Thursday, October 05, 2006

Groceries at Wal-Mart

On Wednesday, the new grocery section of Grand Forks' Wal-Mart Supercenter opened to customers for the first time. The official grand opening for the Supercenter is October 18.

I didn't have a chance to visit the store on Wednesday, but I hear that it was already very busy. I'm interested to know how their prices compare to the other grocery stores in town. I heard that they aren't yet stocking some perishable items (meat, bakery items, and produce).

I'm thinking that smiley kid in all of the Hugo's ads had a bad day.

(Image - GoHugos.com [with a little editing])

48 comments:

JGS said...

Going to have to visit Wal-Mart when I get some time to check out the Super Center. I hope it brings in some good competition in town, just hope no grocery stores shut down because of it.

Oh and I bet we see this on WDAZ tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

America needs to wake up and realize that Sunny D, frozen pizza, and Twinkies aren't "groceries".

GrandForksGuy said...

I too would hate to see any grocery stores close, but I really don't think that will happen. I doubt that any of the Hugo's stores would ever close. If anybody should be worried, it would probably actually be Leevers or SuperOne and not Hugo's.

ben said...

anonymous...In my experience going to Wal-Mart Supercenters, they have much more than the list you have given. In fact, the produce section far outshines any of the Hugo's stores (or any other grocer) in town currently. If you actually go look at the Supercenter, you will see a full line of groceries and see that it is the most complete grocery store in this town.

dale said...

In thinking this through, the losers (and it's inevitable that there will be,) will be Super One and Super Target. Leevers is too expensive (in my experience) to be bringing in customers beyond its own neighbourhood. Hugos, something of the same -- it's the neighbourhood store that you go to regularly, while the south end stores tend to be more destinational.

Both Super One and Target make a lot of cash off of the weekend shoppers -- these will be most heavily impacted by Super Walmart. Super One has little or nothing to recommend it over anything else, beyond low prices (you can buy plain or flavoured chicken breast for about 1/2 of what Target charges,) so I think they're most likely to take it in the shorts.

Too bad, too. That's where I do about 85% of my shopping, and I really, really, really don't like Walmart.

ec99 said...

I hear Hugo's is going to run an 18-hour super sale this weekend. They never did that before. Goes to show you what the threat of real competition will do.

vcsuvike said...

ec99... actually Hugo's planned the 18-hour super sale a LONG time ago. They've held several of those in Jamestown, Crookston, and Thief River.

I do agree Super One will probably take the biggest hit. But I hope you are not looking for big price breaks. Most of the groceries in the Super Wal-Marts in Bismarck cost MORE than those at the grocery store.

Tu-Uyen said...

vcsuvike's probably right. I talked to a guy who studies how businesses can compete with Wal-Mart and one of his discoveries is that Wal-Mart prices certain commonly purchased items, like milk and light bulbs, very aggressively, but not so much with other items.

Anonymous said...

A variation on the good ole' bait-and-switch tactic.

You come in for advertised low prices on items A, B & C assuming others will be priced equally competitively.

ec99 said...

"Wal-Mart prices certain commonly purchased items, like milk"

I was under the impression that the price of milk in ND was set by some govt organization...that it had to be sold at the same price everywhere. Or has that changed?

dale said...

Yeah, we swung by there during lunch today and checked it out. Of course, there's no produce, meat or bakery, so that might be different, but we saw neither prices nor unique items that would suggest I'd be well served by ignoring my long standing disdain for the store. They weren't offering anything that I couldn't find elsewhere, and the prices, at least on the stuff that we bought, weren't much, if any, lower than at other stores in town.

They'll make money off of their existing base, and, if they have good prices and quality on produce, meat and baked goods, leech a few people from the other stores, but overall, I'm not impressed.

Though I do like the "self service" check outs. Those rock.

Anonymous said...

I use to be a pretty regular shopper at WalMart, but now that they have built the SUPERCENTER all there prices have WENT UP. There shampoo, laundry soap, toilet paper, all that household stuff has went up atleast 50 cents to a DOLLAR more. So even if the food section is cheaper, your not saving money in the long run of things.

Coffee Guy said...

I just look at this as a bigger venue for the game I invented called "Sweatpants; No Sweatpants."

THE RULES: You look at a shopper's face, and face only, and determine whether the person is wearing sweatpants or not. I'm pretty good at this game, sad to say. However, I don't play very much, as I don't shop there that often.

