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Thread: Your thoughts on major retailers in your area

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Your thoughts on major retailers in your area

    So when you gotta go buy something, where do you typically go? I noticed the prices at Wal-Mart's and a regional chain called Meijer's are usually pretty low, so you can buy alot of stuff when you go there. Heck, I can fill up the back of the F-150 with groceries for under $300.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plus
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    None are downtown, all out on typical commercial strip in what was the edge of town.
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  3. #3
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    Well spawlmart killed all but one grocery store in our town. Kmart is still going here and has a strong following for those who don't want to go to wallyworld.

    Our liquor store is nicely stocked.

    We still don't have a Macy's
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
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  4. #4
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    The Walmart's in NJ do not have a grocery store like the one's in the South. I usually shop at Shop Rite for groceries but Target is giving them a run with an expanded grocery section (about 1/3 of the store) and very competitive pricing, I can combine trips and don't have to sit in a line forever.

    Home improvement-Lowe's usually gets my business since the people there are nicer and generally more informed.

    There's a small crappy Macy's near us but the one at the mall 15 minutes away is much better, I still rarely shop there. Heck, I rarely shop at the mall in general. I prefer my point-click method of shopping.

    In my 'burb we don't have a downtown so there aren't cutesy local businesses grouped in a convenient location to shop from like there is in a lot of other NJ towns. Our move in June will bring some improvement in that area.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  5. #5
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Where I currently live, I'm about 15 minutes from two major retail corridors that have everything. One is to the northwest, one is to the southeast.

    However, there is a Walmart Supercenter conveniently located less than 5 minutes from where I am, and since I have been indoctrinated to them through college, and because they have almost everything, and they have really good prices, and the quality is really good (this is a nicer store built about 5 years ago, and I feel Walmart's quality has gotten remarkably better than since when I was a little kid), I shop there for most things. As a young single guy who's currently renting, Walmart just works best for me. Most of the stuff I get is food/groceries, other consumables, and housewares. And so what if the housewares is cheap stuff from China...I don't care. It's cheap and it works for now. When I make a crapload of money and have a house someday, then maybe I will buy better stuff for my house. But right now, Walmart has the things I need at prices I can afford.

    Other places I frequent:
    • Binny's Beverage Depot...a local Chicago area chain that has basically all the beer, wine, and liquor you could ask for at reasonable prices, especially since I have a discount card. And the stores are spacious (around 15,000-20,000 sf), clean, laid-out nice, and I can get in and out pretty quickly. They also tend to have a middle/upper-middle class clientele, so I don't have to deal with the riff-raff you find at other liquor stores. I go maybe once a month, or once every couple months.
    • Hallmark...I take my greeting card shopping seriously. I don't put up with the low-brow stuff they have at the major retailers. I'm also a Gold Crowns rewards member. I tend to buy several cards at a time, and stockpile for the different seasons.
    • Best Buy...I go occasionally for electronics items. When I need new headphones, the occasional CD, and major purchases when they arise. I just bought my new computer here last year. Got a car stereo here a few years back. Usually have good experiences here. I go here as needed.
    • Kohl's...for my clothes shopping. Good prices, and they usually have everything you could imagine. I go there probably once a season.
    • Dick's Sporting Goods...occasionally (sometimes for clothes/shoes). I'll go there maybe a couple times a year.
    • Cabela's...guns, ammo, outdoors stuff. For the "rugged" side of me. I'll go there a few times a year.
    • I used to go to Borders for books. Now it's Barnes & Noble. And I typically go in there more to browse than buy, since I have so many books already.
    • Walgreens...when I'm on the go and want to get a couple items and get in and out really quick. Also take my prescriptions there.
    • Other stores I go to occasionally: Michael's, Party City, Target, Meijer, Menards, Ace Hardware, AutoZone, Men's Wearhouse, Jewel (Chicago area grocer that everyone used to go to before Walmart, Meijer, and Target started building supercenters in the suburbs...they still have a good meat dept, deli, dairy, produce, and bakery, so I will still sometimes go here for these things), Petco (toys for my dog), Toys 'R' Us (toys for my nephews), JC Penney or Carsons (usually only at Christmas, when I need to get a gift here, or for jewelry, and sometimes clothes). I shun Macy's because I'm one of those Chicago people that is still upset they took over Marshall Field's.
    Last edited by illinoisplanner; 02 Apr 2012 at 1:14 PM.
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  6. #6
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    This year my wife and I decided to make a concerted effort to shop as locally as we can. Whether that means shopping at a locally owned business or at a locally sited business is up to interpretation though.

