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Who shops at Wal-Mart?

Who shops at Wal-Mart?

  • I do

    Votes: 30 60.0%
  • I don’t

    Votes: 20 40.0%

  • Total voters
    50
Status
Not open for further replies.

Trail Nazi

Cyburbian
Messages
2,777
Points
24
PlannerGirl said:
i hate wal mart with a passion

im a Target shopper myself

heck i donno where the closest Wal Mart is, must be out in Fairfax Co some where.

There is one in Loudoun County near the Dulles Town Center and Sam's. That is the only one that I know of in the area. I was told that there is a SuperWalmart in the area, but I have no idea where it is located. I just wish that they had the SuperTargets here. The food selection at STs is just as good as some the pricey grocery stores but much cheaper. I think Fairfax County is too good for Wallyworld.
 
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Jeff

Cyburbian
Messages
4,159
Points
27
Wal Mart ...

Where else can you get guns, hunting and fishing equipment, beauty supplies, CDs, dinner, and toys for the kids all in one shop? It's great.

There treatment of their employees sucks, and I used to stay away from there (and all scab joints for that matter) until my Dad (union worker for 35 years) told me to shop there. That if the employees didn't stand up for their rights and for fair wages and health care they deserve everything they get.
 

Jessie-J

Cyburbian
Messages
384
Points
12
wal-mart and white trash

I didn't vote because there's not a sometimes category. I disagree with wal-mart's scandalous ways but if I need spray paint in the middle of the night, where else would I go but to my 24 hour local wally world? I hate that all the mom-and-pop shops are forced to close because people prefer to shop at the large chains... but I admit that I shop there occasionally. I hate that wally world sells cigarettes but not alcohol. I hate that they sell guns but not porn. Are they the root of all evil?- probably. I do think that there is definately a correlation between wal-mart and white trash. It seems if you would put a wal-mart in New York City, the white trash would still flock to it. Is there white trash in europe? a wal-mart would surely attract it. I too prefer Target simply because I like their clothes and they have cool stuff. Cooler than wal-mart. But yeah, Target is still evil in their own ways....

(hope my white trash terms are not offensive)
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,961
Points
31
Jessie J apologized
(hope my white trash terms are not offensive)

It is not offensive if you put "sorry, white trash" after it.

[EDIT] Comma added just for Planderella, [/EDIT]
 
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Mastiff

Gunfighter
Messages
7,165
Points
30
donk said:
Jessie J apologized

It is not offensive if you put "sorry white trash" after it.

I think the new PC term is "Stick Built Home Challenged"...
 

Planderella

Cyburbian
Messages
5,344
Points
31
donk said:
Jessie J apologized

It is not offensive if you put "sorry white trash" after it.

Grammar note: You may want to put a comma after "sorry" so that it won't appear as an adjective. ;)

I wonder why I never picked up this before......
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,986
Points
31
Re: wal-mart and white trash

Jessie-J said:
I hate that wally world sells cigarettes but not alcohol.

You ought to see the isle of booze at both my local Wally Worlds. They sell booze.
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,846
Points
24
Re: Re: wal-mart and white trash

EG said:
You ought to see the isle of booze at both my local Wally Worlds. They sell booze.

There was a great report last week on NPR showing how Wal-Mart changes what products they carry depending on the local market.

Check it out if you have time, it was very interesting.

Go to:

http://search1.npr.org

Type in Wal-Mart as the key word.

The subject matter is how Wal-Mart has changed the face of America.
 

Jessie-J

Cyburbian
Messages
384
Points
12
ummmm....yeah.....sorry, white trash.

I will read/listen to the article when I get home, sounds really interesting.

I have never been to a wal-mart that sells booze. Where is it? Locked up behind the service desk? hehe

funny story, a wal-mat actually refused to sell a friend of mine some spray paint and something else...glue or paint or polyeurethane....because both items were popular amongst the "huffing" crowd. She is 30 and she was working on a project. She went bolistic because she needed the items to finish. She'll never go back there again!
 

NHPlanner

A shadow of my former self
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
10,156
Points
45
No.

If I go to a big box, it's Target.

My wife will occasionally go in there for fabric.....but other than that it's Target.
 

The Irish One

Member
Messages
2,266
Points
25
my city of 60,000 will soon have 2 count'em 2 wallmarts and no Target! I like Target Greatland. I've been to Walmart maybe 5 times. My only complaint is that the store is kind of a slob, too much clutter and crap.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,069
Points
34
Most of you probably saw this in Retail Traffic Online, but I figured I would post it asnyway, since it is on-topic.


