Archive for Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Lawrence’s newest Wal-Mart opens to public

Long effort brings second store to city

Wal-Mart employees lead a group of associates in reciting the "Wal-Mart cheer" during the grand opening of the new store Wednesday morning.

Wal-Mart employees lead a group of associates in reciting the "Wal-Mart cheer" during the grand opening of the new store Wednesday morning.

April 29, 2009, 9:50 a.m. Updated April 29, 2009, 2:42 p.m.


After years of debate, new Wal-Mart opens

The world's largest retailer's newest store in Lawrence is now open. Enlarge video

Applicants seek jobs with Wal-Mart

The Wal-Mart Supercenter at Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive is set to open April 29 and will be hiring about 250 workers. Some of the applicants for the full- and part-time positions discussed their prospects.

On the street

Are you glad there is a second Wal-Mart in town?

Yes … I think they needed one on that end of town.

More responses

Reader poll
Do you expect the people who opposed the development of Wal-Mart at Sixth and Wakarusa in Lawrence to shop at the store?

or See the results without voting


The woman wouldn’t give her name as she guided her cart through virgin territory — fully stocked shelves, perfectly hung clothes and a floor still free of the marks left by the masses.

“I’m skipping work to do this, and I don’t want my boss to know,” she said with a laugh.

Yeah, she had ditched work to go to Wal-Mart.

It was that type of day in northwest Lawrence on Wednesday as Wal-Mart opened its second store in the city, this one at the northwest corner of Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive.

By 7:15 a.m., the majority of the store’s parking lot was full. By 7:30 a.m., more than 100 people — including a who’s-who of the city’s business community — attended a ribbon cutting that featured the “Star Spangled Banner” sung by the Lawrence Children’s Choir.

By 8 a.m., shoppers with carts in hand literally were standing outside the front door, waiting for their free doughnut and their chance at the city’s newest shopping venue.

“I’m not out here sightseeing. I needed stuff,” said Shelly Hoggatt, who lives in Westwood Hills, an upper-middle class neighborhood adjacent to the store. “I’ll probably use it a lot because I don’t like driving clear across town to the other store.”

Wal-Mart will continue to operate its other store at 33rd and Iowa streets in south Lawrence. The new store, at about 100,000 square feet, is about half the size of the South Iowa store. But the new store — which has about 250 employees — does include a grocery department, a deli, a lawn and garden center, and a drive-through pharmacy.

It also includes a long history.

Wal-Mart first announced plans to build a store at the intersection in August 2002. What followed was a wave of opposition from neighbors who said the store would create more traffic than the area could handle.

Wal-Mart eventually ended up suing the city after city leaders refused to issue a building permit for the store. The lawsuit was dropped after the April 2007 City Commission elections significantly changed the makeup of the commission. Wal-Mart and the commission, just days after the election, agreed to a proposal that would allow Wal-Mart to build the store. But Wal-Mart and developers for the site agreed to limit the size of the store, use a unique exterior design for the building, and limit the overall amount of retail that could be at the corner.

“This project was a labor of love for us, to say the least,” Don Frieson, Wal-Mart’s divisional vice president, told the crowd, drawing a laugh.

On Wednesday, even the developers of the project were able to look back on the winding project and smile just a bit.

“If it was easy, everybody would do it,” said Lawrence businessman Doug Compton, who along with Bill Newsome led the development group that purchased the corner property nearly 10 years ago. “Good things take time, and this is a good thing.”

It also likely is just the start of more development to come. Construction already is under way at the northeast corner of the intersection for a CVS drugstore and a Taco Bell. Compton is a partner in a project to develop the land along Sixth Street in front of Free State High School. The Wal-Mart project also includes several outlying lots that Compton’s group is marketing. He said interest in the property around Wal-Mart has increased significantly in the last 30 days.

“I think people eventually are going to see everything from restaurants to electronics to other types of neighborhood services,” Compton said. “There could be more construction activity in 2009 than there has been in the last two years combined.”


SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 9 months ago

Whoo hoo! A great victory for our city. See you at the new Wal Mart.

Betty Bartholomew 8 years, 9 months ago

Finally! No more having to drive 15 minutes across town to buy toilet paper at a reasonable price. About time!

yankeevet 8 years, 9 months ago

Yowwwwwwww;; Walley World on both sides of town..........

Music_Girl 8 years, 9 months ago

So we can support 2 walmarts but not a

funkdog1 8 years, 9 months ago

Toilet paper is ALWAYS cheaper at the Hy-Vee on 6th Street. Check it out.

Chris Ogle 8 years, 9 months ago

tom- be nice to bozo.... he is turning over a new leaf..... or sleeping in. either way, be nice....

mmiller 8 years, 9 months ago

It's pert near time to load up the young n's and head off to Wally we come!!!! Yeeeee hawwww!

Music_Girl 8 years, 9 months ago

Blue, yeah I know where it was and I liked many of their products better and they were never as crowded and the people weren't rude but that's just my personal opinion haha.

mack 8 years, 9 months ago

Is this just a regular Walmart or is this an Eco-Mart like the one on South side?

delta77 8 years, 9 months ago

I hope this forces the local grocery stores to examine their prices. Dillon's has always been the most expensive place to shop in town (unless you're a coupon clipper). And I like to support HyVee and will still probably shop there for most of my groceries, but if they're charging $9 for something that Wal-Mart has for $6 (like Bertolli frozen dinners!) that's inexcusable.

lwctown 8 years, 9 months ago

yea we really need a third we can be just like Topeka

salad 8 years, 9 months ago

Yea!!! More cheap crap from China! Send those manufacturing jobs overseas as fast as you can.

