I think it is going to take more than a facelift to help WalMart's tarnishing image with consumers. I think that removing the layaway dept and then deleting the fabric depts have given the clear message to me that they are not interested in the suburban homemakers any longer. I mainly shopped there because of the fabric and craft section and now that they have gotten rid of them, I will be taking my business to Target, the stores are cleaner, the merchandise better quality and in my area the parking lot is much easier to navigate than the demolition derby that WalMart calls a parking lot.
I agree with katybird. I never buy clothes at walmart because I would rather spend a little more somewhere else and have better quality. At 2 different walmart locations I have had issues with getting rotten dairy food, and just last week my dh went in to the deli to get some lunch and he picked up a thing of salad that had a sell by date that was beginning of Jan. When we lived in florida I overheard a manager giving an employee heck for using the chicken she used for the rotisserie chicken, he told her that it was a weekend so there would be noone in from dept of health so to use other chicken. For these reasons I don't buy food at walmart. For years walmart for me has been for crafts and using the layaway to hide christmas presents from the kids. I can do that now. I am not sure who walmart is trying to get to shop in their store, but I agree it isn't your average suburban housewife.
The stores also have to quickly pay back the remodel cost for the employees to get their annual bonus, which is mighty unfair. The employees have no say or vote about remodelling or the cost, but they will lose the bonus if the store doesn't pay for itself within a small timeframe.
Forgot to add:
WalMart's real problem with sluggish sales is self-competition. They are building their stores too close to one another. We now have 5 Super WalMarts within 20 minutes of each other. Two years ago there was only 1 Super and 1 regular within that radius they still have the same numerical customer base. It's very stupid planning and places impossible sales quotas/goals on each store.
Catherine's Shops made the same mistake. They formerly had Catherine's, Added Dimensions, PS Plus Size, and The Avenue. Then they bought Lane Bryant. (This is before they all got bought out by Fashion Bug and became part of Charming Shoppes) In Birmingham alone (when I was assistant-manager of one of the Added Dimensions) you had 12 plus-sized clothing stores belonging to the same company within 25 minutes drive of one another competing for the same customer base. They basically put each other out of business. Added Dimensions, PS, and the Avenue are no more.
Each new Super WalMart is cannabilizing from its own established customer base. Then they wonder why they can't meet sales quotas? JMHO
Last thing to say I promise. The other store wasn't the Avenue, I just can't remember the name of the 4th chain store from way back. Avenue is still in business and as far as I know not part of Charming Shoppes. (I got confused on all the names, sorry) Wish I could remember the name of that 4th chain Catherine's used to own.
Our Walmart remodeled last fall when the Target was being built across the street.I spend less than $15 a month in Walmart, though DH spends around$50 there every month for DVD's, video games and CD's. I've never had a problem with their quality. Always disliked the store layout and the remodel didn't improve it. Atmosphere(besides being SAFE and fairly clean) is not a factor in deciding where I shop. I want a BARGAIN and that's how a company will get my money. I don't blame Walmart for preferring shoppers with more money to spend, they're a business! What I want to know, from middle-income folks, is atmosphere a significant factor in deciding where you shop? I remember reading about Sam Walton and how he built up Walmart with a vision of rock-bottom prices. He appreciated those of us with less to spend and sadly, his vision died with him.~
I have noticed that the newer stores near us are green and brown, whereas in the past every WalMart could be spotted miles away by the red and blue colors.
I like WalMart in general. (Please don't throw rotten tomatoes at me, LOL.) The store in my city is usually messy, which is very annoying, but, there are two other stores within the local area that are very clean and well-stocked. If I don't have a coupon on something, their grocery prices are almost always better than the other stores (Meijer, Kroger). If I have coupons, though, I go to the other stores because they both double coupons.
I also like Target, and if I'm staying in our city I'll chose Target for many things because the store is much nicer with wide-open aisles and well-stocked shelves.
Our WalMart still has a huge crafts and fabric section, so I'm waiting to see if that disappears or not. Target has only one aisle of crafts (just scrapbooking) and our Kmart has NO craft supplies.... so unless I want to pay higher prices at the craft store, I'll stick to WalMart.
One of our local Walmarts has already remodeled to the Brown color theme vs the blue, gray & red. When they started the remodel I didn't go in because you couldn't find anything.....crafts were in the garden shop, toys were in the old craft department......I use to be able to right were I wanted, now I wonder around like a lost puppy trying to find what I went in for...lol
Nuisance, I'm not far from you (Delaware) and I try not to care about atmosphere where I shop.... but in my town, we only shop at Walmart if we can get there early in the morning. In the afternoon/evenings, the customers start looking rough... the parking lot is scary. The store isles look like they've been ransacked. I often go in, get just what I routinely buy there, and leave.
Target is on the 'other' side of town, a nice area. I often stroll through there, taking my time to browse, and of course.... spend a little more $$$!!
Our super Wal-Mart is newer, and still very nice. I save about 30% on my groceries by shopping there, so it's hard to justify not going. I actually need to make a master list of all the things I regularly buy and make a price book. If I was willing to hit a few stores, I might be able to get things cheaper elsewhere, I don't know. But with the price of gas so high, it's hard. Plus in Florida, you have to buy all of your cold stuff at one place and go straight home, unless you set up a fridge in your trunk
The Super Walmart a few minutes from my apartment is small as Super Walmarts go, with a little less selection than the really big ones, but it is close, easy to get in and out of, it's usually not terribly crowded and there are actually good parking places available. For me the atmosphere of the store is neutral -- it's just a place to run through a list, pick up what I need, and leave. Just ho-hum no frills shopping. On the other hand, the Target that opened a few years ago here is a real turn-off for me. The first couple of times I went in the employees were cold and unhelpful (would it hurt them to smile?), and I have never found what I was looking for; they seem to have devoted most of their space to aisles and little to merchandise. I haven't shopped for groceries there, so I can't speak to that. It is in the high traffic up scale shopping district which a pain to get around in, and I would rather eat worms than go there again. I have only gone a few times, but each time, I have felt very unwelcome in the store. Weird, I know, since lots of people like it and shop there. But it is definitely not my cup of tea. So I'll remain a Walmart shopper.
Sorry I have to agree with the naysayers. We have a regular Walmart now but we are suppose to have a Super Walmart built here sometime in the near future.They are doing their DOT study on the road that will lead to it. If it ends up like the one we have now as far as cleanliness and nasty looking cutomers I will only go when it is absolutely necessary. I do believe at least 75% of the customers at the one we have now should be buying laundry detergent and soap and shampoo instead of electronic items. Sorry this is just my rant and I am sure there are some real nice ones out there. Also, our craft department is getting smaller and smaller and I am curious to see if the fabrics leave.
A forum community dedicated to the frugal lifestyle and the enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about simple and green living, cost effective tips, life hacks, debt reduction, recycling, gardening, other homesteading techniques, and more!