Wal-Mart: The Big Are Getting Bigger
Nobody does it bigger than Wal-Mart. At the retailer's annual shareholders meeting in Bentonville, Ark. on Friday, company leaders announced the Wal-Mart growth engine is still gaining speed. The Wal-Mart Stores division's 2002 sales per square feet rose to $404.24 from $390.22 in 2001. And management believes it can develop 4,000 U.S. Supercenters long-term, up from prior estimates of 3,000, says attendee Mark Miller, an analyst with William Blair & Co. Wal-Mart execs also plan to build 500 new discount stores. Miller says if these plans are realized Wal-Mart will expand its long-term market opportunity by more than $100 billion.
2003 marks the first year the number of Wal-Mart Supercenters will exceed the number of traditional Wal-Mart stores. By year's end, Wal-Mart will have opened approximately 45-55 discount stores, 210 Supercenters and 15-20 Neighborhood Markets. To support this growth, Wal-Mart will have hired 82,000 new associates, including 5,000 new management trainees.

As it scouts the United States for real estate, the discount giant is especially searching for sites large enough to accommodate a Sam's Club and a Wal-Mart Supercenter side by side. According to Citigroup Smith Barney analyst Deborah Weinswig, management has indicated that such developments usually take more than $3 million out of a market.

Another interesting announcement from the meeting is Wal-Mart's new partnership with Levi's, the revered blue jean maker. In response to competitor Target's designer-label discounting, Wal-Mart is introducing the Levi's Signature Line into all its stores by the end of July. The line includes men's, women's and children's denim. Levi's Signature jeans will not sell for more than $25 per pair, the company says.
 

martini

Cyburbian
Messages
678
Points
19
never shop there....

I used to but never really liked it and wasn't too sure why. I started doing research into their business practices and labor relations and that sealed the deal for me. I haven't been in one for four years, and never will again. Low prices be damned, I'd MUCH rather support the little local merchant. At least thier money (ALL of it) stays in the local community.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,461
Points
29
As for Levis, well, they've gone 100% Asian sweatshop, so I don't know how "revered" they are anymore. The linkage makes sense: Walmart+Sweatshop-Made Levis=good deal for the de-skilled minimum wage workforce we have created in this country.
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,961
Points
31
When I was in the States a few months ago I found it odd that levi's in the US where not made in the US, but Levi's available in Canada are made in Canada.

I think we must have stricter / higher duties as most of our mid priced clothing is made here. (exceptions are of course common)

On the sweatshop theme, is it wrong that I love the fit and material used in my hugo boss dress shirt made in turkey?

For those interested in "ethical purchasing" check out http://www.responsibleshopper.org/
 

apagano

Member
Messages
13
Points
1
I'm not a fan of Wal-Mart, but it's the only place I know that carries the cleaning solution for my electric razor. I go there twice a year to purchase a 6-month supply of the stuff and that's all.

My wife's family is from Lancaster County, PA where there have been a number of epic battles fought to keep Wal-Mart from building. In spite of all the controversy, every Wal-Mart that has been built in the county does gangbusters business. Even the Amish shop there. The Wal-Mart in Amish country has hitching posts in the parking lot for the horses. Ironically, one of the major reasons cited for keeping Wal-Mart out of the area was preserving the Amish way of life. As it turns out, the Amish like to buy cheap tube socks as much as everyone else.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,461
Points
29
I didn't mean to sound so self-righteous

Donk: Most of my clothes made overseas, too. I doubt that your Turkish clothing plants are nearly as bad as the Saipan sweatshops that produce a lot of "Made in America" stuff.

I understand that clothing is a low skill, low margin industry that is almost inevitably going to produced in sweatshops. Still, I was just commenting on the recent changes at Levis. Changes that were probably "necessary" for them to survive as a company-at least by conventional wisdom.
 

Runner

Cyburbian
Messages
566
Points
17
We shop at WalMart for sundries but I'd rather avoid the teaming shoplifters and loitering Job Corps students.

Our regional grocery store, H-E-B, does well competing against WalMart and typically beats them. Their current owner Charles Butt (Howard E. Butt's son) is willing to go toe to toe with WalMart and sell at a loss at a given location. It turns out to be a David v Goliath scenario. I don't know why H-E-B keeps winning these match ups. Maybe WalMart is too large and ungainly to respond at the individual city level, maybe WalMart does not want to admit that they can be beat at their own game, maybe same store sales computer analysis does not allow for inputs when the little local guy stands up to the bully, maybe people just tire of the same old cheap crap sold by underpaid abused employees?

