Thursday, September 1, 2011

If You Thought Wal-Mart Was Annoying....

Let me point out that I do not think Wal-Mart is annoying.  I love going to Wal-Mart. I may be the last person in the world who does, but none the less I do not hate it.

This month a new store opened in Wichita Falls, promising low, low prices.  Sounds good to me! This is not a store I have ever seen, so I'm excited to see what they offer.

The Dudes and I went last weekend to check this place out.  It isn't the size of a Supercenter, not eve the size of a large grocery store.  The parking lot has been full since it opened, as is for any new place that opens here, for the first few months.

I have outlined our experience below.

Parking spot right up front. SCORE!
All of the shopping baskets are neatly stacked next to the front door, and there stands what seems to be a cute greater located next to them. How nice. Right? NOT!
She's guarding the carts, explaining to all of us that you must insert a quarter into the mechanism to release the cart for your use.
Upon further googling, I discover this store seems to be the only one who uses this method, as a way of "Shopping Smarter" and saving money on not having to hire someone to round up these carts daily.  Huh?  Aren't they paying someone to stand there and tell me to put a quarter in the slot?  My husband steals,  scavenges borrows all change of the silver variety from my purse for energy drink purchases, so I did not have a quarter.  So they are also not saving money by having to hand out quarters to unsuspecting shoppers.
I am both intrigued by a new gadget and the idea of tidiness and irritated at not being trusted and having to leave a deposit for my cart.

As we stroll on in, I notice that the cart has room for two children to sit upfront.  While I only have one offspring, I think this is a thoughtful gesture.
I noticed quickly a wide aisle of brands I do not recognize stacked high in piles - kinda like the checkout line at Garden Ridge Pottery {perhaps a Texas only chain?}.  Interesting. But hey, I see veggie chips. SCORE!

More walking, more brands I don't recognize.  I hear there are lots of these stores up north, maybe they are brands from "up there."  I feel a little like I am in Oz...
Not this one..
More like Return to Oz when Dorothy doesn't recognize anything, but she still goes forward.

Good news. I find decent Havarti cheese and freshly grated Parmesan for a great price. Not much else that I would need or want.  Let me be clear, that I AM NOT a brand snob.  I buy tons of WalMart and Target brand items.  Some things, yes, I like name brand, but I am always willing to try.  All of this stuff seemed like it could have been at the Dollar Store.  No biggie, just not for me.

Here's where it gets worse.  Even more so for Ryan.
We get to the checkout.  We have to buy our own bags.  Ok.  $.06 for paper, $.10 for heavy duty plastic.  A warning that we needed to bring out reusable shopping bags would have been nice.  I'm the only dork at WalMart with a cart full of groceries in blue and black reusable bags.  I do not mind bringing my own bags, I just don't like not having a choice.  I'll be damned if those bags I had to buy get tossed out when I get home. They. Will. Be. Used. For. Something.
Ryan is livid. "This is stupid."  I instruct him to step aside and not embarrass me.
We must also bag our own groceries. There is also a handy counter across from all the registers for you to do this. Ok, ok. No biggie. We just have some produce and some cheese.  Ryan is livid.  "Really, really?!" Again, I instruct him to just step aside and bag the groceries.

I step forward to pay.  They do not take credit.  What the HELL!!  Now I am livid.  Again, a warning would have been nice. Choices people! I like to have choices! I do not like to be forced into something I wasn't planning on. 
Then I notice that all of the cashiers are sitting on chairs. Huh? I do not understand. Ryan is just beside himself, muttering under his breathe how this stupid store promotes laziness in their employees and we will not be shopping here ever again.

Let's recap.
I must provide a quarter for a "cart deposit," all in an effort not to pay someone minimum wage to corral the carts. {I think asking someone to multitask and get off their chair might solve that problem...}

I have to bring my own bags. I have to bag my own groceries. I can only pay with cash or debit.  And the cashier cannot be bothered to get out of a chair to lift a finger. 

All of this for items that I would not buy.

Not. My. Cup. O. Tea.


  1. AWFUL!!!! I bet they close in a year.

  2. I'm not a Wal-Mart all. haha.

    This isn't the first time I've heard of a deposit for carts, you get the quarter back when you return it. It also helps prevent stray carts from slamming into your car. Sometime I'm happy to help out with.

    As for the reusable bags...I go back and forth. The IKEA buy us makes you buy a bag if you don't have one with you. I like that they're taking a stand on plastic in landfills. Yes, I use them to clean out the litter dish but still...I know I need to be using the collection of reusable bags I have.

    I think the having to bag yourself and the sitting of the cashiers is crazy though. They should just have robots in there! (Costco - like Sams Club - they only accept cash & debit as well. Keeps their prices down)

  3. In Vancouver we've had these forever, the quarter has now been up'd to a dollar since the 90s

  4. Haha. Ok I'm pretty sure this is Aldi and we have one here in my town. I would have had the same review of this store if I had walked in without knowing all of this. I was a complete dork and googled it before hand so I would be prepared. I have bought some of their off brands and I haven't had any problems. They have extremely cheap produce and dairy stuff so that is usually what I go for if I have time. I'd be livid too if I hadn't known because I never have cash on me haha.

  5. Oh my! I would have been livid too..I mean quarters for cars and paying for bags? Yeah I would have been saying the same thing as you! Just found your blog-new follower :)

  6. Hi there! I'm a new follower over from My Thoughts Uninterrupted- you have a very cute blog design! The cart deposit is a joke, what is this world coming to? Walmart is the devil ;)