When Wal-Mart came to out town 24 years ago, we were happy to have them. At that time we had other stores, even a shopping mall. Quite a thriving retail evironment.
Years later, that’s all gone except Wal-Mart built a Supercenter and is the only kid on the block. I don’t blame Wal-Mart for everthing else going away. Many of the stores that are gone simply don’t exist anymore, some areas around us are more built up then they were 15-20 years ago and businesses left, and frankly, poor planning on the city’s part.
Anyway, back to the issue at hand. People’s opinion of Wal-Mart has shifted to “Let’s go to Wal-Mart, yeah!” to “Let’s go to these 4 different stores to get the things we need in order to get what we need so we can avoid Wal-Mart at all costs!”
For me, I don’t like the Supercenter aspect. When we had a small Wal-Mart I thought it would be great to have everything you needed all under one roof. While it may be convienient at times, it’s a monster and a pain to “run in” and get what you need. Everybody that is shopping there talks about how much they hate being there. In my town, there isn’t much of a choice. You get what you need here or you drive 20 miles north or south to get it. We’d rather shop here and complain. So it’s long lines, poorly managed stores, apathetic employees and just an overall feeling of misery at Wal-Mart. I didn’t feel that as much even 10 years ago when I worked there.
I hate Wal Mart with the fire of ten thousand fusion reactors.
When I am forced by circumstances to enter that wretched hive of scum and villainy, I can feel the very joy of life being drained from my essence.
It is emblematic of all that is wrong in the overly corporatized world in which we live.
But, if I need something I can’t buy unless I drive to Knoxville, then I will buy it at Wal*Mart.
Generally speaking, I do not like the place. The company’s “profits uber alles” approach to everything gets on my nerve. They’ve played a big role in driving small American manufacturers out of business by always buying cheaper products from overseas, particularly China, even when the Chinese product is only a fraction of a cent cheaper than an American product. The stores are ugly and monotonous to the point of being depressing. They do not treat their employees well, and most of the employees are, quite understandably, not pleasant.
Divide and conquer is basically walmarts business plan. They buy in massive quantity at price points smaller stores can only dream of, and crush all the smaller competitors in the area. As I understand it, it is not unknown for them to do things like target a local business type, (say pharmacy) then offer promos to undercut all the other local folks (like $5 off your normal copay for prescriptions) and run it for say 6 months.
All the smaller pharmacies start having several crappy months in a row due to the people running to walmart, many of them cannot survive several bad months and fold up. Once a few of the local pharmacies die off Walmart ends the promo, gets the extra $5 per prescription, and there is no place left to go other than walmart. Now that you have conquered Pharmacy, they move on to oil changes, or shoes, or sporting goods, or whatever vertical they want to crush next. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Once competitors are gone, you can also raise prices a hair over market and make even more margin without risking new competitors moving in as its still not worth it to open a new store when walmart can destroy you with a few mouse clicks and a newspaper insert.
Walmart is adequate. But I agree that they are, as a rule, far too large. The quality for things like clothing is simply not worth it. But, I can expect that whatever I want, I can find. However, even in my small hometown there are plenty of options besides Walmart.
I don’t like Walmart and avoid it at all costs. I had a friend once who worked as a manager there and he’d chastise me because I was being “ripped off” by going to other stores but I will gladly pay a little more for a better shopping experience. Besides, the times I’ve actually gone through the trouble of price checking (same brand, unit pricing) I’ve noticed the savings are pretty minimal at Walmart.
I can’t stand the corporate culture and attitudes of Walmart. Frontline had a show called “Is Walmart Good for America” a few years ago that was very eye opening. Walmart cloaks itself in the flag and pretends to be a friend of the American worker while doing everything they can to prevent those same workers from ever rising above poverty.
Wal Mart is essentially an outlet store for Chinese made garbage. The problem is as the number one Retailer by far, suppliers must do as they say. Their demand for lower prices over the years has helped force the mass migration of jobs out of the US. More, to keep the costs low, things like clothes that would last for years are now made so cheaply that they last months and end up as garbage and get replaced.
