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  1. #1
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Walmart is going carlight. A blessing or a curse?

    Walmart has pretty much saturated the market for super big box shopping in rural and suburban America. Their expansion plan now targets the cities. This will someday result in most urban Americans living within one or two miles of a Walmart store--putting them within easy carfree reach of a Walmart store. A new store on H Street in Washington, DC is one of the first of these stores to open.

    The new stores are only about one-fourth the size of existing superstores, and have much smaller parking lots. They feature more fresh and freshly prepared food products to suit a faster urban lifestyle.

    Quote Originally Posted by npr.org
    That Wal-Mart chose to open a store in a rapidly developing urban neighborhood is indicative of where this company sees its future. More than 80 percent of America's population lives in cities. So while big-box stores are likely to continue opening in rural and suburban areas, Wal-Mart must go smaller if it wants to get bigger.
    The Urban Neighborhood Wal-Mart: A Blessing Or A Curse? : NPR





    New Walmart store in Washington DC




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    Walmart is simultaneously a blessing and a curse to all its haters. Without the hate of Walmart and cheap Asian labor, generally, what would stimulate those who pay such high prices at small businesses to do so? It just doesn't make sense to give away money unnecessarily, but people can be motivated to do so if they believe that they are doing the right thing by boycotting Walmart and spending more at small businesses?

    Once Walmart is established in the cities, more people will be able to afford the low pay by living car free. Still, the small businesses and elites will hate this because people who don't get paid a lot typically don't spend a lot, either, and that will drag the mean income and cost-of-living down in these areas. Eventually, they might become really affordable places to live and anyone will be able to move there and afford a car-free lifestyle, maybe even without debt!

  3. #3
    Senior Member heywood's Avatar
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    oh gawd... I really don't buy allot of stuff at Wally world since it's not really worth it..they sell pretty much crap that's not worth the money..there are better places to buy better quality stuff. Not sure if this'll fly in urban areas where people generally don't shop for entertainment which i notice most people at Walmart do.. from what i see it's generally a night out for them, i'd prefer to go to the museum...

  4. #4
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    There's a Walmart Neighborhood Market in the shopping center that I work at. It's a little bigger than a Kroger store. The prices are about the same. The grocery section is about half the store.

    I do notice in the picture that there is a Capital Bike Share station right in front of that Walmart in the picture. So that could increase the car-free traffic to the store. According to Google Maps, the Walmart in the picture is a Supercenter, the large-sized Walmart with an included grocery store. It's a long walk to the nearest Metro station which is at Union Station, though obviously it is right on a bus line.
    Last edited by Artkansas; 04-08-15 at 02:34 AM.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

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    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  5. #5
    Senior Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    Perhaps it will help the car-free community. However, I don't foresee the average person suddenly starting to walk to Walmart because it is only a mile away. I do like the bike rack at our local Walmart.

    When I was in St. Louis, I definitely noticed that Walmart was closer than any other major department store, so I would stop there rather than heading a couple miles further to get to Target and other department stores.

    In Portland, there are Fred Meyers stores all over the place. There are about 3 of them within about 5 miles of where I was living in Portland. Periodically I'd walk the mile or so to the closest one, but I didn't see a lot of other people doing it. That was also the store where the bike path ended about 1/4 mile before getting to Fred Meyers.

    I always found it annoying that the different Fred Meyers stores had different inventory, and I would frequently find myself heading to Beaverton because the Portland store didn't have the items I wanted (although it may have improved with the remodel).

    Anyway, I wonder if Walmart has their eyes on driving some of the other chain department stores out of business. But the plan could backfire with Walmart sores competing against themselves

  6. #6
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
    Anyway, I wonder if Walmart has their eyes on driving some of the other chain department stores out of business. But the plan could backfire with Walmart sores competing against themselves
    That could be part of it. In Sault Ste Marie where I consult, there is a large Walmart in the uptown power shopping area, and they recently opened a second, smaller location in a downtown mall that already has Sears. It only makes sense as tactic to drive Sears out of town altogether. Once that's done they'll go back to one Walmart location.

