Change of Pace, or Just Annoying?

I do a lot of shopping at Wal-mart.  We have a “big” Wal-mart in our town, one of those that incorporates a full-service grocery in with the ‘everything-else-you-could-possibly-need-or-want’ theme that is Wal-mart.  I’m there a couple times a week, at least, so I am very familiar with the layout of the store. I’m at the point where I can run in, grab what I need, and be out (lines permitting) in about five minutes.

Until yesterday.

I went in yesterday with my list.  I needed candy – bags of little individual candies, like M&M’s and Raisinettes – to use as rewards for Josh’s flashcard practice.  I also needed sleeves of plastic bags for my vacuum sealer, and a bunch of other stuff.  I was in the mood to get the heck in and get the heck out, but I discovered quickly enough that this was NOT going to happen.

They’d rearranged the shelves on me.  They didn’t change aisles around, they just moved stuff around within some of the aisles.  For example, the M&M’s that used to be on the northern half of aisle 10?  Now they’re on the southern half… and the jelly beans that used to live on the southern half, well, now they’re where the M&M’s used to be.

They did the same with my vacuum-sealer bags.  For whatever reason, they keep the food sealer machines and the vacuums in the same aisle.  I guess there’s some logic to that – both suck!  (do you know how long I’ve been waiting to use that?)  Anyway, the actual clean-the-carpet vacuums used to be on the north end of the aisle, the food sealers on the south.  I get there to get my bags, and they’re not where they’re supposed to be.  Now they’re on the north end, and the vacuums are on the south.

I know why they do this.  They do it so it shakes up regular customers like me, who know where everything is so well that we rarely see other products.  We home in on what we need, laser-like, and ignore all the temptations around us, sticking to our list and our timetable, getting in and out of the store – and that chore – as quickly as possible.  And saving as much of our money as we can in the process.

So the store shakes things up… changes endcaps (fine with that), changes the seasonal aisles (fine with that, too)… so that we have new things to catch our attention when we walk past.

But to mess with the actual layout of the store just cheeses me off!!  I know what I want, I know where it is, and I know how to get in and out with minimal fuss and expenditure.  I cannot describe to you how irritated I was (or maybe I’m doing that now) when I couldn’t find things where they should be!!

So do I just have too much time on my hands, or do you get worked up when your favorite store changes things around, too?

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24 Responses to Change of Pace, or Just Annoying?

  1. Joy says:

    They are slowly changing all our Walmarts around too and the one nearest me, or the one I go to the most (Buffalo) still doesn’t have it all back together. They did the whole flip flop on us. What used to be in one spot is replaced and where that used to be is in the other place. I hate what they did the the pet food. They put it in the opposite corner of the store. They switched a lot of things around. I know they do it so we look around more but this has been going on for most of the summer. How long has it been Nikki? They just got the self check-outs back last month.

    I don’t know Walmart well enough to know the complete (what row and shelf the M&M’s are on!! LMAO!!!) layout nearly well enough to even notice if they did this but man, I HATE this kind of change. I end up leaving the store long before I’m done just because the store is too big for me to keep crossing back over it like that.

    I can’t stand it.

  2. lucy says:

    I can’t stand it either. Grocery shopping is already not my most favorite thing ever (especially when I’m in a hurry!!) and having them change things up is stupid. At least they just changed things within the isle. The worst is when they completely change isles and you are wondering around for a good 10 mins to try and figure out where the M&M’s have now been hidden!!

  3. SKL says:

    It depends on what kind of mood I’m in, actually. Sometimes I’m in the mood for something different. Other times, just give me what I want, dammit! I’d say the latter is my more usual attitude, because I’m almost always short on time.

    I don’t get to Wal-Mart that often, but I did go there this past Sunday morning to pick up some tights and leggings for the girls. Of course, they moved the girls’ section! And it took me forever to find the items I was looking for. Luckily, I was not in a hurry, and I wasn’t that familiar with the girls’ section anyway (mainly shopped in the tots before), so it really didn’t bug me too much. I admit that I was tempted to buy some stuff that I didn’t need – but I put most of it back once I found what I actually came for.