We do tend to shop at chain stores though. Other than WalMart and H-E-B we shop at:
  • Target
  • Sam's (yes WalMart again)
  • Costco
  • Academy Sporting Goods
  • Lowe's
  • Ross Dress for Less

We have what I believe is the largest outlet mall in Texas in town and we virtually never shop there. We also never shop at department stores (Dillard's, etc.).

Books are typically bought at Amazon.com
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,961
Points
31
I think i have mentioned this before, but I try to purchase things ethically, but every once in a while something slips in.

Today I am wearing shoes made in germany, local hand knit socks, underwear made locally (truro NS), pants and shirt made in canada. Most days are like this. If only I could get US made (NC plant) converse all stars I'd be really happy.

I do not look forward to the day walmart opens here, the traffic jam that will ensue will gum up most of the City and probaly extend for 10km in each direction.
 

Runner

Cyburbian
Messages
566
Points
17
donk said:
If only I could get US made (NC plant) converse all stars I'd be really happy.

Seems to me that I read a while back that Converse is no longer making their All Stars in the US...? Or maybe it's just assembled here but the pieces are no longer manufactured here...?
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
Messages
3,899
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25
OT: My fiance informed me the other day that she intends to wear a pair of white Chuck Taylors at our wedding. Classy girl I have there.
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,961
Points
31
They closed the plant, that also made jack parcell's, about 4 years ago, when they went bankrupt. Most production is in VietNam and China. Any US made one are old stock and are actually appreciating in value.
 

old man

Member
Messages
11
Points
1
WalMart Poll

Yes I shop there, and usually complain all the time. Swear i will not come back because of customer Service attitude. It is interesting taht Target is our place of choice. I buy at Target 5=6 times more often then Wally world. It is scary when you look at what they maybe getting into. Read about the new idea of a supersized convience store. Evrything is going corporate.
 

Miles Ignatius

Cyburbian
Messages
367
Points
12
Wither WalMart?

I don't.

I realize they alone account for something like 2.5% of U.S. GDP and have more sales than GM but they didn't get there because of me.

My shopping experiences there have been harried ones; the stores I frequented were understaffed and waits were long. I had a simple question about an out of stock item and no one could answer me. I felt that my presence there was treated with indifference not unlike the way I felt as I cast my vote in the last presidential election.

I like a little more service, so I stick to Target.
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,961
Points
31
Here is another reason not to shop there, senior staff can't read and have really short memories. Just got the set of plans for our walmart, missing everything we argued about last time round (landscaping, signagae locations, parking lot layout, and these are the ones that jump out at me).

I wish I could just send them back with a bag of dog doo and a jar of sand for them to go pound.
 

bocian

Cyburbian
Messages
212
Points
9
Wal Mart? It's like going into a huge grid of downtown city blocks, excepr this downtown is full of junk one does not need. I have been in there a few times, but have not actually bought anything there - they don't SELL anything, you all - it's all just a facade, mirrors and all - "The Death of the American Shopping."
 

gkmo62u

Cyburbian
Messages
1,046
Points
24
Bocian, you might want to take a look at Wal-mart's Annual report, it does seem like they are SELLING something.
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,961
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31
The idiocy of Wal~Mart's Consultants - A Never ending Saga.

Found a really stupid mistake on their site plan yesterday. The FFE of the building on the site plan is 88 feet and the FFE of the building on the construction drawings is 100 feet.

I'd love to be the contractor when that change order comes.
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,846
Points
24
Super Target

Okay all you Target folks, I just have to tell everyone that today I went to a Super Target.

Is this a new concept? It is to me.
 

Runner

Cyburbian
Messages
566
Points
17
Pretty much the same thing and a response to WalMart Supercenters and Super KMarts.

I'm not sure that it will be a winning concept. It certainly didn't do much for KMart and I'll bet that the food side of WalMart Supercenters are not making much money by themselves. My guess is that they make their money by luring in shoppers who then also purchase on the general merchandise side or it’s an attempt to steal customer base to put the local grocer out of business.

We don't buy groceries from WalMart.
 

brandonmason

Cyburbian
Messages
140
Points
6
I shop at Wal-Mart because you have to face that it is the most convenient store, has the best selection, and by far the lowest prices.

There are some problems with the stores. Smaller stores can't compete and might close down, their employees are often rude and unhelpful, the customers they attract are sometimes unsavory, auto-oriented big-box stores cause problems from an urban design standpoint, and Wal-Mart stores are ugly and utilitarian (esp. older ones, the newer ones are better).

So yeah, there are a lot of downsides to shopping there. I think that the conviennce, selection, and prices are what really matters, though.

