Thursday, April 14, 2005

I've been thinking a lot about Walmart

The town we live in isn't really all that small. We have a state college, 2 private schools, a hospital, and a state prison. So it's not like I live in Mayberry. But as far as shopping goes we're pretty limited. And since the SuperWalmart came to town it seems like there is even less to choose from. So the chances of me being able to swear off Walmart all together are pretty slim. But I have to admit that the idea really appeals to me. Here's why.
1. Walmarts are ugly. Inside and out. I just hate all the concrete, the pavement, the sea of racks and shelves.
2. They're not very friendly. I know, I know, they have greeters - people especially paid to be friendly. But you don't stop and talk to the greeters. You could talk to the cashier on your way through if they weren't so busy trying to help the next person in their mile-long line so they can get to lunch. And that's if you get a cashier - most of the aisles at our store are self-serve. Yeah that's fun with kids. And if you do happen to run into a friendly face while you're shopping, there's no where to stop and talk. The place is so packed that if you stop for a minute to chat you're guaranteed to be blogging someone in the aisle.
3. The people who work there don't know the merchandise. Yesterday I asked three different people where mops were - no one knew! Turns out they're by the groceries now.
4. Which brings me to ... they move stuff around to much. I guess in an effort to keep people interested and finding new things to buy. So what I need is never in the same place it was the last time I needed it.
5. They carry 9 million of the same thing. If I need socks for my babies there are a shelf full of the same socks just in different sizes. Easter dresses? Four to chose from (if your church has about 50 people and three of the little girls wind up in the same dress...there's not enough to choose from). And one kind of laundry basket. 1!
6. They're too crowded, too loud and since ours has a McDonald's - too smelly. Although I will admit to buying my kid a Happy Meal to keep him occupied while I shop.
I guess all of this is to say that I'm guilty. I shop there. But I don't like it. And I'm going to make a big effort from now on to frequent the few little shops we have left in this town. The natural food store downtown. The baby store that's more expensive, but carries beautiful handmade stuff. The dress shop that still offers free alterations. The Christian bookstore trying to keep afloat!

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