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Why I Hate Shopping at Wal-Mart


After years and years of shopping at Wal-Mart, I think I have discovered it is the very reason for all stress in my life. I have made a resolution to avoid the “giant store which sells all things imaginable” if possible. While many of you may have reasons you love the store, I cannot withhold my personal reasons for making my recent decision to avoid the place if at all possible. Here they are:


The Parking Lot

I despise trying to park at Wal-Mart. I feel like I am trying to ride bumper cars and not bump another car. By the time I actually am victorious and win a spot somewhere, I am already so frustrated I don’t even want to shop anymore. Then, I usually almost get ran over trying to cross the drive in front of the store. After all of this, I finally enter the store and the real fun begins.

The Baskets

First of all, they are enormous. Thank you Wal-Mart for contributing to my weekly caloric intake by encouraging me to buy as much as will fit in your gigantic buggy. I am also quite sure that Wal-Mart does not have any baskets that do not squeak, rattle, or stop randomly in some way because of the wheels.

Bumper Buggies

Once the buggy is obtained, the art of trying to weave your way through frantic shoppers begins. Perhaps this is a marketing strategy. They make the aisles just narrow enough for me to have to stop, go, dodge, bump, and curve around others, all in hopes that I will forget what I turned down the aisle for and just happen to notice other products I don’t need, but that look promising

The Great Value Option

There are not many products at Wal-Mart that do not have a Great Value alternative. Why must they force me to make a choice between quality of brands and cost for every product I buy? I wish I didn’t have to eat so I wouldn’t have to come to this place. Don’t make it harder for me.

The Noise

I would like to conduct a study wherein I compared the noise of a busy Wal-Mart with that of a freight train. I think the decibel level would be close. Screaming children, intercoms, registers beeping, and the voices of somewhere around 500-1000 loud people in general is too much for me.

The Lines

If you have only 30 minutes to spare in Wal-Mart, I’m sorry, but you will be late to wherever else you need to be. Lines at checkouts are typically about the same length as the freight train mentioned above. I suggest downloading fun games on your IPhone to pass the time.

The Fight to Your Car

Similar to entering the store, the exit of Wal-Mart is often a more daunting task. This time around, we are pushing a basket full of groceries trying to find where we parked, a lost cause. Then, we are faced with trying to find where the buggy goes. Often we can’t so we just stand there looking lost, eventually propping it up on the little island with the tree when no one is looking.

But.... To Each His Own

These are reasons I avoid Wal-Mart. While the store may provide lower prices and more variety than competition, the experience of the visit is not worth the savings to me. Still, to each his own. If you still wish to visit the store, I wish you luck and hope your experience allows you to retain your sanity. I for one cannot find it within myself to do so. Perhaps one day I will gain the courage to make a return visit.


celticmelody from Chicago IL on November 17, 2014:

Update: I've now found an even more efficient way of shopping and avoiding crowds, buggy bumpers, & rude people: both peapod and Amazon Fresh. I find I can get really great prices. Factor in the opportunity cost of having to drive and actually shop, and I save even more. I first got the idea from that brutal winter we had in our area. Plus, I cut WAY down on impulse buys. I shop the sales, and yes, even use the occasional coupon which is credited to my account. I don't run out of things like paper towels, toilet paper, almond milk (my husband must avoid dairy.

Couple THAT with the news story of the leaked Walmart memo of produce rotting due to a) not having enough people to stock the produce department properly and b) employees not rotating the produce properly, and I don't miss grocery shopping ANYWHERE.

Lately I've also been using the service The Fresh 20 as a meal planning service which cuts down on the number of fresh items I need to buy. Fresh 20 plans meals around 20 fresh ingredients you buy each week and add to your pantry items such as olive oil, spices etc.

We've even been considering going down to one car since I have so many things delivered. That would be even additional savings.

Arni Abueva from Manila, Philippines on November 15, 2014:

I just realized now while reading this hub that having huge baskets in retail stores is part of their marketing strategies.

