Walmart Sells Rotten Food & Teaches Lessons in Entrepreneurship
New businesses are always discouraged by big industry giants because these market leaders have resources, money, and negotiation power. We can agree that Walmart is the top of all of that until…they choose to sell rotten food to consumers. When you are an industry dinosaur like Walmart, everyone in watching you all the time.
This article came out of the a personal story. My mother who lives in Victoria BC bought pork ribs at Walmart Supercenter on Saanich Rd in February 2018. She went home to chop it up and there long worms infested inside!
She was shocked with what happened so she brought the rotten meat back to Walmart. She asked to speak to the Assistant Manager, Nick, insisting that he take down the inventory. The 5 month old manager only offered a refund for the exact item that was infested. She saw them continue to put the batch of rotten meat.
She called me to get find information of BC’s health and safety board and sent them pictures of the Walmart meat. The next day, she got a call from Maple Leafs (provider for Walmart) who asked her to send in her proof (the meat) and the cleaver that she used to chop it up. The representative ask “Why did you send photos to the Health and Safety Board?” and “When did you send it to them exactly?” These questions make it seem like they really took their consumer for granted. They only offered:
- Free return shipping of her proof
- $25 for a cheap replacement of the “cleaver”
They dropped the ball! They dropped the ball so far and it shows all new competitors in this market that these industry giants are no longer putting in that extra customer value and customer care that new entrepreneurs are taught to. Startups have just as much of a chance to take market share; they just have to not sell rotten food; they just have to own up to any mistakes; they just have to constantly over deliver in value and build that trust.
The major lesson that Walmart (est. on July 2, 1962) has taught entrepreneurs during this experience is that in business, it takes years to build trust and moments to destroy it.
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