Walmart Corporate – Walmart Launches Fresh Produce Guarantee in U.S. Stores

Were listening to our customers and delivering on our promise to offer great produce at the most affordable price,” said Jack Sinclair, executive vice president of the food business for Walmart U.S. “We are so sure our customers will be pleased with the fruits and vegetables they buy in our stores, they can receive a full refund if they arent completely happy.”The retailers initiative includes:Delivering produce from farms to store shelves faster by purchasing fruits and vegetables directly from growers and leveraging Walmarts produce experts, distribution centers and trucking systems;Executing independent weekly checks in its more than 3,400 Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and Express Stores that sell produce; and,Launching Fresh Produce Schools and other expanded training programs to 70,000 associates.

via Walmart Corporate – Walmart Launches Fresh Produce Guarantee in U.S. Stores.

Breaking news — Wal*Mart to sell produce that doesn’t suck.  This would be a major big deal for them.  They know that one of the main reasons people choose not to shop there is that they have to go somewhere else to get produce that’s fresh.

So … they’re making a major commitment to teaching their associates what fresh produce looks like  (I am not making this up, and I am not trying to be mean).  They’re also going to direct-ship from harvest houses to stores, to save a day or more getting to and from regional distribution centers.

Interestingly enough, actual food does not fit the Wal*Mart distribution model.  It goes bad, and it can’t be shipped around like a bunch of car tires.

We remain a little skeptical.  Part of the new plan is that produce will have to be field-labeled with very specific labeling implying a pretty good degree of IT sophistication, which will make it even less likely that your produce came from a family farm. We’re also not sure how this initiative matches up with Wal*Mart’s previous statement that they’re going to move toward buying locally, sustainably, and selling heritage varieties of produce.  All that is yet to be seen.

And we’re not sure how the money-back guarantee actually w0rks.  What is known is that you can take your receipt back, without the underlying no-longer-good produce, and get your money back.  We’ve not seen any mention of whether you have a certain number of days to make the claim, which really should vary by what you’ve bought, to be fair.

Overall — it’s a good effort.  Theoretically.  We’ll have to wait and see if it’s mostly marketing fluff or if their produce aisle starts to actually be a bountiful farmers market of infinite variety of really fresh food.

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