Thursday, December 11, 2008

It was on a long weekend 6 years ago and I was driving back home to New Haven after visiting a friend. I chanced upon a banner that announced the local K-mart in Derby was closing and decided to check it out. I found a couple of things that I wanted and stood patiently in an impossibly long line. I looked around and the woman behind me in line smiled at me. I smiled back and said something along the lines of how crazy it was.
"Yes, it's sad isn't it? Now there is one less alternative to Walmart around here." She said.
I was a bit puzzled. but I figured she was one of those people who hated big chain stores. But if that was the case, what was she doing here at a K-mart?
"Oh I love Walmart. If these guys couldn't keep up with the competition, they deserve to go!" said another woman in the line.
"Do you know at what price they keep things cheap?" The first woman asked.
The other lady just shrugged and turned away from the conversation.
"No, I don't but if you don't like chain stores, why are you here?" I asked trying to understand.
"Oh, I am just showing some support for the competition when and how I can."
"Why Walmart specifically?"
"Because they're the biggest and the worst."
She sounded so earnest and intelligent about it that I went back home and googled for info on Walmart. And I found plenty. It is so easy to hate Walmart! There are too many reasons and at some point you just realize its easier to hate it rather than go through the entire list. And so I've pretty much stopped going there.

I wish I could tell you I am supporting local business and going to the Farmer's Market for all my weekly grocery needs. Alas and alack - I am but a hypocrite, an armchair activist with great intentions but little action. So I go to the Real Canadian Superstore every week. I'll admit I've no idea how they measure up in different things against Walmart.

I do have a couple of good reasons for liking them though. And I am not talking just about the low prices (who knows at what cost) and their convenient location (4 min drive from my house).
1.) I like their policy on plastic bags. You need to buy them or if you brought your own, you get rewarded with points for groceries. Although, this doesn't really cover those flimsy bags you put bunches of carrots or beans in. So its really only a halfway measure but its something...
2.) I like most of the PC branded food products. They don't seem to have too many preservatives and stuff and actually taste pretty good. I especially love love love their cheesecake...

And I might add a third reason. I kind of like the commercials with Galen Weston Jr even though I think he looks like a dork. But that's just my opinion. Apparently there are a lot of women who find him attractive. He even has a Facebook fan club!

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