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 9 months ago

Haven't you heard, salad? The world is flat now.

Confrontation 8 years, 9 months ago

It'll be fun to watch all the anti-Wal-Mart people shopping at Wal-Mart. All those complainers who live around there will show up and spend lots of money. They might have to wear sunglasses and a wig, though.

Michael Stanclift 8 years, 9 months ago


They don't just say "all the best stuff is cheaper at Checkers" for the hell of it.

bearded_gnome 8 years, 9 months ago

only one antiwal-mart post thus far? amazing. the patchoulians must be really sleeping in.

this is good. glad its opened. good increase of local jobs at this time!

sourpuss 8 years, 9 months ago

I haven't shopped in a Wal-mart in about a decade now and I don't intend to start. The stuff there is poorly made - you get what you pay for. I also prefer my movies and music not to be edited for content, thank you. I certainly wouldn't EAT anything from a Wal-mart, considering the quality of their non-edible merchandise. I say, if you have to shop at a Wal-mart in a town like Lawrence, you either bought a house you shouldn't have, or had a kid you shouldn't have. You can buy lemonade for $1 or buy pee for fifty cents... I guess some of you just look at the price. Happy shopping.

welch 8 years, 9 months ago

Its funny to see how people complain about having to drive 30 minutes across town to get to walmart, and their answer is to put one on the other side. Has anyone cared to guess why the hell it takes 30 minutes to get across lawrence? It is ridiculous. The planning is horrible. Walmart just contributed to the 14th stoplight on 6th street within probably an 8 mile distance. Congratulations.

salad 8 years, 9 months ago

SettingTheRecordStraight (Anonymous) says…

"Haven't you heard, salad? The world is flat now."

Why do hate American made products STRS? Why do you hate the American worker?

And no, I don't shop at Wal-Mart. It represents a cross section of the worst America has to offer. I'll gladly pay more for american made.

Quigly 8 years, 9 months ago

WOW!!! Now I think it is time to build another one. Just what Lawrence needs I think. Maybe a Sam's Club so I don't have to drive to To-puke-a

RoeDapple 8 years, 9 months ago

salad (Anonymous) says… "Yea!!! More cheap crap from China! Send those manufacturing jobs overseas as fast as you can."

salad, I'm sure your computer was made in USA, right? And your TV, stereo and microwave? Your car? And the gas in it?

I buy American when practical, convenient and affordable, and when the quality meets my standards, otherwise we may have a lot more in common than you would like to admit.

justthefacts 8 years, 9 months ago

The intersection there is/was already a mess - taking a long time to make turns is going to get worse. So perhaps locating it further west, just a bit, would have been wiser in terms of traffic control. But for those who want to shop there, and live on the West side of town, it's nice not to have to trek CLEAR across Lawrence (it's such a big town you know). I will admit to shopping there on occasion, because my 75 year old fixed income mother-in-law just loves it; I have to take her there on a regular basis. Delta, you must have more money then the people who can't afford to buy the higher priced stuff (wherever it is sold or made). How very nice to be you.

preebo 8 years, 9 months ago

"I buy American when practical, convenient and affordable, and when the quality meets my standards..."

So, let me get this straight, you're only patriotic when it is convenient or affordable?

'cause all your opinions here mean absolutely nothing out there, but your real voice, as with many Americans, is expressed through your pocketbook. When you shop at Wal-Mart, you ensure that your money does not stay in Lawrence, but goes down Bentonville, Ark. and finances, indirectly granted, the Communist Chinese government.

So good on you.

beatrice 8 years, 9 months ago

The next remake of George Romero's "Dawn of the Dead" needs to be filmed in a Wal-Mart. The film-makers wouldn't even need to hire the zombie extras, because they will already be on site, slowly wandering aisle after aisle after aisle.

To all the Wal-Mart drones, happy shopping!

RoeDapple 8 years, 9 months ago

preebo, sorry to hear Arkansas isn't in the USA anymore. When downtown Lawrence can compete for the parking, price and convenience I'll be there. Until then Topeka isn't that far for me, the new Walmart is close enough, and you keep driving your import while telling me about patriotism. Twist that around, sh*tweed.

yankeevet 8 years, 9 months ago

Its a very nice store; just got back from there.......thanks Walmart............oh; yes, the employees seem alot more helpful and courteous.............

RoeDapple 8 years, 9 months ago

so preebo, gonna call yankeevet unpatriotic?

Where did your computer come from?

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 9 months ago

I do 100% of my shopping at Walmart and also bank there and get my hair done there. Folgers coffee is the same, no matter what store you buy it from, and I pay around $2.62 for my Silk soy milk. Smart Balance margarine is also a lot cheaper at Walmart. Also, their store brand is the same quality as name brand. Friskies cat food and Fresh Step litter is the same no matter where you get it, so why be a snob and pay more somewhere else. It's like buying the most expensive shampoo in the store just to prove you can. I have found the people who work there as associates, in the bank, or the hair salon, to be very nice, courteous, and helpful.

poppygirl 8 years, 9 months ago

Do you get a "roll back" price on the haircut?