  7. #7
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooker View Post
    That could be part of it. In Sault Ste Marie where I consult, there is a large Walmart in the uptown power shopping area, and they recently opened a second, smaller location in a downtown mall that already has Sears. It only makes sense as tactic to drive Sears out of town altogether. Once that's done they'll go back to one Walmart location.
    That could be. It wouldn't be the first time that Walmart opened a store to drive out a competitor, then closed that store and abandoned it.

    But I think you underestimate how cut-throat Walmart is. I imagine the goal is to drive Sears out, but keep both of the Walmart stores open--Walmart 2, Sears 0.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

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    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    That could be. It wouldn't be the first time that Walmart opened a store to drive out a competitor, then closed that store and abandoned it.
    Our local Walmart did the opposite. They closed down the one nearest me to open a new one in a newly built shopping center a couple of miles south of the original location. About a year later, they reopened the old one as well.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  9. #9
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    Our local Walmart did the opposite. They closed down the one nearest me to open a new one in a newly built shopping center a couple of miles south of the original location. About a year later, they reopened the old one as well.
    Do you know why they reopened the first store? I wonder if they were responding to the bad PR they've been getting about this practic of abandoning old stores near where they built a newer store.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  10. #10
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    Do you know why they reopened the first store? I wonder if they were responding to the bad PR they've been getting about this practic of abandoning old stores near where they built a newer store.
    This is Walmartkansas. They generally don't get much bad PR around here. I think they realized that they were leaving customers unserved so they opened up the old one again as well.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  11. #11
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    Now even rural communities as small as 1000 have some type of chain dollar store right on the edge of town where you can walk or bike to and buy from a modest assortment of almost anything. Combine that with a convenience store and you're pretty much covered.

    Efficiency... combined with lousy pay... makes this work, I'm guess.

    Nice to have these places if you have to drive 20 miles to a shopping area.

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    Since you don't seem to be making a value judgment I will answer by saying that in a free market society people vote with their dollars. We are faced with ever more frequent paradigm shifts. The Walmart's of the world are part of those shifts. There are always displacements in those shifts. Just like manufacturing has been changed by robots and computer aided design and 3 d printing, retailing has been changed by big box stores, brick and mortar retailing and the internet sellers. The gatekeepers if product information have shifted and we are in a global market place more than ever before. I am retired now so I have to watch my investments and put my dollars where they will let me survive financially for the rest of my life. I keep my eyes open and invest accordingly. I also have to spend my money with the same care. I have a finite supply. I try to support the small business person as much as possible but the nature of small business has changed and now the small business guy may be a guy 1000 miles away from me who has an internet store on Ebay. He is still a small business buy and is often supporting a family. Just like I was but with a different delivery system. Yep.

  13. #13
    Living 'n Dying in -Time JBHoren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    There's a Walmart Neighborhood Market in the shopping center that I work at. It's a little bigger than a Kroger store. The prices are about the same. The grocery section is about half the store.

    I do notice in the picture that there is a Capital Bike Share station right in front of that Walmart in the picture. So that could increase the car-free traffic to the store. According to Google Maps, the Walmart in the picture is a Supercenter, the large-sized Walmart with an included grocery store. It's a long walk to the nearest Metro station which is at Union Station, though obviously it is right on a bus line.
    Yes, but... can someone who's not using the bike-share system park their bicycle in that rack? Probably not. Is there a "civilian" bike rack for the rest of us? Probably not. Down here (central Palm Beach County, in South Florida) there aren't any bike racks at Walmart stores -- not the superstores, nor at the smaller ones... nor at any of the other supermarkets (Publix, Winn-Dixie, etc.)... really, not anywhere (literally, the only bike rack in my area is at the local public library... which has two of them).

  14. #14
    Senior Member Smallwheels's Avatar
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    People won't start walking until they actually have the realization that they can walk a mile. In the past we've heard stories of the lady who gets in her car to drive to her mailbox at the end of the driveway. There is no hope for such people. People who are willing to walk are already doing it. People who drive to their mailboxes will never walk to a store even if it is next door.

