Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Wal-Mart: Supersized

Speaking of Wal-Mart, has anybody been in the current store on 32nd Avenue lately? The project to convert the store into a Wal-Mart Supercenter is ongoing and the place can only be called a mess...and that's putting it nicely. It can take quite some time to actually find the departments you're looking for, much less the individual items in those departments. Sales have reportedly taken a hit, but that is basically to be expected when a project like this goes on. The Fargo store experienced a similar decline in sales during their remodel, but then have seen booming business ever since (daily sales compared with the previous, "non-Super" year were up as much as 60-70%). I've been in that store several times and it certainly looks like people have found their way back.

When completed, our Wal-Mart Supercenter will feature a full-service grocery store...that will be the biggest addition. However, there will be other additions too. The old Wal-Mart lunch counter is gone and is being replaced by a Subway. There is word that Choice Financial is going to open a branch in the store as they have done in Fargo. Also, we'll probably see either a hair salon or a nail studio open in the store. There will be a "Tire and Lube Express" on the southwestern corner of the store. If you've been to the store lately, you've likely seen that the garden center is also seeing a major remodel. Gone are the days of the old-school plastic covered green houses in the parking lot. In my opinion, that's certainly an asthetically-welcomed changed.

I love SuperTarget the most of the three major discounters (yeah, Kmart is still around so it is still "three major discounters") and nothing is going to change that, but I think I'm going to end up going to Wal-Mart quite a bit more after it has officially become a Supercenter. In the past, I have found it to be a tiring ordeal to brave the crowds and try to maneuver a cart through the narrow paths. It will be nice to have wider aisles and more room for the throngs to spread out in. Also, I'm anxious to see Wal-Mart provide a needed competition when it comes to grocery prices in Grand Forks. They can't hurt and will probably force Hugo's and some of the others to take a look at their pricing.

Even if you're one of the many who despise Wal-Mart and everything it stands for and declare that you will never set foot in the place even if it is "Super", you gotta admit that the store is at least going to look nicer on the outside than it has previously. It's nice to see that Wal-Mart decided to remodel both their Fargo and Grand Forks stores instead of leaving the old stores behind and building new buildings elsewhere in the outskirts. That is a practice that has occurred often in the past and has left many cities with empty buildings on major streets. I'm glad we're not being left with a defunct property that has to be filled. After all, we're still trying to fill up the old Target space five years later.

53 comments:

CottonwoodBeach said...

I'm surprised that grocery prices at other stores have not changed much since SuperTarget came to town. Cereal, my main staple, is almost always more than a dollar a box less expensive at Target than at any other store in town. Target used to make it up in other areas like canned goods, but those prices are in line now as well.

A little more competition can't hurt, though.

Anonymous said...

They can't hurt?

Wait...

They can't hurt?

"The giant retailer's low prices often come with a high cost. Wal-Mart's relentless pressure can crush the companies it does business with and force them to send jobs overseas." -- http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/77/walmart.html

"A recent study by researchers at UC Berkeley's Labor Center has quantified what happened to retail wages when Wal-Mart set up shop, drawing on 15 years of data on actual store openings. The study found that Wal-Mart drives down wages in urban areas, with an annual loss of at least $3 billion dollars in earnings for retail workers." -- http://www.walmartmovie.com/facts.php

"Get a clue, WAL-MART Costs Taxpayers $1,557,000,000,00 to Support its Employees"

"The Democratic Staff of the Committee on Education and the Workforce estimates that one 200-person Wal-Mart store may result in a cost to federal taxpayers of $420,750 per year - about $2,103 per employee."

A former Wal-Mart co-manager claims that store managers are told to "Keep the number of associates from being full time, as many as you can, keep many of them part time, as much as you can." A paragraph in a recently released internal memo from Wal-Mart corroborates the co-manager's statement:
5. Capture savings from current initiatives to improve labor productivity. These initiatives include reducing the number of labor hours per store, increasing the percentage of part-time Associates in stores, and increasing the number of hours per Associate.