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 9 months ago

Several people posted while I was typing. Yea Roe, way to go, you tell em like it is. OMG, I'm praising you now! Didn't Da Vinci paint a picture with code hidden in the painting predicting this would happen? It think it is one with trees and you have to look at the leaves just right. Does Da Vinci mean the Vinci? :-)

labmonkey 8 years, 9 months ago

And China celebrates. Millions of American jobs down the tube, yet people buy Chinese made crap. Wake up. Support your small businesses and buy American or Wal-Mart is the only place you will have to shop in the future.

labmonkey 8 years, 9 months ago

Yes, Folgers is folgers. What you don't get is that Wal-Mart is the one company that is big enough that it can tell its suppilers that we are selling your item for this price. The supplier has to cut costs, many times outsourcing and sending American jobs overseas where there are no labor or environmental laws. That is the consequence of saving a buck on your coffee, deodorant, pickles or clothing. The job you could be saving by buying American could be your neighbor's, a family member's or even your own.

Boeing 8 years, 9 months ago

I'm protesting Wal-Mart because most of the products they sell are made in China. China forces abortions,[some as late as 9 months] I think that's wrong so I will protest by not sending my money to China's government.

And I prefer my money not to go to Lawrence's government, so that's why I won't be shopping at the new Wal-Mart much...shame, it is nice. :)

RoeDapple 8 years, 9 months ago

Told you we would find common ground someday, Irish! Whodathunkit would be Walmart and shooting apples at 100 yards?

(That oughta give them something to rant about!)

preebo 8 years, 9 months ago

Roe - I cannot begin to tell you where you are wrong. First of all, The only car we own is a Ford Escape hybrid, otherwise I ride my bike around. Secondly, my computer is an Apple, and it came from their plant in California (in all honesty with some parts from the UK). See, I actually take my responsibility as a consumer seriously, not only do I actively try to buy American when ever possible, but I also shop at businesses that act responsibly both socially and environmentally - you know like the liberal, elitist, intellectual that I am. Oh, did forget socialist?

Interesting how you avoided my central claim or responsible consumerism, but rather tried to attack my purchasing habits. Your move...

dani36921 8 years, 9 months ago

The new Wal-mart isn't a super wal-mart like the other one, right? As soon as that Dillions at 6th and Wakarusa is finished that will be awesome! Yes, it will be nice to have another Wal-mart. Hy-Vee is most deff not cheaper than Dillions. My family primarily shops at the Hy-Vee at Kasold and Clinton Parkway since we moved and we have seen a decent difference in prices compared to Dillions. Not a lot, but sufficient enough. Checkers is the best =)

mom_of_three 8 years, 9 months ago

Oh, sourpuss, people shop at wal-mart not because "they have a house they can't afford, or a kid they couldn't afford." It's convenience, and also a money saver to some. i try to go to Target as much as possible, and I do not fit into your "Two categories", but sometimes stop at wal-mart for items. I want the best bang for my dollar.

BigPrune 8 years, 9 months ago

I'll have to go check it out. If you see a nice looking middle aged man shopping at Walmart, that will be me! I've even showered and brushed my teeth for the event.

It would be hilarious to see some anti-Walmart foes throwing down some money. I'll have my camera phone at the ready. I heard they were giving away free tofu and patchouli oil so maybe I'll get lucky! :)

jenner 8 years, 9 months ago

Ugh... so I work at a restaurant on 6th Street, and to help bring in business for our restaurant, we gave a bunch of coupons and discount cards and whatnot to the new employees. Well, I served that "proud" new store manager, Ryan, and couple of his associates a couple of weeks ago. They were NOT friendly at all. Their original bill was $70.00, but once they used all of their coupons, it was down to $35.00. That was all fine and good, but then they only tipped me on the $35.00, not the original ticket amount. I did $70.00 worth of work(and it WAS work) and only got a $5.00 tip. Blah. I guess people are cheap no matter how much they're making...

Jillster 8 years, 9 months ago

Just for the record...what stores in Lawrence or Kansas City carry products that ARE made in the USA? As far as I can tell, no matter where you go, it's hard to find stuff that isn't made in China. It's not just's everybody.

jumpin_catfish 8 years, 9 months ago

Waahoo! Take that all you socialist elitist hater whiners, let free enterprise reign! (can't wait for the haters to post now)

Trobs 8 years, 9 months ago

Unfortunately there is a recession going on. Some of us are no longer employed and gasp we must shop where prices are cheap.

RoeDapple 8 years, 9 months ago

Ah, preebo, trying to make it a "your politics vs. my politics" thing. How sad for you. Okay, Your Ford Escape hybrid made with many imported parts in Missouri trumps my Ford F-250 made with many imported parts in Kentucky. In my business I try to buy American made when possible, but the nature of my business is that most of the tools and machinery needed aren't manufactured in the US. Once again, when I can I do, but I won't park two blocks away and carry an 85 lb. machine to my truck. And my purchases at Walmart, mostly grocery items can hardly be purchased downtown. Are you truly an elitist, liberal, intellectual socialist as you claim, or just a lowly troll in your mother's basement, as you appear? The beauty of the internet, you can be superman in your dirty underwear.

Trobs 8 years, 9 months ago

As soon as I can afford to be a snob, I'll stop shopping at Wal-Mart

Shane Garrett 8 years, 9 months ago

I would have to agree that not much is made in America these days. Check all your power tools. My brother in law travels three times a year to China as a major buyer for supply stores.

bangaranggerg 8 years, 8 months ago

What happened to the Bauer Farms plan for the Northeast corner of 6th and Wak? I hope they didn't give up all that cool walkable retail/ civic theater/ office space idea. If they scrapped that for some abortion of box retailers and fast food joints that already exist on that street I'll be sorely disappointed.

justthefacts 8 years, 8 months ago

So, to all those who want us to only buy American - where would that be? Can you name a single general retail store in Lawrence and selling the same products as Walmart (or similar) that has no Chinese made products for sale in it? Take a look at the Merc products for a start. (Not knocking the Merc, just saying they too have products for sale from China).

