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General Discussion => Welcome and General Discussion => Topic started by: sol on October 01, 2013, 10:01:08 PM

Title: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: sol on October 01, 2013, 10:01:08 PM
While this site is largely dedicated to better living through frugality, there's a definite undercurrent of trying to "save the world" through conscious spending patterns, a focus on simplicity and personal happiness, and community involvement.  Part of that ethos is opting out of the consumer culture that drives frivolous spending, and aligning your spending with your values.
 
Walmart is the world's largest retailer and has weathered significant criticism for the way it hurts local economies, perpetuates individual poverty, ships jobs overseas, and treats its employees.  Several people here have commented that they choose to shop elsewhere, even if it means paying more, in order to align their spending with their values.
 
My biggest beef with Walmart isn't so much about social justice, it's about crappy products.  Nobody needs another $2.99 set of craptastic plastic doodads in five different neon colors, so it's been easy for me to avoid ever going to Walmart because I don't want their cheaply made garbage turning into lowbrow clutter in my home.  But I've recently been swayed to revisit Walmart and similar outfits for several major purchases.
 
Anecdote:  I was recently in the market for new cookware.  Quality pots and pans are super expensive, and after reading a bunch of reviews about the various types I settled on a set of cookware that was ONLY available at Walmart.  The Tramontina 8 piece (http://www.walmart.com/ip/19581112?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=3&adid=22222222227014887044&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=30063240790&wl4=&wl5=pla&wl6=34457649670&veh=sem) fully clad stainles steel cookware set was consistently ranked higher than cookware sets costing four to five times as much.  I'm philosophically behind the idea of spending a bit more to support locally made products from a reputable retailer, but I'm not about to spend 400% more than I need to in order to get what is by all accounts an inferior product.  I bit the bullet and ordered from Walmart, and I've not regretted it.  I've apparently identified the dollar value of my philosophical beliefs.
 
Do you shop at Walmart?  At what level of personal cost savings do you feel okay about supporting (what I feel is) an exploitive employer that hurts the economy?  Do you always buy the cheapest product available, regardless of business practices or larger social impact?
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: ichangedmyname on October 01, 2013, 10:05:33 PM
I love The Mart!

I buy clothes on clearance and groceries are cheaper in most cases.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: brewer12345 on October 01, 2013, 10:53:41 PM
Walmart mostly sells cheap crap, but they do have groceries cheap and there is one on my way home from work.  Consequently I sometimes find myself at the checkout with microwave popcorn, salsa, and shotgun shells (marveling that I am not going home to a trailer).  The biggest problem I have with ChinaMart is the freakshow clientele.  It does not seem to matter which store I am at, they all have candidates for www.peopleofwalmart.com.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: N on October 01, 2013, 11:49:26 PM
there isnt one that is really close so as to make it in my regular rotation of shopping. the one that is closest doesnt have  a good grocery section, so its not efficient to go there often.

I did buy my tramontina dutch oven from them for the same reasons you bought your pans, Sol, more than 5 years ago and Im still in love with it.
They also have a good canning jar in their generic housewares line that is less expensive than Ball/Kerr (the most commonly stocked) so if I need those, I will go there specifically for those, and then see if there are any deals to be had while Im there. Sometimes I go for their school supplies in the fall.

There is a different store further away that does have good grocery prices, so if I happen to have other plans in that area, I might stop by there for groceries or the canning jars.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Khan on October 01, 2013, 11:50:06 PM
No I don't, although it can't be said that I'm doing much better when I buy off Amazon. That said, I make it a point to shop at Costco, as they pay their workers fairly well(~20$/hr), and I actively avoided Sam's Club for the reason that it is attached to WalMart and not nearly as good for it's employee's as Costco.

I don't think Walmart is the oppressive evil force it's made out to be, but I don't think it's a force of good*. I'd place it somewhere between true-neutral and neutral-evil.

*I think an argument can be made that Walmart even while destroying communities/shitting on it's workers, did a good job of racing to the bottom on costs and making the entire transportation infrastructure of a retailer, along with savings passed on to consumers was -some- amount of good. We might need an electron microscope to find measure it though.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: arebelspy on October 02, 2013, 12:06:06 AM
Poll added.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: vern on October 02, 2013, 12:32:07 AM
I never darken that doorstep.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: keith on October 02, 2013, 12:45:29 AM
Walmart is the world's largest retailer and has weathered significant criticism for the way it hurts local economies, perpetuates individual poverty, ships jobs overseas, and treats its employees.

I dont shop at walmart, and haven't for several years - even before I "turned frugal".

Mostly for the reasons outlined there.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Left on October 02, 2013, 04:36:55 AM
The biggest problem I have with ChinaMart is the freakshow clientele.  It does not seem to matter which store I am at, they all have candidates for www.peopleofwalmart.com.
That's the top reason I shop there... But yeah, I don't go often, but it's easy when I need something quick, duct tape, electric outlets, filters, etc. Things that I'd dispose of/use up and not anything that lasts long.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: jpo on October 02, 2013, 05:09:09 AM
Every time I've gone in a Walmart I've had a poor experience.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: ketchup on October 02, 2013, 05:36:19 AM
Sometimes I will run in there these days for a few little things, but it's hardly somewhere I frequent.  My main beef is the cheap junk, and the zombie employees.  It's not uncommon to be in my local Walmart at 7pm on a weekday and have to wait in line for 45 minutes while the two checkouts are running at speeds so slow it's almost confusing how little they care.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: ace1224 on October 02, 2013, 07:44:10 AM
yep i do.  they have the cheapest groceries in town and cheapest electronics.  i don't buy knick knacky shit but only because i hate clutter. 
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Spork on October 02, 2013, 07:58:22 AM

I live outside of a small(ish) town.  The choices here for groceries are:
1. Walmart
2. a locally owned chain that ... isn't great.  Over my lifetime (~50 years) this chain has managed to push out every other possible competitor other than Walmart.

Walmart has better selection and (usually) cheaper prices.  We do a bit of cherry picking at both, but definitely shop at Walmart.  Much like government: if a viable third party showed up, they'd probably get my vote.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Nancy on October 02, 2013, 08:07:29 AM
No, I don't shop at Walmart for the reasons you stated. However, I've never been in your situation where I searched for something I needed, and Walmart was the only retail venue. I choose not to support Walmart (and I haven't had a reason to shop there yet), but I know that my electronics, for example, were likely (definitely) made in an exploitative work environment. So, I try not to buy new "stuff" from any retailers. However, there are times when I can't get something from a thrift shop or freecycle, so I make the best decision (based on price and values) that I can at the time.

Edit: Based on past behaviors, I would likely do without the item or get something comparable that is used, rather than shop there.

 
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Iron Mike Sharpe on October 02, 2013, 08:45:10 AM
Yes.  For stuff like cleaning supplies, toiletries, paper products, groceries that I can't get at Aldi, etc.

No to clothing, furniture or anything that can fall apart.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: dorkus619 on October 02, 2013, 09:08:07 AM
Admittedly, I still do. But I have greatly reduced the amount and try whenever possible/reasonable to take my business elsewhere.

I have a terrible experience 98% of the trips I take to Walmart and I hate the way they treat employees and their overall business.

Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: kolorado on October 02, 2013, 09:14:32 AM
  I'm not philosophically against Walmart, not yet anyway. I almost took a job there once in the crafting department but when I met who would be my supervisor, I declined the job. The guy was as mentally unstable as the folks where I was last employed. I do wonder how many folks who claim that WM is unfair to their employees have actually known any of their employees or indeed worked in any low paying workplace for any period of time. It's been my experience that 90% of low income employees do not in any way deserve a higher wage. Their mental capacity and commitment to doing even the most basic tasks at work and even getting to work reliably is a D- at best. The ones who demonstrate an ability to deserve more wages usually move on to a more complex and rewarding occupation. I don't mind using a low-wage job as a stepping stone but in that particular case I decided the torture of the day to day job with those co-workers wouldn't be worth it. I much more concerned with how the production workers in China, India and elsewhere are being treated and paid for all the low cost items they produce that line our shelves in America. American WM workers earn more in two hours than a Chinese garment worker earns all day.
  I do agree with opting out of the consumerist rat race, but that goes for everywhere you can buy things you don't need. It's not just Walmart. That being said, I don't do a lot of shopping there. Just a few basic things once a month(like natural jam not available in the supermarkets here) and occasional household items like fans or lightbulbs. I also buy underwear, socks and -rarely- clearance clothes for the kids here.
Most purchases over $10 are handled online where I can compare consumer opinions, stats on origin, safety information and company profiles before making a decision.
  As far as the actual shopping experience in Walmart, it varies. The one near my home is on the outskirts of $300K home developments and not a low income neighborhood within 10 miles, so the clientele is very civil, even friendly, and decently attired. The one near my old home in NJ was like POWM. Mullets, pajamas, visible nether regions, hair curlers, bathrobes, tramps and just a general look of a zombie population was an everyday sight there.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: GuitarStv on October 02, 2013, 09:17:24 AM
I don't really like anything I've read about Wal-Mart's business practices . . . but the biggest reason I don't shop there is that it's a miserable experience.  I have other options, so I use them.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Joshin on October 02, 2013, 09:23:32 AM
There is a Walmart 3 blocks from my house. I shop there about six times a year when I need to get toilet paper, dish soap or trash bags. I hate going to Walmart, it's just not a pleasant experience.

I don't need them for cleaning supplies (we make our own due to fragrance allergies). Winco has the best grocery prices in town, and they are an employee owned company with an awesome bulk section. Sure, it's six miles away, but I take my mom out there every weekend and we do our shopping together. We don't buy housewares new, for example, my lovely enamelled cast iron pots and pans came from a garage sale.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Nothlit on October 02, 2013, 09:25:59 AM
Growing up we shopped at Walmart frequently. There was one around the corner from our house, and in fact in that area (metro Atlanta) you can't go more than about 15 minutes in any direction from anywhere without running into a Walmart.

Now that I live in the Boston area, there aren't as many Walmarts around, so I haven't shopped there much at all in the last few years. On the rare occasion that I have popped into one (or even Target, for that matter) I've found that most of what they sell is cheap junk that wouldn't last very long or provide a quality experience under normal use, and their prices are not really that much cheaper than Amazon, especially when you factor in the hassle of driving to the store, not finding exactly what you're looking for, returning things that turn out not to be any good, etc.

Similar to your example of the pots and pans, if I was in the market for a specific product and I did the research and found that Walmart sold a quality product in that category at a competitive price, especially if I needed the item right away vs. ordering online, I would have no problem buying from them. But I rarely find that to be the case.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: livetogive on October 02, 2013, 09:47:31 AM
I'm ashamed to say yes, but when I'm near a walmart I buy select things like prepaid cell phone cards and target ammo.

I recently heard a great argument about how Walmart's low prices are a result of taxpayers getting duped.  They don't pay employees a living wage and instead help them enroll in social welfare and entitlement programs.

A new definition of corporate welfare?
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Bank on October 02, 2013, 10:40:56 AM
I don't shop there because most of it (not all) is cheap crap and there isn't one convenient to me.  I have friends who avoid Wal-Mart on principle that Wal-Mart is Evil, and therefore shop at Target instead.  This amuses me.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: KulshanGirl on October 02, 2013, 10:42:06 AM
I choose not to (regularly) shop at Walmart for the reasons you've listed.  Also, I live in a border-ish town and our Walmart is located in an area that I go to great lengths to avoid because of traffic and craziness. 

That said, every now and then, I go there if I'm looking for a specific thing that I can't get elsewhere, or things that are reeeeaally cheaper there.  Last time I was there was about a year and a half ago, and I was after the 99 cent rubbermaid shoebox sized storage things with lids.  It feels like being on another planet when I'm in there.  Just a shock to the system. Hehe. 
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Frankies Girl on October 02, 2013, 10:43:40 AM
I haven't set foot inside one in close to 8 years.

I don't like the cheap crap they sell, I don't like their policies on treating employees like cattle (and especially don't like how they discriminate against women and have a major lack of them in management roles) and I don't like that they pollute the environment and destroy small communities... and they do all of this with complete contempt.

http://www.catawbariverkeeper.org/our-work/wal-mart/

Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Jamesqf on October 02, 2013, 11:00:09 AM
How about adding a "Sometimes, but it's not my primary source" option on the quiz?

There are some things I buy there - ice cream & frozen yoghurt, their multigrain ciabatta rolls, apple cider in the fall - simply because no other store I know of has them, but I do most of my shopping at WinCo.  Their prices are better (my neighbor works at WalMart, and even with her employee discount WinCo is cheaper), they have lots of stuff in bulk (like about 20 different kinds of rice...), and best of all, I don't have to endure effing Muzak while I shop.


Walmart is the world's largest retailer and has weathered significant criticism for the way it hurts local economies, perpetuates individual poverty, ships jobs overseas, and treats its employees.

I have to say, though, that I pretty much disagree with this.  I like the basic idea of WalMart: that is, having just about everything in one place so I don't have to waste my time & fuel driving all over town (or walking, biking, taking a bus...).  And I like the idea of consistently seeking out lower prices, even if it means things are imported (why does nobody object when Trader Joe's does exactly the same thing?), and continuously working for efficiency, doing things like daylighting stores and trying to reduce excess packaging.  I do think some of their employee policies are shortsighted, as is their willingness to sacrifice quality.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: gimp on October 02, 2013, 11:46:03 AM
Only when I have to.

When travelling and there's no other choice, or if I live right next to one and absolutely need a cable right now, I'll shop there. Otherwise, never.

When I go into one I'll know what they have. If I'm driving through some God-forsaken desert somewhere between California and Louisiana, or some corn field between Oregon and Ohio... I know they'll have a cheap 36-pack of water, or something else that I forgot to buy before I life.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: arebelspy on October 02, 2013, 11:49:13 AM
How about adding a "Sometimes, but it's not my primary source" option on the quiz?

Why?  The question is about if you shop there or not, not how frequently you do.

Should we add other "sometimes, rarely, daily, weekly" options?

I don't see what that would add.

It's rather a binary question.  You either do, or you don't.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Tyler on October 02, 2013, 11:49:25 AM
I absolutely shop at Walmart. Not for everything, mind you, but for whatever makes the most financial sense. I appreciate them for what they do best - providing inexpensive everyday items.

I always laugh at my friends who (rather smugly) brag of never shopping at evil Walmart, but throw all their money at a place like Whole Foods or buy all the China-made iProducts as possible.  They're all multinational corporate conglomerates, which doesn't seem to bother them in specific cases.  Ultimately, for some it just comes down to Walmart being "white trash" or somehow uncivilized. Which is, for me, rather petty.





Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: sol on October 02, 2013, 12:06:14 PM
It's rather a binary question.  You either do, or you don't.

Except for people like the OP, who don't shop there except in special circumstances, so would have to answer "yes" while still maintaining a philosophical opposition to doing so.

Walmart embodies the supply-side economic theory of the 1980s: increase corporate profits by selling tons of cheap goods and standards of living will increase.  The prevailing economic theory today, by contrast, posits that you increase corporate profits by raising consumer demand (usually by paying higher wages, but also by advertisising).  In this case, the two are mutually exclusive because Walmart can only sell cheap goods because it pays low wages.

For people who have already have high incomes, Walmart is a great deal.  You get all of the benefits of a ruthlessly efficient corporate retailer without any of the negative consequence of having to work for a ruthlessly efficient corporate retailer.  But when looking at the economy in aggregate, I think it's clear that the benefits and the negative consequences are not separable on the macro level.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Spork on October 02, 2013, 12:46:20 PM

For people who have already have high incomes, Walmart is a great deal.  You get all of the benefits of a ruthlessly efficient corporate retailer without any of the negative consequence of having to work for a ruthlessly efficient corporate retailer.  But when looking at the economy in aggregate, I think it's clear that the benefits and the negative consequences are not separable on the macro level.

I would think "inexpensive groceries" has some positive influences for both high and low income shoppers.  Sucky place to work?  Probably.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: gimp on October 02, 2013, 12:50:20 PM
I've never lived in a place where walmart groceries were cheaper than the alternative. Having said that, I've been asked to look for cheap food in a lot of zip codes and the more rural ones were often better served by walmart than anyone else.

I agree that it's not an entirely binary question. I answered yes, but I buy something there maybe once or twice a year, and I don't like it.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: grantmeaname on October 02, 2013, 12:51:49 PM
I don't have any moral problem with Walmart, and I don't try to avoid it, but I don't shop there because the nearest one is hella far away.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Jamesqf on October 02, 2013, 12:53:20 PM
Why?  The question is about if you shop there or not, not how frequently you do.

So if (hypothetically) I bought something at WalMart one time back in 1999, I would have to say yes, I shop at WalMart?

Quote
It's rather a binary question.  You either do, or you don't.

But as above, the binary question doesn't really supply much information, since it doesn't distinguish between people who do most or all of their shopping there, and those who rarely go there.

Walmart embodies the supply-side economic theory of the 1980s: increase corporate profits by selling tons of cheap goods and standards of living will increase.

I don't really think that's an accurate statement of supply-side economics.  Besides, you have two distinct factors in "cheap goods".  One is to sell lower-quality goods, the other is to reduce overheads.  Now if WalMart reduces their costs by e.g. reducing waste packaging, making their stores energy efficient, and so on, isn't that a good thing?  And likewise if they increase my shopping efficiency, by making it possible to spend less time getting whatever stuff I happen to want?

Quote
The prevailing economic theory today, by contrast, posits that you increase corporate profits by raising consumer demand (usually by paying higher wages, but also by advertisising).

Carried to even a moderate degree, isn't this the antithesis of Mustachianism?  We should all go out and spend, spend, spend on consumer junk, because that will create jobs and increase corporate profits?

Quote
In this case, the two are mutually exclusive because Walmart can only sell cheap goods because it pays low wages.

