Saturday, September 1, 2012

Letter to NuPo: Wilkes-Barre Walmart has Unbearably Long Lines

Many people are complaining about the excessively long lines at the Wilkes-Barre Walmart. One commenter reports "They have like 20 cash registers and only put on 3 cashiers."

Each line is at least five customers long on any given day. It almost feels like a welfare line, and to a degree it is, since many of the people pay with food stamps.

The Wilkes-Barre Walmart store manager ought to be replaced with someone who will not force customers wait a half hour in line. There ought to be a protest and a public awareness campaign to stop the idiot manager from making our citizens' lives miserable.

Hiring more cashiers would mean more local jobs and would probably encourage more people to shop at Walmart since they would not have to suffer the inconvenience of long lines. But the miserly manager probably cares more about pinching a few extra pennies by not scheduling an adequate number of cashiers, just to give a little more money to the Walmart corporation.

But if all Walmarts were similarly understaffed, it could mean lower prices across the board in addition to more profits. Thus, the cost of a lower price would not only be felt in sweatshops in Asia but also in the long breadlines at Walmarts.

However, other Walmarts, such as the one in Pittston, reportedly get by fine without such long lines, so the Wilkes-Barre one should be able to do so as well. Moreover, the Wilkes-Barre Target and Kmart always seem to have plenty of cashiers, and they seem to be able to turn profits.*

The Wilkes-Barre Walmart's scandalously long lines must be hard on cashiers too, because if there were more of them, they would conceivably get a break instead of having to constantly scan and bag items for impatient, grumpy customers.

The goal should be NEVER a longer than three minutes waiting time per customer: about the length of time it would take to wait behind a shopping cart packed with stuff that is paid for with a slowly-validated welfare card.

More Complaints about Wilkes-Barre Walmart's lines:

*We do not know how much additional profit could be generated by under-staffing cashiers, and how much this additional profit would be used to lower prices nor the degree to which it would affect the overall price of items. However, if one Walmart has long lines due to insufficient cashiers and another has plenty cashiers, then the one with long lines is effectively subsidizing, to a degree, the low prices of the one with sufficient cashiers. This is not fair, and there should be a uniform sufficiency of cashiers among all Walmarts.

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