Walmart (NYSE:WMT) and Xerox (NYSE:XRX) are pointing fingers at each other after Xerox's Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system failed at stores in 17 states on Saturday, Oct. 12.
A technical glitch – a Xerox backup generator failed – temporarily lifted the spending limit or EBT balance for food stamp recipients. As a result, at two Walmart stores in Louisiana, some EBT recipients were able to snag eight carts of groceries or more. Shoppers literally cleared the shelves at the two locations.
"It was definitely worse than Black Friday. It was worse than anything we had seen in this town," Springhill (La.) Police Chief Will Lynd told ABCNews.com, The Gospel Herald reported.
However, it is unclear which company will pick up the tab for the problem. Kayla Whiting, a spokeswoman at Walmart's Bentonville, Ark., headquarters, pointed to Xerox as the source of the problem and referred further questions to the EBT provider, Huffington Post reported.
However, Xerox has a "documented process for retailers like Wal-Mart to follow in response to EBT outages," Xerox corporate spokesman Bill McKee told Huffington Post. Typically, retailers stop accepting food stamps during an outage, but Walmart opted to continue accepting food stamps during so people could feed their families, spokeswoman Whiting told KSLA-TV, according to The Gospel Herald.
Walmart Looks to Further Expansion in China, India
Walmart Competes with Amazon on Massive New Fulfillment Centers
Walmart Cutting Orders to Stem Inventory Tide
Big Walmart Supplier Denies Order Cuts
UK Watchdog Says Biggest Department Stores Fixed Sports Bra Prices