That is not the only way WalMart (or any other retailer) can sell goods cheaper.  If they reduce waste, have more efficient manufacturer->store logistics...  All that cuts their costs, allowing them to sell more cheaply, and thus presumably increase total sales and profits.  And I'd argue that those sorts of things also create a public benefit.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: sol on October 02, 2013, 01:24:05 PM
I don't really think that's an accurate statement of supply-side economics.

What, my two sentence explanation didn't do justice to the dominant capitalist theory of the late 20th century?  Shocking.  It wasn't meant as an affront, just a pathetic oversimplification.

Quote
Carried to even a moderate degree, isn't this the antithesis of Mustachianism?

Mustachianism is very much a microeconomic movement.  When talking about macroeconomics, as Bakari and others have occasionally done when thinking about the net impact of everyone adopting the philosophy, things get more complicated.

Quote
We should all go out and spend, spend, spend on consumer junk, because that will create jobs and increase corporate profits?

I wasn't so much advocating consumerism as I was encouraging corporate profits by meeting demand for desired products, rather than by flooding the market with undesirable products.

Here, this TED talk makes the case a bit more eloquently, in six minutes:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBx2Y5HhplI

Quote
That is not the only way WalMart (or any other retailer) can sell goods cheaper.

Agreed, and the cookware set I bought is a good example.  Walmart found a way to manufacture and deliver a product clearly superior to all of the high end cookware sets that cost three to five times as much.  They're using the same quality materials, so it must be some combination of reduced manufacturing, labor, transportation, and retailing costs.  While I may not like the economic harm done to realize those cost savings, I've discovered that I'm apparently okay with supporting that harm in the interest of personal gains, in this case not paying more for pots and pans.

Which is why I started the thread.  Everyone has a price.  I'd rather buy from another retailer, even if it means paying a bit more for the same good.  But if it means paying WAY more for crappier products?  Apparently I'm a Walmart shopper.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: livetogive on October 02, 2013, 05:13:46 PM
I would think "inexpensive groceries" has some positive influences for both high and low income shoppers.  Sucky place to work?  Probably.

Inexpensive in price only.  Walmart is ground zero for fake and poorly regulated foodstuffs entering the US from less discriminating countries of origin <<cough>><<china>>, like fake organics, potentially toxic honey, seriously questionable seafood, etc.  If it's cheap and says "free range", "organic", "grass fed", "local", etc. at Walmart and similar I just assume it isn't.  Since I personally don't trust any food from China I choose not to buy any food at Walmart.

Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Tyler on October 02, 2013, 06:00:45 PM
Since I personally don't trust any food from China I choose not to buy any food at Walmart.

To be fair, that's not limited to Walmart.

http://www.naturalnews.com/036584_Whole_Foods_organic_produce_China.html#
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: arebelspy on October 02, 2013, 08:18:01 PM
It's rather a binary question.  You either do, or you don't.

Except for people like the OP, who don't shop there except in special circumstances, so would have to answer "yes" while still maintaining a philosophical opposition to doing so.

Ah, but in the case of the OP, the answer is clearly "yes" - the philosophical objection clearly doesn't matter, when the rubber meets the road, you do shop at Wal Mart.  As you point out in the OP:
I've apparently identified the dollar value of my philosophical beliefs.

So that's a clear "yes."  I don't see how you say "people like the OP .. don't shop there" - that's exactly the type of case where it makes sense to be a yes, and not have an option for them to weasel out with a "rarely" or "I do but I don't like it!" - they have to own up and admit yes, they shop there, despite any philosophical objections they claim to have.

There's a million ways to ask about people's feelings of Wal Mart.  Another potential one: Are you philosophically opposed to Wal Mart and its practices? Yes/no.

That would be a different question than if you shop there, and give some insight into who shops there but is opposed, who doesn't shop there but isn't opposed (see Grant's answer, for an example of this), etc.

Why?  The question is about if you shop there or not, not how frequently you do.

So if (hypothetically) I bought something at WalMart one time back in 1999, I would have to say yes, I shop at WalMart?

I suppose that depends if (hypothetically) you are an idiot or not.  Good thing none of us here are, right?  (In other words, if you can't read between the lines, I know you certainly aren't, so why are you asking these inane questions?)

I'll go ahead and answer it, once, in case you actually genuinely can't figure out that obvious case.  Beyond that, I'd rather not argue about it, and if you want to start your own fun happy Wal Mart poll with lots of options, be my guest.  :)

To answer your "So if (hypothetically) I bought something at WalMart one time back in 1999, I would have to say yes, I shop at WalMart? ": The question does not read "Have you shopped at Wal Mart?"  It reads "Do you shop at Wal Mart?"

It is up to the voter to decide what "shop" means.

I'd argue that someone shopping there one time 14 years ago who - since then - hasn't had a chance, but would shop there may want to put yes (or could put no, and say they don't live by one, I'm good with either answer), while someone who purposefully in the meantime actively decided not to go there again would put no.

That's the beauty of letting people be intelligent.  Most of them can handle it. 

Some just nitpick though.

Quote
It's rather a binary question.  You either do, or you don't.

But as above, the binary question doesn't really supply much information, since it doesn't distinguish between people who do most or all of their shopping there, and those who rarely go there.

Okay?  It also doesn't establish, as above, who loves it or hates it, and shops there or doesn't despite that.

Grant, who doesn't have a problem with it, still puts "no" as he doesn't live close.  Sol, who does have a problem with it, may have to put "yes."

It doesn't distinguish a lot of things, because it is only getting at one thing: the bottom line of if you do or don't shop there.

Then the comments section lets one get more detailed about why the do/no not.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: hybrid on October 02, 2013, 08:35:36 PM
How about adding a "Sometimes, but it's not my primary source" option on the quiz?

+1.  When canning season comes, it's off to Wal-Mart to stock up on the supplies.  I'd buy them at Costco if I could, but I can't, so why would I pay more for the exact same brand somewhere else?  That's pretty much my typical Walmart experience.  I probably go once every two or three months for things I cannot get at Costco or someplace similar.  Not because of the politics, but because they are typically not the best bargain for me.  I'd guess I spend about $300 a year there total.  We don't grocery shop there.  I can bike to my local store, but not Wal-Mart.  After I factor in the 16 miles I drive round trip to Walmart vs. a bike ride the savings at Walmart aren't really there. 
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Riceman on October 02, 2013, 08:53:18 PM
While this site is largely dedicated to better living through frugality, there's a definite undercurrent of trying to "save the world" through conscious spending patterns, a focus on simplicity and personal happiness, and community involvement.  Part of that ethos is opting out of the consumer culture that drives frivolous spending, and aligning your spending with your values.
 
Walmart is the world's largest retailer and has weathered significant criticism for the way it hurts local economies, perpetuates individual poverty, ships jobs overseas, and treats its employees.  Several people here have commented that they choose to shop elsewhere, even if it means paying more, in order to align their spending with their values.
 
My biggest beef with Walmart isn't so much about social justice, it's about crappy products.  Nobody needs another $2.99 set of craptastic plastic doodads in five different neon colors, so it's been easy for me to avoid ever going to Walmart because I don't want their cheaply made garbage turning into lowbrow clutter in my home.  But I've recently been swayed to revisit Walmart and similar outfits for several major purchases.
 
Anecdote:  I was recently in the market for new cookware.  Quality pots and pans are super expensive, and after reading a bunch of reviews about the various types I settled on a set of cookware that was ONLY available at Walmart.  The Tramontina 8 piece (http://www.walmart.com/ip/19581112?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=3&adid=22222222227014887044&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=30063240790&wl4=&wl5=pla&wl6=34457649670&veh=sem) fully clad stainles steel cookware set was consistently ranked higher than cookware sets costing four to five times as much.  I'm philosophically behind the idea of spending a bit more to support locally made products from a reputable retailer, but I'm not about to spend 400% more than I need to in order to get what is by all accounts an inferior product.  I bit the bullet and ordered from Walmart, and I've not regretted it.  I've apparently identified the dollar value of my philosophical beliefs.
 
Do you shop at Walmart?  At what level of personal cost savings do you feel okay about supporting (what I feel is) an exploitive employer that hurts the economy?  Do you always buy the cheapest product available, regardless of business practices or larger social impact?

Online kitchen supply stores are the best for pots and pans. You likely will never need to buy again, and tramontina is a god brand, but in your next life, try that route. Also, most clad pans are overkill. Sauciers and frypans are improved by clad sides, but saucepans, saute pans, and stock pots are better served with thick disc bases.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Jamesqf on October 02, 2013, 09:20:01 PM
I don't really think that's an accurate statement of supply-side economics.

What, my two sentence explanation didn't do justice to the dominant capitalist theory of the late 20th century?  Shocking.  It wasn't meant as an affront, just a pathetic oversimplification.

I understood that.  But a simplification - yes, even an oversimplification - should try to abstract the essential features of whatever you're trying to simplify.  Yours didn't, IMHO anyway, and I freely admit that I am not an economist :-)

I'll just note that it's pretty hard to discuss things if 1) Everybody has to accept your assumptions to participate; and 2) You see disagreeing with them as being affronted.

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I wasn't so much advocating consumerism as I was encouraging corporate profits by meeting demand for desired products, rather than by flooding the market with undesirable products.

But if WalMart didn't have desirable (to some part of the market, anyway) products, wouldn't they soon go out of business?  Even I find some things there that I can't find elsewhere: the frozen yoghurt, the 0W20 synthetic motor oil that my Insight requires, generic nasal decongestant...

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Here, this TED talk makes the case a bit more eloquently, in six minutes:

Thanks, but I don't do video (on principle).  If there's a transcript around, I would willingly take a minute or two to read it.

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While I may not like the economic harm done to realize those cost savings...

Though I think you're starting from the assumption that there IS harm.  I've heard most of the standard arguments, and think that most of them are misguided.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Jamesqf on October 02, 2013, 09:27:58 PM
I suppose that depends if (hypothetically) you are an idiot or not.  Good thing none of us here are, right?  (In other words, if you can't read between the lines, I know you certainly aren't, so why are you asking these inane questions?)

Just possibly because I don't think they're inane? [/sarcasm] 

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It is up to the voter to decide what "shop" means.

Meaning that we have a pretty useless set of answers, no?

As for the extreme case of someone who shopped there years ago, but not since, that's simply trying to define those lines I'm supposed to be reading between.  That's one way to test things: look at extremes.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: arebelspy on October 02, 2013, 10:00:28 PM
Meaning that we have a pretty useless set of answers, no?

No.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Zikoris on October 02, 2013, 10:01:25 PM
I don't particularly care what corporations do in terms of "social justice", provided they don't use slave labour or have ridiculously unsafe working conditions. I sure as hell don't care if they want to pay their employees minimum wage - minimum wage in Vancouver BC is REALLY high anyways(10.25/hr), more than enough to live comfortably on if your head is attached properly to your body.

That said, I find the layout/decor/colour schemes in the stores to be depressing, and the only one around is really far from my neighbourhood, so I don't go there myself. The only thing they sell that I would buy is groceries, and they're no cheaper than anywhere else here for the type of food I buy.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: HoneyBadger on October 02, 2013, 10:25:24 PM
I will NEVER darken Wal-Mart's door again! Originally, I stopped going there because they were often out of whatever I wanted and the employees were downright hostile.   Now I won't go there because of their unethical business practices - most recently they were fined for taking kickbacks from the exorbitant fees their 401K plan administrators charged.  In addition, they have such power over suppliers that manufacturers make cheaper-quality products specifically for Wal-Mart to meet their price demands.  for example, the quality of a name-brand appliance purchased at Wal-Mart may not be as high as the same appliance purchased elsewhere.  I've noticed the opposite is true of merchandise at Costco.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: sol on October 02, 2013, 11:15:22 PM
Thanks, but I don't do video (on principle).  If there's a transcript around, I would willingly take a minute or two to read it.

Transcript, as requested:  http://lybio.net/nick-hanauer-ted-talks-the-inequality-speech/people/

You don't get the graphs which illustrate the points he's making, but I think you can still get the flavor of it.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Zamboni on October 03, 2013, 05:25:24 AM
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For people who have already have high incomes, Walmart is a great deal.  You get all of the benefits of a ruthlessly efficient corporate retailer without any of the negative consequence of having to work for a ruthlessly efficient corporate retailer.

This is very true.

But I do also think that Walmart has many aspects on the plus side, and there are so many unethical ruthless companies operating that I find it interesting that so many people single out Walmart as others have noted.

Many other posters have pointed out some of the positive aspects of Walmart (hire people who might otherwise be unemployable, good source of lower priced products in rural areas, some of their products are actually rated highly (I found that their brand of house paint was rated extremely highly a couple of years ago), open long hours which is helpful if you work weird schedules, etc.)

Maybe the rudeness of employees is store and perhaps manager dependent?  Some stores are definitely newer, nicer, better organized that others.  I've found the employees at my local WalMart to be extremely friendly.  A couple of people look unhappy, but for the most part they are nice.  Is part of it that I am friendly to random people I meet?  Probably.  That store is also particularly clean and well organized, so I'm guessing the store manager plays a role.

Particularly when I was hurt enough that I was temporarily disabled, WalMart employees went way out of their way to help me.  At that point I just decided to only shop at WalMart until I was healed.  They had the motorized cart I could use because I couldn't walk, and they even let me drive it all the way to my car out in the lot, which I don't think they were supposed to do.  They would follow me out to bring it back.  Sometimes someone would come by while I was getting groceries to ask if I needed help reaching anything on a high shelf.  So, your grandma only wants to shop at WalMart?  I get that.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Worsted Skeins on October 03, 2013, 05:53:42 AM
It has been years since I have stepped foot into a Walmart.  I formerly helped out a single Mom without a car by doing things like providing a ride to the grocery.  She loved going to Walmart which was as much a social outing for her as well as a place to shop. 

In general I spend little at grocery or warehouse stores.  I live in an area with two growing seasons (and those with hoop houses have a third) so almost all of our produce is from local farms.  We eat seasonally.  I buy most of our "ingredients" (I buy little processed food) at a co-op.  My co-op is currently facing a rough patch as it is no longer the only show in town--Whole Foods and Trader Joes have arrived. 

Confession:  I own Whole Foods stock--have for years--but rarely shop there.  My husband and I went to London this summer courtesy of gains made on Whole Foods stock.

But I don't own Walmart stock nor will I buy it.  And I don't shop there.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: golden1 on October 03, 2013, 05:59:18 AM
No.

1) There aren't any around me.
2) Even if there was, I would try to avoid shopping there at ALL costs.
3) I prefer to buy quality items when I have to shop and most things I have purchased at Wal-mart in the past, especially clothes, do not last.
4) I hate shopping there because the stores are generally disorganized and it is hard to find what you are looking for.
5) I am not a big fan of their business practices.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: SnackDog on October 03, 2013, 06:51:50 AM
Walmart is the cheapest and most convenient place to shop for most people, so it is the logical choice, particularly for staples.  We even go to Walmart abroad.  I was delighted to find Walmart brand hot salsa sauce on the shelves here as it is the only salsa available in town for under $20/bottle.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: smalllife on October 03, 2013, 08:00:27 AM
I don't shop at Wal-mart for a variety of reasons, but the one I haven't seen mentioned yet is the political actions and contributions of the company and its owners.  I don't shop at a variety of stores, or buy certain brands, for the same reason.  Wal-mart isn't singled out for this and I generally practice what I preach.  If I need something of the cheap random category variety (recent shower curtain purchase for example) I will venture into Target but I dislike the experience and they are also on the avoid list. 

Sadly, that list gets longer every campaign seasons.  On the plus side, I have discovered quite a few competitive local vendors as a result and my overall purchases declined greatly when I started looking at more than just price. 

*My foray into Mustachianism started with an environmental/minimalist interest.  Frugality and independence are natural off shoots.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Spork on October 03, 2013, 08:06:17 AM
I would think "inexpensive groceries" has some positive influences for both high and low income shoppers.  Sucky place to work?  Probably.

Inexpensive in price only.  Walmart is ground zero for fake and poorly regulated foodstuffs entering the US from less discriminating countries of origin <<cough>><<china>>, like fake organics, potentially toxic honey, seriously questionable seafood, etc.  If it's cheap and says "free range", "organic", "grass fed", "local", etc. at Walmart and similar I just assume it isn't.  Since I personally don't trust any food from China I choose not to buy any food at Walmart.

I share your distrust of food from China.  I avoid it like the plague.  (I am especially suspect of seafood.)   My statement was simply to support that the do offer a value for low income shoppers (and probably more so than for high income shoppers) by offering cheap food.  A can of Campbell's soup is a can of Campbell's soup regardless of what store it comes from.  The poor are not the ones buying free range/organic/grass fed products.  Those are products marketed at the wealthy and wealthy wannabes.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: oldtoyota on October 03, 2013, 09:12:58 AM
No. I don't like their business practices, and the stores smell bad.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: oldtoyota on October 03, 2013, 09:15:09 AM
I did buy my tramontina dutch oven from them for the same reasons you bought your pans, Sol, more than 5 years ago and Im still in love with it.
They also have a good canning jar in their generic housewares line that is less expensive than Ball/Kerr (the most commonly stocked) so if I need those, I will go there specifically for those, and then see if there are any deals to be had while Im there. Sometimes I go for their school supplies in the fall.

I bought a 75-year-old dutch oven from ebay. Cast iron. No need to shop at Walmart for cookware.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: hybrid on October 03, 2013, 10:14:09 AM
Meaning that we have a pretty useless set of answers, no?

No.

Here area few alternatives to consider.  How about "How much do you spend at Walmart annually", or "How often do you shop at Walmart?"

If a binary statement is the goal, then sure, the poll works as it is.  But I also think it would provide more interesting data if it were fleshed out some.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: arebelspy on October 03, 2013, 10:34:47 AM
Meaning that we have a pretty useless set of answers, no?

No.

Here area few alternatives to consider.  How about "How much do you spend at Walmart annually", or "How often do you shop at Walmart?"

If a binary statement is the goal, then sure, the poll works as it is.  But I also think it would provide more interesting data if it were fleshed out some.

