I hate Wal-Mart. I am not sure I can be much plainer thant that. I am a Target shopper. This morning, MSNBC posted a piece on the competition between the two retailers (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8244689/) asking whether Wal-Mart, which finds itself in the unique position of playing catch-up, could really compete in Target’s market.
I think not.
Though they alluded to it, they didn’t really point out one of the key issues that make the Wal-Mart shopping experience so hideous: crowded, over-merchandised, junky aisles.
Cristina and I hate Wal-Mart (I may have said that before), and we only go there if we feel we absolutely must. For the longest time, it was the only place where I could find a particular OTC medicine I found effective in treating my sinus/allergy condition. I always held out as long as I could, then we made a single trip about once every three months. Fortunately, Long’s Drugs now carries the product, and I am no longer required to make that horrific trek any longer. Cristina, however, went there yesterday hoping to find some inexpensive curtains that could be used in the house while it was on the market. Instead, she found narrow aisles filled with junky looking displays, junky products, stockers stocking those junky products – but unwilling to move for her to pass, and wall-to-wall people. After nearly an hour of frustration, she left and went to nearby Kohl’s.
Maybe I’ve become a bit of a snob as I’ve moved up the economic ladder, but I don’t enjoy spending good money on crappy products that will last 1/3 the time of something only moderately more expensive. And, I darned sure don’t like feeling as if I am wading through a sardine can to find what I came to find.
Until Wal-Mart address these issues, they’ll never succeed in wooing the middle-class patrons they desire.