Or do you want us to read every lable before purchasing (guess that means I need to spend hours more time shopping, with all the extra "free" time I have after I get home from work). Oh and I had better warn my 75 year old mother-in-law that she needs to go without food she can afford, to save the jobs of some American who would make those products if it weren't for the Chinese imports (never mind the union shipper, truckers, warehouse workers, accountants, administrators, sales clerks, stockers, etc. all along the chain that ARE Americans and will lose their jobs).

For those who think we live in a closed economy you may want to take a class. Maybe Economics 101.

beatrice 8 years, 8 months ago

Buying at Wal-Mart assures that the profits all leave the area. Shop at locally owned stores, even locally owned franchises, means the profits stay in the community, no matter what the country of origin of the product purchased might be. That, too, is Economics 101.

rorik23 8 years, 8 months ago

The truth is, Americans have been more than happy to by non-domestic products for a long, long time because it's cheaper. This aversion to Walmart because of its marketing of foreign-made goods is essentially unreasonable. There isn't much that is purely "American-made." If something is assembled in the United States, chances are at least some of its parts are from foreign sources.

I'd ask anyone railing against Walmart shoppers where their citrus fruits come from, or where that coffee in their latte came from. Sumatra isn't in the United States.

Chances are, that shirt you bought at a downtown Lawrence retailer was made in India or Mexico.

And, don't think for a minute that every component of that Chevy or Ford in your driveway came from Michigan.

Heck, my American flag has a "Made in China" sticker on it.

Now, what IS valid are concerns about where our products come from in terms of environmental sustainability and human rights. Avoiding clothing from sweatshops and products made via environmentally unsustainable practices is valid, in my opinion, and should encourage healthy discussion about where we get our stuff.

Romans832 8 years, 8 months ago

For those of you who have purchased something at this "new" store, please tell me if I remember correctly what I thought I read... Because it is in a particular benefit district, the sales tax there will be 1 cent more. Check your receipt... Did you pay 8.85 cents / dollar, or not?

Ralph Vickers 8 years, 8 months ago


labmonkey 8 years, 8 months ago

rorik and justthefacts-

You should read every label before you purchase something. It is hard to find American made clothes, but I am able to get them from They are very high quality and only slightly more expensive than clothing bought from stores. It isn't local, but at least I am wearing American made clothing.

As for human rights and emvironmental issues, look up some facts on Chilean Salmon farms (the pollution it causes and the work conditions at the de-boning place) before you buy that next filet. Check out the practices of the clothing manufacturers in China, Malaysia, Vietnam and such before you make that purchase. I recommend reading "The Wal-Mart Effect" by Charles Fishman.

BTW- Hy-vee and Dillons compete very well with Wal-Mart when it comes to food, so your 75-year-old mother-in-law starving is a bunch of crap. If she is really that poor, why isn't she shopping at Aldai's?

rorik23 8 years, 8 months ago

Labmonkey -

You are absolutely right. There are some great online clothing retailers that sell domestic-made clothing at very reasonable prices. Their products, quite frankly, are usually of better quality, too.

Same thing with seafood, as you suggest. Some restaurants mention that they carry only seafood from sustainable fisheries and sources.

Practicality 8 years, 8 months ago

Here is another example of increased drug use with legalization.

"The Alaska Experiment and Other Failed Legalization Ventures • The consequences of legalization became evident when the Alaska Supreme Court ruled in 1975 that the state could not interfere with an adult’s possession of marijuana for personal consumption in the home. The court’s ruling became a green light for marijuana use. Although the ruling was limited to persons 19 and over, teens were among those increasingly using marijuana. According to a 1988 University of Alaska study, the state’s 12 to 17-year-olds used marijuana at more than twice the national average for their age group. Alaska’s residents voted in 1990 to recriminalize possession of marijuana, demonstrating their belief that increased use was too high a price to pay.

By 1979, after 11 states decriminalized marijuana and the Carter administration had considered federal decriminalization, marijuana use shot up among teenagers. That year, almost 51 percent of 12th graders reported they used marijuana in the last 12 months. By 1992, with tougher laws and increased attention to the risks of drug abuse, that figure had been reduced to 22 percent, a 57 percent decline.

• Other countries have also had this experience. The Netherlands has had its own troubles with increased use of cannabis products. From 1984 to 1996, the Dutch liberalized the use of cannabis. Surveys reveal that lifetime prevalence of cannabis in Holland increased consistently and sharply. For the age group 18-20, the increase is from 15 percent in 1984 to 44 percent in 1996.

• The Netherlands is not alone. Switzerland, with some of the most liberal drug policies in Europe, experimented with what became known as Needle Park. Needle Park became the Mecca for drug addicts throughout Europe, an area where addicts could come to openly purchase drugs and inject heroin without police intervention or control. The rapid decline in the neighborhood surrounding Needle Park, with increased crime and violence, led authorities to finally close Needle Park in 1992."

Katara 8 years, 8 months ago

Romans832 (Anonymous) says…

For those of you who have purchased something at this “new” store, please tell me if I remember correctly what I thought I read… Because it is in a particular benefit district, the sales tax there will be 1 cent more. Check your receipt… Did you pay 8.85 cents / dollar, or not? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Walmart is conveniently exempt from that TIF. All the other stores and restaurants in that particular area are not.

Romans832 8 years, 8 months ago

Katara says...

Walmart is conveniently exempt from that TIF.

Thanks for the info, Katara. I didn't know.

Chris Ogle 8 years, 8 months ago

The_Original_Bob (Anonymous) says…

Wow. It finally happened. I hopped on the LJW message board train about five years ago and this is easily the most discussed local issue during that time*. Glad to see we can move on.

