When it comes to US companies, few have a reach as wide as Walmart. We are talking about a company that now operates in as many as 27 countries. Moreover, according to figures from Statista, Walmart has an estimated net sales of $514.41 billion around the world. Meanwhile, the company already has 4,769 stores across the United States and each store is estimated to be making sales of around $66.67 million. Together, these stores have achieved net sales of $331.67 billion. Moreover, that number is expected to grow since there is a projected sales growth of 3.7 percent.
Indeed, it looks like Walmart is one business that is at the top of its game. However, when you’re this successful, there’s a good chance that you have something to hide. Well, we did some digging and uncovered these 20 strange facts that Walmart would want to keep on the down low:
20 There’s a system to how it marks down prices
Whenever you go to a Walmart store, you may notice some price markdowns. And it turns out, there’s a system to how it’s done.
According to Best Life, “Prices ending in “7” display the item’s original price; prices ending in “5” come after the item’s first markdown, and those ending in “1” or “0” signify the final markdown.”
19 Walmart may use clearance prices to cover up even lower prices
As it turns out, it is possible for the price of an item to go lower than the displayed clearance prices. However, the store may sometimes cover up your chance of purchasing the item for even less.
According to a Reddit post, it turns out that peeling away the clearance price tags can lead to the discovery of much cheaper retail price.
18 The company gives out free baby welcome boxes
If you are about to become a new mom, there is a way to get a baby welcome box from Walmart for free. According to Best Life, you just need to go on the company’s baby box page and sign up.
It seems the welcome box contains, baby wipes, diapers, nursing pads, pacifiers, and even newborn baby bottles.
17 They put their clearance deals online, but you should know how to find it
Especially if you’re not used to it, shopping online can be really stressful. For starters, there are so many items that you end up seeing on your screen at once. In the end, you can get pretty overwhelmed, especially if you are just looking for a good bargain.
But apparently, if you just type “clearance” in the search bar, the clearance deals would magically appear.
16 They automatically give discounts for some in-store pickup items
If you think about it, it really is much better to go to the store and pick up your items yourself instead of having it shipped to your home.
For starters, you do get a bit more exercise. And even better, certain items are automatically considered “pickup discount eligible.” Hence, you get some savings in the end.
15 The company has been willing to “lock-in” staff overnight
One of Walmart’s most controversial policies involves the “lock-in” of its staff overnight. According to a report from the New York Times, it was meant to “keep robbers out and, as some managers say, to prevent employee theft.”
Moreover, overnight workers are not allowed to use the fire exit other than for fire. Otherwise, they would be fired.
14 The family behind Walmart is the richest in the world
Believe it or not, it’s not Bill Gates and Melinda Gates that top the list of world’s richest family. Instead, it reportedly happens to be the Walton family, the very family that founded the Walmart store.
According to a recent report from Investopedia, the Walton family is estimated to be worth between $151.5 to $174.5 billion.
13 The company is crazy about solar
When it comes to solar energy, the company would love to invest in more and more. In fact, according to a 2015 report from CBS News, the company had already installed as many as 260 solar projects on various store rooftops and other places around this time.
Because of this, Walmart said that it had managed to save over $5 million on its energy bill.
12 Walmart Scan & Go app was a disaster
If you must know, Walmart once had a Scan & Go app that was meant to make store shopping so much faster and possibly, smoother. However, it looks like things did not go according to plan.
According to Walmart’s blog post, “While the service has ended, we’re always working to bring customers more convenience, and so we’ll use what we’ve learned to improve this and other services in the future.”
11 The company prefers the gas prices to be cheaper
If you think about it, the principle behind this is quite simple. When gas prices are lower, their customers end up with relatively more money. And because of this, they can afford to spend more the moment they walk into any Walmart store.
So, in this scenario, the customer walks out more satisfied and Walmart obviously makes more money.
10 The company once dreamt of growing a meat empire
For Walmart, it wasn’t just enough to be at the top of the general retail game. Instead, it wanted to specialize in particular store categories, specifically meat.
According to a previous report from Bloomberg, the company had plans to have one executive take charge of “long-term sourcing strategy for meat.”
9 Walmart has gone after undocumented immigrants
When it comes to undocumented workers, it seems that Walmart is usually active about reporting their presence and hiring them for work at the same time.
According to Generation Progress, “On October 23, 2003, federal agents raided 61 stores in 21 states leading to the arrest of 250 janitors who were undocumented workers. Similar raids in 1998 and 2001 led to the arrest of an additional 102 undocumented Wal-Mart employees.”
8 Walmart doesn’t exactly give equal opportunity to disabled workers
According to Generation Progress, Walmart has been involved in several lawsuits due to alleged discrimination against disabled members of the workforce. In fact, the company has had to settle as many as 13 lawsuits by paying around $6 million in 2001 alone.
Moreover, the settlements also required Walmart to make some changes in its hiring practices.
7 The company reportedly doesn’t value worker opinion
There are Walmart employees who claim that they have experienced career advancement in the company. However, there are also those who believe they were never valued from the very beginning.
One statement on job website Indeed read, “As a sales associate you will quickly learn your opinion or suggestions do not count, going the extra mile to help a customer or a co-worker does not count, and YOU as a human being do not count for anything.”
6 Walmart’s CEO is handsomely paid
When it comes to salaries, Walmart seems to make sure that its CEO is always handsomely paid. In fact, according to a report from CNN earlier this year, Walmart’s current CEO, Doug McMillon, was paid almost $24 million in 2018.
That means he got an increase of about 3.5 percent from the previous fiscal year.
5 Its employees are paid lower than similar businesses
In stark contrast to the CEO, Walmart employees seem to be paid relatively lower than employees of similar stores. According to a report from Reuters earlier this year, Walmart pays its entry-level workers a rate of $11 an hour.
On the other hand, Costco has been paying a minimum of $15 an hour and Target seeks to increase its minimum wage to $15 per hour by the end of 2020.
4 However, there is a way for employees to get a lifetime discount
While Walmart employees are not paid the highest rates in the industry, there is a way for these workers to get a 10 percent discount across Walmart stores for life.
According to Best Life, if workers remain in the company for at least 15 years, they’re Walmart purchases will always be discounted moving forward.
3 Walmart makes healthcare unaffordable for employees
It seems healthcare for employees is another issue that Walmart has not resolved yet.
According to one recent feedback on the job/human resource website Glassdoor from a Walmart assistant store manager, “Insurance is very expensive and does not pay much at all. A full-time associate pays over 200 $ a check for family.”
2 The company has a history of widening the gender gap
Over the years, Walmart has been known to employ a significant number of women across its locations. In fact, according to Generation Progress, women reportedly made up around two-thirds of its hourly employees.
However, Walmart became the subject of a class action lawsuit from current and former female employees in 2001 because only 15 percent of the company’s store managers were women.
1 It also has a history of child labor
Back in 2013, this issue came to light when a garment factory collapsed and resulted in the death of more than 1,100 people. According to a report from the Telegraph, 14-year-old and 13-year-old sisters were found to be working there.
And as it turns out, Walmart was among the factory’s clients.
Sources - Statista, Investopedia, Walmart, Generation Progress, CNN & Reuters