Clay Coppage on October 20, 2014:

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Yes! Ever since my wife and I decided to not shop at Wal-Mart, I've enjoyed seeing other people who choose not to shop at this Goliath of shopping centers as well.

Our reasons are predominantly due to the home office's consistent standpoint of not taking care of their employees. My dad has been in sales for the majority of his career with Wal-Mart being his companies primary vendor, but even store managers that he dealt with through the years were very bothered by the policies and procedures that corporate Wal-Mart followed... Glad you shared your opinion!

Michael John Mele from Seffner, Florida on February 17, 2013:

So very true...I totally agree with everything you said...and I too try to avoid Walmart at all costs.

ElleBee on October 14, 2012:

You bring up some great poitns about Walmart! I like the low prices, but it is always a zoo. The carts are large and the aisles in the grocery section are much narrower than the ones in my local supermarket. Plus as you said the lines are always awful! I went there today to cash a check b/c my bank has a branch inside Walmart and its the only one open on Sunday. I was going to pick up a couple things I needed for a craft project, but when I realised I'd have to wait in line 5 minutes for a package of velcro, it became a quick no thank you. I wish they could have a "super express lane" for people with 10 or 12 things, instead of their "Express" lane for up to 20 items!

Perry the Cat from Mouskin, Texas on July 14, 2012:

The only time to go to Wal-Mart is after midnight. It's nearly empty, but it can be a real freak show. And where we live, Target consistently has cheaper paper goods.

Bonny OBrien from Troy, N.Y. on July 13, 2012:

For the most part I like shopping at walmart. The parking lot where I am is really big, with lots of stop signs and what not. What I do hate about Walmart is they let people sit outside both entrances trying to sell bake goods or I find it annoying, that is why I won't go to a certain family dollar, because the same cop is sittin there taking up a collection. Anyway I do like walmarts, but not their online shoppin site. I wrote a hub on that awhile back.

Sethughes (author) on July 12, 2012:

Thank you very much! Same to you.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on July 12, 2012:

Congratulations on your HubNugget nomination. Your hub deserves it. Good luck going forward.

Sethughes (author) on July 12, 2012:

Thank you Perry, I can relate to the problem your parents face. Although, the birds never interest me that much.

Fudd, I think the traffic is one of the reasons I can't stand Wal-Mart. It is always insane no matter what hour of the day it is.

Donnah, I really never intended for this to be a hub wherein people express their strong feelings toward WalMart. I understand now that many are concerned with its practices and their own experience there. I love that you see the joy in poking fun at everyday things. Because you're right, if we can't, life is going to be longer than we'd like.

Thank you all for reading and for your comments.

Donna Hilbrandt from Upstate New York on July 12, 2012:

Wow, you got a few strong comments here. I think though, that most people can relate to your experience. If we can't poke fun at our common experiences, we are all in for a long, dreary life. Personally, I avoid Walmart like the plague. Low prices or not, I prefer to spend my dollars elsewhere. Walmart is taking over the world, and not in a good way.

Cousin Fudd on July 12, 2012:

Not a big fan of Wal-Mart. Ours is on the side of town opposite from where I live and the traffic is horrendous. I only go there when I have to or it is convenient.

Perry the Cat from Mouskin, Texas on July 12, 2012:

My human dad hates Wal-Mart because there is no room in the aisles. Mom says she goes there when she needs something, gets it and goes right back out again. Neither of them are the most patient humans on the planet, but mom just hates shopping, period.

Someday I want them to take me their so I can catch the birds that are caught inside.

Sethughes (author) on July 12, 2012:

Mizbejabbers, I think you may be in the same situation as many. We enjoy the one stop shopping we get at Wal-Mart. It is convenient and fairly priced, making it hard to not shop there. This is what has made them so successful.

I agree Sam Walton himself would have had nothing to do with the amount of foreign goods WalMart sells today. It is unfortunate. Still, we do what makes our lives easier. Wal-Mart helps with that. Although this hub was humorous in intention, the truth is that Wal-Mart loses shoppers because of some of the reasons you described at economy grocers. If they can deal with this, they may take over the world! Well, not really, but they will grow even faster than they are now.

