The Wal-Mart effect

I used to have this theory that Wal-Mart was designed specifically to make people crazy. Perhaps some marketing guru somewhere figured out that fighting couples and crying children added up to people buying any random thing in an attempt to get out of the store as quickly as possible.  I swore, every time I went there, I’d get in a fight, my kids would start screaming, and I’d end up spending at least two hundred dollars on shit I couldn’t even recall putting in the cart.

I finally stopped going there altogether, partially because their business practices suck, and partially because I just couldn’t handle it anymore. Trips to that place became something I dreaded and avoided. I’m not really a shopper to begin with, but I would have panic attacks at the idea of having to go into that place for something.

So, I saved money buy using coupons and hitting the sales at the local, grocery and specialty stores instead of going to the Super Wal-mart. It was more work, granted, but I felt, and still feel, that it was worth the extra effort. Every time we got meat or produce from Wal-Mart, it sucked. Clothes-sucked. I realized we had been sacrificing quality for convenience.

It wasn’t until I moved to Florida that I realized how seriously some people take their Wal-Marts. Man, crack a Wal-mart joke in the wrong crowd and people get offended.I’ve had people go off on tangents, vehemently defending the store and their choice to shop there. You can tell me how your aunt worked there and it saved her life until you are blue in the face, I simply don’t care. It’s going to take much more than just your words of praise or anctedotal evidence to convince me that Wal-Mart is not pure evil. Don’t waste your breath.

The most used argument for why people shop there despite their dislike of the company behind the chain, is simply that they can not afford not to shop there. Sorry, but I can prove without a doubt that you actually save more money by shopping sales and using coupons at other stores.  You may think you are saving money, but you aren’t. For example: How often do they run buy one get one free sales? How many can’s of corn at 2 cents off do you have to buy to save what you would have, had you stocked up elsewhere when they were B1G1? Do you buy a shirt there because its only 3 dollars, but its cheaply made and you have to buy a new one every month, or do you buy a 50 dollar shirt that lasts 10 years? I understand you may not have fifty bucks to spend on a shirt right now, that’s not the point. Well, it kind of is, because it ties in to our instant-gratification mentality, but thats another post entirely.

The main reason anyone goes there, I feel,  is because it is convenient. And we are lazy. It’s much easier to run to one store for food and diapers and dog food and- Oh! Wait! You can get all that shit at the grocery store now. Well you know, sometimes, you need to pick up food and diapers and a television and some cheap pants, and don’t want to go to four stores.

Seriously though, If you shop there, I don’t hate you.  I’m lazy too, sometimes. Just don’t try to defend the place, OK? Because you can’t honestly tell me that you feel the quality of merchandise you get from them is better than your local stores. It’s not. Unless your local stores suck incredibly bad.  And if that is so, two words: Internet. Shopping.

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Filed under Rants, Rambling, and Musing., Things That Suck

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