  4. Jenny says:

    We usually go to the Walmart in Litchfield and I HATE that one. I think the whole layout sucks. They are not organized what so ever. You’ll be looking for a certain item and it’s like why is it here? and not where it’s supposed to be! I just hate grocery shopping all together with.

    • Joy says:

      I hate that one too Jenny. I only go there if I only need a few things.That grocery dept is a joke. You’re also right about “where” you find stuff. I found chips there one day in the aisle by the movies and none in the chips section. What if you hadn’t walked through the whole store and wanted those Old Dutch chips??? There were on the shelf because I thought they were in such an odd spot that I checked the snack aisle. I guess for another 10 minutes at the most I’d rather go to Buffalo or Hutch. The Hutch one is really my favorite but it’s always really crowded.

  5. Sue says:

    I also hate it when they change stuff and put things in random places. Why would you put the bread next to the dog/cat food??!! I think I wrote a post about it too a while back…I’ll have to check b/c I think it was about them changing my WalMart too!

  6. Ellen says:

    I can relate to this as well. I do go to our local Walmart once a week and unfortunately it is on Saturday’s. So many people are there then and often it feels as if they think it is a amusement park thing. They walk so slowly, take the whole family with them and park there shopping cards in the middle of the already narrow isles. And if you are finally getting to the shelf where you think the item you need, is, it is gone!! And not only they do replace items often they also take them out of their inventory. We drink Senseo coffee pads. Great taste, great price at Walmart. Now it is suddenly not there anymore. The same with the smoked beef sausage, gone too! Only the chicken one is left, which tastes horrible. But to be honest, not only Walmart does this. Other groceries stores her in the US and in The Netherlands do the same. Why? I have no idea, maybe to challenge there clients????

    • Laura says:

      Oh, Ellen, I hate it too, when they suddenly quit carrying a product that I love! I can tell you, though, I’ve found that with our local grocery store, I can go to a manager and get them to start carrying it again. Or they’ll start carrying a product that they hadn’t before. As long as it’s on the “Master List” (this is a local grocery chain, so they have a big main list that they can all order from), they can get it. And just because it’s on the Master List, it doesn’t mean that they will carry it – so you have to ask. Doesn’t work with Wal-mart, though. With them, you get what you get and you don’t pitch a fit.

  7. c says:

    As a Walmart associate, I can say that this also is hard on the employees of the store. I’ve tried to assist customers by taking them to an item they’re looking for and blam! It’s not there anymore and I feel like a dumbass. Most customers are gracious about it, though.

    These new aisle arrangements come down from the big shelf layout god in the sky, and it’s not only to get the customer to notice other items, but also to make room for new items, as well as phase out items that aren’t selling well.

    So, m’yeah. Sorry ’bout that. 🙂

    • Laura says:

      Welcome, C… and I don’t blame you guys. Being in a small town, I’m pretty familiar with many of our WM Associates, and I know that the change-ups frustrate them as much as it bugs us. I don’t think any of us blame you at all.

      In fact, I’m most appreciative of our associates… I’ve had them help me with everything from finding a product that is (literally) on the shelf behind them, to helping me find the lens from my sunglasses when it popped out. Once, one of the Associates WENT TO ANOTHER WAL-MART, 40 miles away, to pick up an item that our local WM was out of. I kid you not – this associate worked at both WM’s, and when she found out that I was desperate for this particular item, she offered to pick one up when she was on her night-shift at the other store!!! Now THAT’S service!

      So you guys pretty much rock in my book.

      • Sue says:

        I don’t blame associates either. I wish the big shelf layout god in the sky would get employee and customer opinions before they go changing things all crazy! But then they’d have to actually listen to what we wanted so that might not work out… 😉

    • Joy says:

      Oh Heaven’s, I’d never blame the associates either. We all have to do what the boss man says.

