but is does at least make sense.
  18. jaxenro

    jaxenro Member

    Mar 31, 2006
    Let's say WM sells 1 to 2 guns/week @ $300 apiece (I have always found employee's sales estimates inflated). $600 in sales is probably $200 or so in margin dollars (33%), not knowing the gun business all that well. I'm guessing they stock more than 20 as the ones near me usually have around that number on display, so they probably have a few in reserve. At 1.5 guns per week and 30 on hand they are maintaining 15 weeks of supply. Not bad, but not good. Add to that the additional handling, secure storage, state laws, federal laws, forms, etc. required to support those sales.

    Now look at the same size rack in clothing. Probably maintaining 6 or so weeks of supply. Margin % is in the 50 to 60% range, and the inventory turns over twice as fast. Requires no paperwork to support the sale other than that handled by the normal POS system. Clearing old inventory is easier, ever try to MOS old ammo?

    A lot of this is guesstimate, but I would wonder why they are in the firearm business from a pure $$$ basis?
  19. Lou629

    Lou629 member

    Feb 7, 2006
    Wally World is fine for their (usually) great ammo prices. As for their selection of guns themselves, well, they're never gonna' be my first choice for that, but their prices on them are some of the best around too, if the available selections happen to be something you're looking to buy.
    As far as that goes, if they have the exact make & model that i wanted, i'd have no problem buying it from them. I'll worry about "supporting" my local gunstore, when the nitwits that run my local gunstores start worrying about me, the customer, with some courtesy, respect & decent prices.
    Even if i'd likely get the same overall lack of service & attitude @ WallyWorld, why not try to save a few bucks along the way, if the opportunity presents itself? I say screw the ripoff-artists @ my local gunshops till their attitudes improve, and they can earn my business!
    To bad WW doesn't sell handguns too.
  20. orionengnr

    orionengnr Senior Member

    Jan 3, 2005
    about a year ago

    up in my neck of the woods (Denton, TX) WalMart sold a shotgun/rifle (I forget which) to a female who filled out the 4473 stating "no" in all the proper places.

    Then she went home and shot herself. Turns out she was under treatment for depression.

    Her parents filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against WalMart, blaming them for her daughter's death. :cuss: Never mind that the daughter falsified the documents...:banghead:

    The case is still not resolved, to the best of my knowledge. As long as our "legal" system continues to play Robin Hood, I can understand Wal-Mart wnting no part of that lottery.

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