    I walked five miles to find a restaurant today. It was longer than I usually want to walk but I did it in the Houston Texas sunlight on a warm breezy day. I need new shoes so that is the last long walk until I get a new pair.
    Take my stuff please. My current goal is to have all of my possessions fit into a small mini van, my home. Really.

  15. #15
    Disco Infiltrator Darth Lefty's Avatar
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    It may be a California thing, or a "bike friendly town" thing, but our local Walmart is just fine for bikes. It has a lot of sturdy bike racks right in front, and a fairly large bike tool and accessory section taking up the entire aisle across from the bikes and spilling over to the next one. The bike racks are individual, welded construction, sunk in concrete, and have cables attached to them so you can secure your front wheel with just a U-lock. The accessory section has a lot of redundancy and nothing too complex - seats and pedals and tubes and tires and racks and bags, but not handlebars or wheels or shifters or bearings. It's located at an intersection of roads that have bike lanes for many miles in either direction.

    Of course the local NIMBYs believe this attracts bike hobos.
    Genesis 49:17

  16. #16
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    There's a super center 1/2 mile from me. I buy most of my groceries at the farmers market which is about a 7 mile RT ride on my bicycle and cargo trailer. I do that about every 10 days here lately. I pick up various items at Walmart sporadically. I don't eat much processed food, and for fresh food I trust other places more.
    Last edited by Walter S; 04-08-15 at 06:53 PM.

  17. #17
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBHoren View Post
    Yes, but... can someone who's not using the bike-share system park their bicycle in that rack? Probably not. Is there a "civilian" bike rack for the rest of us? Probably not.
    I looked on the streetview of Google maps. Yes there are bike stands for the rest of us just around the corner on H St..
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  18. #18
    Senior Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBHoren View Post
    Down here (central Palm Beach County, in South Florida) there aren't any bike racks at Walmart stores -- not the superstores, nor at the smaller ones... nor at any of the other supermarkets (Publix, Winn-Dixie, etc.)... really, not anywhere (literally, the only bike rack in my area is at the local public library... which has two of them).
    As mentioned earlier, our local Walmart has the best bike rack of any store I've been at. I don't stop there often, but one of the racks may be even covered.

    The rack has these rubber tire catchers, and a swing bar for the lock. Works very nicely. And I think they have capacity for 20 or 30 bikes. I'll try to get a photo the next time I pass there.

    It would be nice if they put NO SMOKING signs up around the bike racks

    Now, if they could only keep the 700c tubes in stock, and perhaps a better selection of other bike appropriate parts before running the bike stores out of town.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Smallwheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
    The rack has these rubber tire catchers, and a swing bar for the lock. Works very nicely.
    This is the style at the Helena Montana Walmart. I really like it. The problem with it is the metal is steel which is rusting so much on some of them that somebody with a hammer could break apart the supports. It took a few years to get into that condition but nonetheless it is rusting.
    Take my stuff please. My current goal is to have all of my possessions fit into a small mini van, my home. Really.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Zedoo's Avatar
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    Walmart, Starbucks, Tim Horton's, etc. I see many new names on businesses I ride past to the stores that sell what I buy.
    Don't get butthurt. Ride a recumbent.

  21. #21
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post
    People won't start walking until they actually have the realization that they can walk a mile. In the past we've heard stories of the lady who gets in her car to drive to her mailbox at the end of the driveway. There is no hope for such people. People who are willing to walk are already doing it. People who drive to their mailboxes will never walk to a store even if it is next door.

    I walked five miles to find a restaurant today. It was longer than I usually want to walk but I did it in the Houston Texas sunlight on a warm breezy day. I need new shoes so that is the last long walk until I get a new pair.
    Baloney. A lot of new people try walking every day. It's actually very common, especially among people over 40. But I don't blame people for not wanting to walk in the hot Houston sun. That would be deadly for many people. Somebody needs to plant some shade trees! Benches and water fountains would be nice while you're at it.

    I see your neighbors in Fort Worth are making big strides toward increasing fitness in their city, including walking and cycling.


