The Wal-Mart store where I live is only a few years old – it is one of the newer “Superstores”. Three years ago, when Biggs on Shelbyville Road closed, it became our primary shopping place. The house that we bought a year ago is less than two miles away.
These days, however, we tend to avoid Wal-Marts in general and this one in particular, even if it means spending more money. Why?
We stopped buying fruits and vegetables from Wal-Mart some time ago. Their selection is neither cheap nor particularly good. The same goes for their meat and seafood selection. We used to buy organic milk there, but they were always out of the particular product we wanted, and though there was usually more in the back, it was a pain to get someone to restock the shelves.
Quantity of Staff
No matter what time of the day you go, there always seems to be lines. The four tills that are labeled “Open 10AM till 10PM” are rarely all open, and are usually all shut down by 7PM. This change seems to date from about the time that the U-Scan checkouts were installed last year.
Quality of Staff
Wal-Mart used to be a pleasant place to shop. The staff were friendly and eager to help – so much so that they were sometimes jokingly referred to as cult members. Not any more. Non-union staff and low wages have resulted in surly employees who seem to be annoyed when you ask them for help and seem to be the norm these days. Sometimes I get the impression that they are avoiding me.
Price isn’t everything.
I am reminded of a joke: “If Wal-Mart is lowering prices everyday, how come nothing’s free yet?” Too many of Wal-Mart’s so-called bargains are simply endcap displays with the “everyday” price on a great big sign. What really annoys me is how they sneak up the price. One product that we buy used to be about $4 for a pack of 9. Then they raised the price to about $5 for 12. This was ok, until they shrunk the pack size back to 9 and kept the price the same. Sneaky.
Get it together, Wally-World, or lose business