Oct 26 2014

Wal-Mart Fieldwork

Published by at 9:31 pm under Uncategorized

I arrived at Walmart at 11:10 on October 24th, 2014. The weather was partly cloudy but rather warm for late October. There was a slight breeze while walking towards the store. The transportation for the consumers were cars: SUVs, compact cars, trucks, etc. The transportation for retail goods and employees were trucks and cars. Retail goods get shipped in Wal-Mart trucks. The type of retail space is a store. The shoppers that I saw in the store were a majority women. I noticed there were a lot of mothers with young children that probably haven’t started school yet. Many of the women I saw were minorities. I saw one white man with his son (I’m assuming). Another group I saw a lot of was elderly white couples or elderly single white people.

The employees I witnessed at Walmart were a majority minority and some white women stocking shelves and ringing people up. I witnessed white young men operating heavy machinery. Some of the employees were older, but a majority seemed to be 20-30s age range. The products selling patterns were organized in certain categories. For example, sporting goods, groceries, women’s and men’s clothes, etc have their own sections. While sale items were in carts in the middle of the isles or on the outside of the isles. Wal-Mart sells almost anything under the sun. They have groceries, electronics, clothes, pharmacy items, fish, home goods, etc.

I have a disconnection with this location, because I try not to shop here do to what they do to their employees. Also, I realized not all of their items are actually cheaper than other stores. I have shopped at this location before, but only when I needed to do so.  There wasn’t really anything unusual that I noticed. Our class were probably the most unusual thing in Wal-Mart that day. One thing that I did find slightly unusual was there was a sale cart in the middle of women’s department that was selling pasta sauce and pasta boxes along with V8 juices. I suppose they could be playing into the whole stereotype of mothers buying groceries and shopping for their clothes so they put that sales cart in the women’s section.

My overall analysis on this fieldwork assignment was that during the day on a Friday there are a lot of lower income people shopping at Wal-Mart in order to find the best deals. A majority of these lower income people were women with families, because we still live in a world where women buy the groceries. Another group that I witnessed shopping at Wal-Mart was elderly people that were probably retired and therefore could shop at Wal-Mart during the day. Wal-Mart is known for their low prices and people shop there when they are looking for a deal on basically anything, because Wal-Mart sells nearly everything you would need.

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