Thanks for reading.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on July 12, 2012:

My fellow Arkies and I all agree that Mr. Sam is spinning in his grave. His offspring have totally forgotten his "made in America" policy. I agree that the supergiant has thrived at the expense of small business, especially the Mom and Pop stores that were barely hanging on. I hate to admit it, but I do shop at WalMart because:

1. It has decent groceries and meats at a fair price. Kroger has remodeled nearly all their stores and their prices have skyrocketed. Kroger meats are half-spoiled and green when you take them out from under the light. The other food markets are either upscale with upscale prices, so I only buy good coffee and a few specialty items there, or they are economy grocery stores and the brands are poor quality. If you want to discuss markets crowded with rude, low quality people who don’t teach children manners, go to an economy grocery store.

2. Target and Kmart are higher-priced, and I don’t have time to clip coupons or bargain shop to get them to match. Target stores aren’t conveniently located for me. Our WalMart Supercenter is conveniently located, has a nice parking lot, and the aisles are not crowded. It is near an upscale neighborhood (I live across the interstate from that neighborhood, and I don’t have bragging rights), so its prices are higher than the WalMarts in lesser neighborhoods, but I figure that we will spend that much on gasoline to make a 25-mile roundtrip to a cheaper WalMart that I don’t like anyway.

So I guess I don’t have the right to complain. Good hub, Seth.

Sethughes (author) on July 12, 2012:

Wow I think the super store that are big are already overstuffed. I can't imagine an even smaller one with the same amount of items. The stuff really isn't high quality. Im sure this is why they have one of the highest return rates of any other super store. Im glad Im not the only one who sees this!

Thanks for reading!

Barbara Badder from USA on July 12, 2012:

Our Walmart store has a different problem than yours. They were going to build a super store and then didn't because of the economy. So what do they do, but stuff the a super store into a regular sized Walmart. We can no longer find half the stuff we need. It has gotten so why bother even looking, they won't have it.

Another problem is the cheap junk we are getting. We bought a set of lamps and they only lasted a couple of months. I bought a paper shredder that I only used twice and then it didn't work. I've had enough.

Sethughes (author) on July 12, 2012:

I think you all make very good and valid points. If Wal-Mart truly is supporting child labor by buying from southeast Asia, this needs to be addressed publicly and brought to everyone attention.

I think some of the stores you all have mentioned are good alternatives. Here, we have United. It is far cleaner and more organized. They have people in the grocery section walking around for the sole purpose of helping you find items. I can't imagine this at Wal-Mart. Target is a great option as well.

I also agree that one can get prices just as good as Wal-Mart elsewhere. Even if they cannot, the better experience at another store is far more important to me as a shopper.

Kristin Trapp from Illinois on July 12, 2012:

There is really nothing I like about Wal-Mart. The parking lot is a nightmare, the aisles are crowded with products, there's no rhyme or reason to the layout (laundry baskets near bicycles???/Dog treats near sewing supplies???), and the checking-out process is slow. On top of it, I have found that it's not uncommon for the wrong price to be charged for an item and for a bag of purchased items to be left on the turn-style holder. I don't even think their prices are less and even if I were to save a few cents it's simply not worth the headache. Target is my go-to mass merchandiser and as long as their stores remain clutter-free, well lit, and have everything I need in an organized fashion and at fair prices, that's where I'll continue to shop.

brenda12lynette from Utah on July 12, 2012:

Wal-Mart gives me a headache! I'm soo glad I have other options and NEVER have to shop there!! For our wedding we got a few gift cards to Wal-Mart. We used them gratefully, but I'm so glad I don't have to go there on a regular basis. Great hub and voted up!

Mr. Happy from Toronto, Canada on July 12, 2012:

The only reason I would go close to a Wallmart is to mark my territory (just a wolf thing ... lol).

Such corporations put small businesses out of order, they sell products made my children in South-east Asia (thus, supporting child-labor), they sell low quality products and on and on I can go.

