Monday, February 8, 2010

My yearly trek to Walmart...

About 1-2 times a year, I like to check out my local Walmart, just to make sure I'm not "missing" anything. My latest trip was this past Saturday morning, and it went far to reinforce my belief that Target is far superior to Walmart.

This particular Walmart happens to be - ironically enough - right across the street from a Target store. Both have been there for over a decade, but I'm fairly certain that the Target store was there first, as Target developed properties in my part of the Bay Area before Walmart did.

I found that Walmart hasn't changed much since my last visit: it was crowded (as usual) and the customer service line was long. Curiously, there was no "greeter" this time; I wondered if that person was just on a break, or if Walmart has eliminated this position?

The store was also messy, as usual. I don't know if all Walmart stores are like this, but the ones in California that I have visited all seem to have a dirty, chaotic feel to them, with the store floor packed to gills with merchandise.

Speaking of which: they were really pushing the Miley Cyrus line at this particular store. So much so that I counted - no lie - 8 racks of Miley t-shirts marked down to $3 (from $5). And by "racks", I mean a 4-arm rack, each of which had 20 per arm... so there were easily over 600 shirts sitting there, not budging despite the clearance price.

But what really bummed me out most was that this particular store had devoted the floor space to the Miley Cyrus line at the sacrifice of the wonderful Norma Kamali line. I scanned the floor and soon realized that they no longer carried NK (which they had in the past, as I'd seen it there as recent as 8 months ago) and had replaced it with all the Miley crap. I checked in with The Recessionista, and she confirmed that only select Walmart stores carry the NK line. However, it seemed like it had sold well at that store in the past, so why Walmart decided to drop it from this patricular outpost I have no idea.

That was it: I wasn't going to battle the lines to save a few cents on paper towels, laundry detergent or cat food. I happily crossed the street to Target to buy my essentials in a much cleaner, more well-organized environment, where it's fun to just "browse" and you don't have to feel you have to "get in/get out" in record time.


KimmyDarling said...

I have yet to figure out the reasoning behind which stores the Walmart buyers/planners decide to stock with the Norma Kamali line. I live in the DC area, where we have relatively fewer Walmart stores than where I am from (The South). Naturally, the store closest to me has ZERO NK pieces, yet another store about 15 miles further out carries a decent amount (although a seemingly random collection). It's really the most inconsistent placement of a product line I can ever remember in a retail chain.

Thankfully, the Walmart website carries the INCREDIBLE Norma Kamali line, and I am smitten by it. Here is a link to my blog post (love letter!) about it:

Norma Kamali is the ONLY thing that gets me into a Walmart store. I will forever be a Target Shopper at heart... =)

kbfenner said...

Our Walmarts here in Columbia, SC are kept fairly nice, for the most part--not quite Target,e xcept the newest one that has skylights and all...some of their housewares are surprisingly nice, though. Some vividly colored storage bins and the like. My mom just got a clock that displays the time on the ceiling at her Walmart, which they had nothing like at my Target.
Target is better for fashion and cosmetics (Fredric Fekkai is here, yippee!)

Pamela said...

Every Walmart-ok maybe every one except one- feels cramped, crazy, and messy. I usually stick to the grocery side. I'm a good price comparison shopper and I know what I will and won't buy at walmart. It's about a once every month to two month trip. That's enough for me!

Becky said...

There are some scuzzy WMs out there, but some decent ones too. I love the Super Walmarts they have out in the middle of nowhere. Those are awesome.

Not a single WM in my city carries the Norma Kamali line, which I love to pieces. I have to order everything online.

C said...

my WalMart and Target are adjacent to each other too! WalMart just has some different products- paint, automotive, some pet stuff that is not in Target. Target has better clothing. Food prices you really have to check and cosmetics, shampoo too. WalMart is not always the cheapest, but sometimes they are. I know some people remain appalled by WalMart's general policies, but since my KMart disappeared, sometimes I need to go there.

becky f. said...

Just found your blog and was thrilled because I'm a Target addict, too.

I wanted to say that my Walmart still has greeters -- I don't go there often (as I much prefer Target, for the reasons you listed), but it's the closest place to me that sells sewing and crafty stuff (other than the basic office supply and scrapbooking stuff that Target offers). I do like the greeters, though. :-)

Target-Addict said...

Thanks to everyone that weighed in with their own comments. Becky F, welcome to my blog and glad you like it! And you're right: I admit that Walmart is superior to Target when it comes to the sewing/craft section.