by Upstate NY
Fri Jul 28th, 2006 at 10:56:34 AM EST
Today, Walmart could not make a go of it in Germany after 10 years and big losses, and so it sold all its land and stores and warehouses to German company Metro at a loss. I read a very short blurb on it this morning, and so I found an earlier article that explained some of WalMarts troubles:
One of the things that struck me about Walmart and the drones from Arkansas is that they believed they could export Middle America values to Europe. Walmart in Germany asked employees to greet customers at the door, to smile at them heartily and cheerily, to make shopping a family experience. This was a big turnoff for Germans obviously, and it should have been a lesson well learned by the twits from Arkansas already. After all, this is the same phony flakiness that us uppity Northeasterners experience when entering a Walmart in the USA. Now, for Germans and the Coasters in the US, the happy attitude may seem phony, but I grant that it is not phony for down-home Arkansans and their neighbors. A few years ago, I was on a visit to Ok. State University in Stillwater, OK, and I was constantly greeted by cheery students and staff. Briefly, I considered that maybe they had heard I had arrived on campus (j/k) but then the happiness quickly began to wear. I had to get out of my brain and thoughts constantly just to acknowledge the salutes. The parking attendant took an extra 30 seconds of my life at her parking attendant's booth. Blonde boys and girls (lots of Oklahoma blondes) greeted me with high-pitched squealing "Hi's!" and growly "heys" everywhere I went, even as I slouched to an early 8 AM meeting with coffee in hand trying to awake.
How absurd that Walmart could imagine this Middle American quirk could be exported when in fact it's site specific to a peculiar section of America! Absurd.