*Shoot. Forgot about the SLT.

hey bob- great post... but you owe me a beer.... just spurted mine all over the keyboard. I'm with you man, wally is much more fun than guessing when the sun will burn itself out, so we get the SLT started.

Katara 8 years, 8 months ago

none2 (Anonymous) says…

I guess I don't get why they are exempt from the TIF tax? I thought TIF's were usually paid in an area with a big box store where that store pays the brunt of the TIF tax just because of the volumes of customers and spending for that anchor store. Am I missing something? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It had something to do with how the boundaries were drawn on it. I am trying to find the article that discusses the TIF for that area but the LJW search engine really can suck at times.

jumpin_catfish 8 years, 8 months ago

Just got back its has a groceory, deli everything but tires and oil changes. The tax was 7.85% for those who care.

PeachiePie 8 years, 8 months ago

Just wait until we can all get our healthcare at a WalMart! They are starting to test market walk-in clinics in certain areas (similar to what CVS offers) and should have 400+ in-store clinics sponsored by local hospitals by the year 2011. If the public feels that strongly about WalMart's products, imagine what the opinion will be about their healthcare services....but yet, the people will come....

Richard Heckler 8 years, 8 months ago

Tomorrow, April 30th, nearly 100 Wal-Mart workers like me are speaking out again. They'll be in Washington, D.C., to meet with their elected officials -- and they need your help.

Make their message even stronger by writing to your senators, urging them to listen to my coworkers' stories and support the Employee Free Choice Act. Click here to speak out:

It touched me and my coworkers to see so many of you send in signs that read "I Support CHANGE for Wal-Mart Workers."

From all of us, I want to thank you for supporting us.

But today we need you to stand with us again. Our elected officials need to know that it's time for things to CHANGE for Wal-Mart workers. We need them to hear what life is really like for Wal-Mart workers like us, so that they realize how important it is to pass the Employee Free Choice Act now.

I've been so impressed with how determined my coworkers are to pass the Employee Free Choice Act and get real change at Wal-Mart. With you supporting us, we can really make it happen.

Click here to see a slideshow of all the CHANGE photos and to contact your senators:

Thank you for continuing to support Wal-Mart workers -- it means so much to us to know that you are here for us.


Aubretia Edick Wal-Mart Associate

Lauren Baruth-Stromberg 8 years, 8 months ago

Someone explain to me how we fought to keep them from putting a second store in, and somehow it's still here. What a loss for Lawrence. Why fight for a cause if the council will still okay something we're all against. Shame on them

Chris Ogle 8 years, 8 months ago

dear ibroke: mebroke too, and if wally doesn't have it, I probably don't need it.

nverlost 8 years, 8 months ago

How many millionns of tax $$$'s did it take to "fight the fight"? This was a loss for the tax payers of Lawrence from the beginning. Another example of liberal naiven"ness" at it's finest.

Winters 8 years, 8 months ago

Haha, like you AREN'T going to shop at Walmart. Love when I hear people who say they aren't coming back or won't give into the corporate world... and always fun seeing them in the check out line. So I suppose when people stop complaining... well wait, that will never happen, nevermind.

Winters 8 years, 8 months ago

beatrice --

Local Wal-Marts actually give back to the community... just sayin.

stupidpeopleslayer 8 years, 8 months ago

After reading all these comments (yes, I read them all) I felt compelled to respond and defend Wal-Mart. Contrary to popular belief, Wal-Mart is not the evil empire the media makes it out to be. I know first hand. Wal-Mart is committed to sustainability, pledging to be waste free by 2025, which other major corporations have this goal?

The existing store donanted over $75,000 to the local community last year alone, with the majority of those funds going to educational based programs.

The store on Iowa did over $90,000,000 in sales, of which they paid taxes on. Tax money that went to the local economy. It employs over 400 associates at the existing store and roughly 250 at the new store. What would Lawrence be like without those 650 jobs?

Wal-Mart does not ship job overseas. All of the companies that do business with Wal-Mart realize they can increase their profit margins by doing so. Aren't those companies killing American jobs? Don't point the finger at Wal-Mart simply because they are willing to go with the cheapest price (to save the customer money).

Finally, to the Wal-Mart associate that is in favor of the Employee Free Choice Act, are you serious? Have you done your homework? By unionizing associates will loose all of the benefits that Wal-Mart gives us. You will no longer be able to have open communications with your managers, will have to pay union dues for which you will see nothing for in return, rather then promoting the most qualified associate to a supervisor role, the employee with the most seniority will get that position (I really hope you don't get passed over). In addition, EFCA takes away the right to a private ballot. How unfair to those associates who choose not to vote with you. Now they will be subject to harassment and bullying from you and your counterparts.

Eurekahwk 8 years, 8 months ago

May God have mercy on all of your greedy nasty souls. Another Wal-Mart was NOT NEEDED. Lawrence used to be one of the great college towns in America, but it is quickly being destroyed by corperations. There is way too much developement going on now a days, thus Lawrence looks more like crap every time I come up for a game. I am deeply saddened that the new commisioners of today are morgaging the history of this once proud town for some kickbacks. This town used to be known for its wild growing hemp and anti war hippy college students. Now its known for Starbucks and quick stop convenient store pharmacies. All the people who worked to make this happen should go back to Johnson County where they belong.