Those have problems as well though.  The first, for example, tells us nothing if someone selects 5k - is that 5k out of 5k spent total in that category (i.e. 100%)?  Or 5k out of 100k (i.e. 5%)?  The second similar - do they shop there often because they shop a lot, or because that's their main store?

They both also have the issue that the binary one does of not distinguishing between someone who never shops there (or spends $0) because they don't live near one, versus have a philosophical problem, nor do they address the person who does shop there despite philosophical problems.

Any poll is going to give you a limited set of information, whatever you change it to.  A poll of "do you have a philosophical problem with Wal Mart" will give a different set of data (but also be limited in what it answers).  You all seem to think there is a perfect poll, or your one tweak will make this poll so much better.  All it will do is solve one problem (i.e. answer a different question better), and introduce others (questions it leaves unanswered).  As for finding out what percent of Mustachians shop at Wal Mart (for whatever reason) or don't (for whatever reason), this one is about as good as you can get, despite it not answering other questions that it isn't asking.

It is what it is.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Theadyn on October 03, 2013, 10:45:35 AM
There's a supercenter one less than 5 minutes from me, and I still avoid it at ALL costs.   Extreme hate for that place, their practices, their junk they sell, the rude customers, the disorganization, their want to put items furthest from you so as to get you to impulse buy more crap product, and their want to take over small businesses that I would much rather give my money to.   I might go in once or twice a year, cause let's face it, I can't find a bike tube anywhere else in my town.  :(    And yes, I've ordered online things I probably could have gotten at that rotten place just to avoid going into that store, the shipping charge is well worth my sanity sometimes.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Hedge_87 on October 04, 2013, 12:28:24 PM
Walmart mostly sells cheap crap, but they do have groceries cheap and there is one on my way home from work.  Consequently I sometimes find myself at the checkout with microwave popcorn, salsa, and shotgun shells (marveling that I am not going home to a trailer).  The biggest problem I have with ChinaMart is the freakshow clientele.  It does not seem to matter which store I am at, they all have candidates for www.peopleofwalmart.com.
I'm the same way. If it's just a groceries trip we go to the locally owned groceries store. However we do cave sometimes if we need other stuff as well. For instance last month we got all our food, oil for both vehicles, a 100 rounds of shotgun shells, and my HIP stamp so I could spent my evenings dove hunting. Also as you stated walmart is full of free entertainment just start walking around lol.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: hybrid on October 04, 2013, 01:18:43 PM
Any poll is going to give you a limited set of information, whatever you change it to.  A poll of "do you have a philosophical problem with Wal Mart" will give a different set of data (but also be limited in what it answers).  You all seem to think there is a perfect poll, or your one tweak will make this poll so much better.  All it will do is solve one problem (i.e. answer a different question better), and introduce others (questions it leaves unanswered).  As for finding out what percent of Mustachians shop at Wal Mart (for whatever reason) or don't (for whatever reason), this one is about as good as you can get, despite it not answering other questions that it isn't asking.

It is what it is.

Perfect?  Nah, no such thing in a poll.  Better?   Yeah, I think this poll could be better.  It doesn't begin to tap into the reasons for not shopping at Walmart or the frequency with which Mustachians shop at Wal-mart.  As you said, it is what it is.   

Since I'm the one critiquing, it's on me to make a better one. 
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Jamesqf on October 04, 2013, 02:49:27 PM
Transcript, as requested:  http://lybio.net/nick-hanauer-ted-talks-the-inequality-speech/people/

Thanks for finding that.  Have to say that I've seen (& discussed) those arguments before.  I don't agree with them, for several reasons, but the one most relevant here, I think, is that he's basically blaming evil capitalists(tm) for something that's really an effect of automation & increased production efficiency.  That is, there are a bunch of low skill but fairly well paying jobs that have been reduced or eliminated by computers.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: RootofGood on October 04, 2013, 03:22:18 PM
I shop there probably every 3 weeks.  There are 3 superwalmarts within 3 miles of my house, so I have my pick of the litter. 

Prices are decent, but not better than Aldi and sales at local grocery stores.  We usually get toiletries, paper products, and other grocery items that don't go on sale much. 

Automotive, hardware, toys (for the kids), and garden items also make their way into our cart.  Prices are hard to beat, but not impossible.

Every time I go in though, I am reminded of why I hate walmart but love saving money.  Long lines, poor service, disorganized and/or mislabeled shelves.  But hey, they are cheap! 


As to the philosophical question, I have no political aversion to shopping at Walmart - it's a free market after all.  They provide enough value and barely enough convenience (everything in one store) that I patronize them regularly (every ~3 weeks).  I can't separate them morally from Target or any other large retailer.

Oddly enough, I used to do tons of consulting work for them on the engineering side.  Walmarts were almost all I did for about a year when they were growing like mold back in 2007-08-ish.  Fun times.  Their business management of real estate development is very savvy and thrifty, probably one of the better consumers of professional services that I encountered, and that includes a number of other fortune 500 companies.  It was always fun representing them at public hearings when you're the guy bringing a walmart into 500 angry citizens' back yards!  :)
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: StarswirlTheMustached on October 04, 2013, 04:48:35 PM
I don't shop at Walmart; three reasons:
-I avoid it for ideological reasons, yes. Like many, I don't like company's specific policies, or what the big-box model in general has done to our towns.
- also because I find it incredibly unpleasant to be in their stores.
- and because I cannot afford a bunch of useless, cheap plastic crap. If I have to spend money, I will buy quality and save in the long run.

That said, when I needed a new bike helmet a couple of weeks ago, I did go to walmart. They had Bell, which is a good enough brand for me. The local outdoors stores and Canadian Tire (not much better, but at least my money stays in the country, and I prefer the shopping experience) had already switched over to selling winter gear-- bike helmets were packed up and unavailable. Since I wanted to test the fit and did not want to go without while I waited for shipping from an online retailer, that left Walmart as my last resort. It was the first time I'd set foot in one in over five years, and I'll be happy if it's another five before I do so again.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: cosmie on October 04, 2013, 09:00:38 PM
I don't shop at Walmart too often, however I do shop at Sams quite a bit. I have no reservations for doing so. After having worked for a supplier that did billions a year in sales to Walmart, I actually have a lot of respect for the place. Their "high end" products may be relatively low end and cheap, but that's by design to appeal to their target demographic. Walmart knows, with a huge degree of certainty, exactly what a product can sell for in one of it's stores. And it will share its extensive supply chain and product development knowledge and resources to drive down costs to hit that target. However, they will not accept inferior quality (there was a period right after Sam Walton died when this wasn't true), relative to the price. And it's in everyone's interest for that to be true: no supplier is too big to be able to nonchalantly eat the cost of returns for a faulty product selling at Walmart volume, and Walmart doesn't want that for it's customer base. No, this doesn't mean that the 99 cent generic pizza cutter is going to be as durable as the $5 brand name, but it'll be one of the best 99 cent pizza cutters you'll find. Could they have made a better $2 generic pizza cutter? You bet! Would their target market have preferred a better quality $2 one? No, they found their market wanted one for $1 and they made it happen.

And as for the "cheap Chinese product" bashing - that's really industry dependent. The consumer goods industry I worked in did more localized production; the company I worked for had about 30 plants in the US and 75% of US sales were produced domestically. A large portion of the other 25% were ethnic goods imported from factories in those ethnic regions. Other industries such as electronics predominantly produce in Asian countries, and that'll be true regardless of if you're shopping at Walmart, Costco, or the American Owned Small Business down the road.

Now their views on worker compensation, political leanings, "killing the small business", etc. Those are totally different arguments against potentially shopping there, but I lean enough on Walmart's side not to care. I employed idiots (not talking about all my employees) when I managed a pizza joint, and at the automaton skill level there really is a limit to how much you can pay someone to do a skill-less job. The fact that workers are "subsidized" by social welfare may me more indicative of people living beyond their means and a gross expansion of what constitutes a necessity. And having lived in NJ for 6 months and having only small businesses within ~45 minutes of where I was, it drove me crazy dealing with incompetent people attempting to sell me inferior (or old) products at a premium, and justifying it by "not being able to compete" with big box stores. I know the owner of a carpet store that rails against Home Depot and Lowes, complains he can't compete on price, yet a cursory glance at his business makes you wonder how he stayed in business before the box store came. His business was a house of cards called mediocre that came crashing down when he had to compete; but rather than compete, he just complained (including to his customers). Not to say every small business is this way, but a lot of the ones that complain weren't that spectacular before Walmart came, and simply didn't want the competition that may expose the absence of any redeeming qualities.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Sofa King on October 04, 2013, 09:28:40 PM
LOL!!! I love all the "I don't shop at Walmart but I do go there to get some things sometimes" LOL!!!

As for me YES!!!! Why wouldn't I?  The best prices by far especially for groceries!!!

Me and my girlfriend have "White Trash Night" where we first go out to dinner at Denny's then hit Walmart for some shopping fun!!!  : )
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: RootofGood on October 04, 2013, 09:45:38 PM
LOL!!! I love all the "I don't shop at Walmart but I do go there to get some things sometimes" LOL!!!

Yeah, +1 on that.  :) 

And to cosmie, glad you pointed out the $0.99 pizza cutter.  Sometimes I'm in the market for a gadget or tool and I don't want to spend more than a buck (or some very low price point).  Melon baller, garlic press, kitchen timer, etc all fall into this type category.  If it is only 75% as awesome as the $5 variety, I'll be ok. 

Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Zamboni on October 05, 2013, 06:08:33 AM
Here is why I will forever love WalMart:

My marriage ended a couple of months before a Christmas once and it left me dirt broke.  In that moment I vowed to gain control of my finances and spend only cash until I dug out of the post-divorce aftermath that included a continuous stream of legal bills.

Problem:  Santa is supposed to come when you have two little kids.  And little kids start to worry when Christmas trees are going up everywhere and they still don't have one this year.  My little daughter in particular was seriously concerned that no tree meant Santa wouldn't know to come to your house.  I looked around every corner tree lot and they all had their cheapest trees at $50+.  I told my daughter I might not be able to put up a tree . . .

Enter Walmart:  about a week before Christmas, I was there for something else and they had just marked all of their trees down to $10 each.  Lights there were only $3 per string at that point, so up went the tree with the cheap lights and some homemade paper ornaments.  Everyone was happy with that!

So whenever someone says "I don't need the cheap crap they sell!" I just remember inside that some people do need it.

(PS now we have an artificial tree, and my kids don't believe in Santa anymore, but in that moment Santa and having a tree were really important.)

Quote
I employed idiots (not talking about all my employees) when I managed a pizza joint, and at the automaton skill level there really is a limit to how much you can pay someone to do a skill-less job.

I'm with you on this, and I'm amazed at how many people, who have NO skills and a piss poor attitude to go with it, expect to be paid more than minimum wage.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: lentilman on October 05, 2013, 06:50:55 AM
Yes, although it's not a regular shopping destination. 

When I first shopped there, Walmart had quite an emphasis on sourcing products made in the USA.  It actually felt that you were really helping the American engine run by shopping there.  (Yes, showing my age)  Sam was still alive and the Walmart culture was very, very different from the ruthless crap-spewing boxstore it has morphed into.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: RootofGood on October 05, 2013, 07:58:35 AM
Enter Walmart:  about a week before Christmas, I was there for something else and they had just marked all of their trees down to $10 each.  Lights there were only $3 per string at that point, so up went the tree with the cheap lights and some homemade paper ornaments.  Everyone was happy with that!

So whenever someone says "I don't need the cheap crap they sell!" I just remember inside that some people do need it.

+1 

We live in a decent neighborhood surrounded by mostly lower income housing.  The people I see shopping at walmart near our neighborhood are mostly lower income and often have a gaggle of kids.  These are the people looking to get inexpensive things, many times for their kids. 
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: rubybeth on October 05, 2013, 08:57:10 AM
The Wal-Marts in my city aren't location in convenient places for me. I'd have to go out of my way to go there, and I'd rather use the local employee-owned grocery store and Target (HQ of which is in Minnesota where I live, and I  have family/friends who are employed there). I also had a bad experience with buying eye glasses at Wal-Mart many years ago (the arm broke just after the warranty was up--and they wouldn't fix it, said I should just buy a new pair) so that clinched it. My parents shop at Sam's Club, though, and they pick up our coffee for us and we pay them back (big bags of Fair Trade Colombian Supremo for $15) so I guess we spend about $180/year with the Wal-Mart corporation even though we rarely darken their door.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: madgeylou on October 05, 2013, 10:06:54 AM
i don't *hate* wal-mart. like any giant entity, there's good and bad. the bad has been detailed a bit in this thread, and a little bit of the good, but a lot of people aren't aware that wal-mart has done amazing things to improve the eco-friendliness of packaging and to streamline supply and transportation chains. i'm sure the intention was to save money rather than save the world, but hey, two birds with one stone. when wal-mart makes even a small change toward "green," it has a huge impact.

generally, though, i don't like to shop at wal-mart because it's a nasty aesthetic experience to me. it smells bad (is that what china smells like? yikes!) and it's a mess, and people seem to like to take their children there to beat them with an audience.

i know target is not much better in terms of selling cheap crap from china, but when there is some cheap crap i need to get my hands on, it's my first choice simply because they seem to care at least a little about the experience of shopping there. if i have to spend time in a store, i'd much rather do so in one that's clean, with good lighting and wide aisles.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Jamesqf on October 05, 2013, 11:05:02 AM
LOL!!! I love all the "I don't shop at Walmart but I do go there to get some things sometimes" LOL!!!

As for me YES!!!! Why wouldn't I?  The best prices by far especially for groceries!!!

Not if you live where there's a WinCo :-) 

Some things I will buy at WalMart because I can't find them anywhere else that's convenient (frozen yoghurt, 0W20 motor oil), sometimes other things because WalMart is closer/more convenient, but not much because it's actually cheaper.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Tyler on October 05, 2013, 11:17:36 AM
So whenever someone says "I don't need the cheap crap they sell!" I just remember inside that some people do need it.

+2

FWIW, I've worked in product design for a while and have seen how the retail business works. Every major retailer sells "cheap crap from China", often from the exact same factories that make things for Walmart. Some just market it better than others, and charge you more for the work they put into nicer packaging and expensive commercials.

Whole Foods is just one example - much of their produce is also imported (see link in a previous post). And for electronics, Best Buy products are very often identical to Walmart stuff internally, but with a different housing and a made up brand name. (I know because I've visited the factories and designed the new housings for them).  So in my experience, when you buy something research the specific product and not the retailer stereotype. There are good and bad products everywhere.



Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: mlipps on October 05, 2013, 07:35:48 PM
There isn't a Walmart that is convenient to me thanks to Chicago's Big Box law. But if there were, I wouldn't shop there. My biggest reason is mostly just that I'm too lazy though. I just hate how huge the store is, how huge the parking lot is, and how if I need one thing from the pharmacy and 20 grocery items I have to walk 4 miles to get there. And in most towns at least that I've seen, they also seem to be somewhat inconveniently located compared to other stores that have been around longer.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: RootofGood on October 05, 2013, 07:55:19 PM
There isn't a Walmart that is convenient to me thanks to Chicago's Big Box law. But if there were, I wouldn't shop there. My biggest reason is mostly just that I'm too lazy though. I just hate how huge the store is, how huge the parking lot is, and how if I need one thing from the pharmacy and 20 grocery items I have to walk 4 miles to get there. And in most towns at least that I've seen, they also seem to be somewhat inconveniently located compared to other stores that have been around longer.

I know what you mean.  It's great if you need some auto maintenance stuff, a toy or gift, hardware, groceries, and toiletries.  Everything in one store, you spend an hour or so and get your week's shopping done.  But holy crappers, it take 30 minutes to get a couple things sometimes. 

I like small stores because they are easy to get in and out quickly.  And if you forget something, it doesn't take 5 minutes to walk to the other side of the store.  Aldi is awesome for that reason.  You're never more than 20 seconds from any point in the store.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: athomeintheworld on October 05, 2013, 09:04:00 PM
No.  Absolutely refuse.  I do not believe in supporting this company.  Walmart is bad for employees, bad for communities.  The few dollars you save will screw over your community and end up hurting you much more in the end. 

I shop Target or Amazon for household stuff.  Only buy food at Trader Joe's, Sprouts (farmers market/health food type store) and similar.  I don't go to "regular" grocery stores because I believe you vote with your dollars - and I don't want to support those types of places. 

Because I cook from scratch and mostly buy "ingredients" not processed foods this does not cost any additional money.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Jamesqf on October 05, 2013, 09:34:22 PM
I like small stores because they are easy to get in and out quickly.  And if you forget something, it doesn't take 5 minutes to walk to the other side of the store.  Aldi is awesome for that reason.  You're never more than 20 seconds from any point in the store.

But then you need to drive/bike/walk/take a bus to maybe half a dozen different stores located all over town, to do the shopping you could do under one roof at "big box store" (not necessarily WalMart).
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: ruthiegirl on October 05, 2013, 09:40:28 PM
 My local Walmart is a grocery store only, brand new and rather swanky-feeling with good prices.  I could see shopping there, but I am lucky to live within biking distance of a Winco and that places rocks. 
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: mlipps on October 05, 2013, 09:50:28 PM
I like small stores because they are easy to get in and out quickly.  And if you forget something, it doesn't take 5 minutes to walk to the other side of the store.  Aldi is awesome for that reason.  You're never more than 20 seconds from any point in the store.

But then you need to drive/bike/walk/take a bus to maybe half a dozen different stores located all over town, to do the shopping you could do under one roof at "big box store" (not necessarily WalMart).

I just alternate. I got to Aldi once a month, Trader Joe's about every 6 weeks, Dominicks (normal grocery store) when they have good sales, and Target all the other times. It's not a big deal.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: RootofGood on October 05, 2013, 10:54:38 PM
But then you need to drive/bike/walk/take a bus to maybe half a dozen different stores located all over town, to do the shopping you could do under one roof at "big box store" (not necessarily WalMart).

