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If Not Wal-Mart then Where?

Gregg Bolinger
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    6

This post might be slightly biased towards shoppers in the USA and in fact since I shop in the USA suggestions should probably focus on USA based businesses.

So, I hate Wal-Mart, but it is a one stop shop and they generally have lower prices than most other places. Speaking of super markets specifically most places around where I live (Price Chopper, Lipari's, etc) are usually 20% higher on general items than Wal-Mart.

I'm not adverse to going to multiple places but considering gas prices and what not I'd like to be able to limit my driving. I realize most of you can't speak for the Kansas City area but where do you do your bulk purchasing of food and general goods (toiletries, etc)? We've started buying our meat and vegitables from a whole foods store because they are organic but will still are pulled into the Wal-Mart for most everything else.


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Joe Ess
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Joined: Oct 29, 2001
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    6

If Target sold ammunition, I'd never set foot in WalMart.
For everything else, there's Target and Giant Eagle (grocery store).


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Gregg Bolinger
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    6

Originally posted by Joe Ess:
If Target sold ammunition, I'd never set foot in WalMart.
For everything else, there's Target and Giant Eagle (grocery store).


So how is Target better than Wal-Mart?
Pat Farrell
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Joined: Aug 11, 2007
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    5

Originally posted by Gregg Bolinger:
So how is Target better than Wal-Mart?


How do you define "better"?
Target aims a click above Wal-Mart. It has slightly better stuff, stuff with more style, and is usually slightly more expensive. Its not Bloomingdales, but its not KMart of WalMart.

Wall-Mart is actually an amazing technology story. They really know what is selling, how to get it to the stores, what the prices should be. Without megadollar IT, Wall-Mart could not exist.

Are their any hippie co-ops in your areas? They typically sell wheat, corn, oats, etc. in bulk.
Joe Ess
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    6

Originally posted by Gregg Bolinger:
So how is Target better than Wal-Mart?


As Pat points out, the style and quality of goods is better. I understand it's FaceLessMegaCorp vs. FaceLessMegaCorp, but Target (at least the one's I've been to) also seems cleaner and better maintained than the local WalMart.

Originally posted by Pat Farrell :
Wall-Mart is actually an amazing technology story.

That's the truth. I've heard stories about how their logistics are managed (my brother-in-law's in the business) and their supply chain is about as tight as can be.
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Originally posted by Gregg Bolinger:
but where do you do your bulk purchasing of food and general goods (toiletries, etc)?

Do they have Costco in Kansas City? They are good for bulk purchases. And they sell huge volumes of things so you can go infrequently.

What don't you like about Walmart? FacelessCorporation, big box store, employee practices, etc. I only ask because recommending "better" is tricky without knowing what it means.


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Bear Bibeault
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  65

I grocery shop at my local H-E-B (wisely not named "Butt's Groceries") and get my gas there too. Other stuff is usually from Target. Wally-World is a last resort for stuff I can't get elsewhere.


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Cameron Wallace McKenzie
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I must say, after about a week of working in Europe, I'd do anything for a 24 hour Walmart. There is something great about being able to get everything you want at 3:30 am.

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Pat Farrell
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    5

Originally posted by Cameron Wallace McKenzie:
I must say, after about a week of working in Europe, I'd do anything for a 24 hour Walmart.

There are lots of countries in Europe that seriously restrict shop hours. To the point that folks working on the usual IT schedule can never find a store open. Being able to shop until 9PM would be a big win.

We had a big project in Den Haag (The Hague) Netherlands. We had to hire someone as a generic gofer to do shopping, take stuff to the dry cleaners, etc. because the IT folks never could do it when the shops were open.
Cameron Wallace McKenzie
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It's funny. Americans, which to me includes Canadians, really enjoy convenience. Drive-throughs and 24 hour Walmarts make many Europeans shake their heads. Our desire for 'convenience' is often though of as laziness, but I really think it's preparedness.

I remember being in Germany and having a nasty, nasty cold. I couldn't get to a pharmacy or drug store before they all closed at 4pm or whatever. I discussed my dilemma with my class, but I got no sympathy. They couldn't believe that I would be so unprepared when I traveled.

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Pat Farrell
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    5

Originally posted by Cameron Wallace McKenzie:
. I discussed my dilemma with my class, but I got no sympathy. They couldn't believe that I would be so unprepared when I traveled.

Right, the Germans specifically believe that shop keepers deserve to have dinner with their families, and Sunday to go to church.

I don't think they have as high a percentage of dual-income couples, which are needed on the coasts to live :-)
Henry Wong
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Joined: Sep 28, 2004
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  39

I actually don't see a benefit with using a superstore. I don't mind having a superstore, but to me, it would just be another store. If I had a Walmart nearby, I would go. I definitely do go to the nearby Target, but I don't see it as an all in one place type of store.

For example, Target has a supermarket section, but I don't use it. As another example, I like my local Stop-N-Shop, as it has everything that I would want from a supermarket. But I also go to smaller supermarket like Trader Joes, Hong Kong Supermarket, Trade Fair, etc. And in the case of Trade Fair, that one seems to be completely different from neighborhood to neighborhood -- it is more like a bunch of independent bodegas with the same name.

Henry


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Henry Wong
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  39

Originally posted by Bear Bibeault:
I grocery shop at my local H-E-B (wisely not named "Butt's Groceries") and get my gas there too. Other stuff is usually from Target. Wally-World is a last resort for stuff I can't get elsewhere.


I have to admit that my one regret, when I was down in Texas, was not visiting an H-E-B. I keep hearing stories about it from friends, but have never seen one.

Henry
Bear Bibeault
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  65

Originally posted by Henry Wong:
I actually don't see a benefit with using a superstore.
Our local Wa-Mart is a superstore. I really got put off once when I observed that among the items a woman in front of me was buying was a steak, and a little-girl's white frilly dress. Both of which got put into the same bag.

Now I know that that's just poorly trained baggers, but still... some things just aren't meant to be purchased together.

Originally posted by Henry Wong:
I have to admit that my one regret, when I was down in Texas, was not visiting an H-E-B. I keep hearing stories about it from friends, but have never seen one.
Most H-E-B's are garden-variety supermarkets (though nicer than average in my experience) -- you may be thinking of H-E-B Central Markets which, yes, are tourist-attraction worthy. When visitors come to town, we always include a stop at the original Central Market as part of the tour.
[ June 29, 2008: Message edited by: Bear Bibeault ]
Marc Peabody
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Joined: Feb 05, 2003
Posts: 4727

Originally posted by Bear Bibeault:
I really got put off once when I observed that among the items a woman in front of me was buying was a steak, and a little-girl's white frilly dress. Both of which got put into the same bag.

I remember a commercial for... I think Kroger where the camera was looking down on a cashier's counter belt with tires and sewage pipes mixed in with produce.

Yummy.


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