I originally posted this back in March 2008 but felt it was time to repost it considering what happened on Black Friday.

If any of you haven't heard about this yet, a worker at a Wal-Mart store in Valley Stream, NY was trampled to death when shoppers broke down the doors on Black Friday. Story here.

I have about four Wal-Mart Supercenters within five miles of my house. I have been to all 4 of them and I have finally found the one that is not so bad. All of them are always crowded and are usually out of the things I need. Today, I went to the one I like the best out of the four. I've found that everytime I go to Wal-Mart, there is a recurring theme of things that I hate.

Here is what I saw on my trip today and usually everytime I go to Wally World:
  • Rude People. This is not neccesarily just Wal-Mart though. This is one of the reasons I keep shopping to a minimum.
  • More than 20. I had about 5 items that I needed to purchase. I went to the 20 items or less aisle and of course, the person in front of me had about 50 items. I HATE THAT!
  • Bad Drivers. I hate when people cut across the parking lot and almost hit me just to get a parking space close to the door. I hate when people go the wrong way in the travel aisles. I hate when people wait on parking spaces blocking traffic when they can just park a couple of spaces further from the store.
  • Poor Financial Responsibility. This is my biggest pet peeve. Today, the person in front of me with the 50 items paid for her food with her food stamp card. She paid for her 5 DVD's with cash. Granted, I do not know what her financial position is or how many kids she has but if you need foodstamps to buy your food, you probably should be saving your cash for other needs and not movies.

I actually do save money at Wal-Mart or I would go somewhere else. Are you a Wal-Mart shopper? What you do dislike about Wal-Mart?

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36 comments

  1. lynnae @ being frugal.net // March 9, 2008 at 8:15 PM  

    I do shop at Walmart, mostly because it's only 1/2 mile away, so it's very convenient. I don't notice most of the stuff you do, mainly because I tend to go first thing on a weekday morning, when nobody else is in the store.

    On the weekends, though, yeah. I notice every single thing you mentioned. I must say though, that rude people, excess items in the express lane, and bad drivers occur at almost all busy stores. The poor financial responsibility seems to be mostly a Walmart thing, though.

  2. "Future Millionaire" // March 9, 2008 at 9:00 PM  

    I have one other complaint to add to your list --- dirty store. For some reason Walmarts always feel dirty to me.

  3. DogAteMyFinances // March 9, 2008 at 9:15 PM  

    I can't remember the last time I went to a Wal-Mart because, well, they're all like that. And they're all out in the burbs around here.

    I just use Amazon Prime and a monthly Target run for things like TP.

  4. Anonymous // March 9, 2008 at 9:18 PM  

    The first three items are legitimate complaints about the Wal-Mart shopping experience. The last item is a problem with you.

  5. Kim // March 9, 2008 at 9:20 PM  

    It's amazing how little you can buy at Walmart if you try hard enough. I refuse to go on the weekends for all the reasons you mentioned.

  6. Kristin // March 9, 2008 at 9:22 PM  

    All of Humanity shops at Wal-Mart. It's the only store where I have seen a fist fight between adults and a man shot and killed in the sporting goods aisle.

    The police were waiting for a wanted man outside Wal-Mart. When he came out, he saw the cops and went back in. They chased him, thought he was going to pull a gun and shot him first.

    I will gladly pay higher prices to avoid that place.

  7. Anonymous // March 9, 2008 at 9:27 PM  

    The Walmart near me reeks of surrender. It seems like all the employees and most of the customers are unhappy and it's contagious.

    I gave up going after I bought a ridiculously cheap plunger there and it broke after three plunges. The Home Depot plunger I replaced it with is still alive and well after scores of plunges.

  8. Finance Girl // March 9, 2008 at 10:23 PM  

    Amen! I hate WalMart.

    The aisles are crazy small, and everyone leaves their carts right in the middle of them.

    No one buys less than 100 items, and the lines are always long, even at 2 a.m.!

  9. MEG // March 10, 2008 at 12:39 AM  

    I love Wal-Mart, specifically the nice new Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market nearby my condo. Fresh food, great prices, convenient location..

    I just hate that every sketchy, rude, ignorant person within a 15 mile radius seems to love the store as well.

    I don't want to sound prejudiced (or snobby), but the truth is that the main drawback of Wal-Mart is also their main advantage - low prices. Those prices draw in a deluge of low-income shoppers who also (incidentally) blare rap music as they cruise the parking lot, block aisles as their 5 kids run amuck, take 8 minutes to pay, leave the shelves in disarray, litter trash, start fights in the parking lot etc. etc.

