December 06, 2005

Wal-Mart, I Do Not Love Thee

Yesterday I had many things to get done before I had to fetch The Boy at 12:30. I needed to get regular groceries, plus a twenty (or so) pound turkey. I needed to get some 1-inch foam and some particular colors of felt from a fabric store. I needed to get some hardwood dowels, a universal remote for a TV we were given months ago and that hasn't worked because the giver forgot to give the remote with it and I needed to look for a Christmas present for my mother-in-law.

I decided since Wal-Mart sells groceries, fabric, some wooden crafty stuff, electronics and all sorts of potential Christmas presents that I would make the twenty minute trek. I could get all of those things some where around my neighborhood, but I love the idea of one-stop shopping and I haven't been to Wal-Mart in almost six months.

Now I remember why I haven't been to Wal-Mart in six months. The produce wasn't particularly nice. They had no large turkeys at all. The Great Value sandwich bread is super cheap, but the mid-grade sandwich bread I prefer to buy was more expensive than at my regular store. They didn't have anything but pine dowels. They didn't carry foam or the felt I wanted. They didn't have the Christmas present I wanted to buy. They did have a Universal remote though.

After leaving Wal-Mart, I still had to go to the fabric store where I got the felt and foam. Then I ran by my favorite grocery store where the lights were bright, the mood was cheery and they carried the turkey and a few other things out to the car for me. After picking up The Boy, I still had to go to the hardware store and buy dowels.

In other words, the trip to Wal-Mart only saved me a trip to an electronics store, but I had to redo everything else. Plus the colors, the lighting and the crowded feeling of Wal-Mart always leave me feeling slightly less loving towards my fellow man.

In theory, I think Wal-Mart is wonderful. Provide the masses with goods they otherwise could not have. Bring employment that otherwise wouldn't be there to towns, etc. There is much to be liked about the place, no matter that it is the chi-chi thing to sneer at the store and those who shop there. However, personally my experiences there are never happy ones and I actually get a lot more done when I avoid the store. I think I'll wait at least six more months before venturing back, if I can help it.


My biggest complaint about Wal-Mart is the parking lot. I hate trying to find a space.

Also all the junk everywhere.

The aisles are too close together, stuff packed in the middle.

I rarely go there myself.

I'm a Target girl.

Posted by: Mary at December 6, 2005 12:17 PM

Oh my--I wrote a almost identical post a while back! (Except I didn't show any love at the end--lol!)

Posted by: chewymom at December 6, 2005 01:25 PM

I agree with Mary. It is such a pain in the butt to get in and out of Walmart. I'm also not really all that impressed with their music and clothing selection.

I LOVES me Target. And Best Buy is a great place to buy CDs and DVDs at a resonable price.

Posted by: Chickadee at December 6, 2005 08:30 PM

FWIW I've had better luck with Wal-Mart merchandise than Target merchandise, both quality- and cost-wise.

I'm not opposed to Wal-Mart in principle, but I didn't especially want one to open in our town, since I'm very attached to the downtown community, and it really doesn't need any competition. When I can, I do my shopping within walking distance. But then, I'm never in a rush to pick up a pre-school boy. My boy can still come with me, and he very much enjoys the walks. Gosh, I wish I were healthy enough to take him out again!!!

Posted by: Lenise at December 6, 2005 09:48 PM

Maybe it is the male perspective or the cheap perspective or just perhaps I’m channeling my inner redneck [not that hard to do] but I love Wal-Mart. I tend to go on Saturday or Friday night. This is when most of the local Hispanics also shop. It is crowded but everyone and their families seems to be in a good mood. My wife makes fun of me but the feeling is sort of like going to the county fair.

Posted by: jim at December 7, 2005 10:27 AM

I too don't care too much for the Wal-Mart. We went as a family the other day and only found one thing out of several we needed. It's crowded and cluttered and so huge it feels like it takes a month of Sundays to get from one end to the other, and it usually takes a long time to check out.

Posted by: jennifer at December 7, 2005 11:27 AM

Like Jim, when you're in a small town the Wal-Mart is a place for entertainment as well as to be seen. Once you understand what Wally-world has to offer, then you can grab what you need from there and go.

Would your "rep" with the German-hippie school folks suffer if they caught you in there shopping? Or is it already low since you're a suspected conservative?

Posted by: MarcV at December 7, 2005 11:30 AM

My Kmart experience is usually like your Walmart one. The one near us is never clean, it's overpriced, and it never having quite what I need. It does have the benefit of being nearly deserted most of the time, making it much quicker to find out they don't have what I need.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at December 7, 2005 01:40 PM

I wrote a post about a year ago compaining about waiting in line at Wal-Mart. Every time I go in there, there are two or three check out lanes open out of a possible 23.

It drives me nuts that Wal-Mart, a company that make more money than many nations in the world, can't pay a few more cashiers seven dollars an hour so I can get out of there in a timely fashion.

Posted by: Dean at December 8, 2005 08:13 AM

We've shopped at WalMart once since being back in the States. Needed some basic household set up items (mop, dishes, utensils) and figured it was the most cost-friendly choice. We got what we needed, and it was clean and not crowded, unlike other descriptions here. But I still felt yucky afterwards.

You know the feeling after you shop at the thrift store, like you need to wash your hands? That feeling.

Twice since then, I've driven into the parking lot at WalMart, because it was the convenient place to go. Both times I felt anxious and stressed just being in the parking lot, and drove off.

I think I've sworn off WalMart for good.

Posted by: TulipGirl at December 10, 2005 09:37 PM