    For groceries we are lucky that we have two full-service grocery stores within walking distance of our house. We split our time between them with about 60% of our purchases at Kroger and the rest at the locally-owned place called Plum Market. The problem with the Plum Market is that there bakery, deli, and prepared foods are sort of like a boutique and come with a 20% premium in price over the Kroger across the street. We have slowly been making more of those purchases at the Plum Market though lately because we like to walk with our daughter to the store and Plum Market doesn't require us to cross the street.

    Once in a great while we will go to the big box that Maister mentioned, Meijer. At our old apartment we would go to Meijer more frequently but the closest one to our house has an awful parking lot so we avoid everything in that complex like the plague.

    We are lucky that within easy walking distance of our house, there are the grocery stores I mentioned, a handful of restaurants, an old-timey ice cream parlour, a coffee shop, a deli, a bakery, a candy store, a couple pharmacies, a few pizza places, our bank (as well as a few other banks), etc. If you are willing to walk a little more, there is a nice downtown area with two movie theatres, plenty of stores and restaurants, a farmer's market, bars, etc.

    The only thing that I avoid the locally owned places for are for hardware/home improvement needs since the ones near us cater to those who must make much more than I do so I usually go to the Home Depot. There are plenty of Home Depot and Lowe's stores in the area but I pick which one I go to most frequently by which one has the best hot dog stand. Household goods we usually get at Target. There is one relatively close to our house but I usually stop at the one by my office since it's never busy and I like it because it is built up above its parking lot and has windows looking out over the busy highway... and I like using the escalator for the carts.

    Other than that, we live not far from a major mall with Macy's, Nordrstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks 5th Avenue, and all the little stores you would expect. I haven't been there in at least six months. My wife goes quite frequently, especially in the mornings when the weather is bad because it's a convenient place to talk the daughter for a walk.

    In the end though, if I get in my car, I am probably within 10 minutes of anything that is available in Metro Detroit.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  7. #7
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    The Houston area is one of the most competitive grocery markets in the country. many stores have entered the market, only to pack up and leave within 2-3 years. Food Lion and Albertson's both tried in the late 90's/early 2000's. Here the main contenders are Kroger, HEB, Walmart and to a lesser extent in some neighborhoods, Randalls (Safeway), SuperTarget and Fiesta (catering to the Hispanic population). We also have a handful of Whole Foods and Trader Joe's is entering the market (3 opening in the area this year).

    I tend to do most of my grocery shopping at Kroger and HEB, with a visit to Whole Foods for a few vegetarian items about once a month. I tend to avoid Walmart because it is very crowded and the lines take forever. I also find that Walmart's prices aren't that much better than Kroger or HEB. For most houseware items (toilet paper, laundry soap, etc) I iwll go to Walmart or Target, especially since the 5% discount their Red Card gives you makes Target comparable to Walmart.

    I prefer Lowe's for my hardware/home improvement needs. I prefer them due to my dad using them all the time when he was building their house. Although when I was living up north I preferred Menards. In my suburb we do have a local hardware store but they have odd hours and are halfway across town.

    For my adult beverage needs I shop at Spec's, a Texas owned chain. They have a massive selection of beer, wine, liquor, deli items and are significantly cleaner and better than the other liquor stores in my 'burb. The staff is great and has always given me good recommendations when needed.

    My pet food mostly comes from Petco. My local Petco stocks the brand of dog food my dogs eat, which isn't available at Walmart, etc. I am a member of ther PALS club, and they are always sending me coupons for the dog's food. I dont think I have paid full price for it in over a year!

    My 'burb has very few businesses downtown, with two strips of big box/chain retail. Houston proper has a good deal of local, independent businesses that I will patronize if I am in the area, although most of my independent business support tends to be focused on restaurants.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by WSU MUP Student View post
    In the end though, if I get in my car, I am probably within 10 minutes of anything that is available in Metro Detroit.
    'Cept of course for the Gibraltar Trade Center... but until you get one of those at least you have Dixieland by work. One of my first expeirences I had in bad zoning was @ the mall where your Plum Market is. I was probably about six and was passed over a concrete wall behind it to shorten the walk to a place in the mall from one of my parent's friend's houses! I've yet to be in that Target of which you speak, I will make it there one day. I don't blame you for shopping there it looks cool.

