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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

My Favorite Walmart!!

I share a weekly ritual with many women across North Texas…grocery shopping. My routine consists of agonizing over a menu full of nutritious and interesting meals, creating an exhaustive shopping list, and head out to the store with my reusable shopping bags. Sometimes I browse the sale ads from all the local stores (Tom Thumb, Kroger, Albertson’s, Central Market, Sprouts) but I almost always end up at my local Walmart Supercenter.

OK, please keep you Walmart shopper jokes to yourself…I proudly own my Walmart shopper’s card. (You’ll never find me on that sight, by the way.) I like that I can get all my shopping done in one store. I can get my shampoo and razors at the same store where I buy my Dr. Pepper and chocolate. I can’t complain about the prices either…no hassle with loyalty cards either. Just “Low prices. Every day. On everything.”

Walmart is one of the companies that people love to hate. Recently, the Huffington Post printed an article about employee wages. Apparently, the CEO makes a “little bit more” than the average store employee, but what CEO doesn’t? I personally have one of those “love-hate” relationships with our local Walmart stores. I love their low prices, who doesn’t?  What I do not love is the fact that I have to choose between waiting way too long in line for an employee to check out my basket of groceries or going through the self-check with $250+ work of groceries. That was until Walmart opened a new store in Highland Village, a cozy lakeside bedroom community in North Texas.

While I have been known to joke about my community being a bunch of “tree huggers,” I do love that both Highland Village and Flower Mound have processes in place that keep developers from stripping our communities of their aging trees. To demonstrate their commitment to our communities, Walmart completely redesigned their typical storefront to accommodate for a 125-year old pecan tree. The exterior is described as resembling a Texas ranch, with the infamous Walmart signage minimized. If you were new to the area, you might miss it all together.

I won’t go into the horrible experiences I have had at other local Walmart stores (ahem…Lewisville Main Street Walmart, you know what you did). Let’s just say that I actually enjoy my Walmart experience now that I shop regularly at the Highland Village Walmart. If it wasn’t for the low prices, I might actually forget I’m shopping at a Walmart.

Now…a little side note: Those of you that know me, know that I’m a little bit of a techy, just a little bit. I really like my iPhone; you will rarely find me without it at my side. A few years ago, I experimented with using an app called “Grocery Gadget” to plan my grocery shopping trips. I won’t go into the technicalities of that app; you are welcome to look for it in the app store of your favorite mobile device. I was pleased to walk into my Walmart and see this kiosk: 

You might remember another grocery chain trying something similar with hand-held scanners about 10 years ago. Albertson’s added it to their stores in hopes of better competing with Walmart, who had bumped Albertson’s from #1 to #2 in grocery store popularity in the DFW area. However, it didn’t catch on and within a year or two, Albertson’s had pulled the technology.  Walmart’s “Scan & Go” system is only being offered in a select few supercenters and I like being on the cutting edge of things, so I decided to give it a try. 

Come back tomorrow and I'll let you know what I think: Using “Scan & Go” for the first time.

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