Monday, August 13, 2007

All Roads Lead to Wal-Mart

I'm no Wal-Mart fan.

And it's not because of how they treat employees (I worked at Sam's Club for three years while in college and I was treated wonderfully) or sweatshops or because they seemingly monopolize markets or any of that other anti-Wal-Mart rhetoric.

It's because the store brings out the worst in people. Bargain shoppers at Wal-Mart will run over your feet with their shopping cart to make sure they get the last Tickle Me Elmo at Christmastime. Or, their baby offspring will spend their Wal-Mart experience crying loudly or falling out in the floor--kicking and screaming.

I associate Wal-Mart with cookies, chaos and kids.

And it all just came to my front door. Literally.

I live in Shreve City and the new Wal-Mart there just opened last Wednesday. It was built directly in front of my apartment complex. It's so close I could walk there without being tired.

Of course, like half of Shreveport, I visited the store during its opening week because I wanted to see what this one looked like. I wanted to see all of the ins and outs of the new store. I was very pleased with its appearance, but the atmosphere was just like any other Wal-Mart: crazy.

And I knew it would be. I knew that the new anchor to the Shreve City Shopping Center was going to cause a bottleneck of traffic on Knight Street. I knew the Parkway Service Road was going to be backed up all the way to the Wendy's store and I knew that I'd have a hard time trying to get to my apartment complex. I KNEW it!!!!!!

When everyone was excited about this Wal-Mart I sensed it was going to bring a headache to my traveling life, but I even wanted the store built in its spot because I get tired of going to the one in Southeast Shreveport. But I knew I'd never be able to get out of the parking lot.

Boy, was I right. If there is one thing in life I know about it has to be this chain. Like I said, I worked for the company for years and in Nashville there's a Wal-Mart or two or three in every suburb and they are scattered all over the city. In my suburban neighborhood, there are three Wal-Marts within a less than 10-mile radius. At each store in Nashville, the parking lots are packed--just like the brand-new parking lot here.

Still, I visited the Shreve City store three times: Thursday, Friday and Sunday. All three times I had a very, very hard time getting out of the lot. Every time I thought I could turn left onto Knight Street, another car would swoop in front of me. It took me about 15 minutes to get home from Wal-Mart on Friday, when it should take less than three minutes.


I guess this is the price us Shreve City residents are going to have to pay for our added convenience. I'm just waiting on the Wal-Mart shopping carts to take over the parking lot in my apartment complex.



wheeler said...

low prices come with other costs.

Greg Pearson said...

You dont have to live IN Shreve City to benefit. We live in Highland. Thank GOD for the new Wal-Mart. I hate shopping. Wal-Mart or anywhere else. But Wal-Mart USUALLY has low prices and I can find several things I need at the same place. My wife was PUMPED about the opening. And it DEFINITELY beats driving down Youree to the other one. I was there on opening day...buying bicycle gear and anniversary cards. I called my wife while I was there and she was in the store at the same for some anniversary cards. I think for me it's a love/hate relationship.

Greg Pearson said...

Let me clarify in case my lovely wife is relationship with Wal-Mart is the love/hate deal!

bigmoneygrip said...

Us folks down here in south Louisiana are a strange lot. A few years ago, a new McDonalds opened up in Brusly, which is on Highway 1 across the river from Baton Rouge. Now understand that there is a McDonalds in Port Allen, right across the river from BR, and one in Plaquemine, my burg, only a few miles south of Brusly. When the Brusly McDonalds opened up, cars were literally parked on highway 1 for 1/4 mile either direction, like they'd never seen a McDonalds before. It was the same way when a super WalMart opened up just north of the McDonalds. I forced my self to wait a couple of months, but I go there, too. Oh, they are open 24 hours too. Until they build a Whole Foods and a Target across there river, I'll probably still go there. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

If it's that close to your apartment, why don't you walk? That would be a lot less stressful and a lot more environmentally friendly than driving.

I live a few blocks from an Albertsons and walk to it regularly to grab my groceries.

Ashley Northington said...

Yep, wheeler is so right.

Greg: I'm on board with you about the love/hate feelings towards Wal-Mart. I love the convenience but I hate the atmosphere.

bigmoneygrip: That's funny. Wal-Mart and McDonald's: American staples.

Anonymous: I will walk when I have to get only one or two things. But I won't be walking if I have to get lots of items because I'm not going to push a cart to my complex and bring it back. Is that laziness? :D

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