Say what you will about Wal-Mart as a corporate entity, I’ve had my own fair share of gripes with their business practices. If you live in a rural area though, sometimes Wal-Mart is your closest option around to buy just about anything you find yourself in need of.
I almost exclusively by my groceries at Kroger. I love their member card benefits and I used my 3 free trials of their pickup already This last shopping trip, I was pretty much willing to pay the 5$ for my next pickup because I value the convenience, but then I heard Walmart’s pickup was free. ohhhh-kay I’ll download the app and see what’s up.
I found browsing the app (Walmart Grocery not Walmart ) easy to navigate the different departments (not just grocery) really intuitive and the search function brings up related items as well. Kroger does this too, but the department categories aren’t as broad and easy to find.
I selected my items as per my two-week meal plan and found everything I needed. Except store-brand fritos, because it didn’t occur to me to search for “corn chips” instead of fritos. (Hellooooo frito burritos, anyone??)
I started shopping around 7am (this was the Friday before Easter) and it gave me several time slot options, and seemed to have sooner openings than Kroger usually does on Friday mornings. I ended up choosing a 12pm-1pm spot as I had some chores to catch up on and it asked if I wanted to be notified when my order was available. They had 3 options: email, text and app notification and I ended up choosing all three.
There was a place near the payment options to insert a promo code, and I searched Google for “walmart pickup promo code” and found one for 10$ off your first order. I entered it in and it took my 91$ bill into 81$ Pretty cool!
I was on my way when I got all 3 notifications at 11:56, so 4 minutes before my scheduled time which I was really happy about. When you arrive, you can check in with the app, or call the number on the parking spot marker. It will ask you on the app what space you’re parked in and what color your car is.
There was 10 or so spots, each numbered with a sign. The whole area is an orange color and there are signs pointing your way, but since Wal-Mart parking lots are always a cluster of people who don’t know how to drive, seeing the tiny signs was not super easy. Thankfully, it shows you on the map which side of the store it’s on, so it really wasn’t difficult to find the space.
I sat for about 10 minutes which is a little bit more than I would have liked to, but that’s the price of convenience and was a teachable moment for my daughter about patience. ha!
There seemed to be at least two people working, and there were two other cars besides me, so I understand they need to take their time with other people. No biggie! The man who gave me my order was super nice and gave me a little baggie with treats and wildflower seeds and a pen since it was my first time ordering. Nice touch, I thought.
He told me he was originally an IT guy just helping figure out the new computer system, and was very deliberate in where he put my bags. I asked if he was allowed to accept tips to which he said he wasn’t allowed to. I understand tax reasons blah blah blah but it’s kind of a raw deal for them if you ask me.
He asked if I would complete the survey on the app and when I got home I tried, but I accidentally answered that I did have a family member who worked there and it shut me out of the survey. That was my error as I actually don’t, and I would have honestly given a pretty good review. I’m pretty satisfied with the service.
The quality of the food was as to be expected, I didn’t need any substitutions and everything seemed fresh and in-date. I sometimes have trouble with longevity of onions when I order from Kroger’s pick-up.
I absolutely don’t mind paying more for a service like this, but I’ve concluded that Wal-Mart’s is comparable if not slightly better considering the app navigation. And it’s free, so my hands are kind of tied here!
I struggle with the ethics of the company, and admittedly am not as educated on their current practices as I maybe should be. Being an informed consumer is really important to me, and supporting businesses who have values I agree with is one of the only ways I have control over a world where companies have so much power over the people.
Is my affinity for convenience causing me to overlook things I don’t agree with? What impact do people like me have on their local economies?
Food for thought! Thank you for reading.