Sunday, April 25, 2021, Walmart Supercenter #153 in New Albany did not have U.S. currency on hand to give change to its customers who wanted to pay cash.
Walmart employees on the scene Sunday told a NEMiss.News reporter ‘the problem is that the store has not received deliveries of cash in the past two weeks.’
There were many dozens of shoppers in the store that Sunday afternoon. Whether at a regular check-out station or one of the “do-it-yourself automated check outs,” no cash was available to make change.
Customers were forced to use either credit cards or pay by check. Presumably if a customer could tender exact cash for a $37.53 tax-included purchase it would have been accepted, although our reporter was not able to confirm that.
However, offer a crisp new $50-bill, and neither human cashier or the automated tellers could give you back a ten, two ones, a quarter, two dimes and two pennies in change.
NEMiss.News posted a little story about this hard-to-believe situation Sunday evening, and it got several hundred readers pretty quickly. Feed-back from readers made it clear that many of them had had this problem when they tried to pay cash for stuff at Walmart.
Monday afternoon, April 26, another NEMiss.News reporter talked with a manager at Walmart Supercenter #153.
The manager told our reporter: “We just didn’t have any cash. We have some now. We just now got some. If Brinks doesn’t come, we don’t have change. The last time Brink’s came was April 12th.”
The manager told us further that, “We called Brink’s and they said they can’t talk to us.”
The manager we talked with, who had been with the New Albany Walmart for five years, said Brink’s had also failed to deliver currency to the store once before – “during the ice storm in February.”
There had been no ice storms or other severe weather during the two weeks between the Brink’s delivery of currency to Walmart on April 12 the one finally made the afternoon of April 26th.
The more we learned, the stranger this story became.
Walmart is the world’s biggest retailer. They have 11,443 stores in 26 countries and do more than half-a-trillion dollars in business annually. That’s a good many Brink’s truck-loads of money.
Brink’s itself is a huge outfit. They do business in over 100 countries and have 134,000 employees. They have had a history of labor problems in the U.S. for the last several years. A quick Google or Bing search will show many complaints by Brink’s workers regarding poor working conditions, etc. However, they must be doing something right somewhere: a year ago their stock was selling for $47.42 per share; it closed yesterday at $76.91.
It is not uncommon for an experienced reporter to be in a situation in which you know that no matter how many questions you ask and to whom, you’re never going to get a really straight story, never going to learn the real truth about something.
This was one of those instances, a story so bizarre that one knew intuitively the full truth was not going to be told. However, reporters find this frustrating, so they often continue asking questions, trying to find out what the hell happened.
How could the world’s biggest cash courier fail for two weeks to deliver cash to a unit of the world’s largest user of cash?
So we called the Brink’s office on Getwell Road in Memphis yesterday afternoon, Tuesday, April 27.
After several minutes of call-waiting on their phone answering system, then being transferred from a “Shaniqua” to a “Josh” and finally to a “Brittney” (no last name, of course) we got a sort of answer that, while not particularly informative, sort of indicates why there might be a problem:
We asked how it could be possible that Brink’s would fail for two weeks to deliver currency to the New Albany Walmart.
“I’m not going to give you an answer,” said the officious Brittney. “The Brink’s corporate office in Coppell Texas contacted Walmart’s corporate office. Someone from Brink’s is going to fly out to Walmart headquarters to talk to them.”
The reporter asked what the Brink’s honcho was going to say to the Walmart big wheel in Bentonville, Arkansas.
“We’re not at liberty to discuss anything with you,” said Miss Brittney.
Then, Brittney shouted,” War Eagle! and hung up the phone.
“War Eagle?” A frustrated Auburn fan or maybe it’s Brinks-ese for, “Screw you?”
Then we called the Brink’s corporate office in Richmond, Virginia. We reached a more sophisticated, more professional woman there, who politely referred our question to “Cass,” who is in charge of Brink’s “customer and investor relations.”
We reached Cass’s voicemail, which told us to leave our message on the machine and that Cass would get back to us right away. We left our question about how it was Brink’s would fail to deliver currency to the world’s largest retailer.
That was 24 hours ago, and Cass hasn’t called yet. We’re sure she’s working on it and will call any minute now.
Brink's, New Albany MS, no cash, Northeast MS news, Union County MS, Wal-Mart, War Eagle