Source: Wal-Mart Internal Memo [PDF File, http://www.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/business/26walmart.pdf], via New York Times

What can we do?

Start Here

End Here

Best food in town, guaranteed.

Elucidarian said...

I shop at Wal-Mart maybe once a year, after the other places have closed and it can't wait until the next day. Maybe.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the enthusiasm of the 2 young bloggers, GFG and jgs. But, could there be 2 worse advocates for the future of Grand Forks? From what I can tell, they have no concept and knowledge of the great history of Grand Forks and East Grand Forks. No appreciation of the great local businesses, and operators, that built these towns. And now, out of their own boredom, or longing for a new experience, they relentlessly champion the cause of despicable big-box retailers and disgusting chain restaurants.

The 2 worst trends in this great country over the past 30 years have to be the relentless emergence of the Wal-Marts of the world and empty-calorie, high-fat, fast food joints. Look at the result…. a fat, unhealthy populous of consumers demanding prices so low that they have to be made in overseas sweatshops. Oh my! Aren’t those products exciting!

Get a life you two! You are too quick to spread rumors about local operators that have created jobs and paid taxes for years in this community and simultaneously champion the cause and development of super retailers.

I’m sure you mean no harm. You’ve probably never experienced great locally owned retailers and restaurants.

Sorry to upset you. Now go get a crap junk-food fix and you’ll get over it.

local said...

At least we don't have TWO Super Walmarts like Bismarck. Apparently there's one on the north and south side of the city. Why would a city about the same size as GF need TWO Walmarts??? It's disgusting, really.

I'm willing to pay a little more to support locally-owned businesses and restaurants that are within easy walking or biking distance to my home. It's not worth the drive to sprawlville to save a buck or less.

Coffee Guy said...

Aaaah, I see the "Life was so much better years ago" crowd has arrived. Damn kids and their long hair and Rock and Roll!

Matthew K. Hartman said...

I was in the store just yesterday. I'll attest to the fact that the place is a friggin' mess. I had to walk all around the place just to find what I was looking for. Another thing they need to do is figure out a better way to configure that parking lot. It's just as much a mess.

As far as shopping here after all is said and done... in college I pretty much exclusively did all my grocery shopping at Wal-Mart. It will highly depend on prices, but I have a feeling my days of shopping Hugo's are numbered.

Elucidarian said...

"in college I pretty much exclusively did all my grocery shopping at Wal-Mart"

It's often a matter of ignorance. That's not an insult, but a sad fact. We're not taught nor encouraged to learn about the world in a holistic manner. [For a contemporary viewpoint, the movie Butterfly Effect grossly, but effectively, gets the point across.] Our actions in the here and now, however small, have a profound effect on the world around us, especially after years of seemingly inconsequential activities begin to compound.

We see our personal gain as the practical factor in shopping for convenience and low prices. The resultant burden on taxpayers, ourselves, is real but so indirect and detached from the source that it's difficult to make the connection. Our culture is so obfuscatedly short-sighted.

I'm not immune to this. While I swore off Wal-Mart, I still shop at Sam's Club because they're the only bulk retail around. It pisses me off. I tell myself that it's different because you never hear about the ills of Sam's Club, as though it's the elder brother whose greater integrity you can trust.

My personal edict is that anything I can buy at Amazing Grains, I will not purchase elsewhere. It's the least any of us could do.

Anonymous said...

Problem is, there's no creativity or resourcefulness among the local retail or restaurant community, so chains spring up easily in the void.

Clothing stores, for example, didn't keep pace with changing consumer demands and an upscale shopping experience. Hardware stores didn't put money back into their businesses to make them clean and attractive. Restaurateurs snapped up money-making franchises instead of visiting other places to get new ideas for dining concepts.

Having said that, I'll go out of my way to support locally owned businesses, like Amazing Grains, Dakota Harvest bakery, and Sander's because they represent the best of what it means to buy local.

Anonymous said...

Add to that list the following locally owned: 3rd Street Cafe', Bronze Boot, Al's Catering, Parrots Cay, Kon Nechi Wa's, Italian Moon, GF Goodribs, Blue Moose, Whitey's, Paulo's, Toasted Frog...there are plenty more options out there that aren't a franchise.