I have no problem going to walmart, and hit them up every 3 weeks or so when I need more than grocery staples and fresh produce.  I definitely agree - I would rather get auto/hardware/garden/clothing items at Walmart while I'm getting groceries and personal hygiene items than make 6 different trips.  That means a 2 hour shopaganza but it's better than 4-5 hours driving 6 different places. 

What I meant about Aldi is they are great for running in, grabbing $40 or so worth of stuff (milk/eggs/produce typically), and getting out quickly.  And when you forget something on the other side of the store, it isn't a big deal (it's only 20 seconds away).
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: grantmeaname on October 06, 2013, 07:39:44 AM
What does everyone perceive as the moral difference between Target and Walmart? Do people just prefer red to blue?
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: arebelspy on October 06, 2013, 08:04:04 AM
What does everyone perceive as the moral difference between Target and Walmart? Do people just prefer red to blue?

This confuses me as well.

I'm not sure what people think the big difference is, besides the fact that they've heard negative things about Wal Mart's practices, and Target is more under the radar.  It's much more cool to hate on Wal Mart.

I shop Target or Amazon for household stuff.

Have you read about Amazon's warehouses and practices?  I'd be ecstatic to work at Wal Mart if e choices were Wal Mart or Amazon.

To me this all seems like a PR problem.  Wal Mart had some haters whose message spread, people jumped on board without actually doing any research, and it became cool to dislike Wal Mart.

I think Wal Mart is fantastic.  Do I support all their practices?  No.  But I think they do great things for many people, especially in China and places where their stuff is manufacturered.  I think they offer great prices for people who otherwise couldn't afford those things (i.e. the poor).  The world is much better with Wal Mart in it than without.

Notice how it's always privileged, mostly middle and upper class people that hate Wal Mart?  Poor people love it because it provides value to them.

Penn and Teller had an episode of their TV show Bullshit that's worth watching regarding Wal Mart.  Go download it. (Though I know most people won't, because it's easier to stick with your oping than research facts, or won't have an open mind while doing so.  Oh well.)
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: RootofGood on October 06, 2013, 09:15:46 AM
Notice how it's always privileged, mostly middle and upper class people that hate Wal Mart?  Poor people love it because it provides value to them.

People who hate on walmart on behalf of the poor and disenfranchised who simply aren't informed enough to know to hate walmart.  Those people are cultural elitists. 

If you have $100 and need to provide food for your family for a week, you have little time in between your two jobs, and meager access to transportation, then you're shopping at walmart unless there is a compelling alternative.  Not surprisingly, a significant minority of America is in this situation unfortunately.  Ask a single mom looking to stretch a buck if she wants to boycott walmart to spend more elsewhere. 
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: arebelspy on October 06, 2013, 09:50:05 AM
Notice how it's always privileged, mostly middle and upper class people that hate Wal Mart?  Poor people love it because it provides value to them.

People who hate on walmart on behalf of the poor and disenfranchised who simply aren't informed enough to know to hate walmart.  Those people are cultural elitists. 

If you have $100 and need to provide food for your family for a week, you have little time in between your two jobs, and meager access to transportation, then you're shopping at walmart unless there is a compelling alternative.  Not surprisingly, a significant minority of America is in this situation unfortunately.  Ask a single mom looking to stretch a buck if she wants to boycott walmart to spend more elsewhere.

I'm pretty sure you're agreeing with me, but that first sentence is awfully convoluted. :)
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: sol on October 06, 2013, 10:36:48 AM
Ask a single mom looking to stretch a buck if she wants to boycott walmart to spend more elsewhere.

I understand this argument, but I still think it is misguided.  Do you ask a plantation slave if he wants nicer slave quarters?  Do you ask a heroin addict if he wants 50% off his next hit?  Self interested parties don't always act in their own self interest.

Besides, most of us here aren't in the position of needed to stretch a buck at any cost, even it means buying arsenic-laced brown rice while drowning a kitten.  I think this site is about spending in accordance with your values in order to save the world, not just about spending the lowest possible number of dollars consequences be damned.

I could save money by not buying a car seat for my infant, or not buying a bike helmet, or not buying health insurance, or not vaccinating my kids, or living in the ghetto neighborhood, or any of a thousand other cost-saving measures that are still NOT THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR ME even though they would save me money.  Making a better life, for me and for everyone else, isn't always about saving money.

Walmart is insidious because because people don't recognize the larger macroeconomic consequences of supporting a retail system that perpetuates their own poverty.  They're the slaves being offered larger slave quarters in exchange for enslaving their children and enriching the plantation owner. 

If you're making spending decisions based solely on cost efficiency, then I think you've missed the point of this blog.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Jamesqf on October 06, 2013, 10:57:24 AM
Walmart is insidious because because people don't recognize the larger macroeconomic consequences of supporting a retail system that perpetuates their own poverty.

You're assuming your conclusions here.  First demonstrate that WalMart specifically, big-box stores in general, or - in the extreme - improved marketing efficiency actually perpetuates poverty.  Overall, of course: there will always be individuals who lose by any economic change, just as others gain.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: sol on October 06, 2013, 11:04:06 AM

First demonstrate that WalMart specifically, big-box stores in general, or - in the extreme - improved marketing efficiency actually perpetuates poverty.

I don't really feel compelled to bear the burden of proof here.  We're all free to make our own decisions based on our research.

Quote
Overall, of course: there will always be individuals who lose by any economic change, just as others gain.

This is the key, though.  I would even go so far as to say that Walmart is a net value generator for the economy as a whole, it's just that none of that value accrues to the people who actually shop there.  Places like Walmart are the reason why we have such a rapidly growing disparity in wealth distribution; they help the  rich get even richer, and they help the poor stay poor.  Somehow, both sides of that equation think they're getting the better deal.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: RootofGood on October 06, 2013, 11:11:18 AM
Ask a single mom looking to stretch a buck if she wants to boycott walmart to spend more elsewhere.

I understand this argument, but I still think it is misguided.  Do you ask a plantation slave if he wants nicer slave quarters?  Do you ask a heroin addict if he wants 50% off his next hit?  Self interested parties don't always act in their own self interest.

Wow, did you really just slap those slave shackles onto single moms?  Could it be possible they want to save money on grocery and retail items in order to invest the savings in their 401ks (poor people are allowed to have 401ks too)?  Or put their savings into starting a business for themselves? 

There are so many people just barely keeping their head above water (sometimes through no fault of their own), that they don't have the luxury of scoffing at places like Walmart and spending more money elsewhere.

Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: RootofGood on October 06, 2013, 11:35:26 AM
I would even go so far as to say that Walmart is a net value generator for the economy as a whole, it's just that none of that value accrues to the people who actually shop there.  Places like Walmart are the reason why we have such a rapidly growing disparity in wealth distribution; they help the  rich get even richer, and they help the poor stay poor.  Somehow, both sides of that equation think they're getting the better deal.

When walmart comes to town, price competition means mom and pop businesses can't keep setting prices at whatever level they would like (if they had a monopoly or oligopoly).  Walmart competes, prices go down for all (if competitors want to stay in business). 

Some mom and pops are inefficient and close down (a market result encouraging efficiency).  Others innovate and compete on price but provide differentiated service to make them a viable competitor. 

I don't know what fairyland of retail options the anti-walmart crowd once knew, but I've never seen it.  Visit small town America before and after a walmart comes to town.  The victors are virtually everyone who likes buying a wide variety of things at reasonable prices (whether it is essentials or stupid anti-mustachian luxury wants). 

I look at my local Asian and Hispanic grocery stores as an example of what happens when there is no strong competition, and what happens when a strong competitor is introduced.  There is no big box Asian grocer near me, but there are  ~5 smallish Asian grocers within ~2 miles.  4 suck, have moldy produce, dusty shelves, horrible inventory management, and ample expired non-perishable canned and jarred goods that have now perished.  Caveat emptor indeed. 

A new Asian grocery opens up.  Good shopkeeping, fresh veggies at lower prices, good inventory management so the shelves have food with expiration dates far into the future, also at lower prices than their competitors.  They "coincidentally" happen to be next door to walmart - I'm sure the thousands of customers shopping at walmart never walk across the parking lot and shop at the good asian store thereby enhancing their revenue ;) .

Same with the Hispanic grocery markets.  A grocery store sized Hispanic market opened up shop a few years ago.  A couple crappy hispanic grocers closed soon after.  Now we have lower prices, fresher produce, and more options.   This store is also extremely close to Walmart.  Hard to say they don't benefit from Walmart's pass by traffic and strong draw of customers.  These are my friends and neighbors, and my children's classmates from less fortunate families who benefit from strong competition. 

It defies logic that Walmart coming to town bucks this trend in retailing and general groceries.  They bring price competition, forcing other retailers to compete or leave the market.  Any business that says "I can't afford to compete with Walmart" is basically abdicating the challenge and saying "Walmart provides a better overall value proposition than I do." 
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Jamesqf on October 06, 2013, 10:51:35 PM
We also have to consider that at least when it comes to food, WalMart is far from the lowest possible prices.  Consider this example: http://business.time.com/2013/08/07/meet-the-low-key-low-cost-grocery-chain-being-called-wal-marts-worst-nightmare/  WinCo somehow manages to have generally lower prices on the same products. 

Even beyond that, for those of us who are interested in either eating cheaply or cooking good food from scratch is WinCo's bulk food bins.  Did you know that there were more than a couple of kinds of rice?  WinCo has at least a dozen in bulk.  Same for flour, beans, pasta...
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Spork on October 07, 2013, 07:49:48 AM
We also have to consider that at least when it comes to food, WalMart is far from the lowest possible prices.  Consider this example: http://business.time.com/2013/08/07/meet-the-low-key-low-cost-grocery-chain-being-called-wal-marts-worst-nightmare/  WinCo somehow manages to have generally lower prices on the same products. 


That's going to be very location dependent.  I don't have a Winco within 100 miles (which is the largest radius I could search for on their site.)  Walmart is cheapest where I live, by far.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: RootofGood on October 07, 2013, 07:54:53 AM
That's going to be very location dependent.  I don't have a Winco within 100 miles (which is the largest radius I could search for on their site.)  Walmart is cheapest where I live, by far.

I had to google them, as I have never heard of them on the east coast USA.  Sounds vaguely like Aldi's - spartan interior finishes, bag your own groceries.  Hopefully they will migrate their way toward the east coast.  Even if I don't end up shopping there, price competition is always good.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Jamesqf on October 07, 2013, 11:29:40 AM
That's going to be very location dependent.  I don't have a Winco within 100 miles (which is the largest radius I could search for on their site.)  Walmart is cheapest where I live, by far.

Sure.  I was just pointing out that it is possible for a grocery store to beat WalMart on price, and still remain profitable.  Apparently, at least: I have sometimes thought that the only possible explanation for the price disparity between WinCo and other supermarkets is that they're really running a money-laundering scheme :-)
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: CommonCents on October 07, 2013, 03:01:00 PM
What does everyone perceive as the moral difference between Target and Walmart? Do people just prefer red to blue?

This confuses me as well.

I'm not sure what people think the big difference is, besides the fact that they've heard negative things about Wal Mart's practices, and Target is more under the radar.  It's much more cool to hate on Wal Mart.

I can't speak for anyone, but for myself, I will say that I'm a health care lawyer and so I've read the Maryland case on Walmart's health care (actually, I wrote a paper related to it in law school).  It's possible that Target has bad practices as well, but I don't know about them and I do know about Walmart in more depth.

Generally I don't go to either place, but when I do, I tend to go to Target.  Just like I choose the pizza place in my neighborhood that *doesn't* have multiple overtime wage violations or where I like the decor, the people, the product, etc.  It's one factor I consider of many.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: rubybeth on October 08, 2013, 07:47:23 AM
The difference between Target and Wal-Mart may not seem like much difference at all, but I can tell you the shopping experience for me is completely different. I will readily admit that I am Target's "target market," being a 32 year old busy career woman. Wal-Mart is huge and stresses me out, and the stores all seem laid out to be extra confusing. The Targets I've been to are smaller and seem better organized (even the Super Targets). The things I need are closest to the front of the store (groceries, toiletries) and the stuff I don't need is more tucked away (electronics, toys, seasonal items). In my experience, most Target stores are also kept very clean (probably because they actually close each night instead of being open 24 hours) and the customer service is awesome (returns are super easy, no questions asked) and I get 5% back on every single purchase with my Target debit card (and 90 days to return stuff).
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: LalsConstant on October 08, 2013, 09:36:42 AM
I worked at Wal-Mart for two years while going back to school.  Several family members of mine have worked there, including one who is a career employee.

I can type reams of information about the experience and what I think of the company and whether you should shop there, but I'll try to hit the highlights:

1. Wal-Mart is unquestionably not perfect.  However the arguments made against it are more often than not skewed or flat out ridiculous.  There is some valid criticism of Wal-Mart naturally, no one who is this big and rich and powerful in their industry is going to have absolutely nothing to answer for.

2. Experiences vary widely.  Wal-Mart did not particularly value me as an employee and working there wasn't enjoyable, but I can't say they were unfair.  I felt I had reasonable opportunities and at the time I honestly felt like it was my best option personally.  I feel I could have been better treated but I also feel I was reasonably treated.  That's just me personally.

3.  I feel Wal-Mart is at worst morally ambiguous.  They aren't the problem they're the symptom.  Globalization, the efficiency demanded by the information age economy, consumerism, all of these terrible things Wal-Mart gets blamed for it did not create.  While the company does have agency in the portions of those phenomena it is responsible for, it did not create these problems as is often alleged (see #1).

However I also saw a lot of things at Wal-Mart that are good or at least well intended.  Safety protocols for example are very tight and go beyond the standards they're based on.  Outside of two unfortunate exceptions dealing with one incompetent person, management did not let customers abuse employees.  Wal-Mart does contribute to employee's retirement.  Believe it or not most of their employees do have health insurance (that used to not be true but they set out to remedy this and succeeded).  The company is one of the least wasteful places I've ever seen, if it's not necessary it's gone.  They police their own trash and waste admirably and even clean up the area around their stores (at least the two in my market did).  Wal-Mart provides jobs and goods and services to people who are disadvantaged in various ways.

I can't morally fault anyone for not forgiving Wal-Mart's shortcomings nor can I fault anyone who praises the company for its strengths.  These are just competing value systems at play and I'm not entitled to say whose values are better.

If I had to say one good thing about them particular to my experiences, it's that Wal-Mart gave me a badly needed income at a low point in my life where I had all sorts of problems, and it afforded me a chance to pull myself up by my bootstraps.  I don't work there any more because I moved on to something better, but I wouldn't have moved on to something better without going through Wal-Mart.

I started at 8.90 an hour.  I ended employment there with wages topping $11 an hour, plus I had health insurance.  Again this was within 2 years.

And where the store was at, these were competitive wages in that locality.  It wasn't an area with a lot of high paying jobs at the time.

I probably pocketed about $900 from additional perks like bonuses, stock purchasing, etc.  It's not a grand sum but I really needed it at the time.

It's not the worst job I ever had.  It wasn't a good job.  It was just work.

The worst thing I personally saw about the company is that the people at the very top are rich, well educated executives who don't know what it's like to stand on a concrete floor and push items across a register all day.  They are people who only understand metrics they can see.

They don't understand that they have some employees who are career workers who provide far more value to the enterprise than others.  They don't realize piling more work on fewer people only exacerbates the problem.  I really doubt they understand how much your feet hurt after walking on the concrete all day.

They make decisions driven solely by metrics they define themselves, and then when the situation goes badly, they just change the metrics.  The people who have to carry it out are never considered in the process.

But I have worked at other places that were just as cruel and soulless.  Once an organization gets to a certain size, no one in the organization can feel completely loyal to all its members.

Best experience working there?  It's the only place I've ever worked where both customers and employees told me, unsolicited, thank God for this company.  The customers especially make you feel like you're doing something that matters sometimes.  Their stories should all be collected and put into a book.

Worst experience?  Well besides the general soul crushing tedium and the fact you have very little say or control over how things are done, the worst part is seeing people who have worked there for a long time getting pay cuts and other things like that which aren't fair. 

Strangest experience?  Hard to say.  Truthfully the rudeness of the customers is just something you harden to over time though I do have some war stories of some really quirky people.  The People of Walmart site still makes me laugh because for good or ill the Wal-Marts just seem to attract the weirdoes.  It's neither a good nor a bad thing it just is.

When I worked there I never took it personally if someone didn't like Wal-Mart.  So shop there or don't, I can't define your values for you, but for whatever it's worth I've been in the belly of the beast and seen some things I thought weren't right and I still shop there.  For whatever it's worth, even the people who work there tend not to buy everything there.  Meat and produce have never been particularly strong products.

Personally I still go there, though I use a local chain store for most of my grocery buying, but if I need some antifreeze or something, Wal-Mart's fine.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: JessieImproved on October 08, 2013, 09:41:51 AM
I would have to intentionally pass half a dozen grocery stores and two Targets to get to WalMart.  My time is just too valuable at the moment to warrant the trip.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Bank on October 08, 2013, 01:01:32 PM
Fascinating writeup, Lalsconstant.  Thanks.  FWIW, I know two people who work at Wal-Mart who would probably echo your sentiments regarding the culture and its pluses and minuses.

One, a guy my age, has worked there twenty years and is well paid and treated.  He resisted being promoted into salaried management, which may have been his smartest move.  The other, an older woman who's the mother of a friend of mine, has also worked there for about twenty years since the textile factory she worked in closed.  She's fighting cancer and, to hear her tell it, the store or company (she doesn't really make the distinction between the two) has stood behind her.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Mr.Macinstache on October 08, 2013, 02:06:54 PM
For the most part, I don't always relate with the angst against Wal Mart. As a small business owner, they will give you enough rope to hang yourself. This is true with anything in life, moderation is key. As a consumer, if you don't like the product, don't buy it! As an employee, if you don't like your job, get a different one. As a resident, if they are trying to use local eminent domain laws, the blame your local govt that turns a blind eye or endorse that injustice against personal property.

