Which Brick and Mortar Stores do you Prefer and Visit most often, any you avoid?
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    SulleyBear's Avatar
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    Which Brick and Mortar Stores do you Prefer and Visit most often, any you avoid?

    Just curious which stores people choose to visit when they have a choice. Primarily for food shopping and also home improvement stuff, animal feed / farm stuff, those seem to be our most common shopping "categories".......

    Also, what percentage of the stuff would you say you buy locally verses ordering online? We buy 80% locally and order 20% online. Unless it's a specialty item or hard to locate.

    We have the typical Big Box Stores around here, within a 20 mile radius. We have both Home Depot (HD) and Lowe's along with True Value and Ace Hardware stores. Menards is a 30 minute drive either north or south or east. I really like Menards, but rarely visit them because of the drive.

    In the "Farm Store" category, we have a local mill, Tractor Supply and Family Farm and Home and also Rural King.

    Then of course there are WalMart, Meijer's, a regional grocery chain called Martin's and one locally owned grocery store, There is also an Aldi's but we have never been there.



    Food -
    1. Locally owned single location store
    2. Meijer's (Regional chain out of Grand Rapids of VERY Nice stores)
    3. Martin's (primarily because a bank branch is located in the store)

    Home Improvement -
    1. Home Depot
    2. True Value
    3. Menard's
    4. Ace Hardware
    5. Lowe's

    Farm / Animal Feed -
    1. Local Mill owned by same couple for 40 plus years
    2. Family Farm and Home
    3. Rural King (but it's a 30 minute drive)
    4. Tractor Supply Company (TSC) (closest, but one we go to the least)


    Stores we make it a point to not visit - 1. WalMart, because our store is rough, with a rough crowd, in an area with a lot of purse thefts and cars broken into, etc. I will not let my wife to to WalMart without me and she rarely has any interest in going there.

    Other comments - I hear many of the GTT members mention Wal Mart and I think it might even be "Pat" from New York's favorite store (or so it seems like he said the other day). Overall, we like WalMart, it's just our local store is one of the worst I have been in across the nation. I even wrote their corporate office in Arkansas a letter and sent a picture because in the bathroom, where they have sign which says "If this store isn't clean, contact the Store Manager _______________ and the Regional manager _____________" and provided numbers, but both names and contact numbers had been scraped off the signs......I did get a letter from WalMart apologizing for the store condition and they indicated changes were coming, and they did. It's better than it was, but far from where it should be. Plus, it really tends to draw a different crowd than the other stores in our area.

    I have a feeling the national brick and mortar stores are going to dominate the discussion in terms of stores selected. It will be interesting to see.

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    flyweight's Avatar
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    Food store:

    Rouses Market , Closest is 1.5 miles, Family owned chain
    Ralph's Market , Closest is 1 mile, Family owned chain
    WalMart Neighborhood Market , Closest is 1.5 miles, very clean store
    Veillon's Grocery , 1 mile, One owner(cajun), one location, I buy my Diesel there.

    Home Improvement/Hardware:

    Delaune's Do-it Center. , Family Owned, (Do-it Best franchise), There are 2 Delaune's locations near me. One is 600' from my home. Knowledgeable & Helpful staff.
    Galvez Hardware Family Owned, (True Value franchise) 1.5 miles. Knowledgeable & Helpful staff.
    Hutches Hardware Family Owned, (ACE franchise), 4.5 miles.
    Lowe's
    Home Depot

    Farm/Animal:

    Old Time Farm Supply (Local Family Owned) , 2.5 miles.
    Griffith Veterinary Center , Local Family Owned, 1.5 miles.
    Ascension Equipment , (John Deere/Kubota Dealer), Local Family Owned, 2 miles.
    Tractor Supply , 5.5 miles. Don't shop there often.
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    Also have a bunch of other stuff.
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    I only go to a handful of the Big Box stores - Lowe's, BJ's (like Costco), Market Basket and Cabela's. I mostly hit those just because they are all in the same shopping plaza that is within 3 miles of my house. The other half likes to go to Wegman's (the East Coast answer to Whole Foods). And I hit Tractor Supply if I need to. Other wise, we grow most of what we eat and hit a a half-dozen local farms for anything we don't grow.

    But we do buy a lot of stuff online. The UPS/FEDEX/USPS delivery trucks make a daily stop in our driveway.
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    Food:
    -Kroger
    -a small local chain that is about to go under if they don't do something quick...

    Home/hardware:
    -usually lowes because its 5 miles away.
    -a small local family-owned hardware store.

    Farm:

    -tractor supply for most things, rural king for the others.
    -walmart for big oil purchases (they carry 1 gallon cans of valvoline Dex/Merc which is what I run in my truck for 15 bucks a can. costs $6 a QUART at the auto parts store)
    - o'Reilly or napa for filters, auto parts, and the like.


