Friday, April 17, 2015

The Prize Is Saudi Arabia -- April 17, 2015

Nothing more needs to be said:
Military units protecting Yemen's Masila oilfields withdrew on Friday and handed over security responsibilities to local tribes, in a sign of the weakening grip of the Yemeni state over its land and resources.
While Yemen is not a major oil producer, the conflict raises concern about risks to supply from the region's major exporters, especially neighboring Saudi Arabia.
The Prize.

Payback Wal-Mart

Pico Rivera, CA
Brandon, FL
Livingston, CA
Midland, TX
Tulsa, OK

There's something fishy about the story. Interestingly enough, ZeroHedge has the most to say about it.

Someone said it might have something to do with unions; except for California, unions don't seem to be an issue.

So, what are the other possibilities:
  • plumbing: very possible. Just because there are no workers on site doesn't mean a thing; the company says it's a 6-month project; the fact that these were shut down abruptly, however, is interesting; folks should watch for Wal-Mart trucks to come in to start moving merchandise to other Wal-Mart stores
  • renovation: building something entirely new to surprise folks; maybe prepare the stores for the AppleWatch kiosks
  • payback: at least one of these stores was said to be among the first where employees struck for higher wages
  • margins: stores operating on the thinnest of margins simply won't make it if wages are raised at these stores as promised by Wal-Mart, but the abruptness doesn't make sense
Me? I think it's the latter, with the abruptness suggested by the fourth bullet.

I always tell the granddaughters: if something doesn't make sense, google it or follow the money. It's not on google yet so it's the money.

Update, 5:19 p.m. CT: this is why we love to blog. We at least have an answer to why it was done abruptly. An announcement that the store was closing for any reason some employees would become apathetic; others angry; regardless, it would not be good customer service. In addition, an announcement that the store was closing in the future for an extended period of time, and inventory would have started walking out the door. The question comes back to why were these five stores selected for closure. Tangible: probably margins. Intangible: a shot across the bow of the union ships.

Update, 9:18 p.m. CT: workers at the California Wal-Mart are accusing the company of retaliation --
Some employees accused Wal-Mart Stores Inc on Friday of closing a location in the Los Angeles area for six months in retaliation for workers demanding for better wages and benefits. The largest U.S. retailer denied the accusation, saying it was temporarily closing five stores in four states to address recurring plumbing problems. 
The closures include a location in Pico Rivera, California, that has been a center of protests by workers in recent years.
Reminder: in general, Californians vote to keep Wal-Mart out of their neighborhoods. These California closures should make Californians joyful.

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