Caller Hunsaker 8 years, 8 months ago

Yes the K-Mart closed years ago because out of all of the K-Marts in the U.S. the one in Lawrence had the highest lease price. The owner of the property raised the price because the new by-pass would make that section prime land for business. I can't tell you a reason why they have not tried to negotiate another property site here in Lawrence. With the distribution center here they could at least try to open a surplus type store.

labmonkey 8 years, 8 months ago


Wal-Mart IS the cause of jobs going overseas. They are so big, they tell the supplier "we are selling your item at this price, live with it or we won't sell it." The supplier, who many times sells a high percentage of its wares through Wal-Mart, is forced to go overseas just to make a very small profit, and of course the quality goes way down. A good example is the company that makes those little lawn sprinkler tractors. They used to make them in the United States. Thanks to Wal-Mart pushing the prices down, the company had to go to China and now you can never buy one that works. This has been repeated many times with items sold throughout the store. That is why Snapper quit doing business through Wal-Mart, even though Wal-Mart wanted to majorly feature them like Home-Depot with Cub Cadet (where the quality went way down), and Lowes with Troy-Built (again, the quality went down).

As for substainability, Wal-Mart is a huge reason we can eat salmon for like $5 a pound where it used to be $20 pound and only in season. What you don't know about is the ocean pollution caused by the Chilean salmon farms and the very poor human rights conditions in the de-boning places. Many times when the jobs do go overseas, products can be made outside the watchful eye of the EPA. I'm sure those companies who smack their employees with the piece of clothing you are buying are kind enough to follow all the environmental regulations.

Quit believing Wal-Mart's propaganda and read up. Look at the label and buy American.

labmonkey 8 years, 8 months ago


Sears owns Kmart now, and there is already a huge Sears in Lawrence. Putting in a Kmart would be kind of redundant (but then again, so is putting in a second Wal-Mart).

scaramouchepart2 8 years, 8 months ago

The Sears is not huge. It is where the first Wal-mart was.

repaste 8 years, 8 months ago

Uniform development code states department stores should be located at intersection of two state highways. that was the issue - location - not whether we need two. Traffic at this location will show why the code was written. K-10 and US 40 would have been the legal choice. the TIFF tax is the NE corner, goes to the developers. TIFF was created to help develop blighted areas, like 6th & Wak, and Oread.

Orwell 8 years, 8 months ago

Stupid Slayer of People:

Your claim that "Wal-Mart does not ship job overseas. All of the companies that do business with Wal-Mart realize they can increase their profit margins by doing so" simply isn't true. Wal-mart knowingly dictates prices to its suppliers that result in the suppliers losing money unless they use overseas sources. It's like saying I'll shoot you in the head unless you CHOOSE to give me your money, then calling your money a voluntary gift to me.

Wal-Mart – where shoppers know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

cowboy 8 years, 8 months ago

This new store may well be the bailout for the city's budget. setting at 2-3% below projection if the store draws new business from douglas and shawnee counties that used to go to Topeka .

lawthing 8 years, 8 months ago

The new walmart is pretty small!

Definately not a super-store!

MrCitizen 8 years, 8 months ago

For Practicality - I am not sure why you are talking about drug legalization in this forum but you might be interested in contrary findings re: Portugal that show legalization to be a successful strategy. Check out this...

As far as Wal-Mart is concerned, my main gripe is that incessant building by contributes to the 'McDonaldzation' America and Lawrence wherein every shopping center has the same darn intl. franchises. How boring.

"This is a local shoppe; we'll have no trouble here!"

Raider 8 years, 8 months ago

I try as much as possible to avoid shopping at WM. There are times when the difference in price is too great, and I have to choice but for the most part I avoid it. The people shopping there are disgusting. The place is always crowded. You can never find help. There are never enough checkout girls, and it's just overall a bad experience. I'd rather spend a little bit more and have a pleasant experience rather than deal with the typical class of people you find there.

Dayle Hodges 8 years, 8 months ago

Andini: My mom LOVES to shop at Wal Mart---can spend the entire day there. I, on the other hand, will do all I can to avoid going there; even if it means paying slightly higher prices.

Steve Jacob 8 years, 8 months ago

It should be fun watching that vote someday on the "Employee Free Choice Act". I even think Obama is afraid of it.

And if you don't like working a Wal-Mart, leave. I sure did.

RonBurgandy 8 years, 8 months ago

I shop at walmart sometimes. Usually for groceries because they are significantly cheaper. But I do have a degree of guilt with it.

But I am not excited that there is a new walmart. Not that I hate the idea, but it's just a walmart. It's not like we just landed a pro-baseball team in Lawrence. I am not going to go make a special trip out to NW Lawrence so I can check it out.

EarthaKitt 8 years, 8 months ago

Remember when the Wal-Mart at 31st Street opened? What was it 1993? Do you remember that it opened with the promise of being a ground-breaking "green" department store? So how long did that cheesy entryway educational display last? Did they gut that area when McDonald's was jammed in for while? Has anyone driven down 31st Street lately? It's a MESS with trash and plastic bags. Seriously. It looks like the outskirts of a landfill. Wal-Mart hasn't just broken its promise to be green, they've blighted the area. How can our memories be so short?

I can't believe they've opened this shiny new Wal-Mart while flagrantly allowing the other one to zap the environment, our city and hard working people needing a decent wage. I'm betting that in six months the folks on the west side who begged for this Wal-Mart will regret that decision. Who wants to bet?

(I edited lots of expletives out of this post.)