We shop there for some goods. We try to buy US made ones, but don't feel bad buying something from China. We always look for the best cost to value relationship. As a consumer I vote with my dollars. I don't have a problem with endorsing some of their products and services that are of value to me.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: arebelspy on October 09, 2013, 12:14:20 AM
The difference between Target and Wal-Mart may not seem like much difference at all, but I can tell you the shopping experience for me is completely different. I will readily admit that I am Target's "target market," being a 32 year old busy career woman. Wal-Mart is huge and stresses me out, and the stores all seem laid out to be extra confusing. The Targets I've been to are smaller and seem better organized (even the Super Targets). The things I need are closest to the front of the store (groceries, toiletries) and the stuff I don't need is more tucked away (electronics, toys, seasonal items). In my experience, most Target stores are also kept very clean (probably because they actually close each night instead of being open 24 hours) and the customer service is awesome (returns are super easy, no questions asked) and I get 5% back on every single purchase with my Target debit card (and 90 days to return stuff).

All of those are reasons why you enjoy shopping there more.

And that's fine, if that's why you choose it.

We were asking about the people who have a moral issue with Wal Mart, but then go shop at Target (which has many similar practices), and why the latter is okay but not the former.

If it's just a shopping experience thing, fine, knock yourself out.  :)
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Digital Dogma on July 04, 2016, 12:50:51 PM
I go to walmart for a select few items - ammo, chemicals, cat litter, and prescription drugs.
Most of the rest I purchase from Costco, and the twice weekly trip to a nearby IGA for fresh foods.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: ArcadeStache on July 04, 2016, 01:00:30 PM
I go there for cleaning supplies, paper towels, toiletries, photo printing usually. When I am there I'll also buy nonperishables. The produce there leaves something to be desired, though.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: MoneyCat on July 04, 2016, 01:01:11 PM
There is no Walmart within bicycle range of my house, so I don't shop there very often. When I drive to the warehouse store for groceries/gas/etc., I usually do not stop at Walmart on the way because most of their products are substandard quality and I'll just have to replace them again so it doesn't actually save me any money.

The only major item I own that I bought from Walmart is my bicycle, which I purchased for less than $100 off their website. They shipped it to my house for free and I put it together myself. I've been using that bicycle for about five years now. Top quality? Of course not. But five years and that many miles for less than $100? I am more than okay with that.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Cellista on July 04, 2016, 04:17:58 PM
No I will not set foot in a Walmart. 

Qualifier: I once went in when I needed a bathroom REALLY badly. 
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Johnez on July 04, 2016, 04:24:47 PM
I don't shop there regularly. Produce and meat are almost always more expensive than regular grocery stores. Only things really worth buying were milk, dry goods (TP, soap, etc.) And small electronics.

I specifically avoid Walmart after 3 pm and during holiday season.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Cassie on July 04, 2016, 04:57:10 PM
Not very often but once in awhile when it is handy for specific items, etc.  In general I don't want to support them.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: MissNancyPryor on July 04, 2016, 05:03:43 PM
Nope, I hate Wally World.  Their stuff is junky and the whole place is depressing.  Maybe that is because of their business practices.     

I do almost all of my non-grocery shopping online, and do subscribe and save at Amazon for some pantry items.  Groceries at Costco except for minor fresh restocking.  We really just don't buy that much stuff.   
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: TomTX on July 04, 2016, 05:39:55 PM
Sure, I shop occasionally at Walmart, but it comes in behind HEB, Costco and Amazon.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: MsPeacock on July 04, 2016, 06:47:31 PM
I do not shop at Walmart. There are several reasons. The first is that my experience has been that the quality of their products is poor compared to similarly priced items at other large retailers (e.g. Target).

Secondly, I actually don't live near a Walmart. I used to live in Texas and there was a Walmart every 3 feet or so, and at the time I could walk to Walmart with my kids in the stroller and get groceries every few days. Now that I am blessed to NOT live in Texas, the closest Walmart is a 30 minute drive or so away and in a not-so-nice area.

Thirdly, aside from quality - the appearance of the items is ugly. The clothing is ugly. The doormats are ugly. The housewares are ugly. Maybe this is actually good since it reduces the temptation for impulses purchases of "cute" stuff (e.g. at Target).

Fourth - it is just an unpleasant place to go. It always seems dirty and disorganized and depressing.

Lastly - I don't like the company and their employment practices and I would just as soon give my money to another business that seems less rotten in their operations.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Davids on July 04, 2016, 07:54:42 PM
I shop at Target more often than Walmart but will hit up Walmart if needed.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: DocMcStuffins on July 04, 2016, 08:03:39 PM
Savings Catcher / Walmart App for Walmart is awesome. Not sure if you have them close.  Love other stores but with it, it scans your area for better deals and gives you a credit.  You scan your receipt and in 3 days it gives you a message if you saved any money which then goes to your balance (e-gift card or you could do a walmart credit card if you want).  Today, we had a 250 bill cut to 100.  Honestly, with how this works, I can't see shopping anywhere else.  Yes, we use costo also.

Alot of hate on here especially from people who don't shop at Walmart and if you don't shop there then you probably don't personally know people who work there........ Its just like McDonalds.  If you have the drive and show hardwork / skill, you will continually get promoted.  If you are someone with those capabilities, you could easily push yourself to >100K as a walmart employee over the course of 10 years after starting as a store clerk.  Same thing at McDonalds if you start as a french fry cook. 

JC Penny....."Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I'll give you a man who will make history. Give me a man with no goals and I'll give you a stock clerk."
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: human on July 04, 2016, 08:12:34 PM
I don't get it, if you invest in VTI or pretty much any US index fund you invest in Wal-Mart Stores Inc. so why the indignation over their business practices? You do more to support them by investing in them then you do by buying cheap ass wipes from them.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: edwardc on July 04, 2016, 08:54:51 PM
I often shop at Walmart and I am quite satisfied with their services
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: MissNancyPryor on July 04, 2016, 09:04:02 PM
I don't get it, if you invest in VTI or pretty much any US index fund you invest in Wal-Mart Stores Inc. so why the indignation over their business practices? You do more to support them by investing in them then you do by buying cheap ass wipes from them.

No, actually I get to make money off of them as a slice of an index fund and never darken their door.  That sounds like a good deal, like getting the health benefits of brussels sprouts without having to eat them.  o ya.  The business practices I don't like are the cheaply made goods, dirty stores, and employees that give very few fucks about their crappy jobs.  The market will have to settle score on union/non-union battle and all that, it doesn't concern me a bit to protest.  I just take my business elsewhere because their stores reflect their culture. 

Walmart is such a lightning rod topic.  I think I am exerting too much energy thinking about them at all right this minute. 
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: human on July 04, 2016, 09:15:56 PM
Still seems like big fat crocodile tears. How walmart how awful you are!! Thanks for the fat check though!!
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: gggggg on July 04, 2016, 10:19:54 PM
I do. I'd rather not, but since I don't make a ton, and they are about the cheapest, I do. Grocery shop at Aldi and Walmart mostly. I do buy some walmart clothes (I don't buy expensive mall clothes). If I made 100k or so, I'd prob shop elsewhere. You certainly never know what you'll see there, people wise. I actually think their products generally hold up better than overrated Target.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: EnjoyIt on July 04, 2016, 11:17:08 PM
I hate shopping at Walmart. 

The lines take forever.  I would rather pay an extra 10 cents for my milk and save 20-30 minutes from standing in line.

I shop there for cheap practice ammunition though. 
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Cranky on July 05, 2016, 06:18:20 AM
No, it's always crowded and busy. I'll go to Target if my (grown) kids want to shop there, but honestly, I don't have much that I need that I can't get at the thrift store or on amazon, which is just more convenient. I buy groceries at aldi and my neighborhood IGA, and sometimes Target or Giant Eagle for fancy stuff.

I do think that Target must have the absolutely most poorly made women's clothing in the world, though.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: I'm a red panda on July 05, 2016, 06:49:04 AM
Yes.

They have the largest selection of local produce (on "farmer's market" days, many farmers stop at Walmart first, they get their pick, and then they drive over to the local market!); they have the best prices on most food, good prices on toiletries and paper products. Better pharmacy prices than anyone else.

I don't buy clothes there.


Have to say I'm in complete agreement with the bizarreness of "I'd never go to Walmart, I only shop at Target!" people. They are one in the same, IMO.  But maybe I have an exceptionally clean Walmart.  I won't go to Kohl's, for instance- the racks are so crowded it stresses me out.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: MoneyCat on July 05, 2016, 07:07:43 AM
One thing I'd like to point out for people who say Walmart clothes are garbage is that my parents gave me a couple pairs of Walmart's Faded Glory brand jean shorts, which I now use while doing summertime gardening/outdoor chores. These shorts have really held up over time. I've been using them for about six years so far and they are basically as good as new. So if you find some at the thrift shop, you might want to pick them up for a dollar or whatever.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: MrsDinero on July 05, 2016, 07:59:05 AM
After many years (12+) of not going there because I didn't like their business practices, I find myself now going there several times a year.  They are the only big box store close to me.  Costco is 20 miles away, Target is 58 miles, and Walmart is 6 miles.  I usually only go there to buy bulk-type items.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Khaetra on July 05, 2016, 08:05:27 AM
Yep!  Walmart is only 2 miles from my house and I can get all of my personal/paper/non-perishable products there much cheaper than Publix.  Their Faded Glory clothing holds up well and I will buy their shorts IF I can find my size, which is my only gripe.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: acroy on July 05, 2016, 08:11:09 AM
Yeah! occasionally.
As others have mentioned, the clothes are shockingly durable.
We are blessed to have 2 krogers (which we like a lot) with 5 miles. However Wally is often cheapest for commodities. Just recently got milk $1.29/gal and 9lb tubes of ground beef for under $2/lb (July 4th cookout!). Kroger price is double for those.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: sun and sand on July 05, 2016, 09:47:56 AM
No, I do not shop at Walmart.  A few years back I tried shopping there, but left with nothing but a bad, sad feeling.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: mm1970 on July 05, 2016, 10:31:57 AM
I voted "no", but...

I do shop there on vacation.  In my husband's home town, and in my home town, we grocery shop.  We go visit once every year or two (just got back).  Honestly, they have decent turnover on produce.

There is not a Walmart near me, so it's not a huge sacrifice to not shop there.  I did have 2 coworkers who would drive there to grocery shop.  (They were from NC and TX.)  It's 40 miles.  City miles. We have Costco and many grocery stores in town.  It was baffling.  In CA, the gas will eat up any savings.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: SimplyMarvie on July 05, 2016, 10:50:33 AM
I hate WalMart and never, ever shop there when I'm actually in the US.

...but when we're overseas on orders, and someone in the family needs underwear. Or socks. Or US school supplies. Or foot fungus cream, or something else that is really terribly unsexy but sort of necessary to life as we know it, I have discovered WalMart is literally the ONLY retailer who will ship these sorts of things to us at a Military/Diplomatic address without wankery and unnecessary drama. Target will tell me I've bought things, charge my credit card, send me a warning that my order will arrive three weeks after the heat death of the Universe, and then slowly cancel it, piece by piece, over the next three weeks. Walgreens just throws up it's hands at me in horror.

So I've kind of made my peace with their existence if it means I can have clean socks and cold medicine where-ever I'm living in the world.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Ricky on July 05, 2016, 11:12:17 AM
I have nothing against Walmart itself or its practices. I simply abhor the experience there. The stores are too big with considerably more junky junk than most any other store. The one near me I specifically avoid because they purposefully keep far too few cashiers available. It takes like 30 minutes just to get a few items. No thanks, I'll just order online instead of getting in that mess. Target is closer to me. While I prefer Target since it's a smaller, more well organized store, the difference between a large Target and a large Walmart is negligible at best.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Ricky on July 05, 2016, 11:20:21 AM
I don't get it, if you invest in VTI or pretty much any US index fund you invest in Wal-Mart Stores Inc. so why the indignation over their business practices? You do more to support them by investing in them then you do by buying cheap ass wipes from them.

You definitely do more for them by buying cheap wipes from them than having 0.1% of your portfolio invested in Walmart. They've already used the money they raised from the stock, so presumably the price you paid for your shares is worth much more than what they received initially.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Franchesca_S. on July 05, 2016, 11:34:02 AM
Walmart gets a lot of its produce from China so I don't shop there.  There is a Walmart right across the street from my office so in an absolute emergency ( like when I needed a card for national admin assistant's day) I'll go there.  In a 40 item market basket test Target actually does better tho their stuff looks more expensive.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: SJS on July 05, 2016, 05:54:26 PM
No!  Hate Wal-Mart. It's a last-resort place for me.  I'm a regular Target shopper.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Rural on July 05, 2016, 06:47:40 PM
I can buy my food at Walmart or at a gas station, or I can drive 20 miles each way to a Sav-aLot (we did have a very overpriced mom and pop grocery belonging to friends closer, but they sold it and the new owners ran it into the ground and then closed it).


But fortunately Walmart is clean, it's cheaper than any other grocery store in the region except that Sav-aLot, whose prices it will match without my making the drive (and it's much cheaper than the prices people post on here about from Costco). It has self-check options for when the lines are backed up or the only checker is estranged great-aunt Matilda whom the entire family has been avoiding for the last twenty years because she's toxic (true story).


It is also the reason Matilda and many other relatives and acquaintances have health insurance.


Fun fact I learned yesterday: if you go to Walmart about 4pm on the Fourth of July, everyone has already bought all their last minute grilling supplies and no one has yet run out of beer, so the store is nearly empty and you can get the week's shopping done in record time.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Rocket on July 05, 2016, 07:05:21 PM
I voted no because I've never been in one.  If they went out of business I'd be fine with that.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Chris22 on July 05, 2016, 07:24:23 PM
I try to avoid WalMart because they are (around here) generally shitty, in shitty areas, with resulting shitty clientele.

That said, they offer fantastic deals on motor oil and pretty good deals on ammo so I go there every few months. Otherwise it's Amazon and Target for us.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: redbird on July 05, 2016, 07:34:13 PM
I prefer Target, but Walmart is a lot closer to me so I end up going there more often. I only buy things at Walmart that are the exact same item that I would buy at other stores (brand even) like toilet paper, shampoo, soap, packing tape (husband has a minor eBay side hustle), etc. I have Amazon Prime, but Walmart is usually cheaper than Prime Pantry for those items. Walmart is also almost right across the street from my grocery store, so I don't have to go out of the way or spend more in gas to visit them.

My Walmart is a big Super Walmart with a lot of selection and it's very clean inside, probably the nicest Walmart I've ever been in. But I do most of my non-food purchases online nowadays, for the better quality, selection, pricing, and convenience. If Amazon could get just a little more competitive on some of those Prime Pantry type items, then I would probably never shop at Walmart (or Target, even...) again.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: BTDretire on July 05, 2016, 07:47:34 PM
Yes, but not nearly as often as I watch "People of Walmart" videos.
 I'm not one that is put off by the appearance of Walmart, our local store
is clean, well maintained and I've never had a terrible wait in line.
 I bought a pair of swimming googles about 15 months ago, and I was there
another time looking for something in hardware, but they didn't have it.
  I do buy my Kamora brand coffee liquour in the separate Walmart liquor store,
it is the cheapest in town. I have a liquor store close, but it's $4 more per bottle.
 
 
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: spicykissa on July 05, 2016, 09:10:57 PM
Yes, for random consumable things mostly. I buy stuff like Command hooks, toilet paper, shower curtains, light bulbs, shampoo, generic Advil, etc. Food is hit or miss--my husband hates the milk and ice cream, and their produce and bread always go bad too fast. But I adore their store brand prepackaged fruit snacks "Fruit Smiles", and some things I can get much cheaper than our regular grocery store: tuna fish, salsa, canned soup. My current Wal-Mart is patronized mostly by recent immigrant families, so it has some pretty decent Asian & Middle Eastern products I don't see elsewhere. The checkout lines can be long, unfortunately, and shelves are sometime not restocked in a timely manner.

I grew up poor in a small town, and remember everyone I knew being genuinely excited when Wal-Mart came to town. My mom could feed four of us on $30 a week there. I once went into a Target behind a woman and her little girl, overhearing the daughter say "we don't like Wal-Mart, right Mommy?" and the mom responded "That's right, we only shop at Target". It was weird, and had all these strange classist undertones, but this preference for Target seems to be a common phenomenon.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: MoonShadow on July 05, 2016, 09:33:17 PM
All this time.  I'm surprised I've never seen this thread before today. 

I'm a lifelong union member, and as such I've received a lot of propaganda about WalMart during my career.  I always knew it was propaganda, but that didn't mean that it wasn't also true.  About 15 years ago, during an extended layoff period, my wife & I decided that she should seek a part time job for a while.  My wife has always found ways to deliberately aggravate me, so this time she decided to apply to Walmart as a cashier.  The following 6 months was educational, indeed, and she will tell to to this day that it was the best job she has ever had; and she has a BS in Biology, and worked in her field before having kids, as a lab-tech at Proctor & Gamble.  She had an employee plus family discount card during that time, that provided a 10% discount on everything except groceries.  I ended up using it far more than she did.  And while it's true enough a part-time employee is more likely to be on food-stamps or WIC while working at WalMart, I discovered that a major contributing factor there is that WalMart has a rather unusual employee benefit, free legal consultation.  So while many competitors of WalMart pay on par with them, WalMart employees benefit from a legal service that can help them apply for government aid & support that they would be entitled to, if only they were aware of the process.

In short, WalMart does some hateful stuff at the corporate level; but don't assume that just because they don't offer benefits that many here might consider a minimum standard for a real job, that they don't treat their employees well in their own way.  After that exposure, I tried to get every company that I ever worked for to establish a legal consultation benefit, and none of them ever considered it.  I'm sure that it's probably easy for WalMart to do this, since they have so many lawyers anyway, but that doesn't take away from the value of the benefit.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Seppia on July 06, 2016, 01:31:19 AM

It's not like HEB, Safeway Kroger and others throw rainbows at their employees and pay them 4x the Walmart wage.

