Shareology

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

Filed under: Uncategorized — kayroseland @ 9:35 pm
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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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High tech? Low tech? Digital out-of-home? Or … July 23, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — kayroseland @ 1:40 am
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New technology? Or old customer service?

So many things are right at Bachman’s, the dominant retail garden center in the Twin Cities market. Glorious gifts section. Your pick of outdoor statuary or koi. Patrick’s Cafe. What’s not to like? On a recent trip three point of purchase approaches stuck out from the crowd. On the decidedly low tech and high impact end of the game were mailboxes scattered around the outdoor plants, each offering one page takeones of plant information. Got a question on how to put together a container garden? Grab a handout from the mailbox and you’re ready to start a new project. Yep, low tech but effective. I started to keep an eye out for the mailboxes and what subject I might learn about next.

 

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Want a more high tech approach to your shopping questions? Digital Out-of- Home has arrived at Bachman’s. Some units repeat TV commercials; some highlight this week’s specials. Others, like the one below, call your attention to product on the screen — and the product?   That’s very handy very nearby. Didn’t know you needed a garden hose today, did you? 

 

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Rather than get involved in the new technology versus handy, dandy mailbox debate, let me point out the various rain gardens, watergardens and my personal favorite, the green roof. Bachman’s is great at showing you exactly how to use their products and how they can look in your landscape. The green roof  isn’t gigantic, but it is just high enough for me to stretch up to touch the green roof plants…..not your average iris or rose, but tiny plants capable of insulating your roof and saving money on your energy bill. After you’ve reached out and touched a roof garden, you are just that much closer to a green roof of your own. 

 

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Just when you think you know Bachman’s, a trip to Lyndale Avenue introduces you to digital out-of home, informative mailboxes and real life examples of a green roof. Now that you’re totally relaxed, it’s time to pick up those geraniums with the great price and head on home……but maybe just a quick stop at Patrick’s for one of those divine fruit tarts!

Kay Roseland / Twitter: @KayLoire

 

 
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