Sunday, October 25, 2009

What's Wrong With Wal-Mart Moms?

Recently a well-heeled family member proclaimed that they aren't Wal-Mart kind of people. Now, mind you, they have the cash in hand to not be Wal-Mart people. But then again, most days so do we. And yet, I am totally and unapologetically a Wal-Mart person. Any give day, you will see the Beans and I in 90% items from Wal-Mart. Living in Jordan has made me far more of a Wal-Mart mom than I was before. After buying items in Jordan that fall apart after 3 hand washings and cost twice as much as comparable good at Wal-Mart, I'm all for low prices and good quality.

That's kind of what cracks me up about the "not Wal-Mart" kind of people comment. I guess it all depends on how you define Wal-Mart people, so I'll give you my definition:
  1. Value quality for money
  2. Desire one-stop-shopping
  3. Prefer variety in types, sizes, etc.
  4. Like reasonable prices.

So, here I am, proud to be a Wal-Mart aficionado with clothes that last and last and last even in Jordan's hard water. And here I am with money left to spend on other things that I value more than a designer label...

Happy Roll Back!


At 9:14 AM , Anonymous kinzi said...

To no one's surprise, that would be me too!!!

What better way to support Jordan's garment industry than buying WalMart*?

At 9:26 AM , Anonymous jaraad said...

I didn't know there is a Wal-Mart in Jordan. If Wal-Mart's goods are better than non-Wal-Marts goods then how bad are Jordan's goods :)
I lived in a small city (pop. 15,000) couple of years, when a super center WalMart opened the entire downtown street closed. I am a Wal-Mart shopper not because I want to but because I have to, money-wise.

At 9:39 AM , Blogger jaraad said...

Oops! I noticed your post was targeting moms. I am a single male, we do shop, sometimes :)

At 10:44 AM , Blogger PALFORCE said...

My wife is a huge walmart addict, I once had a meeting at this Jordanian entity that they had Walmart franchise to be built in Jordan but deal wasnt locked yet and when I told her she wents nut, waiting for this happy day to come. LOL

At 12:46 AM , Blogger MommaBean said...

Kinzi, exactly, since half of the clothes are made in Jordan, but unavailable in Jordan...

Jaraad, I welcome non-Moms too ;). Ahlan wa sahlan. Sadly (really, really sadly), there is not yet a Wal-Mart in Jordan. I'm waiting for that day and hoping thatthe person that opens it has a modicum of ordering know-how (or at least uses Wal-Marts second-to-none JIT supply chain system). You don't even want to imagine how disappointing good are here. In fact, imagine buying a t-shirt, HAND WASHING it 3 times, and the seams falling apart on it... That's how bad they are :(.

Palforce, man, keep us in the news. I'd be loving me some Wal-Mart in Amman!

At 2:05 AM , Blogger UmmFarouq said...

Hello there!
I think many people switched to being "Target" people a few years back because of all of the talk of Wal-Mart driving out small businesses, price gouging, etc. Target, however, is more expensive across the board, and it just as big of a conglomerate (nearly) as Wal-Mart. I dunno. I love them both. Target has the "Cherokee" brands that hold up for years on end with my kids. Wal-Mart has Garanimals and great prices on household items. If either decided to grace fair Jordan with their presence, I'd not be choosy.

And we could boot Carrefour back to France where it belongs.

At 4:17 AM , Blogger Tamara said...

Hi I read your blog a lot its always fresh. but I never got around to commenting.

I have never been a wal-Mart person in the sense of looking for bargains. But since I got married and had a baby I changed. I honestly I hate the fact how much our vendors are exploiting brand names! and for that matter non-band names. Jordan is becoming so expensive for things are not good quality or expensive to import.

If wal-mart ever makes it to Amman. I'm afraid that they will not hold to the wal-mart philosophy and over charge as any one else because its an American store. I hope wal-mart contract binds them to the low prices.

Personally I love a good tip so I would share one with you. In " Mgabalen" there is a store owned by " so2 soltan" the owners of Safeway. that is three times cheaper that Safeway for the same items since its a whole sale store. try it called " so2 al jomleh" I got realy good bargains there.

PS: it seems I made up for all the times i read your posts without commenting :P

At 5:44 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

I also would prefer to buy a durable item that has a decent price than anything name brand. I save name brands for shoes and things that will last longer. Otherwise I could careless.