JGS said...

Sweet anonymous #1.. I guess you know about my personal life and Grand Forks. I guess you know that I hate local restaurants and everything about them.

Please, if you hate us bloggers talking about this kind of stuff, I encourage you to make a GF blog and talk about how much you hate chain stores and all about local restaurants.

Thank you!

Rick said...

I'm excited to see the remodeled Wal-Mart be complete. Being a younger resident of the city, I could care less about local business, I just want low, low prices!

Rick said...

oh wait, I forgot about the actual good places like Amazing Grains, Dakota Harvest, and the locally owned coffee shops.

drunk said...

Hey, be happy.. you guys have *local* stores that actually serve *locally produced products.* Here in California, stuff like that is mostly a dream. Our Bay Area "local" coffee shops are usually really lousy (except Peet's) and the "local" produce is trucked in from across the state anyway.
Amazing Grains is good. The real estate out here is just too damn expensive to allow most of the family owned local joints to remain open.

I hit up every coffee shop in Grand Forks every time I'm out there, and have always enjoyed it. I like the GFG blog because it's interesting to see what's going on. Makes me jealous. ;-)

On the bright side, a Wal-Mart will often bring in sales tax revenue. I'm really shocked that a K-Mart is still there, and there are.. what, 5 Hugo's locations?
We're losing grocery stores out here left & right.

Goddess Cassandra said...

Maybe you don't care about local businesses, but you should be concerned about their morally reprehensible business practices (two class action lawsuits: one gender discrimination and one race going on right now among other things) and its use of sweatshop labor.

Not to mention that if your paying taxes in Grand Forks, there's also the cost of putting up the new streetlight.

Good Ol' Boy said...

Rick-

Like I should care about local news when there's CNN and Fox News? Maybe we can agree that local vs. big box each bring something to the mix? Sometimes the lowest price isn't the best price....

GrandForksGuy said...

Anonymous...I take offense at the sentiment that because I mention Wal-Mart or another chain store or restaurant on this blog that it somehow follows that I don't know the history of this community or appreciate the local businesses that have always been an integral part of the local economy. I assure you that I am actually very well versed on local history. You would actually be hard pressed to find someone in your day-to-day interactions that has researched local history with the vigor that I have. So please don't discount my knowledge of our community's rich background. I am a lifelong resident of this community and I am very familiar with our heritage.

As far as local business, I also want to assure you that I appreciate them and all that they have provided the city over the years. I shop and eat at those establishments all of the time.

I assure you that there is no intentional favoring of chain stores and restaurants on this blog. When local businesses have opened up recently (The Toasted Frog, Dakota Harvest, etc.) I have mentioned them just as much - or even more - than I would mention a national chain coming to town. The sad fact is that there are simply far more chains opening up in town than there are local businesses. So, if one of the points of this blog is to talk about the local economy and business scene, do you expect me to ignore chain stores or restaurants that are coming here simply because of the fact that they are chains? I will continue to report on new business regardless of where they are headquartered.

Also, when have I spread negative rumors about local businesses? Others may have done this in comments, but I don't believe that I have ever expressed overly negative statements about local businesses. I do have the right to criticize something if I so choose to and I will continue to use that right. However, I assure you that there is no underhanded attempt to spread false rumors around the community.

GrandForksGuy said...

Cassandra, taxpayers did not pay for the set of traffic lights on 32nd Avenue. Sam's Club covered the cost of those lights.

Anonymous said...

GFG, this is what I don't get.

Your comment: "I am a lifelong resident of this community and I am very familiar with our heritage."

Your post: "They can't hurt and will probably force Hugo's and some of the others to take a look at their pricing."

How can you say this, when it's known for a fact that super-stores hurt EVERY town they move into. That's all. There is NO praise for Walmart.

Anonymous said...

Okay, thanks for that explanation GFG. I think we can now draw a conclusion...GFG has spent a long time in Grand Forks. He just has very little knowledge of simple economics.