When a business lacks morals, they do not see a penny from me. Just my opinion. Thanks for the write, You just gave me more reasons to growl every time I see a Wallmart. : )


910chris from North Carolina on July 12, 2012:

You hit the nail on the head with this Hub!! Here in Southport, N.C. we have the 3rd smallest Wal-Mart in America (it might not be, but out of the dozens of WM I have been to, I think it is), and it gets just as crowded as that picture you have up here.

People act like total animals when they get in, pushing you and clipping you with there carts (that pisses me off more than anything), just so they can beat you to an item or get ahead of you in line.

Well written Hub, and good luck on your next trip!!

celticmelody from Chicago IL on July 12, 2012:

Indeed! My husband put it this way: "There's a reason that there is no 'People of Target' website!"

A friend of mine swore that she HAD to shop Walmart for the low prices. I bet her that I could find the things she needed cheaper. And, I did! Two different ways!

#1) Aldis. Beat Walmart's prices even with coupons.

#2) Target. That's right. Target will match Walmart's advertised price & take THEIR coupon. take a manufacturer's coupon. The will also take 5% off your bill if you use their credit or debit card. Their debit card will come right out of your checking account. Targets near my home are consistanty cleaner, better lit, and have wider ailses. I printed off Target's pricematching/coupon policy off their website. I've never had to show it to anyone. I HAVE had issues with my local Walmart! Even with a copy of THEIR policy in hand. Maybe it's a training issue?

For groceries though, I prefer the smaller Aldi and Trader Joe's supplemented with my local CSA farm.

Mary Hyatt from Florida on July 12, 2012:

I love Walmart! I hate their parking, though. If I want to buy groceries, I have to walk a country mile to get to my car. They have the best steaks in town!

I visited a Walmart in Puerto Rico that was huge! The parking garage was 4 stories high!

People like me on a limited budget could not survive without Walmart.

I did vote this Hub UP and will share.

Sethughes (author) on July 12, 2012:

Thank you very much for reading and voting! It is sad that many of the things in the hub are true! Still, there is humor to take away from a Wal-Mart experience. Price is the most important factor to most people so it is no wonder Wal-Mart is so crowded all the time like you said.

Thanks again!

Mary Craig from New York on July 12, 2012:

I would say this hub was hilarious but the sad part is it is true! Walmart may be a huge conglomorate but you would think they could buy carts that actually work. Target has GREAT carts!

Over-crowding and popularity of it's prices are what makes Walmart the way it is I guess, but that doesn't make it fun.

You have creatively described the Walmart shopping experience! Voted up, funny, and interesting.

Congrats on your hubnuggets nomination, it is well deserved.

Sethughes (author) on July 10, 2012:

That's always nice! I like Aldis is nice but ours is right by Walmart so it's crowded too. Thanks for the reply and for reading.

celticmelody from Chicago IL on July 10, 2012:

Seth: Loved the hub. I really can't stand Walmart either. Fortunately for me, I've got a Trader Joe's, Aldi's, & Target all within walking distance. Parking problem solved. LOL.

Sethughes (author) on July 10, 2012:

That is true. It is a place to spend quality time for some people. They offer just about everything imaginable so it is easy to see how they attract so many people so easily. Thanks for reading.

Sethughes (author) on July 08, 2012:

People in marketing would call the small town residents "hostages". WalMart becomes their only option.

As you said, the sad part is the deterioration of the opportunities of small businesses. This is something The US was built on and it is a shame when a company dominates so much that the opportunity is taken away.

Thanks for reading and for the response.

Sethughes (author) on July 06, 2012:

Wow you have never been to a Wal Mart! I suppose they aren't EVERYWHERE like they appear to be here in the states. I too prefer the quieter more relaxing places. haha

Thank you very much for your congrats!! They you for reading as well.

