A Different Walmart Experience

Sidney and I usually do our grocery shopping at the supermarket right next to our house. Those who live around here know what a Lowe’s Foods is but those out west probably immediately think of hardware. Well, for those who don’t know, Lowe’s is a very nice supermarket chain in the southeastern United States. Bakery and deli offerings are well above average, you can make your own peanut butter, and you can sip a craft beer while doing your shopping.

Sidney and I usually shop at our neighborhood Lowe's Foods.

Sidney and I usually shop at our neighborhood Lowe’s Foods.

We purchase the majority of our groceries at Lowe’s because it is convenient and the store is nice in pretty much every way. Because of the convenience and quality of our neighborhood supermarket, we gladly pay the higher price that comes with it. However, every now and then it is nice to change things up just a little.

I don’t see harm in going to Walmart every now and then. Personally, I did most of my shopping there up until a year ago. I still get the hankering to shop there at least every few weeks. With Sidney it is a little bit of a different story. As I mentioned, she likes the products and convenience of Lowe’s. She also prefers the smaller, more intimate atmosphere as well. If you have ever went shopping at a Walmart on Sunday you know there is nothing intimate about it.

Yesterday I pitched the idea to Sid that we do our shopping for the week at Walmart. She said yes on one condition: We go to the Walmart Neighborhood Market.

This is one of the Walmart Neighborhood Markets in Myrtle Beach (photo courtesy of the Sun News).

This is one of the Walmart Neighborhood Markets in Myrtle Beach (photo courtesy of the Sun News).

I hesitated a bit at first. There were certain things I wanted to get that I wasn’t sure the Walmart Neighborhood Market had. I also prefer the location that our local Walmart Supercenter is in. But the Neighborhood Market was both closer to the house and undoubtedly much more low key than the Supercenter so it was only right for me to compromise with Sidney. Off we went.

Let me tell you exactly what shopping at a Walmart Neighborhood Market is like: Envision going to your typical average grocery store such as Food Lion (for my east coast readers) or Albertsons (for my west coast readers). Take that atmosphere, size, and setup but subtract at least a dollar or two from every item on the shelf. That is shopping at a Walmart Neighborhood Market in a nutshell.

It is almost cute in a way. You enter the store underneath big Walmart signage but once you walk in you realize it is just a regular, no frills grocery store. You don’t feel overwhelmed by an influx of people. It is a totally different experience from your typical Wally World. What doesn’t change from the Supercenter, however, is the pricing.

Once you shop at a store like Lowe’s for several months it almost feels like stealing when you return to Walmart. The prices are much lower and it makes you almost want to go on a major shopping spree. To be able to enjoy this refreshing experience at a smaller Walmart venue is very much welcome by people who feel uncomfortable around large crowds or in big stores.

As we were checking out, Sidney turned to me to get my confirmation that shopping at the Walmart Neighborhood Market was much better than the Walmart Supercenter. I couldn’t concede 100% as the smaller store did lack a couple things I wanted but it wasn’t a wasted trip by any means. We saved time inside the store, cut down on driving distance, and enjoyed the same low prices we would have taken advantage of at the regular location.

If you are yet to shop at a Walmart Neighborhood Market, your time might be coming. It seems like these stores are starting to take over. Just in the Myrtle Beach area over the past year we have seen three of them open up. It will be worth your time to at least give it a try.

We will still do the majority of our grocery shopping at the supermarket by our house. After all, I affectionately refer to it as “our grocery store.” However, when it comes to our occasional Walmart visit, we might be going the Neighborhood Market route more often than not. Don’t Blink.