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tedd's avatar

Does anyone else just not shop at Wal-Mart anymore?

Asked by tedd (14078points) March 5th, 2012

All through college, Wal-Mart was a pretty frequent stop of mine. Groceries, random household items, some electronics, etc, etc.. Especially on a college budget, what better place to shop right? I’ve long known about the horrendous pay/benefits for their employees.. the questionable locations many of their products come from, etc, etc… But money and convenience trumped all for me.

Well as I’ve grown older I’ve started to realize how much I truly hate going into that store. Even though the areas are well organized, it is always a task to find something. I would find quite often they wouldn’t have the exact product I was looking for, but rather some cheap knock off “wal-mart brand” version of it. Moreover when you’re in that store you’re just surrounded by the most pathetic grouping of people… and I know that’s going to sound smug, but my god it’s so true. And it’s not even so much that there are poor people in the store with shabby clothing.. That I can dismiss and understand (even sympathize), but so many of them are outwardly rude to strangers and their party (usually children), and just exhibit personality traits that make me cringe for the future of humanity.

It seems as if they offer the rudest of the rude customers jobs as well. So often did I find myself at the mercy of a person speaking bad English, with a very rude attitude, and frankly no clue what I was asking about. But I suppose that’s the type of employee that sticks around for that pay.

Then to top that off, you finally track down whatever it is you want and make the way to the front of the store… to wait 10 minute in line.. if you’re lucky. One day several months ago I went into my local Wal-Mart. It was my 1 year anniversary and I had to pick up several items, so I thought “ok Wal-Mart, they’ll have all of it.” Well much to my surprise they didn’t have any plain white candles of sufficient size. All their scented options were atrocious, so I ended up with a 1000 pack of plain tea lights (seriously wtf am I going to do with all that????). The water bottle I sought for my girlfriend (she needed one), brought me to a piss-poor collection of very obviously crappy water bottles, neon colored no less. They didn’t have half of the fresh vegetables I needed to cook the meal I was trying to make for anniversary dinner, and the ones they did have (aside from being very obviously of questionable location, aka heavily genetically/chemically altered) were jumbled together and most had bruises or clear marks of defect.

I gathered several other items I needed, and made my way to the front of the store to check out. Pretty unsatisfied with what I’d found, but I had no other options, time was of the essence. Get to the front of the store, and I kid you not, there was a line wrapped all the way down the length of the registers, and into the clothing immediately past them. Two regular registers were open, along with three or four “speedy” lines. Many people in line had carts with hundreds of dollars of items.. the line quite easily would’ve taken 45 minutes. I literally just dropped (not set down, dropped) my basket of 6 or 7 items on the ground where I stood, walked to my car, and drove away.

I’ve not shopped at a Wal-Mart since, and I have no plans of ever doing so again.

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22 Answers

john65pennington's avatar

K-Mart would love for you to send them your problems with WalMart.

If possible, why not just make the switch to K-Mart?

Sears owns K-Mart now and its a much better store.

ragingloli's avatar

There is no Walmart in this country, so not shopping there is hardly a challenge.
Also, if you have Aldi near you, go there.

JLeslie's avatar

I only started regularly shopping in Walmart 6 months ago. I think the first time I stepped in one was 12 years ago. When I say regularly, I probably go about once a month now, because a local supermarket chain closed down, before that it was once in a very blue moon. Before I lived in TN (I moved here almost 7 years ago) I had probably been inside a Walmart 5 times total.

I do have a couple of friends who rnefuse to shop Walmart, because they despise the company practices. I also have a neighbor who avoids walmart because of the blacks and Mexicans, but the Mexicans aren’t too bad. Oy. Her words of course, not mine. Poor woman must have freaked when she later found out I was married to a Mexican.

Walmart is the closest store to me that has a decent selection of “Hispanic” foods. It also is the only place that sells the frozen Asian sticky rice I like, and the large size egg beaters. There are a few other prodicts I can only get there, so it keeps me coming back.

@ragingloli Aldi in the states does not compare at all to Walmart. Not sure how it is in Europe.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

When Target opened here last summer, I stopped going to Wal Mart altogether. I haven’t been there since, and it will be a long time before I return.

GoldieAV16's avatar

I’ve only been in a Walmart’s once. I couldn’t stand the smell. That was about 10 years ago.

HungryGuy's avatar

I’ve always preferred K-Mart over Wal-Mart. I’ve gone to Wal-Mart once or twice because I was at some other store nearby. But when I want to go to a discount store, I’ll often go a little out of my way to K-Mart.

DominicX's avatar

Yeah, I mean, I hate to be snobby, but I honestly don’t shop there because it feels so low-brow…even Target seems like a step-up in my opinion (and I go to Target fairly often).