    If only I could go into a store and buy pants that would not make me look like Jethro, I'd be a happy man. Till then I am relegated to the tailor or driving to Toledo where there is a Dillards. I am not big enough to shop in the Big and Tall stores, but I am certainly tall enough, maybe I need more ice cream?
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  9. #9
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    carrefour shopper

    i point and laugh at you estupide americains and your pale imitations of the hypermarket, an institution that was invented in europe. i spit on americain exceptionalism and their puny walmart supercenters; a bichon frise compared to the standard poodles that are carrefour, auchan, and metro. let us compare your typical walmart shopper



    with that of a typical carrefour shopper.



    i would make pity on you if you americains were not all so stupide. instead i make spit on you. ptui! ptui!
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  10. #10
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner View post
    'Cept of course for the Gibraltar Trade Center...
    My first apartment on my own was not far from the Gibraltar Trade Center in Mt. Clemens. I went there once. I don't miss not living any closer to it these days.

    One of my first expeirences I had in bad zoning was @ the mall where your Plum Market is. I was probably about six and was passed over a concrete wall behind it to shorten the walk to a place in the mall from one of my parent's friend's houses!
    That is the same neighborhood I live in. Each time I walk to that strip mall I curse the planners for not at least leaving a little cut-out in that wall and shortening my walk by approximately 48 seconds! At least Maple has a sidewalk right there...
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  11. #11
    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Heck, I can fill up the back of the F-150 with groceries for under $300.
    About the same as it costs to fill the tank!
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  12. #12
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner View post
    'Cept of course for the Gibraltar Trade Center...
    Here's how I learned of its existence.



    The Buffalo equivalent is Super Flea, located in an old GEX that hasn't had a dime of work put into it since it closed nearly 40 years ago.

    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  13. #13
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Depending on the need, there are a handful of stores that meet most of our requirements within about 5 miles. I can walk or easily bike to a 7-11, a small regional chain supermarket (a bit sketchy in some areas, but has the basics) and a local brew pub (a necessity). There is a coop that is a longer bike ride, but still doable. Otherwise, the rest of the stuff in the 5 mile radius we mostly drive to. One could bike, but the route and location makes it difficult and dangerous – especially if you are pulling a trailer of groceries. But within that circle, we have a Kmart, Sunflower Market, Albertson’s (regular supermarket) and local pet store (with a dog, a cat, fish and a rabbit, this comes up more than you would think…)
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  14. #14
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    The great thing about living in over retailed sprawllywood that is the Phoenix Metro plex is I have every chain within 10 minutes. Macy's...I got 3 with 10 miles...2 with in 5...I don't do Wal-Mart but if I did I have 6 to choose from...Target I have three with the Super Target being down the street. I can't swing a dead cat without hitting 5 big box home improvement retailers. As for grocery stores the Bashas (one of the few local chains left in AZ) closed their location near my home so I have to drive 2 miles to the Safeway or Fry's (owned by Krogers). If I want healthy and organic then its 5 miles to the Sprouts but if I am feeling like an over paid bureaucrat I can go to one of the largest Whole Foods in the country and enjoy 60,000 sq ft or overpriced organic produce and products that cost 4 times as much but are marginally better for me and the planet.
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  15. #15
    There is a lot to like about city living. Lots of department stores (including a Macy's) within walking distance or I can take a bus home if I buy too much (that only happens maybe one a year). Three chain grocery stores within walking distance and a smaller grocery store on the next block. There is no Walmart and the Target is only accessible by car but there is pretty much everything one could possibly want within a 20 minute walk of my condo. Plus there is a farmers market on Sunday about 50 feet from my front door.

    Once a year I go to the suburbs and buy tomato plants and other necessities for my garden.

  16. #16
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Living in a smallish, centrally isolated, barely metropolitan area, we're missing many of the retail chains that might be found in an area with even 20K or 30K more residents. There's only two full-service department store chains; Sears and Bon-Ton, both with very small stores compared to what I've seen in similarly sized metros. A few other chains here are in a smaller "rural format"; Kohl's, Dick's Sporting Goods and Best Buy come to mind. The small 1970s-era mall has a tenant mix that's roughly 65% chain, 35% local.

    We have the usual basic retail chains in their regular format; Michael's, Pier One, EMS, Petsmart, Staples, Home Depot, Lowe's, BJ's Wholesale Club, Old Navy, Barnes and Noble, Bed Bath and Beyond, Wal-Mart Supercenter, and Target. A nasty 1960s-era Kmart closed last year. Downtown is almost chain-free except for Urban Outfitters and Ten Thousand Villages; there's extremely strong local opposition to any chain retail downtown.

