- 409 N. Marketplace Blvd.
- Lansing, MI 48917
- (517) 622-8036
Wal-Mart is evil….or so I’m told. I know the arguments. My dad’s a union guy and my girlfriend’s parents are both union workers. Her mom is a union grocer. We’ve done really good about not running to Wal-Mart every other day like we did when we lived near Peoria, IL. The problem there was there were only two grocery stores in town. Both were chains (the other store being Kroger) and Wal-Mart was within walking distance of our apartment, so we shopped there out of convience more than anything. We would still make special trips to Schnuck’s (a St. Louis-based chain) for produce, but the majority of our shopping was done at Wal-Mart.
The closest Wal-Mart to us now is in the Delta Township and it’s about a 10 minute (give or take a few) drive. We made Wal-Mart a weekly stop right before we go to Horrock’s (review HERE), but not for any reason you might suspect.
The big reason we go to Wal-Mart is because they are the only grocery store in town where I’ve found Mandarin Orange Propel in six packs. For some reason, no other grocery store carries this particular flavor and it’s the only one I really like. I need an alternate to Pepsi and Propel has stepped up and done that. I was crushed for the first two or three weeks we were here because we couldn’t find it anywhere. I even sent an e-mail to Gatorade asking if they could tell me where the shipped it to hoping there would be someone close. They sent me to CVS in Holt and they only stocked the bigger bottles.
So, how did I find my flavor at this particular Wal-Mart? Well, the other reasons we go to Wal-Mart brought us to the store. We needed some OTC drugs and other things for the bathroom and those are the staples we still go to Wal-Mart for. While we were there getting some Charmin, I suggested we look in the drink aisle to see if they had it and lo’ and behold, they did.
On a normal trip, there’s one other thing we end up buying and that’s the 100 calorie snack packs. Those are the three things we can’t get at Horrocks so we make a trip to Wal-Mart first once a week and stock up. We’ve done really well about not buying a lot of groceries from them. I used to buy a lot of the generic brand pantry items (labled as Great Value). I never bought much meat because there is no butcher on site at Wal-Mart. Their meat is all cut at a distribution center and delivered to the stores. Plus, the prices are usually higher than, say, Kroger. We never did produce much either. Again, it never looked super fresh. I would grab fried chicken dinners quite often when I lived alone. There was always a debate where I used to work about who had the better fried chicken. The two competitors were Wal-Mart and Kroger. I always chose Wal-Mart, but most of the guys I worked with chose Kroger.
I’m not going to bash Wal-Mart. They do what they do well. Their distribution system which allows you to save money, is also their downfall when it comes to freshness. I’m not saying their food is bad. I would eat everything in the store. I’m just saying it’s not as fresh as some other stores who don’t have that distribution center format. There are things I like about the store and the one stop shopping is one of them. Our trip today included a short stop over in the electronics section. I was looking Mario Kart for our new Wii. They didn’t have it, but my girlfriend found a CD she’s been meaning to buy. The store doesn’t seem to be as big as the Meijer stores in the area and that’s a plus to me. The green initiatives that Wal-Mart has undertaken is also commendable. The skylights that let in natural light cut down on electricty bills and the freezers have motion sensors so the lights only come on when someone is near. Wal-Mart serves their purpose, but I’m glad I finally weened myself off of them.