Go Wal-Mart!!!

Anonymous said...

I think there are two issues, big box stores in general and Wal-Mart specifically.

I agree wholeheartedly that Wal-Mart lowers the bar for workers-reducing wage and benefit standards.

But big box stores in general offer the kind of selection, merchandising and pricing that local retailers are unwilling or unable to provide. I've said it before, but it bears repeating: If local businesses get creative, reinvest some of their profits and provide a more satisfying shopping experience consumer, consumers will remain loyal even in the face of encroaching uber retailers like Wal-Mart.

Anonymous said...

Big box retailers and the Wal-Marts of the world sell one thing...price. They're volume buying power offers them better wholesale pricing. Local stores can't compete on price alone. I'm not a rich man and I don't shop at Wal-Mart. It's a simple fact. The character of Grand Forks is suffering bigtime because of current retail and foodservice "trends". It's game over for the future and character of Grand Forks. The things that I LOVED about Grand Forks can't be replaced by a Bennigans, Wal-Mart, and The Alerus.

Bummer.

Mr. Green said...

Good comments re. Walmart and other big boxes. It really comes down to this: if you are concerned only about shopping convenience and (sometimes) low prices, you like big boxes. But, if you think about what is good for a town and its people, you do not. All studies show that these chains have real bad effects.
No point rehashing what other have said, but one big negative, not already mentioned above, is that they syphon profits out of communities. If I spend a dime at Hugo's, the money the store makes may stay around here. If I spend at Target the profits go to Msp. There are plenty of studies that show that big boxes make communities poorer for this reason. The $$ just get sucked away.
As a tax payer, it pisses me off that public money is used to subsidize all the Supertrashmarts. The City has offices set up to promote such development. Through taxes, I pay for streets, lighting, sewers, etc. so trahsmarts can set up shop on 32nd Ave. Residential development gets hit with special assessments to cover these costs. Often, the big boys do not.
BTW - One person mentioned that big stores mean more tax revenues for GF. In principle this may be true, but it has never happened. All the additional public costs more than eat up the extra income. Look around our region: try to find a single town where taxes have gone down because of economic development. Never happened. Even in places like Sioux Falls where growth has been huge. In fact, nationwide, the fastest growing towns often have the fastest growing taxes. All that growth requires a lot of public funds be spent on roads, schools, fire protection, etc. For this reason, some enlightened communities have put limits on growth.
Grand Forks pols are really big on "economic development." Unfortunately, this seems to translate into an "any development is good" attitude. So, with every new mall, we move away from what we could be and closer to the standard urban-mall-decay.

Anonymous said...

There are pros and cons. If I spend less at the "big-boxes," then reasonably you can assume my money will stretch farther, affording me more goods and services. This is the perspective of immediate gains.

The important question lies in whether the long-range losses make up for up-front gains. This requires a much more sophisticated understanding of the local economic structure, which is ever-changing. I've yet to see any detailed commentary providing current facts and figures.

Rick said...

ol'boy: there should be a mix of big-box and local, I agree.

People need to put their names on their comments. Too many anons.

CottonwoodBeach said...

Hey most recent anonymous, if you want "detailed commentary providing current facts and figures", go find an economist and fund a study. I think your expectations are a bit high for a blog.

Better yet, if this space is so lacking in substance, why don't you publish your own blog full of "detailed commentary providing current facts and figures". Then I can ignore it.

Elucidarian said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Elucidarian said...

Comments often come in the form of factual statements when they are really just opinions. When presenting something as a fact, it's best to have some source to cite if confronted. Otherwise, it's just a waste of time and text.

GrandForksGuy said...

Can I please ask some of the anonymous commenters to start using some sort of name? If you want people to follow what you're saying they need to be able to pick you out of the sea of anonymous commenters out there.

I agree with Rick that we need to always have a good mix of chains and local establishments.

It's unreasonable to think that Grand Forks should turn away chains that want to set up shop in the city. That would only hold Grand Forks back and everyone would suffer including the local mom and pop's because people would start shopping in Fargo where the choices are already more diverse. We should welcome both local startups/established local businesses as well as a reasonable amount of national chains.

