Sunday, June 11, 2006

Into the memory hole

That's certainly an overly dramatic title, but the irony of my blogging situation in China is that I didn't have to use writely to post. I can directly access I don't get to see No matter. I don't need to see what my blog looks like as I'm quite satisfied with my current template.

I can also see comments via the pings I get in email but can't respond to them. I'll leave off with some interesting pictures taken in the Walmart in Nanjing. <overdramatization>It broke my heart</overdramatization> to see the Walmart because in one fell swoop, it might put out of business tons of less efficient small grocers and other business owners. On the other hand, it was remarkable how modern, no... American, everything looked inside, from the familiar Walmart aisles and signs to the slick uniforms the associates had (red polo shirts with jeans and sneakers... most chinese wear actual shoes). Also on the brighter side, if you look past the business practices of Walmart, they certainly were very inspiring with the story of Walmart's success posted on the wall behind the registers, the incredible efficiency and the benefits to the consumer and the reverse pyramid management/leadership heirarchy poster where leaders support and serve associates. I'm not sure if I was just imagining the camraderie of being well-trained efficient synergistic parts of the Walmart family among the many many employees in various departments working inventory or manning the electronics department as many customers sat in folding chairs watching the cup.

Without further ado:

Several things of note:
  • handheld inventory device with network adapter
  • magnetic shopping cart on sloped flat escalator whatever they're called
  • Vendor employees (note the Good Humor logo in one of the pictures) taking an active role in the store (saw several cleaning up demonstrations, a huggies employee walking around and a coke bottling employee stocking a fridge)
  • a 'warehouse' backroom?
  • french fries
  • 16th strongest brand in China


Eric said...

Just a comment with your notes:

I'm starting to see wireless inventory control devices in stores in America. Possible the stores in China are newer, so they have better technology (or America is just slow to adapt).

I've seen the flat escalators once before (like in the early 90s in some weird mall). It had some way so the shopping cart wouldn't roll, I just don't remember what.

Soda vendor stock their own selves in America (I used to work in a Stop & Shop). The rest of the stuff tends to come in trucks that have everything in them, so vendors don't come by.

It's weird to see meats and vegetables in a Wal-Mart.

Will said...

I didn't really mean to suggest that Walmart China is ahead of the US, but more just that Walmart is exporting its retail know-how to compete with local businesses. Part of the novelty was that I was paying more attention than usual so I probably didn't notice similar stuff in the US. Add to that the fact that I'd only recently been to Walmarts here in the US starting last summer.