Thanks Walmart!

Mon 3/29/2010

I'm trying to think of an activity MORE depressing than going to your local grocery store for the last time, but right now I am drawing a complete blank.

Call me crazy, but it seems like grocery stores should be the ABSOLUTE LAST places to go out of business, because humans have that pesky habit of needing to eat food ALL THE TIME. Sadly, that is not the case. My local grocery store is closing down, because only a few miles away (a nice short DRIVE) there is "town" which consists solely of big box stores, owned by every conceivable multinational corporation in the US of A.

For those of us who walk to get our groceries, this is pretty frustrating.

Are there CEOs in a corporate headquarters somewhere, high fiving over the closing of another local business? Probably not. They probably congratulate each other at the start, when a new location opens up. The eventual shutting down of all local competition is probably just a foregone conclusion to them. A certainty.

I understand that times are tough, and people want to pay less for their food. It just seems like in a smaller community people would REALIZE that spending their money at Walmart effects the local businesses, and their neighbors, who own those businesses and work in them.

As I was walking to the grocery store for the last time tonight, I had a moment of weakness, when I thought "Should I start biking out to the big box store? Or catch a ride with someone?" Well, nuts to that! They're not going to get my money. It's considerably more expensive, and it'll mean a lot of changes to my diet, but I'm going to start shopping entirely at my locally owned and run Food Co-Op, which I probably should have done a long time ago.

Sorry this post is so negative. I just really wish the hardware store across the street was still open. I wish there was still a used bookstore in town. I wish I could buy some regular old Saltines within walking distance of my apartment.

11 comments on this entry

Get that Co-op action going, Alec! You're gonna get some nice, tasty, fresh produce there I'm sure :)

Paul Mar30

Don't freak out, they have been bought by these people.

http://www.topsmarkets.com/index2.html

I'm sure they'll still be closed for awhile but eventually there will be another market there.

I walk everywhere so it matters to me too.

Chris Wright Mar30

Alec you touch on so many points that revolve around the simple notion that most Americans _expect_ goods/services/things to be as cheap as possible. For years we have acted on this idea and now we find ourselves in the mess we have today. Find a copy of Ellen Ruppel Shell's "Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture", spend two passionate days reading it, and then follow your heart (as best as your bank account will allow.)

http://www.amazon.com/Cheap-High-Cost-Discount-Culture/dp/159420215X

Blake Mar30

Thanks for the info Chris!

Blake, I'll have to check that book out. We've definitely reached a pretty sad point in our culture's expectations.

Alec Mar30

dear Alec

we have saltines at the Grape Vine! Usually!

hearts
melissa

melissa Mar30

Problem solved! Thanks Melissa :)

Alec Mar30

Blake -- Telling him to buy that book at a 34% discount from Amazon instead of a local independent bookstore or from Powells.com is kinda ironic...

RF Mar30

I totally came over here to your blog to tell you that there are saltines and various other groceries at the Grape Vine, but Melissa already did. Now that's local service you can rely on! What a community you live in Alec!

Joe Mar30

I joined my local food co-op about a year and a half ago. At first I was nervous about the prices, because it seemed that I was going to be spending so much more money, but I figured the trade-off was worth it because it was all ethically sourced food.

In actuality, I have spent LESS money each week since joining the co-op, even though most items are higher priced than at a traditional supermarket. I think the drop in spending is because I buy more food in bulk, I buy less packaged foods and the smaller selection at the co-op doesn't trip off those "I must buy!!" wires in your brain.

All in all, I think you'll be happy about your decision to go co-op. I definitely have been.

Laura Mar30

RF, yeah, I had a similar thought when I pasted the link! I wasn't intending that he actually purchase the book from Amazon, I was just borrowing their information since they are so easy to access.

So, Alec, as RF suggests, find a local independent bookshop and ask them to get a copy for you if they don't already have one. ;-D

Blake Mar31

We've still got Stern's, too! I love that place for produce, local eggs and milk, cheese, tofu, and whatever else happens to be on their shelves. :)

Penina Apr03

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