Some people have said that Wal-Mart lowers the standard of living for its employees, suppliers, and customers. I disagree. Every decent economist now credits Wal-Mart for the low inflation of the last decade and for the huge gains in productivity over the last two decades. Low inflation, and especially productivity gains, translate into a real increase in the standard of living for everyone.

I mean, when Wal-Mart starts selling groceries in a community, they drive down the prices in that market by 13%. That means that families, particularly poor ones, are seeing huge gains where it counts most. This is all even if you don't shop at Wal-Mart. If you shop at Wal-Mart, the savings are even greater. So having a Wal-Mart in your community is kind of like getting a 13% raise.

I disagree that Wal-Mart does predatory pricing. Yes, Wal-Mart undercuts the competition. But no, this isn't predatory. Wal-Mart doesn't lower the prices, drive out competition, and then raise prices to enjoy monopoly status. It lowers them and keeps lowering them because it wan't to take care of the customer.

Yes, Wal-Mart's compensation packages have some problems. But you have to keep it in perspective: the low wages Wal-Mart pays helps aren't adding to the profits of some rich executives or the company coffers. They are reducing prices. So that 8 or 10 dollars an hour goes a long way when they shop at Wal-Mart or at the stores lowering their prices to compete. If Wal-Mart raised wages, it'd raise prices, everyone else would raise prices, and there would be no increase in the standard of living.

But the other thing to remember with the benefits of working at Wal-Mart: compensation for career workers isn't great, but is good. A huge number of the employees are people with a second job for extra cash, students just trying to get some spending money, retirees passing their time and supplementing their retirement savings, temporary workers earning some dough for the holidays. Some of Wal-Mart's employees, as I'm sure we all agree, are rude, inconsiderate, ignorant, and probably unimprovably so. I doubt if they could get a job elsewhere, and definitely not one with better pay. (oh, and about the "38 or 39 hours so they can avoid full time status." Wal-Mart treats all associates who usually work more than 32 hours a week as full time, with all full time benefits. They don't allow associates to work more than 40 hours a week so they don't have to pay overtime. To be safe, they usually like a 1-3 hour buffer. It doesn't make sense to pay someone double when its a job someone else could do).

So keeping the pay thing in perspective: the wages Wal-Mart pays to its temporary workers, retirees, students, part timers, etc aren't that bad and are rather competitive to the market. Talented career wal-mart associates raise up the ladder rather quickly and get better and better compensation. Look at the executives at Wal-Mart: most of them started out as cashiers or cart pushers, and most of them worked their way up in only a few years.
 

giff57

Corn Burning Fool
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Moderator
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5,456
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brandonmason said:
I shop at Wal-Mart because you have to face that it is the most convenient store, has the best selection, and by far the lowest prices.


Ah....another happy Wal-Mart employee
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,069
Points
34
Nice to hear your comments, brandon. Your views are not often espoused by planners, but I think the fact that Wal-Mart has continued to prosper for so long speaks to the average consumer's opinion of the store. You make some good points about pricing, wages and hours, though I might not entirely agree with you.
 

donk

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Mod's you should check Brandon's ISP to see where he is posting from. Maybe we don't have to worry about the US justice department so much after all, the Big W is watching us now.

I have not heard such walmart supporting rationalization since the VP of Communications poured gasoline on the fire at our public hearing for their store, threatening to sue a person who asked about labour standards in the factories they purchase from. The conjecture that they promote from within could explain how such a moron got the job.

I too disagree with Brandon's views, but he is free to have them and believe them to be true.
 
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Repo Man

Cyburbian
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2,545
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25
I guess I don't have a problem with the wage that they pay and the compensation package. If people don't like the wage they pay, go elsewhere. The skills that it takes to work at a place like Wal Mart will get you about 6-8 bucks an hour anywhere. The fact that they offer employess health care at a discounted rate is great because most places that hire people at 6-8 bucks an hour don't even offer any type of insurance.
 

Runner

Cyburbian
Messages
566
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17
I'm thinking that maybe the WalMarts are different in St. Paul.
Could happen...
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,961
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31
Don't forget they also take life insurance out on most employees, with themselves as the beneficiary, then fight the wrongful death suits and work place safety standards in court.
 

brandonmason

Cyburbian
Messages
140
Points
6
I didn't mean to say Wal-Mart is some uber-god store. And as I mentioned, I think big-box stores negatively effect the fabric of cities: car-centered, huge parking lots, ugly buildings, destroys small shops, wastes land, etc.

Fortune magazine just had an interesting article on Wal-Mart, which they name the most admired company in America. They cite the experts and statistics who think that Wal-Mart has contributed to an increased standard of living in the US.