9070811 8 years, 8 months ago

I am mostly astonished at the poor planning. Isn't this the 15th stoplight on sixth? Can you imagine the traffic problems that will occur with the freestate traffic? I am so glad I graduated in 2007 before this happened. A CVS and a TacoHell? What happened to local businesses? There are only two ways out of free state, both are two way. The east side two one needs to become a one way going out during 3 and 330. The west side can stay two way because it leads to the LIAC. I digress. Poor, poor planning. My mother works for KDOT and she's laughing at the city commision and is bewildered that they let this go on. WalMart couldn't really be prevented...but come on...way to create an outragious traffic mess.

9070811 8 years, 8 months ago

Oh, and as a college student. I choose Checkers and Target over WalFart. It takes consideration, it really does. I try to visit the dollar store for simple things like cleaning supplies or rando cheap stuff. It gets hard with Target because a lot of things are out of stock sometimes, mid day mostly. For a simple example: my favorite mascara, come on I do brown not black, don't make me go across the street to WalMart, which I do. I have used the same one since I was 17 and allowed to wear make up. I can not simply pick another brand. When the month $ is really tight, during certain months and finals week, I have to go to WalMart, it's an awful guilty feeling. My silk soymilk is cheaper their but when I go to checkers I can make up the difference in other products. I often end up really confused in WalMart, it's a strange kind of anxiety. I wish we could have got a COSTCO! That would have been SWEET! But having a costco in Lawrence wouldn't be that practical. Their are a few locations in the KC area that are great. The one in OP is a half hour away. It's like driving all around Lawrence. That was quite a bit of rambing. I apologize, it's been a long day in the silent library. Also, avoiding studying for finals.

Matt Bowers 8 years, 8 months ago

Please stop building these God forsaken places in Lawrence. Not having every business in town being a franchise or chain is what makes the place unique, not ordinary. Effin hate Wal-Mart and you will not find me or my family at one. I would rather spend the extra money that I don't have or better yet, not over consume. What an effin mistake this will turn out to be. Hope the neighborhood enjoys the extra traffic and trash. Eff Wal-Mart.

monkeyspunk 8 years, 8 months ago

Preebo, your Mac isn't made in the USA, just assembled here.

"Designed in California, Made in Taiwan."

beatrice 8 years, 8 months ago

sps, yes, Wal-Mart brings in taxes. Are you suggesting, however, that without that Wal-Mart people wouldn't have made similar purchases at other locations in town, which would have brought in similar tax amounts?

Further, while the store brings in taxes, what about the profits? All the profits are going out of town, not back into the local economy. That is money being taken out of the local economy and not going to the local grocer, local retailer, local realtor, etc. -- just gone.

Don't come whining to us liberals in the not too distant future when your quaint little town is nothing but box store after box store surrounding a university, with all local businesses boarded up and the housing market deflated because nobody can afford to live and work there. Lawrence will be filled with lower-middle income families who all work for one box store or another, resentful of the out of town yuppies who can afford to send their children to college.

But hey, as long as you saved a nickle on that package of Cheezy Doodles! yippee!

RoeDapple 8 years, 8 months ago

kustrong, Profanity only demonstrates your lack of vocabulary and inability to adequately articulate your concerns.

mmiller 8 years, 8 months ago

The Wal-Mart cheer???? God, you've gotta be kidding me. Completely insane. I'd be so humiliated if I had to be in that tacky photo.

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 8 months ago

What about working class people, ever think about them? No. All those rednecks that drink beer and go to Nascar races. We are real people and we have rights too, so if you precious little selves want to whine about Walmart go ahead and cry in your wine, because we ain't going to go anywhere. So, go ahead and make fun of the working class and all the stereotypes about them you can think up. Cheezy Doodles? I don't even know what the hell a Cheezy Doodle is! Rednecks and Walmart forever!

Thats_messed_up 8 years, 8 months ago

2 Walmarts but Lowes has been locked out for 5 years now. Home Depot sells junk. Lawrence blows. : )

RoeDapple 8 years, 8 months ago

My redneck friends would give me the shirts off their backs (but not their NASCAR tickets)

Danimal 8 years, 8 months ago

Wal-Mart isn't evil... we're all evil. Wal-Mart is just a store that, if anything, isn't some scion of corporate greed but a reflection of ourselves. Don't hate Wal-Mart, hate yourself for allowing it to exist. Maybe that's why everyone hates it so much, it reminds them of what a bunch of greedy d*ckholes they are.

newmoon16 8 years, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Katara 8 years, 8 months ago

repaste (Anonymous) says…

Uniform development code states department stores should be located at intersection of two state highways. that was the issue - location - not whether we need two. Traffic at this location will show why the code was written. K-10 and US 40 would have been the legal choice. the TIFF tax is the NE corner, goes to the developers. TIFF was created to help develop blighted areas, like 6th & Wak, and Oread. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ 6th & Wak is considered a blighted area???

Katara 8 years, 8 months ago

stupidpeopleslayer (Anonymous) says…

Finally, to the Wal-Mart associate that is in favor of the Employee Free Choice Act, are you serious? Have you done your homework? By unionizing associates will loose all of the benefits that Wal-Mart gives us. You will no longer be able to have open communications with your managers, will have to pay union dues for which you will see nothing for in return, rather then promoting the most qualified associate to a supervisor role, the employee with the most seniority will get that position (I really hope you don't get passed over). In addition, EFCA takes away the right to a private ballot. How unfair to those associates who choose not to vote with you. Now they will be subject to harassment and bullying from you and your counterparts. ~~~~~~~~~~~ You've been reading too much of Walmart's anti union propaganda.

Anyway, if employees start even whispering the word union. Walmart simply just shuts down the store. So much for the freedom to organize...

kendall1 8 years, 8 months ago

As for the complaning about the new walmart. really grow up the new walmart will be great for all. it will be great for those that live on the west side and those that live on the south side as well. It will help the southside by reducing all the traffic that is headed to walmart. BUt most of all it will be helping the city with the taxes and all the new business that it will bring in.

