Wal-Mart And The Cost Of Life (Cereal, That Is)

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7 Responses

  1. Steve says:

    I like the superfresh on Columbus Blvd. Notably, it’s across from a Walmart.

  2. Matt says:

    Food shopping in Philly is fairly bad. I mostly go to Trader Joe’s for various reasons but it exhibits all the pathologies you’d expect from a store managed and staffed by hippies (poor inventory control, back shelf stocking, poor knowledge of products by staff, etc.) You can go to whole foods, the alternative for people who like to consider themselves lefties but actually run by a rabid right-winger libertarian but it’s too spendy for me. The best options (not for price, but for goodness) is the many farmers markets around the city for much of the year. It’s true that you can’t get Life cereal there, but that stuff is pretty gross anyway.

  3. Salil says:

    Genuardi’s had excellent quality at good prices when it was private. That was prior to its absorption by Safeway, who had to take out full-page ads apologizing for alienating Genuardi’s customers.


    The aquisition was timed just before Safeway’s workers on the West Coast struck and the entire chain suffered quality problems.

    A smaller, similar high quality privately held chain, Clemens, was aquired by A&P (Superfresh).

    So what you have now is Whole Foods, Trader Joes, and three chains owned by mega-chains not known for the highest quality: A&P (Superfresh), Albertsons (Acme) & Safeway (Genuari’s).

    The much-beloved (and again, privately-held) Wegman’s chain is probably the solution, but they’re staying on the periphery of the area for now (Exton, Willow Grove, Princeton, Cherry Hill, Mt. Laurel, Turnersville, Malvern).

  4. debris says:

    Workers at Acme and SuperFresh are indeed represented by a union — UFCW Local 1776 (my former client). As I recall, Genuardi’s was non-union, but I don’t know whether that changed after Safeway took them over. Whole Foods is notoriously and aggressively anti-union (and a good illustration of why the Employee Free Choice Act is necessary). Yet, despite paying lower wages and providing fewer benefits, Whole Foods (a.k.a. “Whole Paycheck”) has much higher prices than its unionized competitors.

    The farmers’ markets are, as Matt says, a good alternative, as are the Reading Terminal and the Italian Market (though the quality of the produce at the latter often leaves something to be desired).

    Anyway, I agree with Dan’s point about market (heh!) segmentation, but would add that Wal-Mart is less of an independent explanatory variable than an instance in the broader phenomenon that sociologists and others have examined for some time under the heading of post-Fordism.

  5. Kaimi says:

    Our life in the Bronx got immeasurably better when Target opened shop at 225th street.

    No more 5 dollar boxes of cheerios. Horray!

    Plus, we could finally find a lot of basic items, all in one place, rather than spend all morning wandering from store to store.

  6. notwithoutacoupon says:

    Here in Florida we have seasonal residents, meaning half the year they live somewhere else.

    Publix is NOT the store of choice. Publix’s prices are always over inflated. 30-50% higher. Walmart is always a safe bet, but there are others like Winn Dixie and SweetBay that have coupons and really good sales. I feel that the local Sweetbay and Winn Dixie are making a valid effort to help consumers. They give free milk with cereal purchases. With the added in savings of coupons (I purchased 80 Life Cereal coupons) on ebay for under $15.00 total. I take the coupon to who ever has them on sale 2/$5.00 use 2 coupons and get a free gallon of milk for $3.00!

  7. crissy says:

    Here in Florida I guess they don’t notice the post above theirs is 2 YEARS old.I’m eating my life cereal right now and I got it free,that’s right I wait for my food stamps and the gov. picks up the tab.