Thursday, October 8, 2009

Project Impact: Good bye Specialty Products

I shared my thought's on Walmart's Project Impact on facebook some weeks ago and want to share the same thoughts here too. I will be doing a series once in a while on here about this topic and focus on one main reason I hate this store. This post will be an introduction, plus some thoughts on some specialty products I've had to say bye bye to in the name of big business. Walmart has decided to take advantage of the economy right now by instigating a new plan called "project impact", the lighter side of project impact is a reface of their stores such as product placement, wider aisles, switching around the pharmacy, new happy clerks, etc. Sounds innocent enough. The darker side is their push in doing this to wipe out the stores that they haven't managed to wipe out yet. They are not hiding this fact and have their sights on the struggling K Mart and the craft store Micheal's. Apparently they are selling scrapbook stuff etc and displaying prominently many of the exact items Micheal's sells (for a lower price). Essentially, they are selling about 80% of the TYPE of products Micheal's sells (some the exact same stuff, but mostly cheaper and tackier knock offs). There is an article here where you can read about a lot of this stuff.
I have a lot of issues with this, my main ones being: I like going to an entire store that is devoted to arts and crafts, I like Micheal's products better, plus- I just plain freaking hate Walmart and their politics. My biggest issue on my mind concerning this, is the 20% of merchandise that Walmart doesn't carry that when Micheal's goes under will be lost forever. A good example of such an effect in my own life would be what happened in Utah Valley with cake supplies. I make cakes, and I now live in Utah Valley. Once upon a time there was a store called, "Shepard's Cake and Candy Supply". The store had an entire wall of cake pans, every color of food coloring in many different forms, cake boxes, cardboard cake rounds, a million cake fillings and flavorings, essentially everything a cake maker needs or wants. (Same too if you make candy (which I don't, but same deal for that). Anyway, many of the big box stores now have one aisle devoted to cake decorating. You can get many of the things you could buy at Shepard's, but not nearly all. As you may have guessed, because of these stores offering this stuff, Shepards was forced to close (one of the stores doing this is Micheal's so yes, there is a little of what comes around goes around). But, the stuff these stores such as Walmart don't sell, throw a major kink in my life. Like cake boxes and cake rounds. Orson Gygi in downtown Salt Lake sells most of this stuff, but not all, plus it is very far away.
So thanks to such shenanigans as these, there are many products devoted to cake decorating you absolutely cannot get in Utah Valley. That sucks.
Everyone has hobbies. Think of your favorite: scrapbooking perhaps? Photography? Painting? Cooking? Well, insert your favorite store to buy these supplies and if it isn't Walmart, it could possibly become a casualty of the evil empire and you will be in the same boat as me.
(Cooking is another favorite hobby of mine and if Spoons and Spice goes under because of this, there will be hell to pay. Walmart will never sell half of the interesting kitchen gadgets one can find there. I don't know about you, but I love living in a world where you can buy a gadget with it's only function being to slice avocados into neat perfect rows. Or a hand held cherry pitter. I only own one of these items, but it is nice to know they exist and I could if I wanted to.)


Amy said...

I, too, love specialty stores and really look forward to shopping at them when I come to Utah. (I can go to stupid Walmart here). I loved Shepard's. It's so maddening what they are doing to everyone.

Pops said...

You are Wright in all you say in your rant. Losing specialty stores is a loss for the consumer. Years ago in the meat business we felt the same way about Safeway and Ralphs pushing out all the small "Moma and Poppa" butcher shops that were our main customers. Then the big boys in the midwest pushed out all the small meat packers like us. Bigger is not always better.

Cat said...

Sing it, Sister! Plus Travis just got a job at Michael's. I don't want to have to worry about his job after like 4 months of unemployment!

Pops said...

Ems, how do you turn off "over the rainbow"? It overplays everything on the blog.

Emily said...

you just hit pause, but I will change it right now to only play if it's pressed instead of automatically.

Amy said...

It's also way down after pictures of Elinor. You have to turn that one off too.

Queeey said...

I share your loathing of Walmart. You probably know this but the name brand stuff Walmart sells is usually made at a lower quality just so Walmart will sell it. Not only do we lose access to awesome things, we also lose the high quality of what is left. Sad, sad, sad.



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