Obama's America: The Walmart midnight spike phenomenon

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Grandluxe, Jul 2, 2012.

  1. Waiting for midnight, hungry families on food stamps give Walmart 'enormous spike'

    At the stroke of midnight, a growing number of Americans are lining up at Walmart not to cash in on a holiday sale, but because they’re hungry.

    The increasing number of Americans relying on food stamps to survive the sluggish economic recovery has changed the way the largest retailer in the United States does business.

    Carol Johnston, Walmart’s senior vice president of store development, said that store managers have seen an “enormous spike” in the number of consumers shopping at midnight on the first of the month. That’s typically when those receiving federal food assistance have their accounts refilled each month.

    46 million Americans who depend on federal assistance for food, according to Department of Agriculture. Nearly 15 percent of the U.S. population is part of the food stamp program, now called SNAP.

    “We’ll bring in more staff to stock. We’ll also make sure all of our registers…are open…Some people may think at 12:01, Walmart’s very quiet, but in a lot of our areas of the country, 12:01 is a big day or a big night for us, actually,” Johnston said.

  2. this has been going on long before obama. i have a relative who is a manager of a walmart. i hear stories.
  3. Tsing Tao

    Tsing Tao

    Being in the FMCG business, I can speak to the accuracy of this article. It's not just Walmarts, but any food store open 24/7. People are waiting for the deposits to go through to get their food. In some cases, research has shown it to be particularly depressing. Families will literally begin to starve near the end of the month as benefits run out.

    I remember reading an article on a single mom with two kids who would try to play games at the end of the month (trying to keep her kids' minds off being hungry) where they would count the hours until they could get food. Stuff that makes you really sad.

    Since some of our products are entry level price points (economy brands) we set our promotions to run at the first of the month and then stagger (depending on the state and grocery chain) throughout the first two weeks to benefit from the SNAP deposits, since 85% of the purchases from those cards (on non restaurant food) occurs then.

    This is also one of the reasons I rage against the Fed so much - printing of money causes commodities to rise, and forces companies like ours to take price hikes to cover collapsing margin. And who does it impact most? These people buying on food stamps.