Medicine Hat Media

Posts Tagged ‘Super Walmart’

Has anyone ever tried to find an associate who works in the paint department of Walmart? It is nearly impossible, as my recent purchase of paint has lead me to believe. It is my conclusion that “paint department associates” do not actually exist.

Finding paint is the easy part, but what if once you find the desired paint, you need it shaken? There is never anyone around to operate the device for you, leaving you to wait without any idea on how long it may take for someone to walk by. Sometimes, by chance, someone will walk by, but usually it is not an associate who is knowledgeable enough to press the green (start) button or the red (stop/eject door) button. All they end up doing is paging someone else to assist you, leaving you to wait even longer. Even more frustratingly, there may even be a sign in the paint department directing the customer to walk halfway across the store to the electronics department to ask for paint shaking assistance. In one case for me, the associate in the electronics department only then paged someone from the automotive department to assist you, who may go there before you arrive, see no one, then leave.

Luckily there is an alternative that eases the frustration: The machine is fool-proof and you can do it yourself, as I resorted to doing. Here is a small guide on how to get away with it:

  1. There is a diagram on the machine that indicates how to place the cans, and a small instruction guide explaining that if you are mixing a certain type of paint, to change the timer to 3 minutes, otherwise it is defaulted to 2 minutes.
  2. Place the cans of paint in the machine as directed by the instructions, close the door and press the green button.
  3. Walk away for 2-3 minutes and perhaps go to an adjacent aisle and pretend you are looking at some other product until you hear the machine stop.
  4. Beware as an associate may walk by. Usually if they see no one there, they will assume some other associate is helping a customer that they cannot immediately see, and walk away.
  5. Once the machine stops, nonchalantly walk over, press the red button for the door to eject, grab your paint and leave.

1 of 3 possible outcomes can occur:

  1. A Walmart associate sees you doing the paint shaking yourself and asks you not to do it, but you can always do it again.
  2. A Walmart associate reports you to a Manager, who questions you, to which you can respond with them not having a convenient knowledgeable associate to assist you and as a result, you had to take matters into your own hands.
  3. You get away with it frustration free.

If you need anything more than paint shaking, such as tinting or information on what type of paint to use for what type of project, you can forget receiving any help from a Walmart associate.

As everyone knows, the Walmart in Medicine Hat has a self-serve checkout. What everyone does not know is that the self checkouts are meant to provide an expedient way for customers who have only a few items to get in and get out without having to wait in lengthy lineups. Unfortunately Walmart does not post an item limit for using the self checkouts. Customers who go to Walmart for a few items often have to wait for an unnecessary amount of time while some customers with 40+ items in their cart try to fumble around with the item lookup or not knowing how to scan their items.

I have been caught in the self checkout line many times waiting behind people who are scouring their cereal boxes for where an elusive UPC code might be, or more commonly, not knowing how the item database works when they have to look up vegetables or fruit that do not have a UPC. Some customers seem to think that the key to the self checkout is to get the UPC as close to the barcode scanner as possible, but as anyone who has worked in retail knows, this is not the case. Other customers seem to think that the key to the self checkout is speed, but as they soon find out, scanning a bunch of items at once and trying to cram them into the bag quickly just does not work.

Walmart offers 3 types of checkout lanes for customers:

  • The first is a small to medium item limit that has a maximum of 6 checkout lanes. Go here if you are not buying a full cart of items.
  • The second is a medium to full shopping cart item limit. This is where anyone who is buying a large amount of food or items should go.
  • And the last one is a self checkout that should only be used by people who are getting 1-10 items, ideally ones that do not need to be weighed or looked up on the item database, and most importantly, not used by people who do not understand the concept of expediency or being mindful to other people who may only be getting a few items.

I am not saying that my time is at all more valuable than anyone else’s. It just pains me to see someone not know how to locate a UPC on a box or understand alphabetical item listings in a database.

In short, if you cannot efficiently use the self checkout, then don’t.

It has been a few weeks now since the new Super Walmart opened in Medicine Hat, but is it a welcome change?

As the new Super Walmart was opened, the pre-existing Walmart was closed. The new store boasts a  complete grocery section and many expanded departments such as electronics, clothing, home decor, and more. McDonalds and Tim Hortons restaurants are also included in the new Supercenter. The grand opening featured over $15,000 in donations to local charities and singing of the Canadian National Anthem before the ribbon was cut to officially open the store. One would think Walmart is a caring corporation and a welcome addition to Medicine Hat, but what do the citizens think? And how does Walmart maintain such low prices?

Walmart Logo. Image courtesy of Walmart.

Walmart Logo. Image courtesy of Walmart.

While overhearing many people at work discussing the new store, most people seemed to have mixed feelings about what the store had to offer, but mostly they all agreed on the same thing: that the store, overall, was a nuisance. It seems that it is too big for most people to relish shopping at (despite the new Canadian Tire and current Superstore being of a comparable size overall). The concrete floor is a main dislike for people. Lineups are another common criticism. Apparently, much of the time the Interact machines do not work, which are not depicted before entering the checkout lanes, resulting in people just leaving the groceries and the store.

The only good thing it seems is the parking issue. In the previous Walmart, to get out of the store, you would have to often times drive in front of the building doors, where many pedestrians emerged from before walking across the road to get to their vehicles. Now there is a more spacious parking lot and two entrances and exits between the main facade.

With’s title saying: “Save money. Live Better” and the yellow smiley face flying around television commercials knocking prices down, one might wonder: How do they get the prices so low?

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