GrandForksGuy said...

I use to be a pretty regular shopper at WalMart, but now that they have built the SUPERCENTER all there prices have WENT UP. There shampoo, laundry soap, toilet paper, all that household stuff has went up atleast 50 cents to a DOLLAR more. So even if the food section is cheaper, your not saving money in the long run of things.

I'm sorry, but I just don't see that. I have shopped at Wal-Mart both pre-SuperCenter and post-SuperCenter and prices on regular household items are (for the most part) the same now as they were a few months ago. Of course, prices do rise over time, but when a Wal-Mart changes to a SuperCenter, prices do not automatically rise on all items like you suggest.

Just the other day, a friend and I were talking about the fact that the conversion into a SuperCenter would probably make some people think that Wal-Mart is now more expensive. I've seen this kind of thing happen before. When a store improves their facility and starts selling an expanded variety of merchandise (with some items at higher price points), customers may get the false impression that all merchandise at the store is more expensive than it was before.

Another example is Target. Just because SuperTarget has a pretty nice looking store and sells a few more upscale grocery items than Hugo's, people tend to think that SuperTarget is more expensive than Hugo's on all items. As an avid grocery shopper, I can tell you that Target is actually often much cheaper than Hugo's, but many people don't realize this.

Just because Wal-Mart "looks nicer" and sells a bigger selection of items, it doesn't mean that they are any more expensive than they were before the remodel.

Anonymous said...

I'm excited for the Wal-Mart Supercenter also. Not because I shop there. I wouldn't set foot in the dump. I'm excited that GFG can now exercise his options while shopping. He can now buy his sweatpants in the conveniant 3 pack, 6, or 12. I'll bet any amount of money that Hugo's will never be able to offer synthetic sweatpants as cheap as Wal-Mart.

Anonymous said...

I use to be a pretty regular shopper at WalMart, but now that they have built the SUPERCENTER all there prices have WENT UP. There shampoo, laundry soap, toilet paper, all that household stuff has went up atleast 50 cents to a DOLLAR more. So even if the food section is cheaper, your not saving money in the long run of things.

I'm sorry, but I just don't see that. I have shopped at Wal-Mart both pre-SuperCenter and post-SuperCenter and prices on regular household items are (for the most part) the same now as they were a few months ago. Of course, prices do rise over time, but when a Wal-Mart changes to a SuperCenter, prices do not automatically rise on all items like you suggest.

Well let's see the angelsoft toilet paper has risen a dollar in price. The laundry soap i use has risen well over a dollar. The windshield washer fluid is now 30 cents higher. My shampoo i use is also 50 cents higher, and the poligrip my mom uses has risen to 75 cents more. These are just regular everyday items that I can remember the price on. So even if You dont see the price increase I DO, and its REAL.

Anonymous said...

I dont care if walmart looks nicer and sells a bigger selection of items, their prices on the regular things that I use to buy at their store almost weekly has increased atleast by 25 cents to a dollar more. Thats all I am saying, so its not a steal when you go to their grocery center and save 10 cents on an item, because your not saving in the long run because the other prices have went up.

Anonymous said...

I do agree Super One will probably take the biggest hit.


SuperOne at the beginning might take the biggest hit, but there is SuperOne stores and Super WalMarts in other towns that somehow SuperOne has survived. The people who own SuperOne have 21 stores throught the midwest, and plenty of Super Walmarts have been built right beside them, and yet they havent been shut down. Yes everyone of these places lost business for awhile, but after awhile, people go back to their original market, because, When you offer a small hometown type of store, where people are willing to help the customer, and actually get paid decent salaries, unlike WalMart, you dont have to worry about the competition.

Anonymous said...

If Hugos, Leevers, and Super One would just lower their prices and stop gouging customers, they wouldn't have to worry so much about Walmart.

Quite frankly, the local grocery stores have been lining their pockets for years. Hugo's big sale on Saturday was a huge waste of time. Super One could actually pay to have somebody clean their place occassionally.... it's just filthy. Go see how much dust is on the ATM machine when you enter the store. Leevers charges more for almost every item in their store, yet they offer no advantage over any other store.

GrandForksGuy said...

