Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Upscale Wal-Mart Update

Over the past weekend I was in the Dallas, TX area. While there, I really tried to slot enough time to make it out to the new "upscale" Wal-Mart in Plano, TX since I was only half an hour away. Sadly, I didn't get the chance to but I did do a few informal interviews with friends and family memebers over the new store. Out of about 15 people I asked about the new store, only one has been. My aunt who lives in Plano says it was busy its opening week said that the cars sure didn't look like cars from Plano residents. She went in to check it out and said that it looked like a plain old Wal-Mart to her. She did note that they have hardwood flooring in the clothing section but they've been making that conversion in all of their stores since it's the laminate is cheaper to maintain than carpet. She did also notice that there was a coffee shop where they usually put a snack bar, McDonalds, or Subway/Blimpie. Her final verdict is that she is sticking with Target and Kroger for "those type" of shopping needs.

I also have a few relatives from south Dallas (Waxahacie for those keeping score at home) who plan on checking out the store at some point because of what they heard on the news about it. I will give Wal-Mart a little credit for creating a freak show atmosphere that worked so well for Wal-Mart openings in the early 80's. There are some people I've talked to who are genuinely excited to check out the new fancy Wal-Mart in Plano. Unfortunately for Wal-Mart, most of those people I talked to don't actually live in Plano. In fact, most of them live south of Dallas which would require them to drive to the other side of the city in a pretty traffic-ridden area (I-35E) to get to the store in the first place. Then again, that's where most of my family lives in the metroplex area.

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