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May 19, 2010

All Roads Lead to Walmart

There were almost 2000 passengers on our cruise ship with most of them coming from Australia. A few days before the ship reached Hawaii, we all started to talk about the excursions we wanted to do while stopping at our four Hawaiian ports.

The number of passengers who said they were going to Walmart astounded me. I mean Hawaii is a beautiful place—one of my favorite island destinations—with so many interesting things to see. Volcanoes. Sea horses. Snorkeling. Whales. Turtles. Gardens. Waterfalls. And the list goes on.

We arrived at Kona (our first stop) and, to my surprise, there was a special bus that transferred people from the ship to the nearest Walmart. Passengers returned to the ship loaded with Walmart shopping bags. Really, in some instances I thought the shopping bags were walking by themselves because I couldn’t see the person carrying them!!

Our next stop was Hilo and the word had spread about the bargains available. Everyone was desperate to visit Walmart, even the crew who wanted to stock up on toiletries and small items etc. It became a sort of a joke on the ship. Have you visited Walmart yet? ( In our defense—we don’t have a shop quite like Walmart in Australia or New Zealand.)

And if you’re wondering, did I visit Walmart? Why yes, I did. Just briefly to get something for my cold and sore throat (to combat the buggy thing I picked up on the ship) and to check out the Sony ereaders. I didn’t stay for long though, since there was a Borders nearby. I left my husband and friends to their wandering in favor of checking out the latest romance releases.

Do you shop at Walmart? And, out of curiosity, what do you tend to purchase there?


  1. Maria Zannini

    I usually buy groceries at Walmart.

    It never occurred to me they hadn’t conquered the rest of the world. :wink:

    Around here, even the smallest towns have a Walmart.

  2. Maria D.

    I do shop at Wal-Mart. I get groceries and toiletry items and have bought portable dvd players, a couple of televisions and some small household electronic items.

  3. Shelley Munro

    They do seem like a one-stop shop, but they’re so big a person could get lost in there!!

    I forgot to mention that even the onboard entertainers – comediens etc – made Walmart jokes during their act about all the Aussies heading there to shop.

  4. Helen Hardt

    I resisted for a long, long time, but a while ago I succumbed. They really do have the best prices on groceries here in the States.

  5. Mary

    I visit Walmart every once in a while. We have the big Super Walmart here close to my neighborhood. The only problem I have with them is how sloooow the cashiers are in the one by me. They don’t have nearly enough cashiers for the amount of people that shop in them and I end up standing in line for 30 to 45 minutes just to check out.

    So if I do visit Walmart, I got smart and go at 3am…no one else in the store. lol

    For me, I like their prices on baby items and when my daughter was in school the back to school shopping trip was really easy. For the most part, I don’t shop there unless I’m looking for christmas stocking stuffers.

  6. Amy W.

    Okay, you opened a can of worms for my house. My hubby grew up with Walmarts in TN, back when they actually only sold goods made in America and closed on Sundays. Ever since Sam passed away and they became the huge box stores they are now he REFUSES to go inside. Like Mary said the few times he has gone in (like on a road trip when Emma was a baby) he’s been disgusted by the abundance of cash registers and lack of cashiers. I think he’s up to 6 years now without going in one, excluding that a fore mentioned road trip emergency. Personally I like the customer service I get at other stores over the low prices and lack of morals at Walmart. And so only go on occasion when I can’t get what I need elsewhere. (Like when my baby is sick and it’s 3 am).

    Shelley, I’d have been in Borders with you and my husband would have lead the charge.

  7. Janice Seagraves

    I shop at least once a week at Wal-mart, like most towns in American we have one.

    What surprised me was when it went in, we got it first in the Central valley of California where I live. People would travel from 90 miles away just to shop at my small town. They mostly have their own Wal-mart now.

    What do I buy? Everyday items, toilet paper, shampoo, soap, laundry detergent, and yes some groceries. The amount of items they sell is staggering, and at really good prices too.

    It’s unfortunate that when Wal-mart comes to town all the small businesses go bankrupt.


  8. Shelley Munro

    Isn’t it strange how so many businesses don’t have enough staff? One of the supermarkets near us is like that. I don’t go there any more before I get so grumpy.

    It’s true that big places like these put smaller Mom & Pop places out of business. We have a place called The Warehouse. They’re huge barnlike places and definitely hurt some of the smaller local places.