Hugo's isn't too much better than Super One at cleaning their place. Ever look in some of those refrigerated cases? Yuck. I would think the health department would inspect grocery stores for sanitary conditions just like they are supposed to inspect restaurants.

I am an avid Hugo's shopper (I buy most of my groceries there), but they do need some competition. They also could certainly spend a bit more time and money trying to make their stores looks nicer. Have you seen the remodeled Hornbacher's stores in Fargo? I'm jealous...

Anonymous said...

Health inspectors do inspect grocery stores, and I believe Hugo's has remodeled all their stores in the last 5 years. So compared to what they could be there doing pretty good I think.

vcsuvike said...

I wish many of you would try buying groceries in a small town... say Cavalier or Grafton. Hugo's is really cheap compared to what everyone else in the state pays.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see alcohol for sale at the Wal-Marts, Sams, and Targets in town.

What's wrong with that?

GrandForksGuy said...

I'm personally happy to see alcohol NOT available in Grand Forks grocery stores. I would not like to see this changed anytime soon.

I've never quite understood if this is a GF or ND law...anyone?

ec99 said...

"I'd like to see alcohol for sale at the Wal-Marts, Sams, and Targets in town."

With Gershman on the council don't look for it soon.

vcsuvike said...

There is a state law that prohibits alcohol sales in grocery and department stores. The legislative tried changing it last time.

Coffee Guy said...

I'm glad they don't sell alcohol in grocery stores. The less shelf space dedicated to crap offerings like Bud Lite Ice and Boone's Farm "wine," the more to actual food items.

ec99 said...

"There is a state law that prohibits alcohol sales in grocery and department stores. The legislative tried changing it last time."

I'm not sure whether this is the result of puritanism or protectionism. One thing is sure, it means the consumer pays higher prices for booze.

Anonymous said...

I have a solution...change the law.

Anonymous said...

Bismarck has 2 new super Wal-Marts. The Bismarck version of Hugos is Dan's. According to my Dad, living 1 1/2 hours from Bismarck, Dan's was real slow when Super Wal-Mart Opened. When he went to Dan's a few month's later the parking lot was full and the worker's at Dan's were a lot friendler. I think that Hugo's will not be hurt in the long run. It's a myth that Wal-Mart has the lowest Prices.

Anonymous said...

I was in the Super Wal-Mart in Minot this summer, and I was really impressed by the bakery selection. There were some amazing individual slices of cheesecake and angel food cupcakes that might be worth visiting the SW-M for, but I don't think the prices really matched what I was expecting.

Anonymous said...

Wal-mart is known for shutting down grocery stores. I hope they fail miserably, all that Wal-Mart does is close the good stores and sell their red-dye injected meat. Go to Wal-mart, buy ground beef and come back to it a week later, it doesn't turn gray like it's supposed to, it's the cruddiest meat in the world.

Wal-Mart's raising their prices on everything trying to appeal to a richer crowd, which could spell the end of Wal-Mart. They're also known for hiring loads of illegals.

Anonymous said...

grandforksguy,
First of all, Hugo's is easily the cleanest store in town. You'd buy groceries at Walmart and you're complaining about Hugos cleanliness!? Are you kidding me!?

And just so you know Walmart is becoming higher priced on plenty of items, they released press releases themselves about that.

"I am an avid Hugo's shopper (I buy most of my groceries there), but they do need some competition."
- Sounds like you're a Walmart shopper to me, time to get that 10 year nice maroon vest on, because if everyone thinks that way, Walmart will be our only choice, like so many other unfortunate cities. Walmart can buy everything in bulk and distribute it throughout multiple stores, so things they can sell for cheaper, Hugo's will be losing money on if they sell for the same price. I'm willing to pay an extra nickel for sanitary food that tastes good. I'm not sure of this, but it sounds like you've never had walmart food in your life, because it's the lowest of low quality.

Anonymous said...

Here's a fun fact...you know the meat that's vacuum packed? It's gassed with carbon monoxide to stay red. mmm yummy.

Buy the stuff that's wrapped with celophane and PLEASE...do NOT accept a dinner invitation to GFG's or jgs's!

Anonymous said...

The stuff at Hugo's is real meat, along with the other local stores AMEN!

Anonymous said...

Yes, the product at SuperOne and Hugo's is actually cut and packaged in the store fresh 2-3 times daily. Compared to these super centers were the product is vacuum packed and shipped from who knows where.

GrandForksGuy said...

