Insist on Walmart standards.
“Vendors set up their displays and usually do a good job,” Sameer says, “but you have to make sure they follow Walmart requirements.” Rollback items should be displayed prominently, for example. “Rollbacks always go up front, since they’re what brings customers in.”
“And don’t let them leave their area messy,” he says. “You want clean sightlines, so customers can easily find what they need.”
“When they bring you freight you don’t need, be direct: Tell them you won’t take it,” he says. “What they’re doing has to work for my customers, not just for the vendor.” Sometimes a vendor wants more space in the coolers, but Sameer refuses because the vendors don’t have the staff to restock. When he’s owed a credit, he makes sure they don’t forget. “I’ll follow up with them regularly,” he says.
Sameer is always respectful and expects vendors to treat associates the same. “If a merchandiser is rude, I call up their marketing office. That fixes it.”
Make Walmart the first delivery of the day.
For many vendors, Walmart is their biggest customer, so Sameer insists they deliver to his store before others. “I never want them jamming customer traffic.” On weekends, he requests deliveries at 4:30 a.m. so vendors are out by the time customers arrive.
Be professional and understanding.
“It’s the most important thing,” says Sameer. “Have empathy, love your vendors, work with them, and don’t forget to tell them ‘thank you.’ Their products are good, but don’t blow up my backroom!”