Walmart. There’s got to be no fewer than a thousand different controversies or discussions that could be had surrounding the massive corporation. The one that seems to get brought up more than any other is probably the most simple. What fully functioning adult is still willingly shopping at Walmart with all of the other options out there today? 10K’s very own @jackleverentz that’s who.Listen, I’m not saying that nobody should EVER go to Walmart. You need some miscellaneous goods after every other store else is closed? Walmart is a godsend; a shining blue beacon of hope and promise. In some areas of the country, that also might be your only option.
Not everywhere has the infrastructure to sustain multiple “General Merchandise Retailers” like Target or others. Hell, a lot of the smaller options around the country like KMart and Shopko have closed their doors for good. Sometimes, it’s a necessity and I understand that…but when it’s not, what in the hell is the draw?People talk about the Walmart prices like they’re on a completely different plane than any other comparable store. News flash; they’re not! More on that later. Even if it were true, is going through the hell of shopping in those conditions worth it? For me, and any other civilized person with other options, the answer is unequivocally no.
I consider myself a very progressive guy when it comes to self expression. I’m certainly open to some risky fashion choices given the fact that I own a sweatshirt with Mia Khalifa’s face on it. With that being said, sometimes people cross the line from bizarre to concerning. That is the reason People of Walmart was created.For what it’s worth, I’m generally against taking pics of people without their knowledge. Everybody has off days and my groutfit isn’t anything to write to GQ about either. For the sake of this blog, however, it’s imperative that you have a visual reference. Also, if I had to see it, so do you. If you’re going to tell me that Walmart wasn’t your FIRST guess as to where this was taken, you’re lying to me and to yourself.
Walmart vs. Target
For some reason, that type of outfit and lack of respect for the general public’s eyesight has become not only acceptable at Walmart, but expected. Meanwhile, the stereotype that you’re going to get at Target, the most common and relevant comp, is a bit different. At any given time, in any Target across the country, it will be full of women who’s name is some variation of Ashley, Katie, or Lindsay. As sure as the sun comes up tomorrow, they’ll be wearing sun dresses in the summer, and knee-high boots in the fall. Bank on it.
The only thing more guaranteed than their outfit is how they shop. They’ll be sipping their overpriced Starbucks while they browse the aisles for the newest Magnolia merch from Chip and Joanna. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather deal with that in the store than the fist-fights and leashes I’m used to seeing at Walmart. Hell, I don’t even need to ask to know that the rest of 10k and our other media friends dabble in Starbucks with delight. Add that to the win column for Target since 90% of their stores now include America’s favorite coffee chain. The best you’re going to find at Walmart? Subway. Don’t even get me started on that chain.
Is it Friday? ‘Cause it’s Time to Check Out
Lets say you were lucky enough to make it through your entire shopping outing at Walmart without getting shanked. You’d think you’re in the clear, but the pain and sadness is just beginning. Now, you have to find an open register to check out at.Walmart has been NOTORIOUS for never having enough cashiers working. With the invention of the self-checkout lane, it’s only gotten worse. After a million complaints, most corporations that gave even one iota of a shit about their customers would hire another minimum wage worker to take advantage of, but apparently not.
The Price Conspiracy
Finally it was brought to my attention that the price argument people were pushing was surrounding groceries, specifically. Despite all of the other deals and continual sales you can find at Walmart, I’ve never been convinced that this is actually true for Groceries. As a member of the best journalistic team to ever do it (until we’re not) it was my duty to start digging.
To fairly compare Walmart to the other common options in the area, I selected Target and Cub Foods as the comps. Target as another general storefront that also carries groceries and Cub Foods as the most Minnesotan grocery store in the history of grocery stores.
Is this also because these are the two stores closest to the new 10K House and Bossman is the whole reason I’ve spent literal hours forming this argument and writing this piece? Yes. Yes it is.