    Quote Originally Posted by NBC News
    ...[A] big part of the [Blue Zone community fitness] plan is to add sidewalks throughout the city.
    "If you just make a neighborhood more walkable the activity level goes up by 30 percent," [writer Dan] Buettner said. "And you don't have to give people expensive gym memberships or yoga classes, or any of this stuff. You just have to make the active choice easy...."


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  22. #22
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
    As mentioned earlier, our local Walmart has the best bike rack of any store I've been at. I don't stop there often, but one of the racks may be even covered.

    The rack has these rubber tire catchers, and a swing bar for the lock. Works very nicely. And I think they have capacity for 20 or 30 bikes. I'll try to get a photo the next time I pass there.
    For retail stores, even on complaint or suggestion goes a long way thoward getting customer satisfaction. And a few separate complaints from you and your bike buddies could lead to some major improvemnts at a local Walmart or any other retail store.
    It would be nice if they put NO SMOKING signs up around the bike racks

    Now, if they could only keep the 700c tubes in stock, and perhaps a better selection of other bike appropriate parts before running the bike stores out of town.
    Decisions about bike racks and product selection are often made by the local store. Even one complaint/suggestion can often lead to change. A few separate requests from you and your bike buddies would probably have a major impact.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  23. #23
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RISKDR1 View Post
    Since you don't seem to be making a value judgment I will answer by saying that in a free market society people vote with their dollars. We are faced with ever more frequent paradigm shifts. The Walmart's of the world are part of those shifts. There are always displacements in those shifts. Just like manufacturing has been changed by robots and computer aided design and 3 d printing, retailing has been changed by big box stores, brick and mortar retailing and the internet sellers. The gatekeepers if product information have shifted and we are in a global market place more than ever before. I am retired now so I have to watch my investments and put my dollars where they will let me survive financially for the rest of my life. I keep my eyes open and invest accordingly. I also have to spend my money with the same care. I have a finite supply. I try to support the small business person as much as possible but the nature of small business has changed and now the small business guy may be a guy 1000 miles away from me who has an internet store on Ebay. He is still a small business buy and is often supporting a family. Just like I was but with a different delivery system. Yep.
    Walmart operates in a free market? Are you joking?

    And maybe it's a good thing that Walmart does work largely outside the constraints of the market economy. They are very good at exploiting their advantages, resulting in efficiencies and lower prices that benefit many of their customers, as well as their won bottom line.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  24. #24
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    I live by one of the new Walmarts in DC. They built it on a major street, and took street parking away to build a busy bus stop right in front of the entrance. To compensate for the lost street parking, they built a giant garage in the back for Walmart customers only. The locally owned medical supply shop across the street has since gone out of business, as they state, because their customers have no place to park.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    That could be. It wouldn't be the first time that Walmart opened a store to drive out a competitor, then closed that store and abandoned it.

    But I think you underestimate how cut-throat Walmart is. I imagine the goal is to drive Sears out, but keep both of the Walmart stores open--Walmart 2, Sears 0.
    A long time ago, I sat down and thought about the best way to help the poor. Give them more free handouts? No, that makes them more dependent and alienates them from the culture of making money and spending it. Redistribute money to them? That would be very considerate but why give people money to waste on things they don't need, expensive addictions, etc.? Then I decided it would make sense to subsidize only certain products. But how to subsidize them? Send out coupons? That way you could send them only to the needy and prevent other people from saving their money.

    Then it came to me: why not just subsidize necessary products directly by lowering the price and let anyone who wants to save money buy them? Then I realized this is exactly what discount stores do by lowering overhead and passing the savings on to consumers. It really is saving money to live better.

    Now, what is this ideology of accusing Walmart of driving more expensive competitors out of business? If I am a kind person who wants to give people a bargain on something they need, why should I be accused of driving people out of business who are greedy and charge more to make more money? Oh, wait, I forgot it's impolite to call people greedy so I guess I should just normalize more expensive stores and say they 'need' to make more money to pay more to their greedier suppliers and employees. Oh, wait, did I call people greedy again? Oh, I should go practice my whitewashing skills.

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