  10. Anonymous // March 10, 2008 at 1:25 AM  

    I won't shop at WalMart. Aside from all the negatives, mentioned here, I cannot bring myself to support such an unethical corporate giant. It's been well documented how poorly they treat their own employees, and how they manipulate suppliers.
    There's nothing of value there I can't get elsewhere for a comparable price.
    Amazon Prime, Target, and local businesses will continue to get my support, not Wally World.

  11. Anonymous // March 10, 2008 at 10:51 AM  

    I receive food stamps. I tell my son NO about dvd's and video games all the time. I was once in a position that I was able to say YES more often then not. Granted I would not be buying 5 movies at a time but maybe one new movie or video game for my son that he has wanted for awhile. He understands pretty well money is very tight so i save and save to be able to save to afford a luxery for him once in awhile. What bothers me is i stretch what food stamps we get to last the whole month. I have seen people spend all they are alotted at once or buy the very top cuts of meat(EXPENSIVE) just cuz it doesn't come out of their pocket. I have worked since i was 16 and paid into the "system" so don't feel bad about taking the hand out now. But for me it is a safety net not a means of living.

  12. paradigmshifted // March 10, 2008 at 11:58 AM  

    I have only been in a Wal-Mart once but never bought anything there. I find the place depressing, frankly. The people who work there would rather be anywhere else (and their customer service shows it). The people who shop there seem like they're being forced to at gunpoint. It's an overall environment of unhappiness.

    Add to that the lies about their "organic" items, the general unethical treatment of employees and local businesses, and some other shadiness, and I can't in good conscience shop there.

    I might not be getting out of debt faster, but at least I sleep at night shopping at my local Whole Foods (and experience much less stress!).

    Now all that being said - I also just don't buy a lot of stuff.

  13. Anonymous // March 10, 2008 at 12:34 PM  

    Regarding Food Stamps: they were a wonderful creation of George McGovern, et. al. Before that you had to take surplus foods which amounted to lard, potatoes, spam, flour, and whatever else didn't sell fast enough. The unfortunate aspect of amendments to that legislation (and something probably never changed) was that nutritional counseling COULD NOT be even offered at the same site. Crazy.

  14. Peter // March 10, 2008 at 12:52 PM  

    I have to say - the walmart near my house is quite different to a lot of the ones I've been to. The place is always kept clean, well lit, and all of the staff there are helpful and cheerful. I also find that we save quite a bit of money by shopping there - their prices are always considerably lower than other places around here.

    I will admit that shopping at other walmarts in the area hasn't always been as pleasant with its share of rude employees, dirty floors, etc.

  15. Elizabeth // March 10, 2008 at 12:56 PM  

    Yeah, I live in a town that some might consider redneck. I love my town though. Anyway, that is why I hate going to my Walmart, b/c of the stereotypical rednecks. Then you have the welfare people and losers and screaming kids running around while the parents are totally oblivious!!! That is the worst! I don't care for kids to begin with, so that definitely makes me want to hurt someone when I hear screaming kids... I only go there for cleaning supplies and detergent and stuff. They are cheaper than most places when it comes to that. I shop for groceries at Kroger.

  16. LJ // March 10, 2008 at 5:28 PM  

    Take everything you just mentioned, multiply it by 100 and add that nobody speaks english and it is the dirtiest place on Earth and there you have my local Walmart. I avoid it like a plague.

    Sadly, walmart has tons of good deals and I probably would shop there if it were as beautiful as the more expensive Target. Oh, I love Target.

    Take Care

    LJ

  17. FinanceX6 // March 10, 2008 at 5:49 PM  

    Me too - I am a Target lover! Our Walmart is clean and well stocked but the multitudes of rude people that frequent it pretty much ruin every shopping excursion for me. Today I discovered the local WinCo - super low food prices. Beats even Walmart. I believe I can now stick to a grocery budget for the first time in - ever??

  18. S.B. // March 10, 2008 at 7:39 PM  

    We have a dirty store as well and I do see alot of rude people in my store as well.

    I don't go there that often.

  19. June // March 10, 2008 at 8:54 PM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  20. True Cost of Paradise // March 10, 2008 at 8:57 PM  

    Our relationship with Walmart is definitely love-hate. You can't beat the prices and selection of items. So, we put up with the same frustrations you mentioned. A few tips we have found useful:
    1) We shop mainly at our local walmart which is much easier to navigate then super walmart
    2) NEVER shop at walmart on a weekend
    3) only shop with a list and make it your mission to get in and out as quickly as possible.
    We couldn't live without walmart. In fact we have a budget category of 'Walmart'! no kidding!

  21. Anonymous // March 10, 2008 at 11:05 PM  

    Consider shopping at local retail establishments. They have better service, know more about their products, have higher quality products (because they take pride in their stores and what they sell) and competitive prices.