    For retailers like Macy's, JC Penny, Forever 21, Apple Store, Abercrombie and Fitch, Pottery Barn, and the like, locals make the one- to two-hour drive to Syracuse, Binghamton or Rochester. The area lacks a medium- to large-sized furniture store; there's just a few high-end independent stores. Big folks are out of luck here; there's no big-and-tall stores for either gender.

    For grocery shopping, Rochester-based Wegmans is my one-stop shop. (Yes, despite being a small town, we've got a full-sized Weggies.) If I'm hopping around, I'll pick up things at Aldi and BJ's. The two Tops Markets here aren't as nice as those in Buffalo, where the chain is based. There's also P&C Fresh, a throwback to the 1980s, and the co-op, which here could be considered "major".
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  17. #17
    Cyburbian fringe's avatar
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    I get my six-inch boots and khakis (all I wear to work except for my Goodwill shirts) at K-mart, and avoid thereby the crowds and traffic over at the Wally.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    The Salvation Army Thrift Store on the less affluent side of the affluent community where my office is located is an excellent source of quality, name label, casual business attire.
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  19. #19
    Cyburbian TOFB's avatar
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    All within 2 miles: HyVee, KMart, JCPenney, Menards. If they don't have it, I don't need it (or will get it online).

  20. #20
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ofos View post
    The Salvation Army Thrift Store on the less affluent side of the affluent community where my office is located is an excellent source of quality, name label, casual business attire.
    I grew up one town over from Swarthmore (where the college is). There is a Salvation Army there which is legally just outside of Swarthmore's boundaries and also has great stuff. In an effort to elevate their status a little further (and since I guess they can't officially use the Swarthmore name), the strip mall there named themselves "Swarthmorewood" which I always found hysterical. GREAT clothes to be found in that store...
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  21. #21
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Channeling my inner U19...

    So thoughts on my local retailers...

    Considering i live in a smaller urban area similar to Dan here are my thoughts:

    Food
    • Trader Joe's
      Most of my weekly/bi-weekly groceries come from here. My family just loves it. From the wine/beer selection, frozens, and natural food with a good selection and good price points. Avoid shopping here at the beginning of each academic quarter though..it's a mad house.
    • Von's (safeway of southern California)
      Buy most of my meat here, and some other items here and there when Trader Joe's is closed.
    • Scolari's (local store)
      Our closest store (10 minutes walking, downhill to/uphill back). Pricey, but like i said, it's close, so no need to hop on a freeway to get to TJ's or cross town to get to Von's
    • Albertson's (SuperValu)
      Only go there for booze. It is the worst grocery store ever. My wife calls it the mac-n-cheese, booze and T&A store due to it's proximity to the local university and that's what they seem to always have in stock and their patrons seem to exhibit a lot of T&A

    General Merchandise
    • Rite Aid / CVS
      They are both within walking distance, however very pricey
    • Target
      Recently opened, we find ourselves there a lot, almost every weekend to pick something up. 1/3 of the store is dedicated to groceries. I hate the parking lot though because of all the dedicated parking to Low Emissions/Fuel Efficient vehicles. I ignore the signs and park there anyways. (hey, my car gets close to 28 mpg highway).

    Home Improvement
    • Home Depot
      We mainly shop here for house stuff
    • Miner's (ACE Hardware)
      Only shop here when i am too lazy to cross town, plus free popcorn on the weekends.

    Clothing
    • Gap
      Finally made a Gap purchase for the 1st time in years. Their spring stuff is getting better. Deals to be had on baby clothes, but we are chinced, no Gap Kids.
    • Bananna Republic
      Most of clothes come from here.
    • Structure (also known as Express)
      On occasion if i want to add some color to my dress shirts
    • Old Navy
      We buy some kids essentials from here, but my daughter is going though a clothes phase where she prefers either mini boden (online retailer) or H&M. We do shop for my son here for pants and the such.
    • Kolh's / Sears / TJ Max / Ross
      I don't bother. Too old man for me.

    Generally speaking our downtown has a mix of local stores ( a lot of local women's fashion retailers) national chains, and many many restaurants and bars. Our big boxes are located on the outskirts of town in one area of town (the big box district). I don't normally buy online for clothes or groceries. I typically make a "shopping" trip to either LA/Santa Barbara during the holidays (used to be Sacramento/San Francisco when i lived in Northern California).
    Oh.. and Erine Dilado is still going to build that Macy*s
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