Saturday, January 23, 2010

Where's Walmart?

WalMart's in Quincy.  America's largest retailer hasn't seen fit to locate any operations in Dorchester, Mass.

Dorchester does have a Target outlet in South Bay Center, located in that no-man's land that no one can say is part of Dorchester, part of Roxbury, or part of the South End (probably disowned by the last).

Dorchesterites looking for discount housewares, fashions and sundries can go to the newly re-established BD's Discount on Columbia Road.  There's a Family Dollar Store in Fields Corner.  There are small dollar stores and convenience stores and discount outlets peppered all over Dorchester, just as they are scattered around Roxbury, Hyde Park, Roslindale, Eastie, and the further parts of Charlestown.  All parts of Boston are Walmart-free.  It's snobbier that way.  This is good for the small business person, but some Dorchesterites and Mrs. Hydes may want to buy a case of toilet paper at prices near wholesale.  There is no Walmart or BJ's they can get to by the T.

Are Dorchesterites really Walmart's target clientele?  Maybe one, out-of-the-way Target store is all this part of Boston needs.  Looking at the People of Walmart website, I can't say I've ever seen anyone on Dot Ave that could be a target for these mean-spirited jibes.


Adam Gaffin said...

It's not Dorchester. WalMart has remarkably low penetration in all of eastern Mass. Probably the closest ones to Dorchester are Walpole and Framingham.

But why would you even want a WalMart? Gah!

Whalehead King said...

There is a Walmart tucked off on the far side of Quincy. Good prices for people who don't have a lot of money.

The social ramifications are another issue and beyond the scope of this observation.

Cleary Squared said...

There are two other Walmarts around the Boston area in Lynn, Salem and Avon.

I like the Walmart in Walpole better than Quincy, although the one in Quincy has about the same amount of stuff (and it's right on the Route 225 bus line). I still get stuff at much better prices than I would at other stores.

The resistance to Walmarts in Boston proper is due to the influence of mom-and-pop stores and their ability to tell the city councilors that a Walmart will kill their business. Meanwhile, they're selling their niche items at a premium because they have a captive audience.

Hyde Park sometime and you have three dollar stores. Tells a lot about the neighborhood and how it's declined when within a 50 yard distance you can get cheap foreign toothpaste and one-off Wii-like games. (And I've been a Hyde Park native for 35 years!)

Put a WalMart in Hyde Park or West Roxbury, and the purchasing power and quality of items goes up appreciably. Then that puts the onus on the mom-and-pop stores to compete - which is the main reason why Boston doesn't have a Walmart, because the of the fear that competition will steamroll the mom-and-pop stores out of business.

Whalehead King said...

Well put Cleary Squared.


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