The Walmart struggle is real

Nadia Dreid

Due to some great misdeed I committed in a past life, I somehow found myself trying to check out at Walmart at 10:00 last Friday night.

Allow me to set the scene: children are crying. The aisle between the checkouts and the clothes, designed mainly for traffic, is filled with over 100 people who, like myself, are being karmically punished for something terrible in their past. We are all waiting in line for one of five registers.

That is, until the line I had been waiting in for 10 minutes closed. Then there were four. Two of which were 20 items or less, leaving them wholly unsuitable for most of the customers with carts full of groceries.

The self-checkouts were open, of course, (saving Walmart the added expense of having to pay three or four more people minimum wage) but anyone who has tried to go through a self-checkout with any more than a pair of socks and a box of Lemonheads knows the struggle.

After thirty minutes, I was finally able to check out. The manager, who several people left the line to go find, never appeared.

The problem wasn’t this specific incident; it was that my experience isn’t rare.

So what’s a girl to do? Statesboro offers two other options: Bi-Lo and Food World, both of which are more expensive (a burden particularly on students), close earlier, and have a smaller selection.

But hold your horses – there’s a new option on the horizon: another Walmart. The Walmart Neighborhood Market, being built on Fair Road, is set to open next spring. Because the solution to this problem is another Walmart.

This May, the city announced two major grocery chains were looking at coming to Statesboro. Neighborhood Market was one, but still no word on what the other could be.

What Statesboro needs is competition, not what essentially amounts to a monopoly.

I don’t know a single person who enjoys going to Walmart, but we all go anyway because we don’t have a choice. Walmart won’t improve their service until a competitive market forces them to. Statesboro deserves a better option.