Why Being a Walmart is Not Good for Your Business

Don't Strive to be like Walmart. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL. 2012.
Don’t Strive to be like Walmart. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL. 2013.


Over the past few months I have found very little need to go into a Walmart other than to pick up my prescription. I was a loyal follower of the smiley face looking for “rollbacks”, but due to various reasons, I began to shop elsewhere leaving only a prescription at a local store. However, after months of issues with their pharmacy, I don’t foresee purchasing from a Walmart again in the near or closely distant future. Now this isn’t a rant over why to use them or not, I could give constant reasons why not to, but that isn’t the point of today’s post. Just know I personally made some decisions over the past several months that I can obtain needed items from local businesses, Publix, Target or Walgreens. Today’s post is really an eye-opener for all of us business owners to not attempt to be a Walmart.

Now when I say that we shouldn’t try to be like Walmart, I’m not just speaking to retail businesses with products, but also to non-profit organizations and service companies as well. The concept of being the one-stop shop for everyone’s needs isn’t a one-size-fits-all for every entrepreneur, nor can be successfully pulled off by everyone. Below are my five reasons to not try to be a supercenter discount business or help everyone non-profit.

  1. Product and Service Overload. Have you ever just wandered around and picked up things you didn’t need and regretted having done ? Yep. You know the feeling of there is just so much going on, I could get lost in what won’t satisfy my needs if I even have any, but will possible satisfy my wants. Creating this feeling for your customers. Is not a good thing. Do you really want people purchasing items that they do not need, will not use or tell others they regret purchasing? Can you really service the public properly with things beyond the original scope of your organization. Your goal is to get your customers to use, love and share about what you have to offer. Consider really focusing on what works for your business and your customers.
  2. Service Levels. Let’s see 100 customers to one employee. That doesn’t really sound like good odds. It actually sounds darn near impossible for anyone managing that level of flow of customers (existing or potential ones) or individuals in need at a high level of service that will make them want to return or recommend to others. Personally I cannot say that I know of anyone who doesn’t have a story of being extremely aggravated when facing those types of odds. Ensuring that your achieving customer satisfaction is how many companies continue to grow. As yours expands, keep a close eye on service levels. When they start to slip, so do the feelings associated with your brand.
  3. Lack of Knowledge. The more you grow and expand, the more knowledgable every employee should be. Skipping out on being able to explain the products or services and to be able to recommend one more specifically to the customer is a huge disservice to your organization’s mission and goals. Every department and employee should be familiar with the products or services that affect their job and customers.
  4. Poor environment. Cleanliness, overcrowded shelves, small aisles, limited parking, etc, are things that can deter people from attempting to purchase what they are looking for when visiting your business. Opt to review where your customers go and how they feel while navigating through your business.
  5. Budget Customers. When setting up your business, deciding to attract budget customers comes with a price. People are looking more for price than quality. These are also people who will more than likely only share with others if they feel they received a deal, will only shop with you when you offer deals and will definitely be the first to complain when they didn’t receive more than the deal. Marketing to budget customers can be done successfully. It’s not seen often. It’s definitely not seen as good for the business if one through four above is occurring.

Again, this isn’t an attempt to persuade you to not shop at any “mart”, but a look at how you can quickly fall into a bad hole of turning off customers if you follow any of the items listed above.

What do you think? Are you moving towards a more custom business or supercenter? Please leave your thoughts and comments below. They may be used in the future for another article.


Above Promotions is a full service publicity, marketing and promotions company, founded with the purpose to serve an array of clients that are looking to expand their presence in the marketplace. From a local to international market, Above Promotions Company can provide the exposure that goes above your expectations. Visit http://www.abovepromotions.com today.


Ebony T. Grimsley is the Creative Director and Owner of Above Promotions Company. She is also the recent author of “Because You’re Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation.” To find out more information on the book, please visit http://www.abovepromotions.com or purchase online at Amazon, Booktango and other online bookstores.






8 thoughts on “Why Being a Walmart is Not Good for Your Business

  1. I have been thinking about this lately. Last year, when I made my website for my business, I intentionally included everything that I do under one umbrella. I really just wanted people to have one place to go and for me to have one site to edit, etc. I was told recently that I should separate each service, but I had already separated the music from everything else on the website and on Facebook. I am not sure if I will separate any other services unless and until my company becomes more than a part-time hobby/gig. There are good and bad results. My music site doesn’t have as much traffic as the other site because the other site has a dedicated following through my blog and devotions. Still, I am more focused on the music and I wanted potential collaborators, producers, other artists and fans to have a place to go without having to find the music. Currently, I am trying to decide if I should separate the dessert catering, but I will see how things go because I might not have time to do a lot of the other services while I am pursuing the music, and most of my catering, coordinating and editing jobs come from word of mouth. So, I appreciate this article because I have really been looking for some guidance on this issue.


  2. Thanks for reading Toni! I would encourage you that even in being a Jill of all trades, you learn to market them separately. I had a conversation last year with someone about not being afraid to create ABC Enterprises, but definitely break out each branch and market them accordingly.

    It’s 2013 and I’m sure you will be seeing great results from the music this year.

    Happy Monday!

  3. Ah, you really do hit some very relevant topics Ebony and this one is so on point.

    I agree that small businesses/starting businesses should focus on if their product/service is relevant and who their customer is…..key to success being focus. You can’t focus if you are trying to go in too many directions. You set yourself up to fail if you try to be everything to everybody.

    Walmart….hmmm…good topic. While I try very much to shop local and be community supportive as much as possible, several things have deflected those efforts in the last couple of years-cost of living, groceries and medical expenses.

    Sam Walton’s book “Made In America” was actually a business inspiration to me years ago. the concept behind it was great value and integrity along with hard work and providing good products at a reasonable price. Most importantly supporting the idea of made in America. That being said it has most drastically changed in the last several years to corporate greed and disregard for the original values it was founded on. Business wise, I would not want to assimilate to it these days for many reasons.

    Personally I have had to choose shopping them when the Publix, Walgreens and Targets were just too cost prohibitive and I had to make choices I may not have otherwise made to stretch my dollars as far as they could reach. Yes, I agree that the customer service, product selection and overall value have dropped to an incredible low but I only shop there for things I need i.e certain groceries, cosmetics, home goods where I know I will get the same thing for less.

    It seems these days there is no real one-stop shopping. I get produce as much as possible at farmer’s markets and stands, I get my prescriptions at a small local pharmacy (Village Pharmacy is excellent in every way) and clothing/shoes are wherever I find value. None of the above mentioned have those things to me. I want something well made and long lasting whether it is apparel, appliance or auto.

    The one thing this dilemma has taught me which carries through to my business approach is value, trust, need and availability. It also taught me to be a discriminating, much smarter shopper.

    Brenda Ellison

  4. After typing a really good long response, WordPress lost it. LOL

    So in short, I will say that I agree with how Sam Walton’s business ethics have greatly changed. I’m quite sure he would not be happy.

    On another note, sites like http://www.addictedtosaving.com makes it easier to shop at Publix or Target or other places. Check it out sometime.

    Thanks for reading!

Join the Discussion. Leave a Reply. Your comments just may appear in a future post!

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s