As far as feeling sorry for Hugo's that Wal-Mart may underprice them, why should we? They may be local, but they are a relatively large local chain...not a mom and pop operation. I understand that they won't be able to compete on price, but couldn't they try harder in other ways to hold their ground? As a frequent Hugo's customer (both now and in the future) I for one think that Hugo's could already be trying harder to better serve the customer. In my opinion, competition can make for better choices and higher levels of service for the customer and I hope that happens in GF.

BTW, where was the outcry when Hugo's developed into a regional chain and started building large supermarkets throughout the area that put many neighborhood grocery stores out of businesses? There used to be a couple of dozen grocery stores in GF when we were half the size we are now...someone put many of those stores out of businesses, didn't they?

Conservative Yahoo said...

"How can you say this, when it's known for a fact that super-stores hurt EVERY town they move into."

I guess I would hide behind "Anonymous" if I used a statement like that.

and if you can back it up, let's see it from a more legit source than another blog. (no offense meant GFG)

Tu-Uyen said...

I did a story a year ago about the impact of Wal-Mart SuperCenters.

Based on research by academics and interviews with business people, I found that Wal-Marts tend to hurt two categories of businesses: Those in surrounding communities and those that compete head-to-head with the giant.

Since we already have a Wal-Mart, I doubt surrounding communities will feel much pain. But local grocery chains might if they don't try to differentiate themselves. That would mean more specialty products and services. Wal-Marts tend not to have butchers available to give you the cuts you want, for example.

One of the things consumers need to know about Wal-Mart pricing is that it's not always lower. There is a category of merchandise, such as milk, that Wal-Mart will do darn near anything to have the lowest price. But with other, more obscure merchandise, Wal-Mart prices can be higher.

If any of you guys want to check out some serious research by as neutral an expert as I could find, do a search for Wal-Mart and Ken Stone. He's the Iowa State University economist I interviewed for my story. You'll probably run across a few of his studies online.

Conservative Yahoo said...

I think it's very similar to the local gas stations. They whined to the legislature asking for a minimum price law when they heard Walmart was putting in gasoline. My question for them is "Where are the stations from the past that the present stations put out of business?"

You either adapt or you don't.

Therese Masters Jacobson said...

No matter how "super" Walmart attempts to morph itself into, I will not shop there (or Sam's Club)--even if it does "look nicer on the outside" as you suggest. There are some issues worth standing for such as employee's wages and benefits, and lines not worth crossing such as their door jamb.

Conservative Yahoo said...

Anyone?

Anyone?

What Grand Forks stores have closed because WalMart is here?

Don't talk out your a$$ without backing it up.

What Grand Forks stores have closed because WalMart is here?

What did they pay their employees and what benefits did they provide??

I hear a lot of trash talk with out anything backing it up.

I think it's fashionable to trash talk WalMart.

Anyone?

Anyone?

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Brooks said...

i guess if people are going to whine and moan about jobs at walmart, they dont have to work there. if they work there and hate it, go to college. I'de definately rather have an additional 500 jobs or whatever superwalmart will have, even if they are lower paying. They are better than no jobs at all, aren't they?

GrandForksGuy said...

I too would like to see a list of the stores that closed when Wal-Mart came to town in the early 90s. The only closure that I can think of that could possibly be linked to Wal-Mart coming would be the old Ben Franklin that used to be in the Town and Country Center on Washington Street. However, that store was outdated and I doubt that it compensated its employees any better than Wal-Mart does theirs. I just don't think many stores closed when Wal-Mart came (I was here then and way before then too, BTW) and I don't see how more will be closing now that Wal-Mart is adding groceries.

JGS said...

Thank you yahoo. Atleast someone understands here. Anonymous FOR THE LOSE!

Anonymous said...

Hey Yahoo, or is it Mr. Yahoo? Either way, it's yahoo, I suppose.

"Splain" me this...Wal-Mart does millions a year in revenues. One day, in the past, no Wal-Mart. The next day, Wal-Mart.

