Shareology

I tried to love the new Walmart — I really did……. September 7, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — kayroseland @ 9:35 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Shareology got a $ 5  off card in the mail….from Walmart…and thought Labor Day would be a good day to use the card.  Since the nearest Walmart had been closed for renovation, this was an opportunity to check out the new layout.   The card required I call an 800 number and enter a 16 digit code to activate the $ 5  card before I headed out for the store.   No questions asked during the 800 call, so whatever information about me Walmart wanted,  it got from the zip code I live in, addressed to Resident. 

Resident, aka Shareology, headed off to the reopened store.   Photos follow below.  The saddest thing?  Shareology could find nothing she wanted to buy!  And she was in a spendy mood!   There was a point in the distant past when Shareology would not put a foot in a Walmart on general principles; it made her feel poor and trashy.   A couple of times in the last few years, circumstances caused Shareology to revisit Walmart, and she found a few cute casual clothes, at remarkable prices.   So Labor Day, that was on the top of Shareology’s shopping list:  new cute top!   The first impression upon entering the store was Whoo!   Food has entered the picture!   For 50 feet in all directions, nothing but space for the shopper to get oriented, and a gigantic produce section dead ahead.  You would think that would be a good thing…..

Shareology spent 30 minutes walking the store, trying to find something to buy.   Those clothes?   Not much selection, and the selection that was there was … ugly or boring.   Maybe….shampoo?   I had to put something in my cart, or I was going to get stopped by store security.   OK, final tally, 2 bottles of shampoo….. Am I going in there again?  Probably not.

To be fair, the store and the parking lot were crammed with shoppers.   So obviously Shareology was not within her demographic.  Why anyone would be a blue cart as opposed to a red cart is beyond Shareology’s understanding.   I will also state that I saw many, many, many Walmart employees on the floor.  This store opening must have gotten lots of attention from Bentonville.   Wish Shareology could have listened in on the reports on Tuesday morning.

UPDATE DECEMBER 6, 2009:  

The Star Tribune reports that this store at 494 and Portland Avenue in Bloomington, MN, is “one of two stores in the nation with a drive-through pick-up area for prescriptions and for online orders that can be picked up at stores, avoiding shopping costs”.  (A photo of this drive-through is below:)

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Note the Pharmacy Pickup and Order on the Web/Pickup at Store Drive Through.....

Note the Pharmacy Pickup and Order on the Web/Pickup at Store Drive Through.....

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OK, wasn’t there a pot of mums somewhere to dress up this entrance???

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Entertainment gets a major push.......

Entertainment gets a major push.......

Get a feeling they are in an Apple mood?

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Not quite the  Opening impression they wanted……….

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Banking and Eye Center Up Front….

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Subway also …..

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Unbeatable:    the word of the hour……….

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Another example of Shareology’s unique ability to find digital out-of-home before they load content………better informed sources suggest a trip to Elk River to find the Walmart of the future with “Walmart Smart Network”.

Kay Roseland     @KayLoire

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3 Responses to “I tried to love the new Walmart — I really did…….”

  1. Emily M Says:

    As a Red-blooded Target fan, it’s hard to love retail’s Big Blue. That said, I give them grudging props for walking the Green walk with their new mega-super-MonolithMart in Ladysmith, WI. Tons of skylights mean natural light in the building, and less need for daytime fluorescents. Fridge and freezer cases with motion-sensitive lighting. And my god is that place cheap.

    Many years ago I was involved in a lengthy agency pitch to Walmart. Through that process I learned a lot about the company that earned my respect. Its reportedly heavy-handed tactics with vendors, for example, have a big upside: The company was responsible for eliminating excess packaging from products such as deodorant (remember when the sticks came inside a small cardboard box?). The result: More pieces per package at less package weight, less cargo space required to ship, less fuel needed to distribute that cargo. Less waste overall. And when you talk the volumes that WalMart moves, that adds up fast.

    So while I still love the Target style and experience and most of my spending still hits the Bull’s-eye, I say that WalMart owns two of this economy’s most important attributes: green (as much as a mass-market retailer can be green …) and value. And that’s saying something.

  2. kayroseland Says:

    Shareology should have read her DDI Newswire earlier —
    her Minnesota Walmart is not the only one getting a redo:

    Wal-Mart to Renovate Wisconsin Stores
    Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to renovate 14 stores in Wisconsin this year with its “next generation of store design,” according to The Business Journal of Milwaukee.

  3. Fran Says:

    Perhaps Shareology would do well to avoid Walmart given it’s horrendous labor practices, it’s sustained contribution to America’s working poor and it’s predatory practices with regards to small business.


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