They also funnel money out of neighborhoods and send it to either Arkansas or China. On the other side of that equation they treat their employees like garbage as well.
even when Money is tight I refuse to support them with my dollars. I would rather pay more and go somewhere else. Wal Mart chooses to run their business this way. Costco and other stores have figured out how to make a profit more responsibly then Wal Mart.
This soap box is making me dizzy. I guess I’ll stop now
Back in the 90s Walmart fought a battle against Blockbuster Video about VHS and DVD pricing - BBV argued that prices should be high ($50+ for crap like The Money Pit) as movies were an elite product and lowering prices would decrease the appeal of the product. Walmart argued that movies were a consumer product, and pricing them to move (say spending $19.99 on The Money Pit (still too much)) would result in greater revenues for the studios.
This was really the beginning of the end for BBV as people, just as Walmart said they would, went crazy purchasing movies.
Anyway, the WM near us is crowded and their grocery section doesn’t hold a candle to the HEB down the street.
Walmarts around here are hard to navigate since they have so much merchandise blocking the main aisles, and the things I’d buy are always scattered to the far ends of the store. The pricing on many items is hit and miss. There are always long lines to check out since there aren’t enough lines open. I don’t enjoy Walmart any more.
So, I only go there for cat food, cheap canvas shoes, or the occasional bottle of windshield washer fluid. There is plenty of grocery competition around here still, so I don’t have to buy their groceries. I just wish we had Target and Meijer and a 1970s K-Mart also. K-Mart was awesome in the 70s. Now they just suck.
BTW, does any one here know how the Walmart employee health insurance Fox News was touting really works? Who’s eligible? Hourly, salaried, full or part time?
I don’t buy make up, grown up clothes, shoes, produce, meat, or jewelry at Walmart. I go fairly regularly for things like toiletries, baby items, toys, and grocery staples.
I hate Walmart. It makes me crabby, it makes my kids crabby, and my husband and I are almost guaranteed to fight about stupid shit on days we all go together. I still hate it when I’m all by myself but it goes faster and I’m already better by the time I get home.
I don’t like going to WalMart because the ones around here are pure misery to go to. No one knows their merchandise, they feel dirty to me, You can’t walk a straight line from one end to the other, it’s nearly impossible to just go in and quickly get something, the list goes on. I like the joke I saw on Reddit the other day: TARGET: Where you pay a little more to avoid going to Wal-Mart
I detest Wal-Mart’s business practices, but I’d happily shop there every week if the experience wasn’t so dreadful. Every Wal-Mart I’ve visited has been a fucking mess. The shelves always look like they’ve been ransacked, or stocked by a person tossing items from six feet away. Many times I’ve been there just to get one particular item, and found an empty shelf where that one item is supposed to be. I can never find one of those handbaskets that I much prefer over pushing a cart. And what is the point of having 30 checkout lanes if only two or three are open?
I can’t speak to their treatment of employees or anything like that, but I’m a big fan of specialty stores with real expertise in their field. Sure they are a little more expensive and perhaps not as efficient but I don’t mind paying for a little expertise. I just like the experience. It makes me feel more confident in my purchase.
Also, not thrilled with the amount they import from china.
I refuse to shop there mainly because of the way they treat their employees, in particular the denial of pay and benefits.
I do know a Wal-Mart pharmacist who is also a lawyer (he realized during his L3 year that he really didn’t want to be a lawyer after all, but he did graduate and take the bar exam) and they KNOW not to mess with him. Otherwise, yeah.
A while back, one of my Facebook friends who is also a Wal-Mart pharmacist wrote “I work in a shithole!” on her Wall. I was not the only person who let her know that she might want to delete that post, especially because she had just gotten divorced at the time and has two kids. :smack: She did.
I live 5 minutes away from a Target. Walmart is 20 minutes away and I didn’t even know it was there until last week, despite having lived in this area for almost 20 years. We have one Walmart in the entire county, which has a population of around a million, so it’s not a very convenient or popular shopping option here, thankfully. I don’t like how they treat their workers but I can’t really say that I actively boycott it because it just doesn’t cross my radar here and it’s extremely easily to avoid. Which I approve of.