Where did all those sales come from?

I know, I know...Pisek.

I do know where the profits went. And it's not Grand Forks.

Conservative Yahoo said...

"One day, in the past, no Wal-Mart. The next day, Wal-Mart."

I suggest you read: http://asms.k12.ar.us/armem/clark/timeline.htm

The question still hasn't been answered.

Here it is:

What Grand Forks stores have closed because WalMart is here?

What did they pay their employees and what benefits did they provide??

(don't talk trash and don't get my sarcastic streak stirred up)

Anonymous said...

No problem Yahoo. I gotcha, your just a simpleton that doesn't really get it. The point is, Wal-Mart opened in Grand Forks and immediately began selling millions of dollars of their products a year. The point is, they gobbled up some bigtime market share in town. The fact is they had to cut in to existing business' sales to realize those dollars. That's the point.

Thanks for the link though. Because of you, I now know when James Lawrence "Bud" Walton passed away.

Thank you for that.

Conservative (Simpleton) Yahoo said...

Why Walmart??

Target is okay?

Menards is okay?

There was something here before K-mart was built?

Just how many Hugo's grocery storres are there?

Look at the three large truck stops, Simonson's, I-29, & Stamart.
What gas stations did they replace?

Once upon a time I worked at Surplus Outlet, downtown across from the
courthouse. Where is it now? (actually I left before it closed)

My point, simpleton as it may be, is that things change. I just think
it is fashionable to bad mouth Walmart when they are just one of many
in Anytown, USA. I'm not so sure I would call it progress so I'll call
it change.

AND

Nobody has answered the questions:

What Grand Forks stores have closed because WalMart is here?

What did they pay their employees and what benefits did they provide??

JGS said...

Once again, NO anonymous person hear has yet to prove any kind of facts. The last anonymous post could have been any person stating THEIR own beliefs. Good job man, try again.

Anonymous said...

No problem guys. I'm the anon that's been messin' around. I'm a big free market guy. Let the Wal-Marts of the world pound on whoever they want...no big deal. I just don't agree with cheerin' and bloggin' for Wal-Marts and Olive Gardens. Those big boys will be just fine on their own.

It is ridiculous how you see things; so black and white I mean. The whole "show me a local business that's *closed*". That's the only test? Closed / Not closed? The reality is more like...local business operator goes up against big boys, revenues tank, local operator tries to reposition their niche, blows all their reserves, mortages their home, blows retirement, cuts short their children's college funding, has sleepless nights, develops health issues, then closes their business because they've tanked their equity and have nothing to sell. Those are our neighbors. I don't think that's cool. Meanwhile people like you are the neighbors on their other side, cheering for the mega-corporations to pound 'em. Given the choice, I'm on the local boys team.

You buy your mayonaise is big giant vats.

I'll pass.

Oh...there are local businesses that are long gone because of these weasels. I'm not playin' your "show me a closed business" game. There are many parts of this great country that don't allow these soul-suckers in. In fact...Have you ever heard of the "We're Not Lovin' It" campaigns? They're neighborhood groups that keep McDonalds out of their areas.

How do I feel about them?

I'm lovin' it!

Viva La Independent Operators!

Conservative Yahoo said...

Do you use MS Windows??

Why is it that Walmart is bad and MS Windows is okay??

Billy Gates has stomped all over more people than WalMart has and
he gets a free ride??

Anonymous said...

Good point. I forgot all about BobsOS. He had a sweet little shop right next to the old Web's Cafe. That mofo made my Commodore 64 sing!

God I miss that dude!

(Great example...jeesh).

Anonymous said...

A good source of information about Walmart is PBS's Frontline show. They did a program a year or so ago called "Is Walmart Good For America?" and the transcript is available online at the PBS website. Stuff you'll never find out any other way. (BTW, a factoid about part-time and lower wages: about 25 years ago, the feds made it legal for employers (any employer) to hire people at whatever they deemed "not full-time" and pay them less per hour than full-timers doing the same job, and also not having to provide benefits. This took off like a prairie fire and although Walmart is one of the major users of this policy, so are a lot of other employers. This hurts a lot of people who used to be able to make it on part-time work if it paid decently and their needs were modest. Thank the Republicans for that one!)

