How Walmart is trying to solve its excessive inventory problems

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Hello, I’m Matt Turner, Business Editor at Insider. Welcome to Insider Weekly, a roundup of some of our best stories.


On the program today:

Before you begin: Ben Tobin, our resident Walmart reporter, published an article last week about “chaotic, overcrowded back rooms and outdoor storage units full of unsold goods.” Today, Ben is here to break down the latest.


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Inside Walmart’s Major Inventory Issue

Walmart’s excess inventory problems are spilling over into its stores – literally, Insider’s Ben Tobin writes.

The company said it ended the first quarter with a 32% increase in inventory due to inflation and supply chain issues, and is dealing with the consequences.

Store workers told Insider about issues like the myriad of pallets making floors impassable, boxes blocking access to places like nursing rooms and private bathrooms, and outdoor trailers filled with overstock. .

So what’s the next step?

Walmart on Monday slashed its second-quarter and full-year profit forecast — and overstocking has been a major culprit the company is desperately trying to combat.

In an internal memo sent ahead of the earnings forecast change, Walmart told store managers that their stores may suspend automatic inventory ordering systems.

And in another internal memo sent when Walmart made its announcement, the company asked store managers to “immediately” cut prices on summer items. But analysts and store managers think it may be too little, too late.

Now on to the rest of our stories.


Back to office rule breaker

iStock; Alyssa Powell / Insider

Two years into the pandemic, much of corporate America has given employees two choices: take you back to your cubicle or quit. Many chose the former. And in the Great Resignation, many others opted for the latter.

But some have carved out a third way: refuse to comply with back-to-work orders and hope to get away with it.

At the heart of the Great Resistance.


The quest to find 8,000 bitcoins

How Walmart is trying to solve its excessive inventory problems
iStock; Rebecca Zisser/Insider

In 2013, James Howells threw away an iPhone 6-sized hard drive that he claimed contained 8,000 bitcoins, now worth around $181 million, even after the recent crypto crash.

Now the 36-year-old is hoping to stage an $11 million scavenger hunt – complete with robot dogs, human sorters and an artificial intelligence machine – to retrieve the hard drive.

How to find a hard drive in a dump.


Paul Weiss’ armchair ponders its future

How Walmart is trying to solve its excessive inventory problems
Matt Rourke/AP; iStock; Andrew Kelly/Reuters; Savanna Durr / Insider

Trusted adviser to billionaires, political power broker and media schemer, Brad Karp leads a whirlwind life at the head of one of America’s most powerful law firms. He won dozens of clients, including Citibank, the NFL and Apollo – and gained notice for representing Leon Black.

The prospect of a Paul Weiss without Karp is like the Chicago Bulls without Michael Jordan. But in an interview, he told us that the job had an impact on his psyche.

Our profile of the lawyer of the rich and powerful.


Big Pharma is keeping a miracle cure out of reach of children

How Walmart is trying to solve its excessive inventory problems
Paola Andrea Fernández de Soto Abdul-Rahim holds her two-year-old son, Jakob Kamil Guziak, in their Edmonton home.Kyler Zeleny

Jakob Kamil Guziak lives in a bubble created by his parents. He was born with an illness dubbed ‘bubble boy’ disease – and for Jakob and his family, it’s like living in the kind of isolated and frightening confinement that defined the early days of COVID-19.

A cure for Jakob’s disease exists. But her family doesn’t have access to it, not because they can’t afford it, but because the pharmaceutical companies that controlled the cure didn’t think they could profit from it.

How Big Pharma Can Save Kids Like Jakob — But Won’t.


This week’s quote:

“When you look at how millennials use the internet, they post perfect, good-looking profiles. For Gen Z, that’s pretty cringe.”

Alex Ma, creator of popular photo-sharing app Poparazzi


More of this week’s best reads:

  • These 37 technology companies are the most likely to be acquired by private equity firms.
  • It’s official: Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner are smarter than Mark Zuckerberg.
  • Banks are failing women – and it’s costing them $700 billion a year.
  • Google is pushing back its deadline for killing tracking cookies.
  • There are way too many Airbnbs, and that’s driving up rents.
  • The VCs shared the biotech startups they believe will take off next year.
  • Stop working so hard. It will make you happier and more productive.

You are invited: Join us on Tuesday, August 9 at noon ET for a virtual panel, presented by Schneider Electric, examining the challenges and opportunities of sustainable transformation – and what businesses and governments can do to make it possible. Register here.


More: Keep up to date with the latest business news throughout the week by checking out The Refresh from Insider, a dynamic brief audio from Insider’s newsroom. Listen here tomorrow.


Organized by Matt Turner. Edited by Jordan Parker Erb and Lisa Ryan. Sign up for more Insider newsletters here.

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