Medicine Hat Media

Posts Tagged ‘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.

This is a review of the Walmart-based salon Regal Nails that I stumbled upon during one of my frequent Facebook explorations written by Darcey Swennumson:

On Saturday, March 5, at approximately 5:00pm, I went to Regal Nails to have my eyebrows waxed.  It was my first time using any type of service in this salon.

The technician who waxed my brows completely disregarded my instructions on how I wanted my brows waxed.  Partway through the waxing, I confirmed my instructions, and at that point she still disregarded them.

During the waxing, she also dropped a glob of hot wax on the inner corner of my eye.  She tried for a moment to remove the wax, then simply advised me, “It will come off in the shower.”  For the record, it didn’t.  I still have wax on my eyelashes, and both the lid and undereye area are raw and slightly swollen.

When the waxing was complete, and I went to the counter to pay, their debit machine was not working.  They advised me to use the ATM machine located within Walmart.  I pointed out that that machine charges a fee on top of my bank’s fee to withdraw money, but they did not care.

I then went to use the ATM to withdraw money, and noticed an “Out of Order” sign on it.  When I returned to the salon and advised them of this, they asked me to make a purchase in Walmart and take out extra money at the till to pay for my waxing.

I found all of this to be extremely disappointing, not to mention a big inconvenience and very unprofessional.  However, I did as requested and then returned with cash in hand.

At that point I asked to speak with the manager of the salon.  I explained that it was my first visit, and would be my last.  He asked why, so I started to explain my reasons, based on the above.

He interrupted me partway through, and demanded payment for the eyebrow waxing, going so far as to reach for the money in my hand.

At that point I advised him that I would be telling everyone I know about my experience that day, and his response was, “There are 65000 people in Medicine Hat.  Go ahead.”  He then collected payment for the brow waxing, and I left.  During this encounter, the technician who waxed my brows was standing beside the manager, smirking and trying not to laugh.

I can honestly say that this is the worst treatment I have ever received at any place, at any time.  I would hate for anyone else to go through anything like this, so I’m trying to let everyone know not to use this place for any type of service!

I’m not gonna lie, either — his invitation for me to “go ahead” and tell everyone about what happened makes me determined to get the word out to as many people as I can, so go ahead and pass this on to everyone you know.

Downtown Medicine Hat is a drag. Shops open and close regularly, driving around to find a parking spot is most often a nightmare and the only way to go between North and South Railway Street on foot is through a dilapidated underground walkway. Currently there are a number of plans in the works to revitalize downtown. One plan of which includes removing planters, at the cost of a huge sum of money, to make a few more parking spaces which probably will not return on the investment of spending so much for so little. Other plans fizzle out or are rejected by vote.

In reading Ticked and Tickled on the Medicine Hat News, one resident complained about how the Railroad is still in town. This gave me an idea: As the railroad is supposed to be moving its operation to the town of Dunmore, why not rip up the tracks and make a mall? A mall would help downtown immensely. It would help relieve the congestion of traffic headed towards Walmart on a daily basis, create many jobs, create an area for people to park in, and most importantly, unify the North and South Railway Streets. The railroad station could also be turned into a dozen cool shops.

The immediate problem I can foresee is that malls usually start off with a few chain stores, such as a Walmart, Zellers, The Bay, Safeway, and so forth. There may not be enough room for a typical square style mall, so an elongated one would be the best choice. Perhaps two chain stores on either side with strip malls and a big parking lot in between. Another possible idea could be a two story mall that could accommodate many more stores with a big underground parking lot, though, Medicine Hat may not be big enough for another large scale mall.

Another issue is that Medicine Hat is not considered big enough for some stores, but as the town just keeps getting bigger, a new mall may encourage new business. Some businesses would, of course, do better in a mall setting, such as Empire Gaming, which tanked due to poor location. It may have greatly thrived in the setting of a mall or in the heart of downtown.


Supposedly sales were down everywhere this holiday season; however, I did not see any evidence of this myself in Medicine hat. I made the stupid mistake of going to get a few items from Superstore on the day before Christmas Eve… how stupid of me. There was literally no parking spots, I should of taken that as a warning. You know how you often wonder why there is such large parking lots outside of stores when they are normally only half full at maximum anyways? Apparently they are just for the few days before and after Christmas. I entered the mosh-pit-like environment as soon as I stepped through the doors. This place was packed and the line ups were half way down the aisles themselves. This wasn’t an isolated incident either, supposedly the malls were packed and Walmart… well I won’t even begin to imagine what that place would be like. Supposedly this situation doubled itself on Boxing Day where shoppers were reported to have spent 10 hours waiting overnight in line outside Visions to get a new TV in one case.

Imagery via

Imagery via

I did notice the sales though, Boxing Day is no longer a day, and now not even a week, in some cases in a few weeks or full month of sales. And normally the deals aren’t that great either, but this year 75%-90% off signs were littered everywhere. And these sales even started before Boxing Day, they started weeks before Christmas in some cases. For example, the Medicine Hat Mall had two Moonlight Madness events this year. Obviously this is a marketing tactic to get people to buy at Christmas in the wake of the Canadian recession. I think it probably worked on some level locally in Medicine Hat, but I think overall, we are a little too dramatic about the recession thing in Medicine Hat and other smaller towns. I cant wager a guess at what will happen next year though, depending how much deeper we have dug ourselves. Business’s have been reporting that they did just as well last year in terms sales (on Boxing Day), and maybe even better.

Ken Gousseau, Medicine Hat News Reporter, has reported about this here.

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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