    I don't know if this is true, but I have heard that they sell a certain number of the most commonly purchased items below cost (that means they are sticking it to some of their suppliers). Everything else you buy is equal to or more than what you might pay for it somewhere else. So you may save money in some areas and give it right back in others.

    Try using them as a last resort. You will find some great stores that carry similar products. The employees or owners of these stores will go out of their way to earn your business. You will find brands you don't find in the big chains.

  22. powderpuff // March 11, 2008 at 11:55 AM  

    I really do not think Wal-mart's prices are they low to begin with. Not worth the hour long wait to check out. I can find my stuff elsewhere for a 30 cents more.

    I shop at a few local grocery chains, Target, Whole Foods, farmer's markets, and CVS Pharmacy.

    Shopping at Walmart just allows you to end up with more junk than you have room for. Target also but seems like Target is better quality at least. They also have a much better selection in home-wares. I actually wear the clothes they sell also. Walmart seems to only have sizes 20 and up. And that sterotype makes me sick.

  23. Anonymous // March 13, 2008 at 9:55 AM  

    I DESPISE Wally World! For a lot more reasons than you list. I usually go to Target and if I pay a bit more I'll live with it! I cannot even remember the last time I was in a Wally World and have no intention of going again.

  24. KimC // March 16, 2008 at 7:24 PM  

    I love my local Walmart, but avoid others whenever possible. I think there is a huge difference from one store to the next, and in our small town even the Super Walmart is more like a local smalltown retailer. It's clean and friendly, with fast-moving lines and never crowded.

    Since it's close to our home, we save gas and time as well as on our grocery budget.

    It's good for us, but not perfect. I *do* often get my produce elsewhere because I can find better prices and quality, and I always buy cheese, nuts and a few other items at Costco.

    By the way, I don't use food stamps, and I make my children walk in pairs directly behind the cart. I don't let the 8 of them block the aisle, and am thoroughly annoyed by shoppers who feel the need to leave their cart blocking the aisle. :)

  25. Anonymous // March 17, 2008 at 12:07 AM  

    I also am not a Walmart lover. I
    keep thinking that so many of their products are so cheaply made that
    our landfills are bursting with
    discarded Walmart goods. Wouldn't it be "greener" to purchase a better quality item that would last for years?

    I do love shopping local and supporting the smaller businesses that give back to our community.

  26. Anonymous // March 17, 2008 at 11:19 AM  

    I do shop at Wal Mart because it helps me save money- however I do not enjoy the experience of shopping there. It seems taht everytime I go, there is some mom screaming at her child that is acting up- or worse, not even paying attention to her screaming child so they are left to bother everyone else. Everytime!

  27. Anonymous // March 23, 2008 at 12:06 AM  

    from my soap box said...
    I started reading this blog earlier today and I couldn't remember the last time I shopped at our local Wal-mart Supercenter.
    So tonight, Easter Eve, my husband and I stopped by to pick up a few things. Even though it was his idea, one stop convenience and all, he begrudgingly went in. It was on our way home and besides, why should I suffer alone, right. He absolutely hates shopping period and Wal-mart, for all the previously mentioned reasons and a few that may only apply geographically, is at the top of his list of places he hates (Target too but only because he sees it as a 'chick' store :)
    We live in a good sized city but are centrally located between two well known larger cities. Even though our small town has grown it's reputation of being "rural" translation "redneck", has remained. I'm sure all cities have their own version of rednecks. I think it's a prerequisite to building a new Wal-mart anywhere.
    If there's a 'worst night ever' to shop Wal-mart it has to be Saturday, not to mention the eve of any holiday. What a sight. If you're not in a hurry it could be entertaining, people watching. I didn't notice screaming children but the hoards of people Easter shopping was crazy. We were able to legitimately check out using the 20 items or less lane, we only had 11 :) and paid quickly with cash...sorry visa debit card people, but paying cash didn't hold up the line at all.
    I prefer Sam's Club (surprisingly started by Sam Walton of Wally World fame) If you're not familiar, it's similar to Costco. The members or customers-- are typically cleaner, polite, fully dressed--not in a house coat & slippers or spandex shorts stretched to the max,:P blah!) The associates are friendly and helpful. The stores are cleaner, there are more check out lanes opened and they move quicker, plus they usually have better deals--if you have the storage space for bulk purchases. One con is the second "check-out" line where another associate has to see your receipt and check that the # of items in your cart matches what it shows on your receipt. This sometimes causes a bottle-neck exit. Although our store is good about having two associates there to "check you out" during peak business times. +Maybe the fact that you have to pay an annual membership fee keeps the undesirables to a minimum.
    Finally, after tonight's trip I'd have to say that the customer base is universally or at lease nationally the same.
    The only negative I have to add to the demographic (and it happens everywhere maybe more frequently at Wal-mart) is the inconsiderate smokers standing immediately outside the doors as you enter. Then there are those that get three steps outside, like the two obese women in front of us, both with flat, wide, heart-shaped bottoms, that stopped dead in their tracks to light up! Now, the fact that they were obese has nothing to do with them polluting our air, just wanted to paint the full picture for you. Not only are they trying to kill themselves with cancer sticks that they most likely will later toss out the window of their vehicle that contains an ashtray that's probably overflowing with lotto tickets instead ;) BUT they're also contributing to our health care crisis with all that obesity brings. Don't get me started...that's for another blog.
    One last comment/question: Bringing children shopping past 8 or 9 p.m. especially on school/weeknights, just another norm for Wally World or is it just our location? I mean full length grocery, clothing, shoe, shopping.
    Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts on the subject and those of the tangents I went off on.