Matt Bowers 8 years, 8 months ago


Instead of commenting on my concerns you comment on "effin?" If you want to come on here and call people out, how about having a rebuttal. Reread the blog, the concerns are articulated, and thank you for acknowledging my right to the 1st Amendment.

beatrice 8 years, 8 months ago

L-O: "It's funny how people feel the need to announce that they don't shop at Wal-Mart as if we are all supposed to kiss their feet since they are so noble."

Who said anything about kissing feet? If we want you to kiss anything, I'm pretty sure we have another body part in mind.

Irish, a Cheezy Doodle is a made up name. It is kind of like calling something a widget, only in this instance it is about packaged and processed food-like items that lack nutritional value.

RoeDapple 8 years, 8 months ago

kustrong, Lighten up a little. I have voiced how I feel in previous posts, just trying to add a little humor. You being a teacher (right?) I thought I might toss in a comment a teacher made to me about 50 years ago, probably before you were born. I have no problem with your 1st amendment right. My favorite is the 2nd amendment. Like to comment?

Sharon Aikins 8 years, 8 months ago

I have this nighmare of Walmart opening schools in their stores. People would pay $10 a year less to send their kids there but drive them an extra hour to get there each day. I can imagine the classes: Greeting 101, advanced Ducking the Customer, beginning Walmart Employee Training ( Walmart is Your Life), Shopping Cart Retrieval, Intermediate Math for Cashiers (what those buttons really mean), Ducking Falling Prices, Smiley Face Drawing for the challenged artists, Shelf Stocking 202. And the parents could spend the day shopping rather than face that gruelling drive home and back again. Look at all the money they've saved and the life they are preparing their children for!

Yes, I have gone to a Walmart and I probably will again. It just isn't my life.

Sharon Aikins 8 years, 8 months ago

Oh, and if you're lucky, your child will be chosen for the Walmart cheering squad! Is that for real? Please tell me I didn't see or read that.

julz 8 years, 8 months ago

So what are the hours? I'd be surprised it if it open 24/7 like the other store.

Katara 8 years, 8 months ago

Pilgrim2 (Anonymous) says…

Katara (Anonymous) says…

Anyway, if employees start even whispering the word union. Walmart simply just shuts down the store.

Yeah, right. Hyperbole much?

Better yet, documentation? Link? Something to back that up? Or have you been having conversations with Richard Heckler's dog again?

You were saying?

Richard Heckler 8 years, 8 months ago

Articles on Corporate Welfare and Corporate Tax Issues Corporate Tax Evasion and Tax Rate Issues

Apr 2007 Big Tax Breaks for Big Boxes (Syracuse Post Register)

Feb 2007 Wal-Mart Cuts Taxes by Paying Rent to Itself (Wall St. Journal)

Feb 2007 Wal-Mart: Always Low Taxes (Baltimore Sun)

"The less taxes they pay the more we pay"

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 8 months ago

Sometimes a store is only a store. My neck is red, My vote is blue, Edwards is my guy, I just want my due. Hey, it rhymes.

I like Walmart, Nascar, Harley's, football and Colt 45. Loaded up and truckin. Just wanted to see how many refs I could get in one post. :-)

Katara 8 years, 8 months ago

Pilgrim2 (Anonymous) says…

I was saying, hyperbole much? More than 5000 stores, and you can only give one suspected example in Canada. Wal-Mart says the store wasn't financially viable. The union thinks otherwise. Of course they do. Unions always think they're working for a bottomless pit of money. Your Texas example doesn't qualify. The store wasn't closed, which is what you said happens “if the employees even whisper the word union.”

Thanks for demonstrating the definition of hyperbole for the class. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This was the > only< Walmart to be union. Walmart lost the court decision in Quebec about whether or not the workers can organize and form one. A couple of weeks later, Walmart shuts the store down.

Walmart is well known for its anti-union activities.

"According to Human Rights Watch, the world's largest retailer has restricted the dissemination and discussion of pro-union views, threatened to withhold benefits from workers who organize, interrogated workers about their union sympathies and sent managers to eavesdrop on employee conversations.

Wal-Mart, the largest private employer in the United States, has also refused to bargain collectively, fired employees it knows to be pro-union and focused security cameras on areas where union organizing is heaviest, according to the report.

Wal-Mart employs more than 1.3 million workers nationwide, none of which is in a union."

The TX example is very valid. Walmart eliminated an entire class of jobs because those workers joined a union. In response to the Tyler meat department joining the union, Walmart shut that department down. On top of that, Walmart also eliminated all meat-cutting jobs company-wide to prevent the other meat cutters from joining UFCW and eliminated fresh cut meat from their stores. This is why one can only buy pre-packaged meat at Walmart. Walmart went so far as to deny customers fresh food and much healthier options just in order to avoid anything with a union.

Fortunately for consumers and workers, Walmart just recently got a smackdown in the courts about that stunt they pulled 9 years ago.

Jonathan Becker 8 years, 8 months ago

Is Walmart responsible for the sun burning out before the SLT gets started?

vinividivici 8 years, 8 months ago

I have not stepped foot in a Wal-mart in 9 months. I don't miss it. Food is cheaper at Hy-vee, Checkers, and Aldis if you know how to shop, electronics have better in-store insurance plans and solutions at Best Buy, clothes are better quality elsewhere. I quit shopping there because I did not like their business practices. I continue to not shop at Wal-mart because I can afford not to, and that's saying a lot in this economy.

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