    I stay away from True Value because their stuff is way overpriced ($12 for 10 #12 hose clamps! The same thing costs half at lowes) and the service is sh!t.
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    Food:
    -Logli’s
    -a small local chain that is about to go under if they don't do something quick... hmmm. Sounds familiar

    Home/hardware:
    - Menards, very often. Lowe’s and HD about once per year

    Farm:
    Farm and Fleet
    Napa. The only frustrating parts is they used to have higher quality than Autozone and the like. But there is something to be said for calling them and having them grab the part and set it with ticket for me or someone else to pick up on the way home. That is getting rare.

    Oil.
    Walmart. Nobody can touch their quality oil prices and if they don’t have it in stock shows up at my door with free shipping. Only caution is that they seem to have a problem with people returning the jugs with used oil. I check every seal now before I leave. Grocery’s are getting interesting. Walmart seems to have better dates and brand names than the small chains but then we have to go to Walmart.
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    No big box stores within a reasonable driving distance. The nearest Lowe’s is a 3 hour round trip - Home Depot a 4 hour round trip. There is a True Value Hardware store / lumber yard in town but I won’t go in there. I’ve never seen staff that was so stuck on themselves - they basically look down their nose at you if you aren’t a contractor.

    Tractor Supply in town - nice store but very limited selection and stock. Haven’t even been in there since February.

    For everything else - it’s Walmart or nothing. They are the only grocery store within a reasonable driving distance.

    Our Walmart is the cleanest store - I will say emaculate. The staff is all very pleasant and the clientele are people just like us. I guess the difference is not being in or near a city. But ours may very well be not the norm. We have been in one to our north and while clean it was “ratty” I guess including the clientele. Gave us both the creeps and couldn’t wait to get out of there.

    Grocery shopping is nothing but a chore for both of us - we do it together to help get it over with quickly. We will never see grocery delivery here or even the grocery pickup that I’ve heard of. Even just the grocery pickup would be a godsend.

    I’ve looked hard at Amazon Pantry and would consider joining Prime for that. But they only have name brand staples at prices that are high. But even with that I keep revisiting the idea - it’s getting really bad for both of us to try to negotiate any big store like that.

    Other than groceries we buy 90% on-line. For auto parts and related I use Advance Auto on-line for store pickup. They always have 20%-25% coupons available and the staff is super nice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by coaltrain View Post
    Grocery shopping is nothing but a chore for both of us - we do it together to help get it over with quickly. We will never see grocery delivery here or even the grocery pickup that I’ve heard of. Even just the grocery pickup would be a godsend.
    Have you considered Walmart on-line grocery? It's mostly non-perishables but we buy a lot of grocery stuff on-line from Walmart. The prices for the things we get are always way less than the local grocery store and it's free 2-day shipping if over $35 (which isn't hard to do).

    We typically put together a large order every other month or so and stock up on items we use a lot. It's crazy how much cheaper things like garbage bags, tooth paste, pickles, etc. I get 64 oz of pickles for $0.40 more than 16 oz at grocery store (same brand). 3 tubes of tooth paste for the price of one. Garbage bags are almost half price. I could go on but you get the idea.

    I have no idea how they do it because a big order will typically come in 2-3 shipments. Sometimes things come the next day. I've even gotten a single box from FedEx with a jar of salsa. SMH

    I still shop locally for perishables.
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    jgayman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coaltrain View Post
    Other than groceries we buy 90% on-line. For auto parts and related I use Advance Auto on-line for store pickup. They always have 20%-25% coupons available and the staff is super nice.
    Man, I really appreciate you guys turning me on to that Advanced Auto discount. Really makes me feel like I got screwed the last time I just walked in cold and bought a car battery. You almost feel sorry for the walk-in customers. Even if you aren't ready to buy for a day or so just key in your items and they bombard you with 20-25% coupons and discount codes. What a racket!

    The icing on the cake is Advanced is only about 5 miles from me. :-)
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    I'm kind of trapped where I am, not much to choose from. We have a new Theisen's Store. Their oil is cheaper than Walmart and they have a fair amount of farm stuff.

    Food, Locally owned meat market. They have a little restaurant too, open for lunch on Weds., Thurs., and Friday. They have a menu called WTF.
    We buy a few groceries at Walmart because the local Piggly Wiggly is high priced and dirty.

    We have a Menards 5 miles away. I go there a fair bit.

    We have 2 chain restaurants, McDonalds and Subway. I don't eat at either of those, an old occupational hazard.
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    We are big enough to have a Lowe's. I can't stand the place but for somethings it's the only game in town without driving 45 min. Walmart is in the same category. Service in both is horrible and dread going.

    For Farm stores we have a "Wilco" which is a regional retailer that sell clothes, hardware, and farm/ranch stuff. There is Buchanan's for a truly local place for feed.

    There are 6 large to medium grocery stores so there is no shortage there although prices vary widely.

    We try to shop local as much as possible. Probably 75%/25%. We'll amazon it for certain items and sometimes we make the trek to Costco (60 min) depending on what's going on or if we are in the area anyway. Doesn't make a lot of sense to go out of town when you factor in fuel cost just to save a few bucks but I can't always convince the other half of that.

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