  28. Anonymous // March 29, 2008 at 3:30 PM  

    I don't normally leave comments on blogs but I decided to come over (via MSN blog) to let you know that I feel your comments about a Wal-Mart shopper's "Poor Financial Responsibility" were somewhat... irresponsible. You have no idea if she was buying the DVDs with her own money or even for herself. Routinely, I will pick up items for my family or my friends just because I am going to a certain store. (We call it conserving gas and "collaborating on purchases".) And assuming that the DVDs were for her, how do you know she hadn't been SAVING for months to make that particular purchase? Or that it wasn't "gift money"? You are making assumptions that may not be true. BTW, she could have been buying food for a disabled or elderly family member. Lastly, unless you had that nerve to ask her what her financial background was, you have no right to be peeved with her actions.

    Never on any type of Gov't assistance but know some people who are and even some who have been,
    Elle Lee

  29. Anonymous // December 1, 2008 at 8:32 AM  

    Wally World around here is great.

    It is clean, well-stocked, and I don't see any of the various complaints that others have listed.

    I do shop early AM so may miss some of the problems I suppose.

    It is just cool to hate on Wally World I suppose.

    Hate has become the new cool now-a-days.

  30. Christina // December 1, 2008 at 11:06 PM  

    Walmart is the only game around my rural area, so I'm forced to go there if I want to attempt to save money.

    What I want to know is this: Why are there 25 checkout lanes if you are only going to have 5 open at any given time?

  31. Adam // December 2, 2008 at 9:43 AM  

    I could not agree more with you on your rants about Wally World. I live about an hour away from the Home Office (World Headquaters) of Wal*Mart, so you can only imagine how many stores we have around here.

    For the most part the Wal*Mart employees are nice, its just the idiotic customers who need the parking spot right up front that annoys me. Most of them need to park close to the back and walk too.

    I am also sad and amazed that some people need to trample workers to death to buy Christmas gifts. What has the world come to when this happens? Its sad and disgusting!

  32. Big Pappa // December 2, 2008 at 11:22 AM  

    I don't go to Wal-Mart because of the cleanliness of the store. Dirty people and dirty store. At least in my area.

  33. Anonymous // December 4, 2008 at 10:11 PM  

    I like to shop at Walmart about 5-6 am. The workers on shift are usually older and nicer. The food stamp folks are usually not up at that hour. The panhandlers and pick pockets are generally asleep. It can be a stress free shopping experience in the early morning. I do not like the food stamp program, so I won't even go there.

  34. stephanie // December 12, 2008 at 5:22 PM  

    Of course Wal-Mart is cheaper, but I think it is important to look at WHY they are cheaper. They are notorious for treating employees poorly and offering few if any benefits. I would rather pay the higher prices to companies who support my values. Target gives a percentage of profits back to local schools. Schnucks (a St. Louis based grocery store) offered a friend of mine the option of health insurance through the company when she was working there part-time in college. I don't mind to spend an extra $.20 per item, knowing that the money is going toward taking care of employees and the community. I haven't shopped at Wal-Mart in about 4 years and I've gotten along just fine without them.

  35. Lisa // March 24, 2009 at 9:10 AM  

    I also shop @ Walmart. One of the rudest problems I see @ Walmart is when people leave their cart in the middle of the aisle,they can see you standing there.But do they move it? not until you say excuse me,but can you please move your cart.Very inconsiderate to your fellow shopper.

  36. jay jay // June 20, 2009 at 1:16 PM  

    I'm pretty disappointed with the classist sentiment of these comments. Perhaps poor people do frequent walmart, perhaps they even allow black people inside (perish the thought!). Of course, the important reasons one might avoid the store are generally omitted by the commentors, specifically the abuse/illegal detainment of employees and the way that they encourage employees to utilize public services that they specifically don't provide. But, of course, why would the commentors here care about treatment of other people when they can complain about minor inconveniences to themselves. I hope that you are all very proud of your condescension toward others and complete lack of common decency.