JLeslie's avatar

Target is a step up, there is no denying it. I would never go to any of those places probably, well, very rarely, but where I live sometimes they are the only place to have the food I want.

I don’t mind at all the clientelle in Walmart. I think it is mean people make fun of them. Most of the staff are fine, reasonably helpful, but I don’t trust them very much to return something if I lose it in the store. I have my reasons, I won’t bore you with the stories. And, I only say that for my Walmart, I would trust employees in other parts of the country.

tedd's avatar

We have Meijer around here (I know it’s fairly regional, so I dunno if most of you have heard of it). It’s almost the same concept, in that they have everything under one roof for low prices. But they still buy predominantly from American (or at least not slave-labor-foreign-built) factories. Their workers, at least in my opinion, seem to be 10x happier (my g/f and I were in there shopping at like 10pm a few weeks ago, and a stock guy went out of his way to help us track down a few items for like 15 minutes).

@JLeslie Consider yourself lucky on your experiences with their staff then. I can’t remember the last time I had a positive experience with one. I can get over the clientelle being “low-brow”, it happens.. But low-brow plus rude/obscene… That’s where I start to have a problem. Maybe it’s just the Wal-Marts around me, or areas like mine.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I do not shop there because of their business practices and the high volume of Chinese made goods.

If you see my car in their parking lot, call the police immediately! It’s been stolen!

JLeslie's avatar

@tedd I prefer Meijer to Walmart. When Sam Walton was being touted as brilliant for his concept of superstores, I used to say Meijer did it long before he did. Meijer’s is very regional. I’m not sure how many states it is in, but I know it is not many. My mom liked their cucumber salad on the salad bar, that’s what I remember most about it. Haha. Meijer was actually the first store like that I had ever been in. I had never been in a Kmart, Walmart, Target, nothing. This was back in 1987 when I arrived in MI to go to state, and I needed to buy a piece of furniture for my sweaters, my roommate told me to go to Meijer’s. We were shocked there was a grocery store housed in there with everything else. Totally foreign to us.

I just think making fun of other people is awful, because a lot of it has to do with circumstance. Many of them are poor, or don’t have the opportunity to know any better. It could be any of us. Their nonfood products are junk all too often, although I did just buy a folding table there that I like very much. 95% of what I buy at Walmart is food.

rojo's avatar

Some of the reasons, but by no means the only ones, can be seen by visiting

redhen4's avatar

I stopped shopping there and wasn’t going back – until I was out of work and had less money to spend. I thought they had some good prices, and on some things they do, but their is a limit to the choices (brands) they have available.

And yes, they have some rude people, customers and employees alike. But I find other places have rude and/or some really polite, helpful staff. It makes for a refreshing shopping experience when you find someone who understands the concept of customer service. (BTW, Dish network is NOT one of them. One guy was so rude and told me I was a liar and you could not pay me to go with them)

Target I’ve been to, but they seem much more expensive. Are they?

I used to live in Ohio, and @JLeslie, I do miss Meijer. They were like (if memory serves from 15 years ago) like Fry’s/Kroger & Michael’s & K-mart all in one!

Jeruba's avatar

Never did. I’ve gone there with others maybe four or five times altogether but prefer not to buy anything under their roof. Even before knowing anything about their corporate behavior, I was put off by their reputation, confirmed by the experience of being in the store. I felt like I needed a shower afterward.

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

I hate Wal-Mart, but because I live in a place where Wal-Mart is the place to go to for everything, I have no choice but to go there, because all the other stores are at least 40 minutes away.
I like Target better

tom_g's avatar

I don’t like shopping at Walmart.

Aethelwine's avatar

I feel no shame for shopping at Walmart. Doctors, teachers, nurses, college students, parents, lawyers, laborers…. people from all walks of life shop there for convenience and a bargain.

I’ve encountered rude employees and customers at every grocery/shopping store I’ve been in. I can find at least one business in any good size town that doesn’t treat their employees right. Walmart isn’t as special as many of you want to claim it is.

Berserker's avatar

For a place that doesn’t use fake raisins or holiday decorations, they sure ask a fuckin hefty price for their shit. I don’t go there.

judochop's avatar

Very proud to say, I have never nor will I ever shop at a Wal-Mart in my life.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

I have never been an avid Walmart shopper. I have been in Walmart and I have bought a few things from them online. I do not like their business practices or the seemingly untruths of their advertising in the early days.

dabbler's avatar

I try to avoid them ... because again and again they have put smaller retailers out of business.
Most smaller retailers provide more knowledge of their stock and more attention to what you need. And better than race-to-bottom quality.
I guess the business conundrum is that for everyday items who needs a consultant? Milk? Socks? And that is where the sales volume goes.

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