Anonymous said...

You have to love a nice Republican dig......there is always an underlying theme with people's arguments.....and of course they needed to get their little shot in at the end......great argument....

NanoBison said...

I'm glad the people in South Fargo next to the proposed Walmart to go up at the intersection of 52nd Ave S and I29 stood up and said "NO". I'd rather see a Target or other store with better practices than Walmart go there....

hasaclue said...

What? A Fargo neighborhood stood up to, and defeated, a Wal-Mart? GFG has an obsession with Wal-Marts. Where's your comments on this topic GFG?

That's a beautiful thing!!! I just returned from 3 days in a true American destination city where I didn't see one McDonalds, Wal-Mart, or Target. Even the town "Builder's Center" was a beautiful locally-owned large, beautiful local business.

There is hope for this country and people's way of thinking!!!

GrandForksGuy said...

I don't understand why some think I have an "obsession" with Wal-Mart. Actually, I try to avoid the crowded stores as often as I can. The fact of the matter is that there are plenty of "Wal-Mart stories" in the local and regional news lately, so why shouldn't I cover them or at least give them a passing mention? Should I really ignore Wal-Mart stories just because some don't like to hear them? Do you think a newspaper would ignore stories about people or places just because a segment of their readership doesn't like the person or place? If it's local business news, I'm going to cover it.

As far as the second Fargo Wal-Mart...yes, it's true that the neighborhood where the Wal-Mart was proposed wasn't very happy to think about a store like this setting up shop by their homes. However, don't think for a minute that there won't be another Wal-Mart in south Fargo, but this time I think you're going to be hearing about a location west of I-29...not east like the failed proposal. If there is one thing that Wal-Mart is, it's persistent.

BTW, what is this "true American destination city?" Care to elaborate?

hasaclue said...

You'll disseminate info on Wal-Mart when it's what you perceive as positive but, when it's negative, you take the hush-hush road. Interesting.

By "destination city", I meant a location that DOES draw people, has many draw cards, and just by virtue of their resources draws media attention, and dare I say, hype. All warranted by the way...not advertising or marketing voodoo. And yes, incidently, there is one McDonalds. It's not in the A1A location. Those spots are reserved for great local merchants that truly add to the community. If you want your Mig Mac attack, you have to seek it out. There's barely any signage. There's countless of these amazing destinations in this great country. To oversimplify, they offer a combination of incredible resources contributed by mother-nature AND a combination of good civic decision making developing their region. The specific location is irrelevant.

I'm not interested in a dialogue with you GFG. You're lobbying, and overselling, your point of view. Good for you. Good for it. It's admirable, I guess. Go Wal-Mart!

GrandForksGuy said...

You'll disseminate info on Wal-Mart when it's what you perceive as positive but, when it's negative, you take the hush-hush road. Interesting.


Have you forgotten about the fact that this blog was the first place that "broke" the story about the recent arrests of illegal aliens at the Grand Forks Wal-Mart? So no, I certainly don't take the "hush-hush" road when it comes to negative Wal-Mart stories.

The specific location is irrelevant.

Why? Even though you think I'm such a fan of Wal-Mart, I am actually very interested in the principles of New Urbanism. It sounds like the city you're talking about has put some New Urbanism principles into place and I would like to learn more about this particular location.

hasaclue said...

No problem dude. You go with your news-breakin' self.

Grand Forks is a nice little town in some respects (not a city!), if you're into huntin', fishin', hockey, trips to MN, WPG, and that sorta thing. Not much else though. Enjoy it if you like it. Hypein' it will never fly.

It's obvious on what's goin' on up there with you. You live in an isolated small town off the beaten path and you feel left out of the "good stuff". You see a Wal-Mart and an Olive Garden as makin' ground on other places and just frankly...somethin' to do.

Hey...did you use New Urbanism and Grand Forks, ND in the same post? Wow.