In recent months, Wal-Mart enacted a part-time and temp-only hiring policy in several of its stores across the country. This week, the company said that 35,000 of its part-time employees will be moved to full-time status. It has been reported that this change is because of a recent sales drop because of understaffing, which led to customer dissatisfaction.
In the most recent American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), Wal-Mart ranked at the very bottom of the retailers surveyed, number 72 on a scale of 0 – 100. ACSI founder said that “Low price inflation for food products in 2012, combined with better service, product selection and store layouts, yields success in the form of enhanced customer satisfaction for supermarkets.”
Good service and product selection was what Wal-Mart was failing to deliver as a result of scaling back its labor force. Without properly staffed stores, Wal-Mart became disorganized and shelves remained unstocked which, naturally, provided no products for purchase and checkout lines got longer. Would-be customers flocked to other stores.
Zeynep Ton, a retail researcher and associate professor of operations management at the MIT Sloan School of Management, said that customers are “mad about the way they were treated or how much time they wasted looking for items that aren’t there.”
In addition to severely cutting hours, Wal-Mart pays peanuts, especially when compared to other retailers. At a staggering rate of 40 percent more, Costco pays its employees an average of $21.96 an hour.
Not only is Wal-Mart instating tens of thousands of full-time employees, the company is also cutting the time that one can be eligible for health insurance from six months down to 90 days. Wal-Mart will institute this change after the Affordable Care Act goes into effect on January 1.