On the same day in five widely spread store locations, WALMART closed their doors with hardly any notice, letting their employees go and bringing in private security while shoppers were dismayed at the speed of the action. The stores were located in California, Texas (2), Oklahoma, and Florida. The company put out a press release saying that the five stores had major plumbing problems that would take six months to repair, yet in all five locations local government said that no building permits had been requested. Even Channel 10 in Tampa (not far from the location in Brandon, FL) interviewed a plumber who said that since a Walmart can be built within six months, he could think of no reason to believe that claim from the chain.
This then brought conspiracy thoughts to some who said it would probably mean that the company had an agreement to lease stores to the feds for use as FEMA camps. Paul Joseph Watson of infowars.com offered this possibility and, frankly, with some of the things going on in the White House stranger things could be true. But no one knows for sure what is going on, only that it is very strange.
Later today I heard another theory that is also possible. What if Walmart, which has agreed to minimum pay wage increases, has decided to further automate their operations? What if the five stores in question become pilot locations for technological advances in areas like inventory management and stocking and major increases in the use of self check out lanes?
Who knows, but it does pose a possibility for a retailer who must constantly meet increasing demand from stockholders who want to squeeze more out of a company that is already noted as the champion of cost containment. After all, they could give the pay raise and still come out with a better bottom line by paying for it and then some by reducing the number of employees. Maybe it won't be long before a robotized greeter awaits you when you enter the store.
I guess we'll find out soon enough, whether we notice the blue helmet guys running around or high tech installation crews arrive. Life changes fast these days and whatever it means for Walmart, I'm still trying to figure out why it will take six months. Could it just be that they have decided to close some stores in a consolidation move? Sooner or later the real story will come out. In the meantime, we've got bigger concerns to be worried about.
But the story does bring out an even bigger problem and it's this. Why do a significant number of Americans today entertain thoughts of conspiracy so frequently? Could it be because they don't think they can trust their government? Well, maybe it's because they have every right to feel that way because time and again government has shown that it can't be trusted. And that, my friends, is just the honest truth.
Hat tip to infowars.com and Tampa Channel 10.