The hamburger at Hugo's may be prepared and packaged in Grand Forks, but the expiration date is only ever a few days (at the most) beyond the time you purchased it in the store. The much maligned vacuum-packed hamburger at stores like SuperTarget lasts far longer and tastes just as good as what you would get at Hugo's (if not better). Also, ever notice how Hugo's likes to put nice fresh red meat on the outside of their hamburger, but when you cut into the meat the inside is brown and obviously nowhere near as fresh? Great. The hamburger at SuperTarget is the same freshness all the way through. Also, practically all grocery stores (at least those around here) use red dye in their meat.

GrandForksGuy said...

Hmmm...there sure seem to be plenty of anonymous posters with strong feelings about buying groceries at Wal-Mart, huh?

Anonymous said...

Hugo's doesnt not put fresher meat on the outside, it is because that part doesnt get air that it turns discolored. It is just as fresh as on the top. SuperTargets is the same color all the way through again, because it is blasted with all types of chemicals to keep it that way.

Anonymous said...

RE: ""There is a state law that prohibits alcohol sales in grocery and department stores. The legislative tried changing it last time."
AND RE:
I'm not sure whether this is the result of puritanism or protectionism. One thing is sure, it means the consumer pays higher prices for booze."

...It's the puritanism, prohibition, and deep religion, that lingers around the North Dakota region, including people hung up with the alcohol taboo. Coming from California, I was SHOCKED to see that I could not purchase a good California red wine for dinner at Super One and Hugo's. Okay, let me get this straight, you have to actually go to a "BOTTLE SHOP" to buy alochol? A special place for the big bad alcohol? Well, I can see why no one wants alcohol "readily" available - binge drinking is an epidemic in this region, but not in most other states where alcohol is easily accessable. I miss being able to walk one block to the nearest gas station to get some wine or beer.

When you limit the available of an item such as alcohol, you add a "naughtyness" and taboo to it which makes people want to abuse it.

Boy, is it a whole different culture in Grand Forks!

JGS said...

It's once again Anons vs. Wal-Mart thread, GFG. We might as well start a "We hate Wal-Mart" thread to get all these anonymous posters feelings out on the table.

Why can't more people who actually favor these places start posting? I find this weird.

Anonymous said...

What's to favor about Wal-Mart?

GrandForksGuy said...

I'm not here to promote Wal-Mart over Hugo's. I just think it is funny how any post mentioning Wal-Mart brings so many anonymous readers out of the woodwork. Maybe some of you could start applying some kind of a name to your posts so we can see who is actually saying what?

Anonymous said...

GFG...please explain this to me. You're "anonymous" right? You have a screenname. What's the difference other than the ability to follow the thread? I think your arguement is 3rd grade.

GrandForksGuy said...

GFG...please explain this to me. You're "anonymous" right? You have a screenname. What's the difference other than the ability to follow the thread? I think your arguement is 3rd grade.

Like I said in my comment right before your's...Maybe some of you could start applying some kind of a name to your posts so we can see who is actually saying what. What I meant was that it would be easier to follow threads if there weren't so many people who just chose to remain anonymous. You can come up with any name you want...it's just easier to follow the thread that way. I don't think that is so "3rd grade".

Anonymous said...

I would venture a guess that the shelves of Wal-Mart are loaded with trans fats products (I don't know, I would never set foot in a Wal-Mart). I'm guessing that the average Wal-Mart shopper is overweight and part of the first generation of Americans that will not out live their parents.

I oppose the recent trend to outlaw trans fats but...unfortunately the average Wal-Mart shopper is too stupid to understand the threat, just doesn't care, and probably couldn't even spell trans fats.

So...since these slobs are creating issues with our healthcare system, and raising costs for all of us, I guess I'll have to cave on this one and side with the nannys in our culture (wimps).

Anonymous said...

First of all MEAT IS SUPPOSED TO CHANGE COLORS!

Second, you can freeze the meat from Hugo's for weeks and it will be just fine.

I agree with the other user, "What's to like about Walmart?"

Nobody's goin to back you up, because everybody has a bad feeling bout walmart, due to their low wages, unfair treatment of employees, rules against unions, and cruddy last-rate products.

Anonymous said...

Maybe if ND, allowed alcohol sales in grocery stores, WalMart could expand their store a little bit more. I just dont think its big enough.