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Old 05-01-2009, 12:59 PM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,778,611 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VEIK View Post

Oh I remember the time when Fair Oaks wal mart was stuffed by....well...local residents :-)
And the one in Sterling is even worse than the Fair Oaks one. Ugh.
I thought the one in Sterling was mostly staff by local residents who are disabled. Didn't it receive a commendation for that a few years ago?

I also have to wonder why anyone would work at a WalMart is they weren't a local resident? Those jobs dont pay enough to be worth making a long commute.
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Old 05-01-2009, 01:45 PM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
30,101 posts, read 67,193,623 times
Reputation: 15748
I switched from Wal-Mart to Target when I was a college freshman and attended a sizable rally in Wilkes-Barre, PA from the activist group Wake-Up Wal-Mart that screened the full-length of the documentary "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price." Prior to that my friends and I would drive to our local Wal-Mart quite often to do some shopping and just to "hang out." After this documentary and rally I left a very, very changed person. I was given a free copy of the DVD at the rally by the group when I asked what I could do to help stop PA from being overrun with Wal-Marts, and everyone who has seen the documentary has undergone a similar catharsis of sorts.

I ironically just returned home from Target about an hour ago, and the experience was nothing but enjoyable. Not one, but two associates acknowledged our presence with a smile and asked us if they could help us with anything. I can't remember one visit to Wal-Mart where the employees would actively seek out and attempt to assist their customers to learn more about a product or to direct them to an item that they were having difficulty locating. I hate to not be politically correct, but at times it was difficult at Wal-Mart to find an employee who spoke English well enough to be productive. We were only in line for around one minute before it was our turn to check out whereas we've often times been stuck in VERY lengthy lines at Wal-Mart.

Granted this might vary on a store-to-store basis, but I get the sense that the only people that shop at Wal-Mart are those who can't afford to shop anywhere else. I don't think many upper-middle-class people would prefer Wal-Mart over Target if they lived the same distance from either store (I'm not the only person in my subdivision who actually "boycotts" Wal-Mart for various ethical/moral principles, by the way). I find Target's store-brand products to be just as much of a good value as stuff you would buy at Wal-Mart, and Target just affords one a much nicer environment in which to do their shopping. I'm happy I'm moving within walking distance to the one near the Reston Town Center, as I'll be there often with my coupons!

Last edited by SteelCityRising; 05-01-2009 at 01:45 PM.. Reason: Redundancy
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Old 05-01-2009, 01:46 PM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
30,101 posts, read 67,193,623 times
Reputation: 15748
Quote:
Originally Posted by normie View Post
I thought the one in Sterling was mostly staff by local residents who are disabled. Didn't it receive a commendation for that a few years ago?

I also have to wonder why anyone would work at a WalMart is they weren't a local resident? Those jobs dont pay enough to be worth making a long commute.
I think VEIK is implying a racial/cultural overtone, but I don't want to open a can of worms.
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Old 05-01-2009, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
30,101 posts, read 67,193,623 times
Reputation: 15748
I also wanted to touch upon the "mom-and-pop stores are rip-offs compared to Wal-Mart" issue because it appears as if a number of people on City-Data are unenlightened on this issue. While I'm sure there are SOME cases where independent retailers mark up items very high intentionally to skim their customers, in many cases the percentage of their mark-up is comparable to the percentage that Wal-Mart marks its items up as well---Wal-Mart just gets better deals from most of their suppliers so that they can pay less for the same item and proceed to pass that savings on to consumers. It's not a "bogey-man" case of "mom-and-pops are out to get us" the way some of you are making it out to sound.

Here's an example. Let's suppose I decided to open an outdoor power equipment dealer in Ashburn called "Paul's Power Center." One item I will carry will be a Husqvarna lawn tractor with a 46" deck. Since I'll be a small operation I'll only be able to stock, per se, three of each model of tractor in the Husqvarna line-up at one time. I go to Husqvarna to buy three 46" tractors and am quoted a price of $1,800 each, which I pay. I then mark those up to $2,000 each to make a reasonable and non-eyebrow-raising profit of $200/unit. Meanwhile the nearby Wal-Mart also decides to start stocking the SAME model of tractor at its store to try to eliminate me, a new "threat" to their business. They call up Husqvarna, which agrees to sell Wal-Mart the same model of tractor for $1,600 ($200 less than I paid as a small dealer) because they have the resources, influence, storage space, etc. to buy in bulk and are given a discount from Husqvarna for this. Wal-Mart then prices its tractors at $1,799 so they can profit $199/unit. I, the small guy, can NOT compete at that price level, lest I lose $1/unit by selling it under the $1,800 price I originally PAID for it. Soon my customers all find their way over to Wal-Mart to pay $1,799 instead of $2,000 for the same tractor, leaving me out of business.