Michelle Simtoco from Cebu, Philippines on July 06, 2012:

Hi Sethughes, I have never been to Walmart but nevertheless I too prefer less busy malls, quieter places. Hahaha

Ripplemaker News Flash:

Congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination. To read and vote for the Hubnuggets, this way

Sethughes (author) on July 06, 2012:

I think early in the day is the best time to go. I have not yet been to a WalMart with a self checkout. I suppose it hasn't come to Texas yet. The meat and produce is better elsewhere, i agree.

Thanks for the comments and for reading!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on July 06, 2012:

I go to Walmart occasionally during the week early in the day. Parking is no problem and I have found cashiers to be pleasant. I also like the self checkout. I use Walmart for paper items and soaps, as their prices are cheaper. I buy meat, fruit and vegetables elsewhere.

Joshua Zerbini from Pennsylvania on July 03, 2012:

You are welcome, and I just did the same for you.

Sethughes (author) on July 03, 2012:

Thank you! I put a link to your list of things to do when bored at Walmart on this hub. Haha thanks for that one. I love Walmart humor.

Joshua Zerbini from Pennsylvania on July 03, 2012:

You are welcome! :)

Sethughes (author) on July 03, 2012:

Haha thanks I appreciate it. Good idea!

Joshua Zerbini from Pennsylvania on July 03, 2012:

Haha Seth this is great! We should link our hubs to each others'. Awesome job! Voted up and funny!

Sethughes (author) on July 03, 2012:

Yeah I think they are in just about every town in the USA these days. Haha it can definitely be an interesting place at times. I do like the prices. They are huge so they can have low prices. Its just that my girlfriend has worked there, so I hear all of the horror stories of being an employee!

HL Keeley from Charlotte, NC on July 03, 2012:

I always get the noisy shopping cart or the possessed shopping cart that likes to bump into shelves! I still love Walmart since it is the only place to shop in this little college town. It is not as noisy as yours, most likely since there are probably not as many people. Still a fun place to hang out in when bored, especially the toy section.

ledefensetech from Cape Girardeau, MO on July 02, 2012:

No thank you. This hub was a great way for me to do something a bit sarcastic and tounge-in-cheek. Satire, I've found, is a great way to critique contemporary society and show the sometimes insane ideas people have. My problem is that I'm very good at sarcasm. Great hub!

Sethughes (author) on July 02, 2012:

I agree man. Its just kind of meant to be funny for the people who can see the humor in shopping at Wal-Mart. Sorry you didn't get that. I do always put the basket up and I do always buy great value though.

Thanks for the thoughts though! I always appreciate feedback

ledefensetech from Cape Girardeau, MO on July 02, 2012:

Some people will complain if you hung them with a gold rope. Want some cheese with that whine? First and foremost nobody is forcing you to do anything. You, just like every other human being lucky enough to be born in a nation that pays at least lip service to the idea of liberty, can vote with your wallet. Since I have some time, I'll take your points in order.

1. It would be nice to have wide open spaces to park, but apparently Wal-Mart is so popular that they have to balance size of parking spaces with the number of people they can accommodate. I'm pretty sure if you researched insurance company claims, you'd find that Wal-Mart parking lots are no more likely to cause accidents than any other department store, mall or other large lots.

2. As for the baskets, nobody is forcing you to use them. Not only that, but if you don't have the self-discipline to not fill up your cart, you might want to use the LDT method of reducing your grocery bill. If you can't carry all your groceries in your arms, you're getting too much stuff.

3. It must be nice to buy what amounts to premium stuff, but there are people out there who have to economize and buy great value stuff. Maybe I can afford better, but I don't want to pay a premium on my groceries and instead use that money for other wants and needs. I'm just glad the option is there should I need to avail myself of it.

4. As for the lines, well I don't know about you, but I pretty much don't plan anything that needs to be done on a shopping day. Places get crowded and you sometimes have to wait. If you're impatient, however, see my soon to be patented method of not spending too much money. Another benefit to the method I outlined in point #2 is that you can almost always use the 10 items of less lane. If you've mastered that technique you might have to use the 20 items or less line; but, hey, either way you wait less than using a regular lane.

