New Wal-Mart not so super after all

By Katie Corker 2004

I’m not gonna deny it. I was more than a little bit excited about the new Super Wal-Mart opening. i even had a countdown to the day of the grand opening (really, no joke!). I read all of the articles in the Courier that previewed and detailed the new store’s arrival.

And when the big day came, I walked away from the store with a mix of emotions. I almost got into an accident at the intersection of Highway 58 and Viking Road, and it wasn’t because I was talking on my cell phone, chewing gum or doing one of one hundred other things females do to distract themselves while driving.

Cars full of shoppers as anxious as I were lined up 25 deep in the turn lane to get into the Supercenter. I slammed on my brakes, narrowly missing the car ahead of me and causing a chain effect on the cars behind me.

I was determined not to let a few bad drivers ruin my Wal-Mart experience. After racing (and beating, to my delight) an old man for the only available parking spot, I was on my way into the shiny, new store.

A smile crossed my face as a giant Wonder Bread, Lays Potato Chip bag and Keebler Elf greeted me outside the big box wonder. The Mix 96 van hovered in front of the store welcoming their new neighbors by giving out some fabulous prizes to the new customers.

Inside, aisles were booming with customers from every walk of life,. At the pharmacy, a young woman with a newborn asked the pharmacist a question about a medication. An older man got his hair trimmed while his wife shopped at the in-house hair salon. Two middle aged women even found a talking, walking (stuffed) turkey with which to entertain themselves.

One lady from Waterloo told me that she liked Wal-Mart because she could “pick up a gallon of milk without having to go out in the cold to another store.”

I was starting to feel a little uneasy in this seemingly so happy atmosphere. Was Wal-Mart trying to lure me into a false sense of security with all the bright lights, balloons and Keebler elves? What was the real motive behind all the hullaballoo?

In the midst of my daydream, a Wal-Mart associate broke in. “Here, that this coupon for a free 8×10 photo,” she said. I murmured thanks, as I started to run, run, run …

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