      What really bothered me about the “way” they changed the one in Buffalo is they moved aisles at a time and stuff was laying all over the place and I ended up finding some of the stuff I needed by accident. I asked one woman were the hand lotion was and she looked at me and said “I have no idea.” I know they hate it too. I was really upset that they took out the self check-outs that I asked someone that. I always use those. Why would they need to move those btw??

      • Laura says:

        I’m just the opposite… I hate the self-checkers. I don’t understand why they have them. To save on live checkers? Everywhere I’ve gone, they’ve had a live checker standing there, monitoring the self-checker. Seems like a waste to me.

  8. Shanef says:

    To be honest I think you have way too much time on your hands, to remember where everything is like that. Stores around here probably change things all the time also but I wouldn’t know. So it doesn’t bother me at all.

    • Joy says:

      You mean you don’t know where stuff is in the store you shop at? How can you not remember that? Then to find it gone?? That’s irritating and all get out.

  9. mssc54 says:

    Don’t take it to personally. It really is just part of a good marketing plan. And besides those stockers needed the extra hours (you know with the holidays coming and all).

    This was my favorite part of this post. “I cannot describe to you how irritated I was (or maybe I’m doing that now) when I couldn’t find things where they should be!!”

    In other words… “We have notice that you haven’t visited our pharmacy section yet. Please come and see what wonderful prices we have on such perscriptions as valium and other stress relieving products.”

    • Laura says:

      You think I need valium? Really? You really do? Why would you say that? I’m perfectly calm. All the time. Always. Nothing ruffles my feathers. Nothing at all.

      CRAP!!! My Mountain Dew is empty!!! WHERE’S MY MOUNTAIN DEW???? SOMEBODY GET ME A DEW!!!

  10. starlaschat says:

    That was funny a little Walmart mountain dew melt down.:+) We have a new Super Walmart I’ve been there once. The store is huge and I found I had to walk around like a lost puppy looking for a couple of things. By the time I left I wasn’t thrilled and was missing the old small easy to find stuff Walmart. I like to shop at the same grocery store and when they move the tea to the other end of the store I am a little annoyed. I understand they like to shake things up every once in awhile but It is nice to know what sections things are at call me a creature of habit.

    • Laura says:

      That’s why I put “big” wal-mart in caps. Our Wal-mart is small by comparison to the other Super Wal-marts, because we live in a small town (pop ~6000). When I go into the Super Wal-marts near my parents (Chicago Area), I get reverse claustrophobia… that store is so stinking HUGE that it just freaks me out. Ours is a “Super” because it’s half grocery and half traditional WM, but it’s still pleasantly small.

  11. Nikki says:

    If it doesn’t get under your skin some what, then you don’t shop! I hate it, I have a hard enough time finding the time to get everything I need and want. I do not have the time to be hunting down items. This is one reason I do not do the grocery shopping in my house. I have trained my husband to do that. 😉

    Our Walmart started their transformation AWHILE ago. I can’t even remember when they started, but it’s been some time. I go in for a few items, when I do go to Walmart, usually dog/cat food. I used to be able to just go through the green house, in and out in just a few minutes. Never a long line in the green house. 🙂 But nooo, I have to go clear back by the dairy products, where the baby stuff used to be. That’s the biggest thing that irritates me. They not only switched it up a bit, but the entire store was turned inside out, and reconfigured. I’ll get used to it, and I do like that it’s much more clean and organized (Once I figure out where everything is) I’ll probably like it. I like how the small appliances are set up now. It has more of a Target feel.

    I never really thought to why they did this. But that does make sense. They know costumers go in, get what they want, and if it’s in the same spot all the time, we don’t waste our time looking. Therefor we don’t see new products. I get it, but I don’t have to like it. 🙂

    • Joy says:

      I know Nikki. I hate the Buffalo one too. Just when you get used to pet food not being with people food, that’s where they put it. I get so tired walking back and forth that I leave the store and stop at The Marketplace on my way home where they never flip flop stuff like this. Buffalo still isn’t done and it’s been going on for a LONG time. The whole summer I know for sure.

  12. Joy says:

    Here, catch, I’m throwing you one.

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