Do you now see how it works, folks? While most businesses are quoted prices from manufacturers and then shop around to pick the cheapest one in order to sell goods for the best value to consumers, Wal-Mart can quote their own prices that they are willing to pay for an item, and suppliers will throw each other in front of the bus trying to cut corners to "woo" Wal-Mart as a high-profile client. Wal-Mart can then pass these savings onto their customers. It is PEFECTLY legal, and Wal-Mart is just a triumph of smart capitalism in that regard. However, I hope now those of you "slamming" mom-and-pops for being more expensive than Wal-Mart see WHY they can't compete on price.

Last edited by SteelCityRising; 05-01-2009 at 01:57 PM.. Reason: Typographical Error
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Old 05-01-2009, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Brambleton, VA
2,136 posts, read 4,634,865 times
Reputation: 1292
Quote:
Originally Posted by VEIK View Post
Target on other hand, while its not perfect, is very well organized and clean, atleast the one at Dulles.
That's my nearest Target. I like it, but it's smaller than the Target Greatlands (Sterling and Reston). And the Dulles 28 Center is a nightmare to get in and out of.

A friend once told me that there are two types of Target: Tar-zhay and Tar-ghetto. The Dulles Target is definitely Tar-zhay. The one in Sterling is sometimes a little Tar-ghetto, but lately it's been okay. (And no, I'm not talking about the people who shop or work there - I'm talking about how the store itself - do you have to step over merchandise in the aisles? Does it look like a tornado hit it? Is the floor sticky and covered in fluids? etc.) The one in Potomac Yards was Tar-ghetto when I lived over that way, but I haven't been there in years, so it may have improved.

Even worse than the local Wal-Marts: the Kmart in Annandale and the Kmart in Herndon - although I haven't been to either one in a long time. The Kmart in Chantilly is pretty good; I pop in over there from time to time.

I do shop at Wal-Mart occasionally for certain food, personal care, and household items that Target doesn't stock; they also have a sewing and crafts section, which Target does not.
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Old 05-01-2009, 02:13 PM
 
5,210 posts, read 9,099,983 times
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The main thing I hate about Wal-Mart is how jam packed it always is. I've had to circle the parking lot on a Tuesday afternoon just to get a parking spot. It's like the Mall on Christmas Eve - every day. Then you get in there and good luck getting down those crowded aisles - especially with a couple of kids in tow. Next come the registers with those ridiculous bag turnstyles - why do I need 3 bags for 3 small items?

But I shop there anyway (along with the rest of the world) because the prices are so darned good on every day items. I go to Target when I want to up the quality a bit or simply want a more peaceful shopping experience. Or to the Mom and Pops when I want something special/want some personal attention.
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Old 05-01-2009, 02:42 PM
 
7,966 posts, read 18,041,228 times
Reputation: 2588
Quote:
Originally Posted by VEIK View Post
Its cause walmarts in this area attract certain ethical groups...yeah, you know who I am talking about.

They pick stuff up, dont like it, and throw it on the floor. I have seen it many times.

Not only do they shop there, they also freaking work there, and their attitudes towards shoppers...a whole new topic.

Oh I remember the time when Fair Oaks wal mart was stuffed by....well...local residents :-)
And the one in Sterling is even worse than the Fair Oaks one. Ugh.

Target on other hand, while its not perfect, is very well organized and clean, atleast the one at Dulles.
"Ethical groups?" We would want to encourage ethical people to shop at Wal-mart, wouldn't we...?
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Old 05-01-2009, 02:44 PM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
30,101 posts, read 67,193,623 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tone509 View Post
"Ethical groups?" We would want to encourage ethical people to shop at Wal-mart, wouldn't we...?
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Old 05-01-2009, 06:03 PM
 
1,261 posts, read 5,607,075 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by springfieldva View Post
The main thing I hate about Wal-Mart is how jam packed it always is. I've had to circle the parking lot on a Tuesday afternoon just to get a parking spot. It's like the Mall on Christmas Eve - every day. Then you get in there and good luck getting down those crowded aisles - especially with a couple of kids in tow. Next come the registers with those ridiculous bag turnstyles - why do I need 3 bags for 3 small items?

But I shop there anyway (along with the rest of the world) because the prices are so darned good on every day items. I go to Target when I want to up the quality a bit or simply want a more peaceful shopping experience. Or to the Mom and Pops when I want something special/want some personal attention.
I agree with you--it's a nightmare to shop at Walmart and I don't find that the stores are kept very clean (at least in my neighborhood). I used to shop there for the low prices, but have found that there really isn't any difference in price between there and Target on items we use.
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Old 05-01-2009, 06:34 PM
 
Location: -
488 posts, read 1,583,017 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScranBarre View Post
I think VEIK is implying a racial/cultural overtone, but I don't want to open a can of worms.
race has nothing to do with it, its cultural, or luck of culture.
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