This may seem familiar to you: you're shopping at a local retail outlet store that has a product under lock and key you need employee assistance in order to purchase. You ring the call button for assistance and wait patiently for 5 minutes and no one shows up. You ring the call button again and wait another five maybe 10 minutes and nobody shows up.
At this point, you start to wonder if you really even need the product or if it's worth attempting to flag down somebody in the store who could assist you with purchasing it. Maybe you give up and go to a neighboring store that you know has it and decide to spend your money elsewhere. Or maybe you do get the product and you're waiting for a register to open up that I'll let you purchase the product but there's no one in sight.
This waiting game at stores like Walmart has been oft-discussed and could be a big reason why so many of the chain's stores have transitioned to beefier self check out offerings. It's not hard to imagine That there are a significant number of customers who only have a set amount of time in order to get their shopping done and don't want to be waiting around to give a business their money.
Fronk says in the video: "I went to a Walmart the other day that had taken the loss prevention thing to such a higher level than I've ever seen. I needed like a $4 battery and we waited like 10 minutes from the call button to try to get someone to show up to unlock it for us."
What Fronk Is referring to our the locked drawers that many retailers will oftentimes put higher price items inside in order to discourage theft.
He says that in spite of waiting for some time, no employee showed up to assist him with his request to purchase said item.
"No one ever did," he says, attributing the lack of expedient customer service to a dearth of adequate staffing across many retailers, Walmart included.
"All of these places have been shrinking their workforces and they don't have enough employees to handle this. And then like right next to us in the makeup section, there was like a line of people just trying to get something unlocked from the makeup aisle."
Fronk goes on to say that this section of the store seemed extremely understaffed, as there was only one available worker assisting customers despite the bevy of shoppers waiting for help.
"The One poor associate in that area didn't have a key and also didn't know who had it."
He says that this experience ultimately dissuaded him and the person he was shopping with from completing their purchase.
"So we eventually just gave up and left, I'm sure at least like half of the people waiting at the makeup section gave up and left. Meanwhile, pretty much every employee they have is getting harassed and overworked."
The TikToker concluded his video by stating that he was finding it difficult to understand how this business model is resulting in profitability for retailers who understaff their stores.
"I don't understand how a financially makes sense to stop someone from stealing like a $5 product but then miss out on like $100 of sales [from] people just giving up and leaving cause they can't get what they want."
One commenter who said they work as a Walmart cashier said that they aren't fans of unlocking shelves that have protected products in them either: "As a Walmart cashier, it’s the bane of our existence too. Everyone asks if I have a key when half the store is locked up but only team leads have them"
While another speculated this is a business strategy of Walmart's: that the company is intentionally attempting to tank consumer satisfaction with brick-and-mortar retail experiences in order to focus more on online shopping.
"I'm beginning to think they're TRYING to drive ppl away as a way to justify switching to online only to their investors," they wrote.
What do you think? Have you ever left from frustration at a Walmart after waiting too long to pay for your items?