Creating the control group for a grocery list was pretty simple. It had to include full breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack options that I think will be the most common at the 10K House. All of the items had to be available at each of the three stores, exactly. That means the same item, of the same brand, in the same quantity. Then, add it all up and see how it shakes out.
Breakfast was the easiest of them all: Cereal & Milk. 2% was an obvious choice because so many people can’t handle the elite flavors of Whole milk and I refuse to acknowledge that Skim milk exists. Deciding past that was easy, if you choose yellow over blue, you cant be trusted. Oh, and obviously it had to be Kemps to support the local guys. As for the Cereal, it’s Frosted Flakes all day. A fastball down the middle. Nobody’s favorite, but everyone will eat it.
Lunches in a blogger’s paradise can’t be any more straightforward than a classic sandwich. Bread, Meat, Cheese, Mayo, Mustard, and Lettuce. If you need more than that, go back to your country club. For the record, I’d be buying Hellman’s Mayonnaise, but have a sneaky suspicion that these guys are Miracle Whip fans.
Landing on Land-O-Frost meat came from two things: 1) Jack already admitted he has Walmart taste and 2) I wasn’t about to suggest a Wisconsin company like Hillshire Farms. Oh, and for the lettuce, you KNOW that the only way to go is Iceberg. The rest of it, I dunno what to tell you. I just nabbed the first thing I saw on all the different sites.
What’s the one thing a young, eligible bachelor learns to cook after Spaghetti? Tacos, that’s what. Outside of delivery Pizza, this has my bet for most common meal in the house. Tortillas, Ground Beef, Tomatoes, Sour Cream, and Shredded Cheese.
Quick and easy, one pan and you’re done. Impossible to screw up. Hell, you can re-use the iceberg lettuce from the lunch list if you’re getting crazy. It is the most versatile after all.
Butter and Doritos, that’s it. Obviously the butter is not meant to be eaten on it’s own, I’m not a monster. You use it with the bread and cheese you already have for some Grilled Cheese. If these guys were to spring for real mayo and better bread in the future, I’d say that ACTUALLY makes the best grilled cheese and a better crust, but here we are. As for the Doritos, they’re undoubtedly the best chip of all time.
When it’s all added up together, yes…Walmart does come out on top of the other two options. It is, indeed, the cheapest place to shop. WITH THAT BEING SAID, it’s all of $2.84 cheaper than Target, so claiming that it’s saving you “so much money” is a bit dramatic. Given everything we’ve already covered here, I’ll HAPPILY pay the “premium” to be at Target or Cub Foods.
Cub is in a distant 3rd place given these random items. As someone who cooks (a lot) I will still defend it for groceries until the end of time. Having a deli that’s willing to cut you thicker slabs of beef or prepare anything specially goes a long way.
Also, the produce from an actual grocery store vs the produce from a retail store is day and night. Pre-packaged and processed stuff will be the same anywhere, but if you can’t admit the produce is better, then you’ve got bad taste buds. Nothing wrong with it, but maybe put back the sommelier application.
As a final point, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out the fact that both Target and Cub Foods are Minnesota companies. It might sounds dumb to support the local guys to some people, especially since neither are “small businesses” but that’s always gonna be a factor for me.
Not only that, but these companies sponsor so much stuff in the state from youth to professional athletics, school programs, and other miscellaneous things like the State Fair. Also, if you’re a Target Circle member (which is totally and completely free) you get to vote on how Target spends their community support money.
A Win’s a Win
If after all of this, you’re still a Walmart defender then I don’t know what else to say. We haven’t even touched on employee pay and benefits, but that’s a different topic for a different day. All I know is that the old men at 10K have won over at least one of the guys at the 10K house. Eventually everyone sees the light, it’s only a matter of time.
I’ve been hit by cars three times, which is an indication of how stubborn I am.
I write about everything across the board, but focus on Hockey and the pain that is Minnesota sports.
Argue with me on Twitter: @venividiveech