Thursday, March 15, 2007


We drove out of the village yesterday to Houston. I had my hair cut so now I look a cross between Yoda and an ageing pixie, but it doesn't look bad but all my lovely blonde streaks from last summer are gone.

There really aren't many stores to go to in Houston or Burns Lake, so sometimes we take the trip to Prince George, about 350 km away and visit some of the big stores, like Costco, Wal-mart, Home Depot and Staples. As a general rule we like to help the local stores because they can't compete with these giants and anyway for us, traveling that distance for stuff, it is not a savings. It is more in the nature of a mini-holiday. At least for me, my husband's idea of shopping is know what you want, get to the store, walk right to the item, pay, and leave that one store, why look at any others, and then drive home. I like to look and ponder and check out everything. We drive each other crazy.

Locally the Home Hardware store has been trying to compete with the biggy 'Home Depot' and they have been getting a lot of smaller stores to come under their umbrella name, so they can now diversify and because of greater volume bring the prices down. So now we can get clothes, furniture, tools, hardware etc all from Home Hardware except you have to go to a bunch of different stores to get them. I hope these small business can stay open. It is hard for the small business person to compete when the following is what he is competing with.

For example Walmart,

  1. At Wal-Mart, Americans spend $36,000,000 every hour of every day.
  2. This works out to $20,928 profit every minute!
  3. Wal-Mart will sell more from January 1 to St. Patrick's Day (March 17th) than Target sells all year.
  4. Wal-Mart is bigger than Home Depot + Kroger + Target + Sears + Costco + K-Mart combined.
  5. Wal-Mart employs 1.6 million people and is the largest private employer.
  6. Wal-Mart is the largest company in the history of the World.
  7. Wal-Mart now sells more food than Kroger & Safeway combined, and keep in mind they did this in only 15 years.
  8. During this same period, 31 Supermarket chains sought bankruptcy (including Winn-Dixie).
  9. Wal-Mart now sells more food than any other store in the world.
  10. Wal-Mart has approx 3,900 stores in the USA of which 1,906 are SuperCenters; this is 1,000 more than it had 5 years ago.
  11. This year, 7.2 billion different purchasing experiences will occur at a Wal-Mart store. (Earth's population is approximately 6.5 billion).
  12. 90% of all Americans live within 15 miles of a Wal-Mart.



For most things, I always try and find a "mom and pop" store, mainly because my parents owned a business as did my in-laws. It's been at least three years since I was in a Wal-Mart.

Karen & Mike said...

80% of food that Walmart sells is over-processed junk. I was in Kamloops today and drove right on by. I did stop at Chapters though, as I'm a bookoholic.

Claire said...

Walmart sounds scary, they own ASDA over here now as well.
So we going to see this haircut, a yoda/ ageing pixie is got to be worth a picture.