I shop at the Spring Hill, Florida Wal-Mart . And I am overall very pleased with it indeed: it is clean, the staff are always genial and helpful, and the prices generally excellent: indeed, living on a severely fixed income (I am disabled) Wal-mart makes my life quality that much better. But I have a few comments/complaints/suggestions:
1. Items being discontinued: it seems that a number of items which I have regularly purchased are being discontinued. For example, the store branch (Great Value) Sugar-free Apple Drink mix in the tubes with six tubs apiece seems to have disappeared; and along with the Lemon Iced Tea, it is the one I buy regularly. Yet they have introduced a whole array of "designer" flavors. I can only say, PLEASE keep providing this apple drink. (Some time ago I also used to purchase one liter bottled sugar-free Watermelon soda which also was discontinued, to my disappointment.) There was also, in the same line, a series of Welch's sugar-free drink mixes, Grape, "Superfruit", Grape-Blueberry, others. They were the best I have ever tried... the most authentically grape flavored mixes I have come across (Concord grape). But they also disappeared.
2. Diabetic products. Florida likely has a larger percentage of diabetics than many other areas, yet the range of products available to those of us with the ailment seems smaller than in the Northeast or in the Mountain West; for example, I tried a new Sunkist product when I was up north, their Diet Sparkling Lemonade. And though the regular (ie sugar-sweetened) Sparkling Lemonade is available here, the sugar-free is not. Wal-mart used to carry Diabetisweet, a sugar replacement (made from isomalt) which bakes like sugar. But this also has disappeared. Even the line of sugar-free candies seems to shrink: once one could get sugar-free licorice in black or red; then the black disappeared; now the red has as well. Yet I think there is certainly a market for these things. Regarding meats: I rely on the markdowns of near-expiry dated meats. It seems the policy is to mark them down an average of 30% two days before that date. I found some dated the day I was shopping, but they wouldn't let me have them marked down or not: they said they had to throw them away. (I was tempted to go around and dig in their trash!)... it might be best if they do further markdowns the day before, say to 50 or 60 percent off, which would at least recoup SOME money for the store and also help people like me. Another thing, they seem to put the reduced meats back in the same section they came from. It might be easier of the staff, as well as on shoppers, if they had a "manager's special" section where all the marked-down items would be. Hence, the staff could keep better tabs on the items, and do second markdowns with ease. Otherwise, I am quite happy, indeed, grateful, even, to be able to shop at Wal-Mart -- it makes the difference between being able to afford things or having to do without.
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