Ah, Walmart you big ole intimidating corporation and I have to hand it to you, you do it all with so little class. So my exclusive interview is with a guy named Chad who is the media relations liaison for the Frederick Walmart out on route 85 across the street from the Francis Scott Key mall.
I walked in to the store, which is huge. It is one of the super centers that has a combined store and supermarket. I immediately start checking out the prices which are extremely competitive. I am going thru what I usually pay at the grocery store for the equal item at Walmart and, I cannot deny this in every instance the price at Walmart is far cheaper than what I pay at any other grocery store in the thirty mile radius of Frederick County to Loudon County, Virginia where I do live. This is the vicinity of the outskirts of Washington D.C.
I eventually go through the electronics division and start checking the prices of flat screen televisions which range in price from about two hundred dollars to six hundred dollars which also seem pretty cheap. I then check out the camera department and check the prices of some of the inventory there and I am impressed by the prices, however I do start to notice that the quality of some of the items just seem a little low.
I eventually end up in the toy division where I begin my quest for “can I please talk to someone who is allowed to talk to a reporter” at one point I even whip out my own camera in order to get attention from the staff, because I immediately assume they are going to throw me out or at least threaten me for taking pictures in their store. No one ever acknowledges me or in any way dissuades me from taking photos in the store.
I wait twenty minutes for Chad to ever show up to talk to me. In that twenty minutes I talk to this very nice consumer in her mid-forties who is buying items for her five children for Christmas. She gushes on about how great the prices are she has just purchased the Katriss Evergreen doll for thirty two dollars and another very popular Barbie doll for some great price. She brags about only spending seventy-five dollars on stocking stuffers for her five children at this Walmart she is very pleased with herself.
Chad does show up eventually, and he never really answers any direct questions in our iinterview. He has been an employee of Walmart for seventeen years and his two functions he explains are two, he deals with customers and he handles his associates. He will not tell me what the average associate pay is for that kind of information I have to call the Executive media relations department at 1-800-331-0085. He does admit that he oversees 450 associates. (That is potentially 450 minimum wage, part time employees in this mammoth store as I am to understand how the corporation works).
When I ask him how sales went for Black Friday he comes back with “Sales were very strong this year” I also ask him if there were any incidents at the store like stampedes or employee revolts and he comes back with” CNN already wrote that story” so we see that perhaps my entire episode at Walmart must have been a complete failure in the sense that I never receive a direct answer to any question.