I don’t know if I’m looking forward to shopping at Walmart. As a man I can shop for about 20 minutes max. After 20 minutes my heart rate goes up, my chest contracts and I start bumping into things praying to high heaven to keep me focused so I can get the hell out of there. I’m not sure I’ll be able to do my shopping and evacuate the premises in 20 minutes in a retail colossus the size of Walmart.
Walmart’s total revenue last year was $405 billion. Just think of the size shops they can build with that type of money. I’m thinking four, maybe five, rugby fields of row on row of brands and products we’ve never heard of. Crunch ‘n Munch? Popsicles? What planet are you from?
On Walmart’s homepage they feature a braai sporting several knobs and a lid. The Brinkmann 61000 BTU 4-burner gas grill with side burner and stainless-steel hood. I mean really. A braai can have wheels and a handle bar — a rotisserie if you must — but anything more and you’re dealing with a kitchen. Might as well braai on the stove and enjoy all the other luxuries the indoors offer like running water and underfloor heating. Dig a little deeper and you come across a product called Johnsonville Original Bratwurst Patties. Apparently “Bratwurst” is a sausage composed of pork or veal, the name derived from the German verb “braten“, which means to pan fry or roast. Walmart sells the patty version of this German concoction. Again, not the type of thing you’d bust out the freezer when you’re trying to impress. On that evidence I shudder to think what their floor plan will look like.
As we all know Mrs Ball’s Chutney is on eye level in the condiments aisle close to the All Gold tomato SAUCE. Not ketchup, sauce. Maltabella pap is second from the bottom in the pappe aisle and vetkoek dough readily available neatly packed side by side like party balloons with a soft-centre surprise. Charcoal and wood is way on the left next to the wines that may or may not be on sale on a Sunday depending on the province you’re shopping in. That’s how we roll. If Walmart gets that wrong we’re looking at an hour plus just to pick up milk and bread. There goes my chest again.
Look, I’m not against globalisation. Global is lekker. If welcoming the Yanks’ biggest shop means better prices and better service why not? Besides, Walmart’s pay-off line is “save money live better”. That’s pretty close to our very own Checkers’ “better and better” and our ruling party who’s been promising a “better life for all” for quite a while now. Better is good. It’s not the best but it’s getting there.
Let’s just hope their advertising is better than that other US giant, Chevrolet, who tried to shove the American dream down our throats with Derek Watts narrating a virtual tour of the country’s tourist attractions. If they can spare us that I’ll consider sticking with them.
For better or for wors.