I did not shop at WM when in the USA but not because of any sort of belief about their practice.

It's just that shopping there sucks, the stores are too large, item selection is bad, the produce and meat are bad, etc.

I used to live in NYC, but worked in the grocery business so I know all retailers fairly well, and my favorite by a significant margin was/is HEB Plus!
Great selection, nice experience, reasonable costs


Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: andy85 on July 06, 2016, 05:39:31 AM
I hate going into walmart, but do shop there on occasion for miscellaneous items such as:
-oil/filter
-headphones
-fishing tackle
-cheap t-shirts or gym shorts
-socks/underwear

It's probably been 3-6 months since i've been to walmart...and i'd prefer to keep it that way.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Roots&Wings on July 06, 2016, 06:02:33 AM
Yep, every week! It's my main grocery store for a healthy whole foods plant-based diet (at least until Aldi opens nearby).
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: pbkmaine on July 06, 2016, 06:26:36 AM
We have a lovely Walmart near us in Florida, with employees who appear to be happy to work there. I shop there often, especially when I have a long list of non-food items on my shopping list. I wear their White Stag brand knit pull-on shorts ($5) around the house and for yoga class. They launder beautifully and wear like iron. The guy in charge of the garden center loves his job and understands the Florida climate. I have gotten some great plants from him. I think it's like any other store - if the management is good at hiring and managing people, then it's a nice place to work and shop.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Pigeon on July 06, 2016, 06:26:50 AM
I try not to if possible.  I maybe go in there once a year or so if there is something that I need immediately and cannot find elsewhere, but usually I don't end up finding it and leave empty handed and annoyed.  I hate everything about it, from the business practices, the merchandise, the customer service, to the atmosphere.  It is just so unpleasant, and I'm not a person who hates shopping.

I have looked at the food prices and it's more expensive than Aldi or shopping sale prices at the grocery store, plus the produce looks decrepit and the place is dirty.

Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: banjarian on July 06, 2016, 11:34:48 AM
Never. There are certain things I'm not willing to do in pursuit of my financial goals, and Walmart is right up there with prostitution and selling my organs on the black market.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: MoonShadow on July 06, 2016, 12:35:20 PM
Never. There are certain things I'm not willing to do in pursuit of my financial goals, and Walmart is right up there with prostitution and selling my organs on the black market.

Are you saying that those who do this to achieve their financial goals are bad people?  At least they didn't have to stoop so low as get a job at WalMart!
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Chris22 on July 06, 2016, 12:47:16 PM
Never. There are certain things I'm not willing to do in pursuit of my financial goals, and Walmart is right up there with prostitution and selling my organs on the black market.

Are you saying that those who do this to achieve their financial goals are bad people?  At least they didn't have to stoop so low as get a job at WalMart!

Are there places where, as a male, I can make money selling my body for sex?  Uhhh..asking for a friend.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: banjarian on July 06, 2016, 12:54:03 PM
Never. There are certain things I'm not willing to do in pursuit of my financial goals, and Walmart is right up there with prostitution and selling my organs on the black market.

Are you saying that those who do this to achieve their financial goals are bad people?  At least they didn't have to stoop so low as get a job at WalMart!

Are there places where, as a male, I can make money selling my body for sex?  Uhhh..asking for a friend.

There are, you won't like it... well, I guess I shouldn't make assumptions.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Rewdoalb on July 06, 2016, 12:55:37 PM
I have no moral qualms with Walmart overall. However, as someone who generally hates shopping, Walmart is consistently a bad experience. Mostly due to checkout time and crowded parking lots.

They provide jobs for a lot of people , cheap goods for countless more. Also impressed w their renewable energy practices, as recently included in the Bloomberg article about renewables. They are the big/only solar spot for Arkansas.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Knapptyme on July 06, 2016, 01:27:59 PM
No Walmart for this family going on 10 years now. It stems from a philosophical difference, but the simple fact that I don't need them or their products is more reason for avoidance.

As to the problem of investing in companies like Walmart through index funds that can ultimately make me money, I try to avoid them. It is one reason I have been allocating more funds towards personally owned rental properties. I'm essentially investing in my community and myself. Alas, it's not perfect, and I do have some investments through index funds with companies I would not otherwise promote. Thankfully, none of them make up more than 1% of my portfolio, so I can still hope their business model fails.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: czr on July 06, 2016, 01:32:42 PM
Yes, I do. We have a Super Walmart close by and it is conveniently located, inexpensive, and has tons of essentials from grocery items to consumer items like a toilet flapper I had to buy last week. Cons are customer service is fair to poor, the lines are a little longer, and the store and people donít look the best. I also shop at a chain grocery store, Target, etc. so I donít really discriminate based on my familyís current need. The wife will not go to one without me going with her so I guess there is a safety aspect which I can understand.

I imagine the workers in the Amazon warehouses look no worse than the Walmart employees and they are probably paid similarly but it is probably more physically strenuous. Boil it down and it is the same thing; mega corp. employers providing consumer goods at competitive prices.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: v8rx7guy on July 06, 2016, 01:44:12 PM
I get my batteries and Mobil 1 sythetic oil there... that's about it.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: MilesTeg on July 06, 2016, 02:25:12 PM
Wal-Mart is very anti-MMM in my opinion and has done nothing but increase the wastefulness of our society and hide the true cost of goods and services.

They have usually the cheapest prices, BUT:

1.) Due to Wal-Mart's policies, the quality of all goods has gone down -- even those that found elseware. Companies don't make products for each store as a general rule. So while it's true that you can buy the same stuff at Wal-Mart as "everywhere else", the reality is the quality of goods has gone down for all retailers. For example, I used to be able to buy Levi's that would last years and dozens of washings. Levi's today start falling apart after just a few washings and are in general just as crappy as house brands. The difference is in order to stay in business Levi's had to meet Wal-Mart's price point, and in order to do that Levi's had to start cutting quality drastically. I have tools (of all kinds) from Montgomery Ward's that my grandfather purchased 50+ years ago that are still in fine working order despite decades of use. Tools today are lucky to last a couple of years (see also: Harbor Freight). The same has happened across all types of products. It boils down to people being easily seduced by a low ticket price without considering the real _value_ of their purchase.

2.) In order to cut costs further, Wal-Mart exploits municipalities and their workers in order to save in taxes and labor. This results in cheaper prices in their stores, but in reality the buyer saves nothing (and likely loses out!) as Wal-Mart's profits are just being subsidized by the public treasury. It's only a win for share holders of Wal-Mart who benefit by that stealth subsidy.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Chris22 on July 06, 2016, 02:37:50 PM
1.) Due to Wal-Mart's policies, the quality of all goods has gone down -- even those that found elseware. Companies don't make products for each store as a general rule. So while it's true that you can buy the same stuff at Wal-Mart as "everywhere else", the reality is the quality of goods has gone down for all retailers. For example, I used to be able to buy Levi's that would last years and dozens of washings. Levi's today start falling apart after just a few washings and are in general just as crappy as house brands. The difference is in order to stay in business Levi's had to meet Wal-Mart's price point, and in order to do that Levi's had to start cutting quality drastically. I have tools (of all kinds) from Montgomery Ward's that my grandfather purchased 50+ years ago that are still in fine working order despite decades of use. Tools today are lucky to last a couple of years (see also: Harbor Freight). The same has happened across all types of products. It boils down to people being easily seduced by a low ticket price without considering the real _value_ of their purchase.

We've discussed the quality vs. price thing before though.  Tools is a great example, everyone raves about the tools they got handed down from their dad or grandpa, but they don't realize that a cordless drill or a nail gun or a ratchet set built for a 50-100 year life today would cost 10-20 times what they actually do.  I try to buy decent quality stuff, but if I have to buy a new $75 cordless drill every 10 years, that's okay with me, because I don't have the appetite or budget to own several $500+ cordless drills that have a 50+ year life expectancy.  I just don't use my tools that much to justify that expense, but I do use them enough to buy a wide variety of $75-100 tools.  I can buy a $150 chop saw knowing I'll use it 2-3x a year; I can't buy a $1500 chop saw for the same level of usage, I'd just have to go without.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: stoaX on July 06, 2016, 02:47:33 PM
I voted yes.  There is a store within walking distance for me and the savings catcher app actually does pay off.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: MoonShadow on July 06, 2016, 04:55:38 PM
I voted yes.  There is a store within walking distance for me and the savings catcher app actually does pay off.

And for the tech dummies here, what does that actually do for you?
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Metric Mouse on July 07, 2016, 01:19:27 AM
1.) Due to Wal-Mart's policies, the quality of all goods has gone down -- even those that found elseware. Companies don't make products for each store as a general rule. So while it's true that you can buy the same stuff at Wal-Mart as "everywhere else", the reality is the quality of goods has gone down for all retailers. For example, I used to be able to buy Levi's that would last years and dozens of washings. Levi's today start falling apart after just a few washings and are in general just as crappy as house brands. The difference is in order to stay in business Levi's had to meet Wal-Mart's price point, and in order to do that Levi's had to start cutting quality drastically. I have tools (of all kinds) from Montgomery Ward's that my grandfather purchased 50+ years ago that are still in fine working order despite decades of use. Tools today are lucky to last a couple of years (see also: Harbor Freight). The same has happened across all types of products. It boils down to people being easily seduced by a low ticket price without considering the real _value_ of their purchase.

We've discussed the quality vs. price thing before though.  Tools is a great example, everyone raves about the tools they got handed down from their dad or grandpa, but they don't realize that a cordless drill or a nail gun or a ratchet set built for a 50-100 year life today would cost 10-20 times what they actually do.  I try to buy decent quality stuff, but if I have to buy a new $75 cordless drill every 10 years, that's okay with me, because I don't have the appetite or budget to own several $500+ cordless drills that have a 50+ year life expectancy.  I just don't use my tools that much to justify that expense, but I do use them enough to buy a wide variety of $75-100 tools.  I can buy a $150 chop saw knowing I'll use it 2-3x a year; I can't buy a $1500 chop saw for the same level of usage, I'd just have to go without.

Sounds like the above study suffers from survivorship bias...
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: soccerluvof4 on July 07, 2016, 05:45:00 AM
I don't shop at Walmart per sae as I do once a quarter shop at Sams for bulk.  I hate Walmart and always have as its to me a modern day Kmart with groceries and mixed in dollar store crap. Yea if you can get something you really need for the cheap why not save on it but I rarely find it to be at Walmart. My views are not so much on their business practices although I don't agree with a lot of what they do. 
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Drifterrider on July 07, 2016, 06:12:44 AM
I buy my coffee there ($2 less per bag than anywhere else) and I get my oil changed there (I earn enough that I don't have to crawl under my car anymore).
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: stoaX on July 07, 2016, 08:16:55 AM
I voted yes.  There is a store within walking distance for me and the savings catcher app actually does pay off.

And for the tech dummies here, what does that actually do for you?

Every receipt has a unique code on it.  You enter that into the app / website and if any nearby stores are selling the same thing at a lower price, you get the difference, either in cash or on a Walmart gift card.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Spork on July 07, 2016, 08:56:19 AM
I voted yes.  There is a store within walking distance for me and the savings catcher app actually does pay off.

And for the tech dummies here, what does that actually do for you?

Every receipt has a unique code on it.  You enter that into the app / website and if any nearby stores are selling the same thing at a lower price, you get the difference, either in cash or on a Walmart gift card.

Thanks for this.  I am definitely trying this.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: MilesTeg on July 07, 2016, 12:28:02 PM
We've discussed the quality vs. price thing before though.  Tools is a great example, everyone raves about the tools they got handed down from their dad or grandpa, but they don't realize that a cordless drill or a nail gun or a ratchet set built for a 50-100 year life today would cost 10-20 times what they actually do.  I try to buy decent quality stuff, but if I have to buy a new $75 cordless drill every 10 years, that's okay with me, because I don't have the appetite or budget to own several $500+ cordless drills that have a 50+ year life expectancy.  I just don't use my tools that much to justify that expense, but I do use them enough to buy a wide variety of $75-100 tools.  I can buy a $150 chop saw knowing I'll use it 2-3x a year; I can't buy a $1500 chop saw for the same level of usage, I'd just have to go without.

There's certainly a need for varying qualities of goods. Not everyone needs extremely high quality gear. But that's not the issue. The issue is the overall quality of goods has plummeted because, as I said, people fail to recognize the difference between high value and low cost. Everything from food to appliances is increasingly cheaper, but also increasing less value.

Wal-Mart isn't the only problem, but they add to the problem with policies that ensure even companies and buyers that understand and desire value are increasingly less able to find it and instead have to end up buying cheap, disposable crap.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: SyZ on July 07, 2016, 12:32:35 PM
In my one visit to the local Walmart (Sacramento area), I saw two separate, loud arguments in the parking lot, 5 bums out front begging for change, college aged-kids with a liberal agenda asking for my signature while their pants were around their ankle, smelled marijuana upon entering the main area, saw some half-eaten discarded chicken wings that somebody dropped on the floor near the McDonald's that nobody seemed to care about, and saw exactly one employee working the floor at 2 PM on a Saturday. I saw 4 ass cracks, at least a dozen unattended kids, and the $.50 tile job they used throughout the store was caked with cart markings and hair / debris / dirt / etc.

So, yea, I shopped there to get a really cheap (and still used) bed sheet set, and have never gone back
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Helvegen on July 07, 2016, 12:39:05 PM
No. I don't find their prices to be that competitive with alternatives like Winco, Jet.com, Amazon, Costco, etc. There is no real compelling reason to go there for me.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Sibley on July 07, 2016, 12:53:08 PM
I have problems with Walmart's polices, in particular towards vendors, women, their employees, the communities they'er in, and people with disabilities. I avoid them.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: stoaX on July 07, 2016, 01:12:14 PM
I have problems with Walmart's polices, in particular towards vendors, women, their employees, the communities they'er in, and people with disabilities. I avoid them.

I work for a vendor that sells to Walmart and haven't encountered any policy of theirs that is problematic...they aren't that much different than the other companies we sell to.    What policy do you find objectionable?

Regarding women, do you really know of a policy Walmart has that is anti-woman?  Only 9 of their 32 top officers are women but I'm not sure that is demonstrably worse than other companies.  Target's website shows 18 out of 55 - a little better but not dramatically better. 

And what communities do they operate in that you object to?  To me they are in or around almost all communities, at least in the US. 
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Sibley on July 07, 2016, 02:36:33 PM
I have problems with Walmart's polices, in particular towards vendors, women, their employees, the communities they'er in, and people with disabilities. I avoid them.

I work for a vendor that sells to Walmart and haven't encountered any policy of theirs that is problematic...they aren't that much different than the other companies we sell to.    What policy do you find objectionable?

Regarding women, do you really know of a policy Walmart has that is anti-woman?  Only 9 of their 32 top officers are women but I'm not sure that is demonstrably worse than other companies.  Target's website shows 18 out of 55 - a little better but not dramatically better. 

And what communities do they operate in that you object to?  To me they are in or around almost all communities, at least in the US.

Just a few of the articles. I tried to pick the more reputable names, but didn't have a ton of time to compile.

Re vendors - I object to the pressure to lower costs at all costs.
http://www.wsj.com/articles/wal-mart-ratchets-up-pressure-on-suppliers-to-cut-prices-1427845404

Women - there have been lawsuits in the past alleging discrimination against female employees. I'm not concerned with the top level execs. I'm concerned with the low and mid levels.
https://business-humanrights.org/en/walmart-lawsuit-re-gender-discrimination-in-usa

Employees - I object to the fact that so many employees are on food stamps or other types of aid.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2014/04/15/report-walmart-workers-cost-taxpayers-6-2-billion-in-public-assistance/#2a7c7c387cd8
https://www.thenation.com/article/walmart-wages-are-the-main-reason-people-depend-on-food-stamps/

Communities - I've heard of many examples, and have lived though one, where a Walmart came into a community and other businesses closed. No, I don't expect that all small businesses will survive. But big-box stores in general cause major disruption in a local economy, and that isn't always a good thing.
http://journalistsresource.org/studies/government/municipal/impact-big-box-retailers-employment-wages-crime-health

People with disabilities - Another lawsuit... https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/7-1-15d.cfm

Maybe Walmart has improved. Maybe not. But before I'm willing to shop there on a regular basis, I need to see that they're acting consistently ethically over a period of years. Until then, I avoid them.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: stoaX on July 07, 2016, 03:09:59 PM
I have problems with Walmart's polices, in particular towards vendors, women, their employees, the communities they'er in, and people with disabilities. I avoid them.

I work for a vendor that sells to Walmart and haven't encountered any policy of theirs that is problematic...they aren't that much different than the other companies we sell to.    What policy do you find objectionable?

Regarding women, do you really know of a policy Walmart has that is anti-woman?  Only 9 of their 32 top officers are women but I'm not sure that is demonstrably worse than other companies.  Target's website shows 18 out of 55 - a little better but not dramatically better. 

And what communities do they operate in that you object to?  To me they are in or around almost all communities, at least in the US.

Just a few of the articles. I tried to pick the more reputable names, but didn't have a ton of time to compile.

Re vendors - I object to the pressure to lower costs at all costs.
http://www.wsj.com/articles/wal-mart-ratchets-up-pressure-on-suppliers-to-cut-prices-1427845404

Women - there have been lawsuits in the past alleging discrimination against female employees. I'm not concerned with the top level execs. I'm concerned with the low and mid levels.
https://business-humanrights.org/en/walmart-lawsuit-re-gender-discrimination-in-usa

Employees - I object to the fact that so many employees are on food stamps or other types of aid.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2014/04/15/report-walmart-workers-cost-taxpayers-6-2-billion-in-public-assistance/#2a7c7c387cd8
https://www.thenation.com/article/walmart-wages-are-the-main-reason-people-depend-on-food-stamps/

Communities - I've heard of many examples, and have lived though one, where a Walmart came into a community and other businesses closed. No, I don't expect that all small businesses will survive. But big-box stores in general cause major disruption in a local economy, and that isn't always a good thing.
http://journalistsresource.org/studies/government/municipal/impact-big-box-retailers-employment-wages-crime-health

People with disabilities - Another lawsuit... https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/7-1-15d.cfm

Maybe Walmart has improved. Maybe not. But before I'm willing to shop there on a regular basis, I need to see that they're acting consistently ethically over a period of years. Until then, I avoid them.


