August 26, 2008

A Bit of Shopping

Our houseguests have gone home and we are returning to our normal routine. After we delivered my sister-in-law to Dulles Airport, we took advantage of being in that area and did a little shopping: Sears to look for Lands End slacks and Whole Foods to get some allergen-free snacks. Halfway home we stopped in Front Royal so Frank could get a burger at Checkers. The new Wal-Mart was open there and I needed filters for my water pitcher so we went in.

Wow! What a huge store! It's said to be the largest Wal-Mart in the region. We actually found a whole aisle of ceiling fans, although not the exact model we want.

The store was bitterly opposed in Front Royal and the original proposal was turned down by the town (see Save Our Gateway). Eventually a less-objectionable location was found but construction was slowed by instability of the soil (fill dirt), I heard.

It's easy to criticize Wal-Mart for their employment practices but they are certainly efficient in their retail practices. I was impressed by the lights that come on in the refrigerated shelves as you approach; these save energy by staying off when not needed (and doubly by not heating up the cool air). Back in our county, the local Wal-Mart is the only store that carries some items that I want, such as goat milk. (Shenandoah County is still sparsely populated so shopping opportunities are limited.) So we stop there regularly.

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