5. This one really takes the cake. If you can't remember where you parked, shopping at Wal-Mart is the least of your worries. Likewise there are several cart corrals in each lane. What I find offensive, not about Wal-Mart, but people in general is the propensity of lazy people to leave their carts in the parking space they just left instead of walking all of 10-20 feet to put their cart in a corral. Not Wal-Mart's fault, just people who think they're too important to be courteous.

Maybe it's just me, but in this time of lower standards of living, I'm surprised more people aren't grateful there's a place like Wal-Mart who at least try to lower prices so that you can enjoy more of the good things in life, not to mention the necessities like food.

Sethughes (author) on July 02, 2012:

I say the same thing myself. It is hard not to go. haha plus they are everywhere.

Thank you!

CassyLu1981 from Wilmington, NC on July 02, 2012:

These are all reasons why I do not like walmart as well but I still find myself going there often. *sigh* maybe one day I will get the courage to stop LOL Great hub, voted up and shared :)

skye2day from Rocky Mountains on June 30, 2012:

Seth And you are welcome bro.. Keep going.. Walmart makes tons of money and I believe little goes to the employees. Yet most of them are grateful just to have a job. Look at the pictures all the customers are like mad. The poor cashier gets to deal with all of them. She is out numbered but God is not, Amen. One day greed just may catch up with Walmart!! God knows. When we are given much we are told by God, much will be expected.

God Bless You, Seth. So I joined your rank of fans. Honored to do so..

Sethughes (author) on June 30, 2012:

I am very thankful I can shop. I do understand how rude and hard to deal with people can be. I've worked at a couple different retail stores, both for over a couple years.

I agree people need to be more thankful for what they have. I really just meant this from the viewpoint of someone who has the privilege and means to shop and live comfortably. I didn't mean to sound superior or spoiled. I am grateful God has blessed me with the opportunity to live happily. It gives me a way to help others when I know that I am able. I just prefer shopping elsewhere. Thanks though, good points.

skye2day from Rocky Mountains on June 29, 2012:

oh Poor baby.. Be thankful you can shop.. Many would leap for joy to go and shop at Walmart. Sorry to burst your bubble.. I do not care for walmart because the prices are a rip off. and they do not pay the employees enough money to put up with us want it now people. Customers can be so rude and demandig. I have seen many that are rude to cashiers because they do not move fast enough or they could not find a price. I say learn patience and thank GOD for what we do have. Compassion is a good thing. So you need to walk a mile to get in the store. Be thankful for exercise and the fact you did not get run over. Shop on line if you hate walmart. If one knows prices you can do way better elsewhere. anyway. So Pick another store and you may get upset at that one too. We can not change people places or things what we need to change is our attitude to gratitude that we can eat today.

God Bless sorry to not agree with your walmart saga. I know it is easy to get frustrated in there. So take a breath and smile make someones day you will feel better for it. Cross my heart.

Julianna from SomeWhere Out There on June 29, 2012:

Were I reside we have 3 Wal-Marts and a Marketplace. The newest one that just opened is nice and not overcrowded. But the main is a bear! I have left that store frazzled and exhausted from all of the Hoopla! lolol! Enjoyed and definitely shared! :)

Sethughes (author) on June 29, 2012:

I think sometimes it is the other shoppers that make it very unpleasant. But yes, occasionally you will get an employee who has come to terms with his job and is very nice. I love those.

moonlake from America on June 29, 2012:

We have no choice we have to shop at Wal-mart. I was there today it was crazy. A man almost ran over me with his big fat truck. I actually like the new big carts because at least the go. We just got the old carts are so bad you can barely get them to move. I have to say the guy that was the checker today was very nice.

Sethughes (author) on June 29, 2012:

Oh definitely. I can't even imagine spending an entire shift working in there. And yes, it is always what I need that they seem to be out of!

RunningDeer from Iowa on June 29, 2012:

Don't forget the employees who hate their lives because Wal-Mart is such a terrible place to work. And the fact that when you run there quick to get just one thing, it's out of stock!

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