Thanks, I see where you're coming from.  The "communities" part threw me - I thought you didn't like the towns that they were in as opposed to how they changed the economies of the towns....I was about to say "what do you have against Peoria?"  :)
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: merula on July 07, 2016, 03:23:23 PM
I'm astounded that it took until Page 4 of this thread to bring up WalMart's rampant gender discrimination.

My objection is to the way they treat their employees in general and women in particular. I prefer not to buy cheap crap in general, but since I do shop at Target, Amazon and Costco, I don't think I have any reason to say "WalMart is bad because they sell cheap crap".

I routinely joke that I shop local when I shop at Target (in MN). But I do think Target treats employees better as a general rule than WalMart. Amazon treats their employees terribly, which I recognize, but they're convenient. So, I guess that's the monetary value of my moral indignity: cheap AND convenient.

I must say that the "it's dirty and full of weirdos" comments seem pretty classist to me.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: MoonShadow on July 07, 2016, 03:24:50 PM
Have either of you actually ever worked there?
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: stoaX on July 07, 2016, 03:30:13 PM
I must say that the "it's dirty and full of weirdos" comments seem pretty classist to me.

It does sound "classist"...if this were in the hall of shame and comedy it would get a pass.   Also, I think it depends upon the surrounding community.  My upper middle class neighborhood Walmart is clean and I never see any "weirdos" there (which is kind of disappointing from an entertainment perspective. I'm always hoping to have a true "people of Walmart" moment.)
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Sibley on July 07, 2016, 06:01:45 PM
Have either of you actually ever worked there?

I personally have not. But I did have a friend who worked for Walmart. I was not impressed with how he was treated.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Typhoid Mary on July 07, 2016, 06:46:56 PM
I don't want to shop at WalMart, but being a shift worker means sometimes getting groceries at 3 am on the regular.  No place open EXCEPT WalMart. Sigh.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Cyaphas on July 07, 2016, 06:57:39 PM
Given that I've done shift work my entire adult life, it's often the only thing open. Also, they have the cheapest prices on beer, wine and meats. I have gone to some of their black fridays, more for the experience than the deals. 
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Pigeon on July 07, 2016, 07:02:34 PM
Given that I've done shift work my entire adult life, it's often the only thing open. Also, they have the cheapest prices on beer, wine and meats. I have gone to some of their black fridays, more for the experience than the deals.

I could poke my eye out with a sharp stick for the experience, but I think I'll pass.

Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Sibley on July 07, 2016, 07:17:17 PM
You do what you gotta do. I've shopped at Walmart as well, I just don't like to. But I didn't always have an alternative.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Cyaphas on July 07, 2016, 07:18:22 PM
Given that I've done shift work my entire adult life, it's often the only thing open. Also, they have the cheapest prices on beer, wine and meats. I have gone to some of their black fridays, more for the experience than the deals.

I could poke my eye out with a sharp stick for the experience, but I think I'll pass.

It was interesting. The second time I had a run in with an off duty police officer, armed and in full uniform ordering people to obey Walmart officials. One threatened me over not standing in the door line to get me receipt checked. That was eye opening to say the least. Also, seeing/talking to people there and inquiring about their motives was fun.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: FrugalTravelGal on July 07, 2016, 09:02:05 PM
I shop at Walmart mostly for non-food items, like toiletries and cleaning products. It is next door to Aldi - where I buy milk, eggs, and some produce. I usually make a shopping stop at the nearby Sam's Club, too.

 I was much better at shopping locally in my Chicago neighborhood 30+ years ago. For our wedding in 1982, I ordered flowers from a florist in my neighborhood, instead of from the big suburban bridal store where I would've gotten more for less money. I had a lot less money then, too.   
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: MoonShadow on July 07, 2016, 09:11:30 PM
Have either of you actually ever worked there?

I personally have not. But I did have a friend who worked for Walmart. I was not impressed with how he was treated.

Was he sexually discriminated against as well?  That would be an interesting story.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Metric Mouse on July 07, 2016, 09:44:16 PM
Given that I've done shift work my entire adult life, it's often the only thing open. Also, they have the cheapest prices on beer, wine and meats. I have gone to some of their black fridays, more for the experience than the deals.

I could poke my eye out with a sharp stick for the experience, but I think I'll pass.

It was interesting. The second time I had a run in with an off duty police officer, armed and in full uniform ordering people to obey Walmart officials. One threatened me over not standing in the door line to get me receipt checked. That was eye opening to say the least. Also, seeing/talking to people there and inquiring about their motives was fun.

I'm trying to imagine what a "Walmart Official" looks like. Do they have a large hat and twirl a baton?
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: fishnfool on July 08, 2016, 12:20:57 AM
Normally I might shop at Walmart a few times a year but this week while vacationing in Hawaii we've been there 3 times for food and cheap souvenirs.

Aloha
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: The One Dude on July 08, 2016, 08:05:03 AM
Yeah I'm going to echo what others are saying and point to their cheaper groceries. I don't personally have a Costco card (I've been planning to get one; just haven't yet), but I always jump on with a friend when I can. Other than that though, Walmart is going to generally be cheaper for groceries.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: GuitarStv on July 08, 2016, 08:33:57 AM
Given that I've done shift work my entire adult life, it's often the only thing open. Also, they have the cheapest prices on beer, wine and meats. I have gone to some of their black fridays, more for the experience than the deals.

I could poke my eye out with a sharp stick for the experience, but I think I'll pass.

It was interesting. The second time I had a run in with an off duty police officer, armed and in full uniform ordering people to obey Walmart officials. One threatened me over not standing in the door line to get me receipt checked. That was eye opening to say the least. Also, seeing/talking to people there and inquiring about their motives was fun.

I'm trying to imagine what a "Walmart Official" looks like. Do they have a large hat and twirl a baton?

No, you're thinking of a capitalist.

(http://www.hermes-press.com/rich2.jpg)

:P
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Sibley on July 08, 2016, 08:42:16 AM
Have either of you actually ever worked there?

I personally have not. But I did have a friend who worked for Walmart. I was not impressed with how he was treated.

Was he sexually discriminated against as well?  That would be an interesting story.

In his case the managers played favorites. Favorite employees got the best/more shifts, more flexibility in scheduling around other commitments, etc. The unlucky others were treated to very impolite language, bullying, unfair evaluations, and yes, I was told of sexual harassment towards some of the female employees. I've moved away from the area, but I did hear about a complaint to whatever government agency. Hopefully that went somewhere, but I'm not in touch with anyone to know.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Spork on July 08, 2016, 10:28:07 AM
Given that I've done shift work my entire adult life, it's often the only thing open. Also, they have the cheapest prices on beer, wine and meats. I have gone to some of their black fridays, more for the experience than the deals.

I could poke my eye out with a sharp stick for the experience, but I think I'll pass.

It was interesting. The second time I had a run in with an off duty police officer, armed and in full uniform ordering people to obey Walmart officials. One threatened me over not standing in the door line to get me receipt checked. That was eye opening to say the least. Also, seeing/talking to people there and inquiring about their motives was fun.

I'm trying to imagine what a "Walmart Official" looks like. Do they have a large hat and twirl a baton?

No, you're thinking of a capitalist.

(http://www.hermes-press.com/rich2.jpg)

:P

That is not at all what I look like, btw.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: kanga1622 on July 08, 2016, 02:17:54 PM
We live within blocks of Walmart (I can see their back parking lot from my driveway) and we do shop there. If we want to shop anywhere other than the grocery store we have to drive 65 miles.

They do have a lot of their pantry goods cheaper than the chain grocery store in town. Their TP, peroxide, and beauty supplies are also loads cheaper. I do have an eco bent on some things and will pay more for those items, but the majority of our consumables come from whatever store provides me the best value.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: aaron3719 on July 08, 2016, 02:52:56 PM
You guys familiar with the closings of some 200 Walmart locations?
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: human on July 08, 2016, 03:13:47 PM
I still don't understand why people won't shop there because they exploit people, but they will invest in the store and make money off that exploitation.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Helvegen on July 08, 2016, 03:33:20 PM
I get my batteries and Mobil 1 synthetic oil there... that's about it.

Interesting thing is those are two items that I buy exclusively at Costco.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: arebelspy on July 08, 2016, 03:50:31 PM
[MOD EDIT: Split discussion of Target's transgender bathroom policy here:] http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/off-topic/target's-transgender-bathroom-policy-(split-from/
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Apples on July 09, 2016, 06:53:05 AM
I live in a rural area, and Wal-Mart, before Amazon was a popular thing, was a huge boon to quality of life.  My area still has one of the original stores that has very minimal groceries.  Yes, due to a Wal-Mart Supercenter opening up, we did lose 2 local grocery stores.  Both were smaller than the size of two school classrooms, and most people only shopped there for specific items they ran out of or needed for a party.  The two regional chains in that town and the surrounding small towns are still going.  IME people choose those b/c they like to support the local chain, can buy most of what they need there, and it's the store closest to their house.  But then when you need something random, you go check the Wal-Mart Supercenter (or order it online if you have time to wait for it to be shipped to you).  Also, it's the only place open after 10 p.m., even on the weekend.  Pretty much everyone under 21 has spent some time in a Wal-Mart after 10 p.m. b/c they didn't have to be home until 11 and didn't have anywhere else to go.  When my mom had 3 teenagers at home, she switched to shopping at Wal-Mart b/c it all-around gave her the best bang for her buck without driving around to different stores for deals.  Which with 3 athletic children, she was usually too busy shuttling us around to practices and games-note it's a rural area so there were serious drive times.  Wal-Mart filled a need, and the Supercenter offered more jobs than the number killed by losing two local stores.

And from the vendor side...Wal-Mart always pushes for lower and lower prices.  But they're only a bit worse than they average retailer for our product.  The main problem is that they are such a large buyer that they realize they have significant bargaining power.  But they are also good about working with us to create a fair marketing plan and adapt to last-minute changes.  It would be nice if they had better produce managers though...
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: FIREby35 on July 09, 2016, 07:46:29 AM
I just thought I'd chime in case anyone ever gets to page 4 of the thread...haha. My family of five buys all groceries, toiletries, kids stuff and basics from Wal-Mart. When I plan our budget, I consider that if I spend $200 a week at Wal-Mart, I will be spending $10,400 annually. That would include living like a king basically.

Slightly related, when people talk about the cost of living being so high in the United States and not being able to get ahead (blah,blah, blah). I immediately call b.s. because Wal-Mart provides everything and is super cheap. Like I said above, a family of 5 can live like kings for $10,400 annually. That includes big meals on holidays, fresh fruit, steaks, salmon everything. It does not take a lot of money for the truly basic. That 10,400 also includes all my non-work clothes and shoes and the same for my kids (who outgrow everything before I worry about the clothes being low quality).

I have no moral issues with Wal-Mart and I begrudgingly admire their success. Say what you want - they are a smart and wildly successful business started by a single guy 50 years ago. As an entrepreneur and business owner, I think they deserve some major kudos.

Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Milizard on July 09, 2016, 09:08:54 AM
Not sure if I ever replied to this thread, but I shop at Meijer instead of Walmart, except maybe 2x a year.  It's better in every way.  I like Target too, but ours does not have produce, etc, plus it's across town, whereas Meijer is very close.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: chasesfish on July 09, 2016, 11:52:45 AM
Its so rare, but there are just a couple of items that never seem to go on sale at the grocery store and Costco doesn't carry.   Good Season's Salad Dressing Mix for one...its just over $1 less at Walmart.  If I pay the $1-$2 more at Safeway, I'll be sick to my stomach for two days
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: MoonShadow on July 09, 2016, 12:09:22 PM
I just thought I'd chime in case anyone ever gets to page 4 of the thread...haha. My family of five buys all groceries, toiletries, kids stuff and basics from Wal-Mart. When I plan our budget, I consider that if I spend $200 a week at Wal-Mart, I will be spending $10,400 annually. That would include living like a king basically.


I would very much like to know more about how you only spend $200 per week at Wal-Mart and keep a family of 5 "living like kings".  My wife complains that she spends $300 every time she goes, and we don't even buy steak there.  Granted, we have 5 kids, but while I can see a FIRE'd couple doing well on $10.4K per year budgeted just for WalMart; 3 kids seems like a stretch.  Age of the kids also matters.  The cost of a child starts high, slowly declines till bottoming out about at 9 or so (at which point, they are actually pretty cheap entertainment), then seems to go exponential until they get their own job.  So if your kids are all old enough to no longer need diapers, but under 10, I can see that working out for you.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: FIREby35 on July 10, 2016, 06:50:10 PM
I just thought I'd chime in case anyone ever gets to page 4 of the thread...haha. My family of five buys all groceries, toiletries, kids stuff and basics from Wal-Mart. When I plan our budget, I consider that if I spend $200 a week at Wal-Mart, I will be spending $10,400 annually. That would include living like a king basically.


I would very much like to know more about how you only spend $200 per week at Wal-Mart and keep a family of 5 "living like kings".  My wife complains that she spends $300 every time she goes, and we don't even buy steak there.  Granted, we have 5 kids, but while I can see a FIRE'd couple doing well on $10.4K per year budgeted just for WalMart; 3 kids seems like a stretch.  Age of the kids also matters.  The cost of a child starts high, slowly declines till bottoming out about at 9 or so (at which point, they are actually pretty cheap entertainment), then seems to go exponential until they get their own job.  So if your kids are all old enough to no longer need diapers, but under 10, I can see that working out for you.

Our kids are 4.5, 3 and 1.5. Maybe we are special for some reason or it has to do with location (Midwestern city), but that is what we do. We don't eat steak all the time but, every once in a while. Same with salmon, whenever it is on "must sell now" pricing. Anyway, that is what our family does and I actually do feel like we live pretty high on the hog.

Btw, throw in an extra hundred and you are still only talking about $16,000 a year for your family of seven (assuming that was weekly). That's pretty good for that many people!
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: mizzourah2006 on July 11, 2016, 01:50:23 PM
I live in a rural area, and Wal-Mart, before Amazon was a popular thing, was a huge boon to quality of life.  My area still has one of the original stores that has very minimal groceries.  Yes, due to a Wal-Mart Supercenter opening up, we did lose 2 local grocery stores.  Both were smaller than the size of two school classrooms, and most people only shopped there for specific items they ran out of or needed for a party.  The two regional chains in that town and the surrounding small towns are still going.  IME people choose those b/c they like to support the local chain, can buy most of what they need there, and it's the store closest to their house.  But then when you need something random, you go check the Wal-Mart Supercenter (or order it online if you have time to wait for it to be shipped to you).  Also, it's the only place open after 10 p.m., even on the weekend.  Pretty much everyone under 21 has spent some time in a Wal-Mart after 10 p.m. b/c they didn't have to be home until 11 and didn't have anywhere else to go.  When my mom had 3 teenagers at home, she switched to shopping at Wal-Mart b/c it all-around gave her the best bang for her buck without driving around to different stores for deals.  Which with 3 athletic children, she was usually too busy shuttling us around to practices and games-note it's a rural area so there were serious drive times.  Wal-Mart filled a need, and the Supercenter offered more jobs than the number killed by losing two local stores.

And from the vendor side...Wal-Mart always pushes for lower and lower prices.  But they're only a bit worse than they average retailer for our product.  The main problem is that they are such a large buyer that they realize they have significant bargaining power.  But they are also good about working with us to create a fair marketing plan and adapt to last-minute changes.  It would be nice if they had better produce managers though...

I think this is the positive that many forget. Growing up in small towns in the south/midwest in the late 80s early 90s before the internet before Walmart moved in you had a couple options. 1. Pay whatever the small local grocer was charging or 2. Drive a long way to a larger community with more options. Walmarts came in and didn't charge differing prices based on perceived competition in the area. The prices were always the same and typically ended up being the cheapest due to size and efficiency. It's easy for people from cities like Chicago, San Fran, NYC, etc. to demonize Walmart, but for many of us that spent time in the 80s and 90s in very small towns they were a very welcome sight.

As a teenager/early 20 something working for a unionized grocery store in Saint Louis I can tell you they were no better and paid even less. I started making min. wage ($5.15) at the time and I had to pay $7/week in union dues. I would have gladly chosen Walmart over the company I worked for. Our union dues were the equivalent of over 2 hours of work once you factored in taxes.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: MrsPete on July 12, 2016, 07:06:48 AM
I shop at "the real Walmart" occasionally, but I go to the smaller Walmart Express more often.  It's small, sized like a regular grocery store, so it's easy to get in and out quickly.  The prices are roughly the same as Aldi's, but the selection is different.  Every store has its own strength, and Walmart's is simple, old-fashioned foods; for example, dried beans, flour, etc. 

I agree that Walmart (or Target) is attractive to people who want/need to do all their shopping in one place.  My grandmother loved Walmart because she only had to get in/out of the car once, yet she could buy her groceries plus something from home goods and whatever else.  The same could be said for parents with small children and people who don't have their own cars. 

What's the difference between Walmart and Target?  Mostly staging.  Walmart just slaps stuff on the shelf and says, "Here, come buy it", whereas Target clearly has a team of marketers who put together new and trendy decorations for the front of the store -- and since they use the same stuff in every store, it's a bargain.  They also are more cued into trendy colors and styles, though their quality is no better than Walmart's. 

Finally, I agree with the poster who says, "Yeah, some people do need that cheap stuff."  Yeah, when I was young and poor, I had trouble affording Walmart stuff.  At that point in my life, the choices were this or nothing, so I was glad to have their cheap towels, etc.  I'm glad not to be in that situation any longer.


Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Cranky on July 12, 2016, 07:53:19 AM
People always complain that WalMart is messy looking and there's too much stuff in the aisles, but a few years ago WalMart experimented with having a less cluttered look, and actual shoppers complained that they couldn't find stuff they wanted. And face it - WalMart is the place you go to buy stuff. What people say they want, and what they actually do want, are not always the same thing.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Warlord1986 on July 12, 2016, 08:06:24 AM
No. I save money and live better by not shopping at Walmart. None of their foreign made crap darkens my door, I don't put more of my money in the Walton's bank account, and their fruits and vegetables are often rotten anyway. No, thank you. I'll stick to Publix and Aldi's, both of which close on Thanksgiving and have fresh food.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: MrMoogle on July 12, 2016, 10:31:05 AM
I shop there for meats.  Normally I walk to Target for groceries, but Walmart's meats are about 1/2 to 1/3 the price of Targets.  Other produce are only slightly higher at Target.  So every month or two I go pick up a bunch of chicken and some beef.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: MoonShadow on July 12, 2016, 07:05:38 PM


I agree that Walmart (or Target) is attractive to people who want/need to do all their shopping in one place.  My grandmother loved Walmart because she only had to get in/out of the car once, yet she could buy her groceries plus something from home goods and whatever else.  The same could be said for parents with small children and people who don't have their own cars. 


Also, the visually impaired.  My wife's family are almost all blind.  As the first sighted child, her dad literally bought her a new car, so she could drive him around town.  Prior to that, trips to the store involved a bus ride to the store then a cab ride home.  Single people would do this in pairs, in order to save on the cab fare.  The ability to do all your shopping in a single trip, even if that involved several carts and some rather creative packing of a taxi cab, was a huge boon.  Today, I've discovered that my wife's nephews now use Uber, but the process is the same.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Jrr85 on July 14, 2016, 03:08:02 PM
I still don't understand why people won't shop there because they exploit people, but they will invest in the store and make money off that exploitation.

I don't understand it because Walmart still pays pretty good wages for retail.  And they still offer opportunity to people that weren't fortunate enough to go to college.  It may have changed, but I had a friend with a father that worked there and he said that there was very little credentialism at the company.  If there was a non-college educated worker that was reliable and a good worker and showed some aptitude on their internal training, they would get the opportunity to move up the chain.  This was over a decade ago, so not sure that still holds true, but where I grew up, it was probably one of the best opportunities available for people that came from a background where going to college was unlikely.  There were a few companies that were probably better to work for if you had a college degree, but at those companies, there was a pretty low level of management where you realistically just weren't going to get without a piece of paper on your wall.   
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Aunt Petunia on October 05, 2019, 04:39:24 AM
In my area Walmart is cheaper than Aldi or even Costco for certain staples like flour, rice, dried beans, frozen veggies, etc. They are also a good source of FAR items with rebate apps, and have the best coupon policy. Agree that the produce is terrible though.

We still go to Aldi for produce, spices, and some meat, and Costco for dairy products, coffee and other things.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: nancy33 on October 05, 2019, 10:26:43 AM
Only online. I cannot stand going into the store
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Peach on October 05, 2019, 11:14:04 AM
Shopping at Walmart has changed for the better for me since they installed good self-service scanners.  It used to be that I could only stomach going in once a month because of having to wait in endless lines to check out.  Now with the self-service scanners I'm able to stop in for whatever I want and check out immediately. This has been a game changer for me and now I'm in Walmart about once a week. 

Their online ordering with in-store pickup has also improved dramatically.  Order online (don't forget to go through eBates/Rakuten for cash back), go in to the tower at the front of the store, scan your order, and the tower kicks your order out to you.

Their biggest negative for me is that their carts are always bad.  I can't stand pushing around a cart with wobbly wheels.  I'll take a hand basket instead which works fine because I usually don't buy enough at one time to justify pushing around a big squeaky cart. 

As for the moral implications of shopping there, I realize that Walmart has been painted as the face of the exploitative big bad box store.  However, I believe the practices they engage in are found everywhere and that there are no completely "clean" stores out there.  Over the years, I've seen many other stores accused of the same practices.  I see little difference between Walmart and Amazon in this regard. So I shop at Walmart.  I don't buy their junky stuff but instead buy their lower priced daily necessity items like pharmacy items and food. 



Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Fomerly known as something on October 05, 2019, 07:11:02 PM
I voted no.  And at home that is true as I have better alternatives, but I do travel for work quite often, sometimes I forget things or find the weather isn't what I expected.  Sometimes Walmart is the most convenient place to pick up stuff or to grab some snacks so I go, but I try to avoid it even then if I can.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: mies on October 06, 2019, 03:27:33 AM
I shop at our local Walmart weekly. We do pretty much all of our grocery shopping there. Their prices are usually better than Target and pretty much always lower than the grocery chains near us. The national brand stuff is no different than what you would get at another store and most of their store brand stuff is pretty good too. I buy Great Value brand bread, eggs, cheese, and snacks and have never had any quality or food safety issues. They are usually significantly less expensive than their name brand counterparts too.

I also find Walmart has a good selection. We've been surprised by what we have been able to get at Walmart. Lemon curd? Yup. Sushi rice? Yes. A few years ago, I was looking for ramps so I could change the oil on our cars by myself. None of the auto parts stores in my area actually carried them. Walmart had them in stock and on the shelf. They have the best price on 5qt. jugs of motor oil in my area too. When I needed a new spark plug for my lawn mower, they actually had it in stock and for a lower price than what other places were charging online. I use a fluoride mouth wash that is hard to find in stores. Walmart has it. Walgreens is the only other place in my area that stocks it and they charge $3 more per bottle.

My one complaint about Walmart is they often have trouble keeping things in stock consistently. There have been items that I have seen out of stock for weeks and sometimes months before they get replenished. That's usually when a more expensive store will get my money.

I know it's cool to shit on Walmart, but they have a staggering selection and competitive prices. There are certain things I would probably never buy there like their house brand shoes/clothing, but any national brand items that aren't going to be any different if I bought them from somebody else, I will happily buy from Walmart. I'm not going to flush money down the toilet because I'm afraid of what people will think of me if I tell them I buy stuff at Walmart. Sure, a lot of the people that shop there look like they gave themselves a neck tattoo with a sewing needle and a Bic pen, but if I can consistently save money and time, I will shop among them.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: OtherJen on October 06, 2019, 08:39:07 AM
No, because I have no need and it wouldnít save me money. (I no longer shop at Target for the same reason.)

According to the local grocery flyers, produce is far cheaper at the local independent produce market, and everything else tends to be comparably priced or cheaper at Aldi or Costco. The few items that canít be purchased at one of those three stores are available at Meijer, a big-box store headquartered in my state.

I imagine my response would be different if I lived in an area with fewer options.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: SavinMaven on October 06, 2019, 09:18:15 AM
With FT work and multiple small children at home, it helps a lot to be able to get cereal and light bulbs, milk and a Halloween costume all in the same trip. I used to shop at Target, but the one nearest us has noticeably swung toward stocking internal brands and often being conveniently out of other brands (including band-aids, dishwasher detergent, etc and I tend to stick to a specific type of each of those.) Therefore, I've recently made Wal-mart my main "re-stock" place. The one near us is in an affluent area and tends to be clean and well-stocked. I'm not too concerned about their labor practices, as I used to work there myself and saw none of what they're so often accused of. Granted I was a teenager at the time, but I'm not sure their jobs are meant to be careers, for most of the staff anyway.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: ice_beard on October 06, 2019, 12:46:22 PM
This is a great discussion.  Short answer, yes, occasionally, but it's not convenient for me and I don't need much that they sell. 

My history with Wal-Mart has evolved over time.  When it first came around (~mid 90s in the midwest) going to WM and Cub Foods was a semi-regular family outing in middle school on a Friday night.  It was great!  So many things in two places (this was before they sold groceries). 

Fast forward a few years and moving to a rural area where Wal-Mart decimated several locally owned grocery stores within a year of expanding to become a Super Wal-Mart.  At this point I was fully against shopping there and remained so for many years.  I was against their sprawl model and what I felt it was doing to small businesses and communities.  I also did not live close to a WM for many years, so it wasn't a big deal.  Even when I moved to within a reasonable distance of a WM, I still didn't shop there for personal reasons. 

A few conversations over the years started to tilt my thoughts a little bit.  One guy I worked with told me that WM fills an incredibly important need for poor people.  They were providing goods at prices lower than they had ever experienced.  And when they went into groceries, this effect was magnified.  So it filled an important role for a significant portion of the population. 

I still don't care for their low wages and poor treatment of their employees.  It's been documented that part of orientation at (some) WMs is how to apply for government assistance, which is absolutely crazy.  However, they have been pressured by profits and outside groups to create some useful change within the company.  At one point in time (maybe 10 years ago??) WM was one of the largest producers of solar energy.  When WM decides they want to offer "organic" milk and produce, it's a massive gain for those industries.  Of course, the definition of "organic" does not mean much by USDA standards today, but it is certainly a little bit better for the planet (at least I hope so.)  Others have mentioned how they can have a positive effect on things like packaging and reducing waste which is also a benefit.  Today though, I prefer to spend my money at Costco and do go to WM occasionally.  I've bought cargo pants there for work pants (scrub bottoms) and maybe fishing tackle (all the small tackle shops are gone). 

I'm going to put out a likely unpopular opinion too....  All of this "I don't like the atmosphere"  has as much to do with the big box experience, the fluorescent lighting, the big parking lots as it does being uncomfortable being around poor people.  I see it in someone close to me who is from a very not-poor area.  This person does not like going to discount grocery stores (like I do) or Wal-Mart and I straight up think it's because they are uncomfortable being around poor people.  It's very convenient to say this when you have a variety of options (i.e. have money), but for the vast majority of people, shopping at Wal-Mart is their only option either by geography or by economics.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Wrenchturner on October 06, 2019, 12:59:55 PM
I drove by an Amazon warehouse under construction the other day.  Just a steel box at the moment, but it's HUGE.  And the endless row of loading bays seems a bit inhuman.  I wouldn't want to work there already.

So it's harder to support a company like that when you see where the sausage is made.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: mountain mustache on October 06, 2019, 02:02:27 PM
I shop at Walmart because it is the most affordable grocery option in my rural town. We have a supermarket that is about $1-$2 more per item, on average, and then we also have a Natural Grocers (hilarious because I live in a tiny town) but that is obviously much more expensive. The Walmart here has a decent selection of organic and conventional produce, and the only thing I really don't buy there is meat...I tend to stock up on that at Costco when I'm in the city. I will say I absolutely hate the experience of shopping at Walmart, ours is pretty run down and usually crowded/chaotic...but I'll deal with it for the savings on groceries.

ETA: I also happen to know about 10-15 people personally in my town that are employed by Walmart. They are given opportunities, benefits, etc that most other jobs (waitressing/temp type things) don't offer here...so I think they actually provide a lot of decent jobs for people in my specific area (rural western mountain town)
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Just Joe on October 08, 2019, 03:42:12 PM
I use WM when I travel for work. WMs seem to vary by location. Some are very nice, some are not as nice. Whether I shopped there regularly would depend.

I really don't like the big box retailer experience no matter whose store it is. Would rather shop a normal grocery store. Shop other stores for other things. Means no single shopping trip is that long b/c I'm not an enthusiastic shopper entertained by the process. I'm a get in and get out kind of guy. When DW is along I'm more patient.

We don't shop that often except for groceries.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: js82 on October 08, 2019, 05:20:12 PM
Yes.  It's not my first choice for groceries, but it's the closest.  Hence, it's the most convenient place to go if I've forgotten something.  It's also reasonably cheap for boxed/non-perishable goods.

If I'm doing a planned shopping trip, I'll generally go to Wegmans.  For meat/fish/fresh produce, I very seldom buy from Wal-Mart, as the quality and selection at Wegmans is substantially better.

Shopping at Walmart has changed for the better for me since they installed good self-service scanners.  It used to be that I could only stomach going in once a month because of having to wait in endless lines to check out.  Now with the self-service scanners I'm able to stop in for whatever I want and check out immediately. This has been a game changer for me and now I'm in Walmart about once a week. 

This is also very true.  I used to avoid my local Wal-mart like the plague because they chronically understaffed their registers, and you'd have to wait in line for 15 minutes to buy a tube of toothpaste because they never had enough cashiers relative to the volume of customers.  The addition of self check-out made the experience much more efficient and has resulted in me going there significantly more often.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: mies on October 09, 2019, 02:43:08 AM
Yes.  It's not my first choice for groceries, but it's the closest.  Hence, it's the most convenient place to go if I've forgotten something.  It's also reasonably cheap for boxed/non-perishable goods.

If I'm doing a planned shopping trip, I'll generally go to Wegmans.  For meat/fish/fresh produce, I very seldom buy from Wal-Mart, as the quality and selection at Wegmans is substantially better.

Shopping at Walmart has changed for the better for me since they installed good self-service scanners.  It used to be that I could only stomach going in once a month because of having to wait in endless lines to check out.  Now with the self-service scanners I'm able to stop in for whatever I want and check out immediately. This has been a game changer for me and now I'm in Walmart about once a week. 

This is also very true.  I used to avoid my local Wal-mart like the plague because they chronically understaffed their registers, and you'd have to wait in line for 15 minutes to buy a tube of toothpaste because they never had enough cashiers relative to the volume of customers.  The addition of self check-out made the experience much more efficient and has resulted in me going there significantly more often.

The addition of self checkouts is part of what swayed me too. You can pretty much walk in and walk out with what you need now even when it is crazy busy.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: mountain mustache on October 09, 2019, 08:03:04 AM
Yes.  It's not my first choice for groceries, but it's the closest.  Hence, it's the most convenient place to go if I've forgotten something.  It's also reasonably cheap for boxed/non-perishable goods.

If I'm doing a planned shopping trip, I'll generally go to Wegmans.  For meat/fish/fresh produce, I very seldom buy from Wal-Mart, as the quality and selection at Wegmans is substantially better.

Shopping at Walmart has changed for the better for me since they installed good self-service scanners.  It used to be that I could only stomach going in once a month because of having to wait in endless lines to check out.  Now with the self-service scanners I'm able to stop in for whatever I want and check out immediately. This has been a game changer for me and now I'm in Walmart about once a week. 

This is also very true.  I used to avoid my local Wal-mart like the plague because they chronically understaffed their registers, and you'd have to wait in line for 15 minutes to buy a tube of toothpaste because they never had enough cashiers relative to the volume of customers.  The addition of self check-out made the experience much more efficient and has resulted in me going there significantly more often.

The addition of self checkouts is part of what swayed me too. You can pretty much walk in and walk out with what you need now even when it is crazy busy.

I think our Walmart has about 14 self checkouts, which is great. The most efficient/quick way to shop in my town. The only bummer is that when the whole town loses internet (about 3-4 times a year..small town internet problems) nothing works and we all have to stand in line at a traditional register.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: PoutineLover on October 09, 2019, 08:20:22 AM
I put no because I personally pretty much never go there. The only times I have gone in the last ten or so years was once because they had the cheapest available mini fridge, and the other time was because my friend needed something from there so we went and I ended up grabbing a couple things that were well-priced. There are no walmarts near me, and I do all of my grocery shopping within walking distance. I also find they are way too big and I don't like the way they are organized.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: OurTown on October 09, 2019, 08:36:02 AM
I grew up in SW Missouri, which is near the original epicenter of Wal-Mart, so we always shopped there when I was young.  I generally don't go to the full sized Wal Mart anymore, but I do go to the "Neighborhood Market," which is a stand alone store with just the grocery and pharmacy.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Kris on October 09, 2019, 09:27:30 AM
No. Gross products, gross atmosphere, gross politics.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: BeanCounter on October 09, 2019, 09:34:59 AM
Only for the order online drive through pick-up groceries. It's free at WalMart and Kroger charges $5 for Click List. My WalMart just started offering delivery and I may try it to see.

My go to grocery store is Aldi but there are some things we are brand specific on and I'll order that through WalMart and then drive through to pick up.
If I need random kids stuff or things for the house and I cannot order it on Amazon I will go to Target.

I hate shopping. Going inside a WalMart is awful and I will avoid it at all costs. So depressing. It is the epitome of everything I dislike about the United States.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: erutio on October 09, 2019, 09:42:06 AM
This 3 year old thread got revived this past week and gave me false hope that Sol had come back with a new post.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: afox on October 09, 2019, 10:23:43 AM
No. Gross products, gross atmosphere, gross politics.

Compared to what Kroger? Amazon? Whole foods?

Ive been to some dilapidated walmarts and some nice ones. Some dont have fresh groceries or very limited fresh groceries kind of like a target. So, its hard to compare your walmart other walmarts. I think thats why there are such huge differences in opinion here. My walmart has very good fresh produce selection at very good prices, much cheaper than the alternatives (kroger, safeway, whole foods) and same or better quality. Some of you appear to be biased by popular culture that walmart is a place where poor dirty white people shop for cheetos and guns.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: leomatthewadams on October 09, 2019, 11:02:21 AM
I prefer Target and Amazon over wallmart.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Maverick1 on October 09, 2019, 02:25:33 PM
Shopping at Walmart is the most mustachian thing I do.  The bike path across the street takes me to Walmart, if we need something small around the house I'll load up the kids in the bike trailer and head to Walmart.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: honeybbq on October 09, 2019, 02:47:40 PM
This 3 year old thread got revived this past week and gave me false hope that Sol had come back with a new post.

I agree.
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: chasesfish on October 10, 2019, 05:34:33 PM
This 3 year old thread got revived this past week and gave me false hope that Sol had come back with a new post.

I agree.

I wondered why this old post showed back up!  Haha

I think Sol retired a few months before me.  I find myself posting a LOT less since leaving work
Title: Re: do you shop at walmart?
Post by: Schaefer Light on October 10, 2019, 06:01:28 PM
I do, but it's mostly because I'm not willing to fight Atlanta traffic to get to the nearest Costco.  When I lived within 10 minutes of a Costco in my old town, I only went to Wal-Mart to buy things I couldn't find anywhere else.