Walmart building with sign with logo containing TikTok logo replacing 't' with red to blue overlay

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This Week in Walmart: Plastic bags, pedometers, and paging your own store associate

S*** went down at U.S. Walmarts this week.


Jack Alban


Posted on Jul 16, 2023

Walmart is the world’s biggest brick-and-mortar retailer in the world, raking in a reported $600.1 billion in revenue, according to Investopedia.

As a result, throngs of shoppers and employees alike strut through its aisles on a daily basis, and the brand serves some 37 million customers in a single day. Meaning that there are plenty of folks having tons of Walmart experiences every 24 hours or so. Oftentimes, these experiences get shared to TikTok, where they manage to strike a collective nerve with other users on the platform. Here are some of the biggest Walmart stories The Daily Dot has found on the app this past week.

10,000 steps? Try 20

Daily Dot contributor Parks Kougle covered a day-in-the-life story of Walmart “picker” and TikToker Chelsea Jo (@finnandquinn). For reference, a picker is an individual who fills orders for the delivery, sale, and movement of products and goods. Chelsea Jo set an example for other pickers with her thoroughness, making sure to pick the freshest produce and finding undamaged products on her documented trip around the store. One user applauded her attention to detail, “you’re awesome they put my stuff in a tote with spilled laundry detergent. I was LIVID. $50 worth of meat, gone.” 

Chelsea Jo also got some nice exercise while walking around the store. “I’m going to be walking all day … On average, I walk about anywhere from 6 to 9 miles a day,” she narrates while shopping. Even @Tony Horton would be impressed by this.

To boot, the gig ain’t bad on the financial front. Apparently pickers make upward of $17 an hour to shop for other people. Getting paid for a work out? Not too shabby.

Walmart wasn’t created in a day

Walmart has started a new content creator program and according to the chain’s website, “We’re building a platform for the creator in everyone. Walmart Creator empowers you to share your recommendations & earn money while you do it. Whether you’re a first-time content creator or an established influencer, you’ll find all the tools you need to create, share, earn & live better.”

Walmart touts that once you sign up for the program you can access thousands of products to share with your followers. And whenever you make a referred sale, you’ll earn a commission. Best of all, there’s no cap on how much you can earn and folks can earn up to 18% commission on every order completed.

If creating content for products seems like a way to earn a living, and you feel like double-dipping on offerings that are available across multiple retailers, then you might also want to take a look at Amazon’s video review creator program, too.

‘Your call cannot be completed as dialed’

Creator Imogen Caruso (@imogencaruso) posted a video on July 9 that has quickly risen to 1.4 million views and more than 183,000 likes which shows her hanging up on customer service calls.

Caruso completed what she called a “life hack” when, instead of picking up a ringing phone to provide customer service, she quickly hung it up.  

TikTok users were relatively divided on this issue. Some customer service employees felt empowered by this, one commenting on Imogen’s whole vibe, “The vest undone, the out of dress code, the nail tapping after hanging up the phone I LOVE IT.” Caruso replied, “They love me, i can do what i want.”

Others on the consumer side weren’t so pleased. However, they were in the minority.  One user was upset, “Not me calling different Walmarts to see who has my baby’s special formula so I don’t have to bring him in 20 stores. This is so wrong.”    

If it’s urgent, most users protested that it’s probably best for shoppers to simply come into the store themselves instead of calling ahead.

Aren’t plastic bags bad for the environment?

Some companies don’t seem to be going green. According to TikTok user Krista (@_kristab_) every one of her 45 items she ordered from Walmart was placed into its own bag. This included large items such as cereal boxes all the way down to small offerings like crayons.

Walmart’s online ordering system is not a first-time offender of this sort. A 2021 Wall Street Journal article noted that Walmart will sometimes deliver items individually, which can presumably lead to issues with bagging. This trend can likely be attributed to the explosive rise of online shopping and delivery services spurred on by the COVID-19 pandemic. And it’s not difficult to imagine that some Walmart pickers may have experienced a bit of a learning curve to get the bagging process down pat. Some users, presumably in this line of work, defended the picker. One user protested, “When you’re shopping you’re doing multiple orders at once and they do rush you and want you to bag as you go.”

Creepers in the building

Mother and TikToker Brooke (@brookesobasic) went viral on TikTok after sharing the story of how a man followed her and her two children while she shopped at Walmart.

In the video, which has racked up several hundred thousand views, Brooke notices a man following her around the store with a clipboard and taking notes. She was at first a little concerned but brushed it off, commenting, “…it’s Walmart, so what can I expect?”

Brooke’s gut feeling became a reality when she caught the man following her to the children’s underwear section. “Now I know he’s weird,” she says, “because this is a little girl panty aisle, he’s by himself, and he’s not grabbing anything.”

Brooke’s methods of fending off this potential predator? Make four right turns, flag down a Walmart associate, and, oddly enough, fart. “My stomach starts hurting, and my intuition is going, and I start to fart,” she says. 

“I learned when I was a kid that if someone’s trying to kidnap you, you need to be disgusting.” Hey, you learn something new everyday.

Luckily her skunk-like tactics seemed to cause a stir. After checkout, a few veterans and a Walmart employee noticed her and offered to walk her to her car. Phew, and also, P.U.!  

Decades under the influence

TikTok content creator Jadon Smith (@jjadonsmith) posted a video that has been viewed more than 110,000 times showing Walmart name tags labeled with the number of years an employee had been working for the company. This video depicts an employee who has worked at the retailer for 35 years.  

Others in the comment sections also reveal, “My Grandma has been working at Walmart for 45 years,” another person said, “There’s a guy at my local Walmart who’s been working there for 53 years.” This particular issue likely comes down to generational divides. Hopping around to different jobs was not a staple of older generations.    

According to Career Builder boomers stay at jobs an average of 8 years and 3 months, Gen X stays 5 years and 2 months, millennials stay 2 years and 9 months, and Gen Z stays 2 years and 3 months.

I don’t know, kiddos. Ain’t no shame in that pension game.

Over and out

Walmart customer Nick Robinson (@babylonian) went viral on TikTok after using the store’s intercom system to page a staffer. It worked.  

In the video, a voiceover narrates Nick’s plight, “Spent way too long waiting for someone to come open the case in the Walmart electronics section. So I took matters into my own hands.”

Nick picks up the in-store phone and says “assistance needed in the Entertainment Section.” Before the employee arrived, a random bogie asks, “Do you work here?” and Nick responds, “No,” with a laugh. The man buttons the exchange by giving props, “I like it. I like it.”  

Electronics have historically been locked up in big chain retailers. But lately consumers have been seeing even the smallest items locked in pharmacies, big chains, and mom-and-pop shops, like this other Walmart customer who complained about $4 batteries being locked behind a glass display door.

This requires employees to walk all over the store to unlock many different products. Between that, the labor shortage, and continued supply chain complications, it’s no wonder no one came to greet Nick.

Here’s hoping he still bought that 4K TV he had his eye on.    

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*First Published: Jul 16, 2023, 12:16 pm CDT