I would also welcome some better shopping areas in Amman, but I am also afraid that the prices would not be comparable if Wal-Mart came to town. Beggars can't be choosers!

At 1:23 PM , Blogger MommaBean said...

Umm F, indeed. Of course, Target does the same thing to small retailers, but their stores are nicer looking (which is made up for in price). While in the US, Wal-Mart was a weekly trip, Target a monthly excursion. And, like you I wouldn't be picky.

Tamara, Ahlan wa sahlan. Indeed, the non-name brand items annoy me much more than the name brand ones. After all, why should I pay 30JDs for a cheap-o non-name brand T-shirt? Teehee. Glad you decided to comment. Thanks for the tip on the place out in Mgablain. I tried it when they first opened, but found it to be unrealistic for me. I already go to 2 stores weekly and a third every 2-3 weeks and since I can't complete my shopping in one place there, not worth it I'm afraid... even for savings.

Nicole, like you I sure wouldn't be choosy.

All, to be clear, the well-heeled relative is actually one I like greatly. Just found her point of view a bit funny given the mental cursing I do at the lack of quality and high prices to be found...

At 10:58 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Salam, I found your blog a while back when I was searching for Americans living in Amman. I wanted to ask you a question that has nothing to do with your blog post, but I really want to know. Okay, I’m a young American woman who is currently engaged to a Italian guy living in Jordan. I am currently away from my fiance and back in the states continuing by degree. We have begun discussing our future and planning on where we are going to live. I originally wanted him to immigrate and find a job here, however, he has other plans. He wants us live in Jordan, but I’m worried about living conditions. I hear that the average income for middleclass families is only around 450 Jds, and my fiance makes around 700 which is higher than average (but still seems too low for me). I have been to Jordan several times and I have found that living there is really expensive, especially for people like me who don’t just shop anywhere and shop at higher quality stores.
Can you please give me advice and tell me if you think that 700 Jds is too low. I would also appreciate it if other Jordanian Americans who follow this blog would comment.

At 1:08 PM , Blogger Momma said...

LOL..I am new to your blog and I recently moved to Amman, Jordan. I thought your comment on the quality of Jordanian goods (breaking after 3 washes) and the prices are double was hilarious! It is so true. I would LOVE to be able shop at Wal-Mart right now!!

At 2:09 PM , Blogger PALFORCE said...

Dear Anon,

I'm American Jordanian who just moved to Jordan with wife and kids 3 months ago.

Jordan is the most expensive Arab city.

There are people living on 350JD per month and they are making it alright, and others wont settle for less than 2000 JD.

I guess it is up to you. You can live on 700 but you have to live and shop at a cheaper place.

I think a couple can live on 1000 - 1500 JD.

Family with kids would require higher 2000 JD and up.


At 1:49 AM , Blogger Sharon said...

Target treats their employees better. When Walmart tried to open a store in my hometown, it was voted out. That's California for you!

Since we're on the subject, you'll enjoy this;

At 8:52 AM , Blogger MommaBean said...

Anon, I guess it all depends on expectations. Personally, I couldn't live in Amman on 700JDs a month. But then again, I have 3 kids and moved from a 3000 sq ft house in the US. So my expectatios are out of line with inexpensive Amman living. I will say that in my experience, spending more does not get you better quality. For us, our food bills are probably more than 700JDs a month, but we buy lots of imports... If you'd like to e-mail me at we can have more detailed conversation on this topic.

Bethany, welcome to Amman! I'm with you...

Palforce, I agree with you. Amman in expensive and especially so if you're trying to match standard of living from the US. I am always quite impressed to see the families that live on so little.

Sharon, indeed Target may treat their employees better, but sadly they have higher prices and I alays have a harder time managing one-stop shopping there :(. Love their furnishings, kitchen supplies, etc, though!

At 10:53 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The gap between wealthiest 10 percent and the rest of America is worse than at any time on record. Two-thirds of all income gains from 2002-7 went to the top 1 percent. The Walton family alone is worth more than the bottom 100 million Americans combined. Wal-Mart is a major player in the “dead peasants insurance” game; it’s alleged that dead peasant insurance payouts are used for executive bonuses.

At 12:48 AM , Blogger MommaBean said...

Anon, thanks for stopping in. There is no doubt that wealth inequity is an issue in the US. This article is more form the other side, those of us who choose Wal-Mart products for low cost and high quality as opposed to those available to me here locally for high cost and poor quality.


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