Back for my annual couple-of-weeks stint on this board
I was VERY impressed at my local WM yesterday. Showed up at 6:30 p.m. They had plenty of staff (and more than a handful whom I spoke to said they were there voluntarily, unlike what the social media labor activists will tell you) available, all had bright-colored vests on for easy ID, things were laid out with plenty of space in the main walkways/"action alleys" (learned a new term last night). Only real issue I might have had was that a couple of items were not placed in the right category of the store (e.g. a couple of toys were near the pharmacy/housewares).
Lines had already formed for the slow cookers, fire pits, towels, and of course electronics and DVDs/CDs/games.
My priority was the $29 storage ottoman. I set up station right next to its pallet along with one other woman. Sandwiching that pallet was the Eureka vacuum and the TV stand, so with people already waiting for those, we were fine since they would be "blocking" for us one 8:00 hit. Target #2 was the Ottlite craft caddy lamp, which was in the same section 3-4 pallets up, but unfortunately located right next to the slow cookers and coffee makers. I had slight concern that I might not make it through that in time. From there, I would've had to double back to toys and shoot for the Princess activity set and the Fisher-Price remote control construction set. The construction set was easy to find, but I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to get to it in time. I had purchased it online at its regular price Tuesday night just in case. I couldn't find the Princess set until I was pointed towards the guns/sporting goods section. Well, duh, of course I should've thought to look there first for a crafts/activity set for little girls.
As we got closer to 8:00, the crowd started to pick up around us because the XBox line was going through the pet section (we were in front of the paint area). My plan had been to get the ottoman, scoot up to grab the lamp, cut through pets/hardware to get the Princess set in the back corner, then try for the construction set. That's I was a bit worried when I saw the XBox line.
Shortly after 7:50, we start joking and asking the sales associate watching us if we could go ahead and poke some holes in the plastic to help that part of the process along at 8. She laughs and tells me "Nice try." We have idle chatter with the associate for a bit, then all of a sudden, another associate across the way yells at the one I was talking to, saying "Look! LOOK!" and she's pointing up towards the slow cookers/coffee makers. Sure enough, someone jumped the gun.
The group of us around the tv stand, ottoman, vacuum cleaners, and shop vac actually hesitated for a few seconds, then the associate I had been talking to finally said "Well, we can't stop you at this point." Grabbed the top ottoman, passed it down to a little old lady who had asked me if I'd help her get one into her cart, grabbed my own, then pushed off towards the madness that was the small appliances. The few seconds I was behind them must have helped, because I managed to weave through and reach down for the lamp. Cut straight across, and thankfully the XBox line had moved quickly, so I was clean through to sporting goods and got the Princess set. Then it was time to attempt to navigate the toy section. Piddled along slowly and finally got to the spot, and hooray, I got the next-to-last construction set.
Unfortunately, because of the direction I was facing, I had
to move on towards electronics, and it was a zoo. No big pushing and shoving (the 3 cops and numerous yellow vests probably helped), just a whole lot of people aiming to get the same thing. Took a right, headed back up to housewares to see if there were any more towels left, but they were gone. No biggie, that wasn't a priority anyway. Took a left from there and boom, the Disney storybooks were right in front of me. With 4 little kids at home (my oldest just turned 5), I figured why not, and grabbed one for each.
Got some PJs for the kids, walked back through toys one more time (things had settled down a whole lot by then), and grabbed the Discover house and castle sets.
By 9:15, checkout was easy. The line for the 10:00 TVs and printers was already forming, and I wanted no part of that. Why anyone wanted to be a part of that for a 32" Emerson
is beyond me. Not to be a tech snob, but 4 rows of people snaking through the grocery aisles for that? Seriously? Headed to Customer Service after checking out to see what was in the return carts, and got one of the Brother sewing machines.
I was slightly bummed the Crayola colorwheels were gone, but when I went back in the morning at about 8, there was one sitting in one of the return carts up front.
Also got an 8 gig SD card and a 16 gig memory stick.
All told, including waiting, I was there last night for 3 hours, and then back for about an hour the next morning.
I am full of kudos for this Walmart's planning and organization. I've already seen the video of the brawling over phones at a WM that is going viral on YT, and it's a pity that smooth operating like this one's won't go viral. Leave it to a few bad apples to spoil it for the rest of us.