Our local Walmart has completely recreated itself. Trust me, if I lived anywhere else, I wouldn't even SHOP at Walmart. But we live one hundred miles from anywhere in any direction and we have limited shopping options in our community. We have Walmart. Or .... Walmart. And then there's always ..... Walmart.
They've been painting, tiling, and dismantling departments for months. I was out of town for the first week in November and I came home to discover the final reshuffling had been done and the phoenix, what there is if it, had been reborn.
I hate it. Everyone hates it. Even the Walmart employees hate it. It takes triple the time to shop because no one knows where ANYTHING is. It's like shopping in a maze. If you ask an employee where the tea pots are or even, where the housewares department is, they stand there with a puzzled look on their face, scanning the difficult-to-see new signs hanging from the ceiling. I don't blame them. I can't figure it out either. They're doing the best that they can.
Although yesterday I reached the end of my patience. We asked an employee, a young man, standing in the hardware department (which took us two circles round the store to find in the first place) where the foam insulation for pipes was located. He turned around in a circle several times himself and then waved his arm vaguely in one direction, flinging it the other direction once just to cover himself in case he was wrong, and said "Over there somewhere." And then he started to walk away.
Using my most potent mom voice I calmly, icily intoned "Stop! That is not a helpful response. Go find me someone who knows where it is." He stopped. He picked up a nearby phone. He called for help. No one arrived. I assume the person asked to come to my aide is still wandering around hopelessing searching for the hardware department.
There used to be a shoe department. Now the shoes are everywhere. There are women's shoes mixed in with women's clothing, children's shoes elsewhere near children's socks (which aren't, of course, near adult socks), men's shoes near... you get the idea here. Boots of any size are somewhere else again. Design by buckshot pattern.
There are wide new aisles. That's because they are now carrying about a third of the previous stock. Yes, there are more frozen food items and a lot more electronic items. But there's less of everything else. There used to be a office/school supply department. Now it's just one short aisle. There used to be a card dept., now..... y'know, I have yet to even see any cards. But most dramatically changed, they used to have a huge craft and fabric department. Now they have two tiny aisles. One short row of fabrics with another pile they've been forced to stack horizontally so you can't really handle it without the whole thing toppling down. Gone is... I'd guess 80% of everything.
In a town with no Michael's, no Joann's, not even a Ben Franklin or local quilt shop, this is a BIG THING. No, wait, we do have a dollar store, and you can sometimes find craft supplies there, but still. It's a big change.
Fortunately, I'm long past my stash gathering era, now embracing the downhill slide of stash BUSTING. But that doesn't mean I don't need supplies now and then. Stash busting means you choose to use what you already have in your supplies as the base for your creative projects, but that also implies that you are making things and will need to restock basics like glue, wire, dowels, pins, interfacing....
I know, think ahead. Restock when I'm traveling out of town. And of course, order online. Good ideas. But not very helpful for a spontaneous type like myself who decides to make something at ten o'clock the night before I need it done, or during a week of icy winter roads or maxed out schedules.
So..... uhm..... do I have a point here? No. I was just whining. Would you like a holiday cheese ball to go with it? I could go back to Walmart, spend a couple hours wandering about in search of the refrigerated section, and see if I could get you one?