Wal-Mart isn't perfect. But as far as large retailers go, I am much happier to have Wal-Mart taking over the planet than the folks from many other companies.

And about employee relations: it has its faults. It has its horror stories. But it employees well over a million people, and has more men in uniform than the US army. There's bound to be horror stories. LOOKING AT IT IN PERSPECTIVE, the wages and benefits really are average or above average for the skills and quality of employees they have.

My thoughts about Wal-Mart have always been that it is kind of like a cheap whore. It is dirty, in a bad part of town, and is frequented by seedy people. Few people admit to liking it, but almost everyone uses it. The prices can't be beat, and it really is providing an invaluable service.

Wal-Mart isn't great, but I think there are a lot of people who get TOO down on it just because it is big.
 

jordanb

Cyburbian
Messages
3,225
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25
It's not a matter of agreeing or disagreeing that Walmart practices predatory pricing. They've been convicted of doing so (in Wal-mart Stores v. American Drugs, 319 Ark. 214, 891 S.W.2d 30 (1995), for example).
 

brandonmason

Cyburbian
Messages
140
Points
6
jordanb said:
It's not a matter of agreeing or disagreeing that Walmart practices predatory pricing. They've been convicted of doing so (in Wal-mart Stores v. American Drugs, 319 Ark. 214, 891 S.W.2d 30 (1995), for example).

Actually, that court case was dismissed. Wal-Mart was found innocent. The gist of it was "yes, wal-mart has really low prices and even goes below cost sometimes, but no, there is no reason to believe this is with the intent to drive competitors out of business."

I really believe it doesn't want to drive competitors out of business, it just wants to build its own business and always have the loweset price on everything (to be the best). But at the same time, it isn't losing any sleep when K-Mart rests on its laurels and bankrupts itself.
 
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tsc

Cyburbian
Messages
1,900
Points
23
I make meager planner wages and am forced to go shopping at Wal-Mart...tail between my legs and ears down.....

a big box... is a big box... is a big box.....

SuperK ,, SuperWally,, SuperTarget......

Although I much prefer a box of Target..
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,069
Points
34
brandonmason said:
...when K-Mart rests on its laurels and bankrupts itself.

Here's an interesting thought. What about companies like Montgomery Wards? They introduced the catalog in the 1800's and small town merchants screamed that they were driving them out of business. Where are they now?

Kmart has been around for decades, and might righfully be called the first of the major big box chains. Analysts still can't agree on whether they will make it or go under.

McDonald's began the fast food franchise craze, and is now similarly struggling. Actually, there may be a number of parallels between Kmart and McDonald's. Both emphasize cheap over quality.

Business models work for a time, in a given environment. Then the environment changes and something more efficient comes along. For many categories of retail business, the small independent store model does not function. Montgomery Wards, Kmart, Wal-mart in turn have supplanted it. This progression has been going on for over a century.

Here are a couple final thoughts. Is it the role of planners to oppose economic efficiency? Might our role instead be to 1) educate the public on both the positive and negative impacts of big-box development, and 2) work to mitigate the negative impacts of big boxes on the built environment.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,461
Points
29
Pretty disturbing.

It doesn't take a rabid Marxist to wonder out loud if this is our future-if the era of the American middle class was but a brief interlude before the return of total impoverishment- an impoverishment that much of the rest of the world has never escaped, of course. Unlike the old aristocrats, there is not even a pretense of noblesse oblige here.
 

Planderella

Cyburbian
Messages
5,344
Points
31
Michael Stumpf said:

Here are a couple final thoughts. Is it the role of planners to oppose economic efficiency? Might our role instead be to 1) educate the public on both the positive and negative impacts of big-box development, and 2) work to mitigate the negative impacts of big boxes on the built environment.

Good question. I think this is where the discussion is leading on this topic. It's probably a little bit of both, but I'm leaning towards #2.
 

Habanero

Cyburbian
Messages
3,217
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27
I'd say both in answer to that question.


Oh, and Super Targets, no a fan. The groceries are very expensive and every time I was in one I didn't see that big of a difference from any othe rsuper market. I'll stick to the smaller Targets.
 

donk

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6,961
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Speaking from local expereince.

The problem is that in many places working to mitigate the negative impacts of big box stores is seen as holding back progress. Many commuities have not learned from the past lessons of abandoned strip malls and the such.

One positive thing about big boxes is that they are constructed so cheaply and in such a manner that they can be easily removed and the land can be reclaimed for other uses, if the big box is willing to sell a closed store at a reasonable price.

Looked and can't find the walmart real estate page, selling closed stores. Anyone know the URL?
 
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