Today marks the first day that I walked inside a Wal-Mart since I started working at Target. When I’m at work, I don’t use the rival store’s name; I either say “The W Store” or “The Store Which Must Not Be Named.” These days, I wouldn’t normally go inside Wal-Mart out of my own volition. My parents and I went out for dinner, and they wanted a place to walk off the meal. Wal-Mart was closer than Target, so who am I to argue?
I had been inside that particular Wal-Mart dozens of times before, but I never saw it with red and khaki colored eyes before. I couldn’t help but compare everything! First of all, as my parents and I were walking in the door, the cart attendant was pushing a long line of carts through the same door! It’s a big safety hazard to have so many carts blocking the entrance/exit. At Target, we have a separate entrance for carts. I think Wal-Mart does too, but theirs is narrower and clearly wasn’t being used. When the cart attendant pushed the carts in to connect with the carts already in the store, a cart from the front of the line rolled out and almost hit my mom!
As my parents and I were walking around, I noticed that there were very few signs to help navigate the customers through the store. Not only that, but the aisles were extremely long, so I couldn’t see what merchandise lay ahead at the end of the aisle. I was looking for the coffee (to compare prices), but I couldn’t tell which aisle it was in; the combination of long aisles with no signs made it impossible to figure out. I ended up choosing the wrong aisle, and I had to backtrack to find the coffee section.
Another thing I noticed is that the merchandise was stacked incredibly high. The one display that stood out to me was the tower of paper towels. Even though they’re just paper towels, I wouldn’t want them to topple on top of me. I was scared just looking at them. That sounds like another safety hazard to me.
With long (thin) aisles and everything stacked high, it’s difficult to tell where you are in the store. I could easily get lost in there. It’s a wonder that kids aren’t constantly separated from their parents. Probably the worst thing, though, is that the employees weren’t friendly at all. No one asked if we needed help. There were a couple times when I even felt like I was in their way.
In the end, Wal-Mart felt like a gigantic dollar store, except that I like dollar stores. I don’t see why Wal-Mart is considered competition for Target. My store has such a different (better, more friendly) vibe. I’ve always liked Target more than Wal-Mart, but now I can actually see why.
I made most of these comments to my parents while we were in Wal-Mart. They think Target should pay me for my shameless advertising.