Wal-Mart! In 3D!

Not unlike "Prosser" and "Kloppenburg", the name "Wal-Mart" stirs emotion. Greendale asks the question, "Is Wal-Mart good for the Garden Community?"

Okay, you probably already know this.  This Internet stuff has been around for awhile now.

In the world of online journalism, it is the ‘clicks’ and ‘comments’ that count.  And nothing on the non-porn side of the Internet generates more clicks or comments than this word:  Wal-Mart.

(“Surprised Cat” videos run a close second.)

Maybe it is a subliminal thing regarding the hyphen, but people react to Wal-Mart.  If I use it enough, I will come up on ‘Wal-Mart’ Google searches. Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart.

So, yes, I am pandering, shamelessly trying to up my ‘click count’.  Shoot me - I have a family to feed.  And, for good measure, add a comment to the end of this column.

Ironically, I am Wal-Mart neutral.  I do not shop.

(Honestly, if I was not married, I would still be trying to coax just one more dab of toothpaste from that sample Crest they gave me when I moved into my dorm. Safe to say, my smile would have a lot less dazzle.  That, and I would be wearing a t-shirt that declared “The Pack is Devine”.  You would give me a dollar and ask me to move along.)

I do have this one strong Wal-Mart opinion: If Wal-Mart would change its name to “Heritage Goods and Local Produce Market” and took a piece of property on 76th Street and raised its value from 4 million to about 10 million dollars or more, we would cheer.  All of us – in short skirts and shaking our poms.

Heck, we would all pitch in and help them dig the foundation - an Inside the Bubble barn-raising, of sorts.  We would have a Property Tax Bill Burning, complete with s’mores.

Face it, peeps - 76th Street has become the Street of Empty Dreams.  One more vacant building and U2 will be writing a sad song about us.  There will be celebrity charity concerts held in our behalf.  It will be embarrassing. Hales Corners would offer aid – it would come to that.

You can picture the video, can’t you?  An artsy, grainy black and white panning of Leath Furniture, Borders, Ballys, the south end of Southridge, the Bowling Congress. The Edge providing urgency with that staccato guitar, Bono crooning about ‘the street with no shops’.  It will not be our finest hour.

Let’s do all we can to bring shoppers back to 76th Street.  I miss swearing about the traffic.

Wal-Mart has connections.  Wal-Mart can apply tremendous pressure on their suppliers, right?  How hard would it be to come up with stylish 3D glasses that apparently transform the word “Wal-Mart” to “Heritage Goods and Local Produce Market?” 

We would all be happy, and a little - but just a little - cross-eyed. Macy’s officials would be asking to set up shop in that mall on that busy street in Greendale.

I may not be a shopper, but I do know this: Business generates business.

Evonne Zalewski April 21, 2011 at 04:29 PM
Mike - -- Welcome Back!! We will look forward to your "straight shootin" commentary. As for Walmart - I am agnostic and we sure do need a local grocery. But I also want to make sure that it fits in to GREEN-dale. I'm talking about some major landscaping. That means more than just 2 skinny trees in pots that will be dead in a year. Other communities do it and we should require it too.
jill April 21, 2011 at 05:16 PM
hi Mike, I love your writing, and I love your using the "Peeps" word. You seem to say a lot of what I am thinking, Are you in my head? lol. I am cheap, cheap, cheap, so I will shop there when I can get a good deal. I agree that Greendale would embrace it if the name was changed to something that sounded higher end. Silly but true.
Nancy Freeman April 21, 2011 at 09:02 PM
Hey Mike -- so glad to see you in "print" and read your observations - pithy but ringing with truth. Sounds like Greendale needs to go through some strategic planning with Villagers and Chamber of Commerce types to determine what kind of "downtown" you want to have and the image you want to maintain -- and then, what they are going to do about it. Our village just went through this process and it seems to have been pretty successful.
George Slupski April 21, 2011 at 09:37 PM
So if I gave you a dollar and asked, would you still move on? Just kiddin'. It's amazing how we complain about our property taxes, expect high-end department stores and boutique grocery stores to take over Southridge, and yet shop around 27th and Rawson when it comes to spending a buck. Maybe we need to align our expectations with our behavior. Just a thought. BTW: It's great to read you again.
Bren April 22, 2011 at 12:55 AM
Business generates business. The type of business Walmart generates has helped send 50,000 American factories to China and other Third World countries. The sentiments posted elsewhere on Patch about Walmart indicate sincere and valid concerns about the Walmart culture and its impact on communities. Yes, there are empty stores-its a recession. Walmart's policy of forcing American companies (i.e. Newell Rubbermaid) to send U.S. jobs to China is not helping. Are we in such terrible straits that we must sell ourselves to Walmart just to get a storefront filled? The cost of Walmart is high. It will cost us a lot more in the end as research indicates: increased crime, lowered property values and blight (vacant store when they upsize and move). Will bringing in Walmart help Southridge upscale? Will their cheap goods save people in the long run because they have to be replaced twice as often? Will Greendale's stores be helped when Walmart duplicates their merchandise and undercuts the price? No, Mr. Vickery, bringing Walmart into Greendale is bad business.
Dana Weber April 22, 2011 at 10:25 PM
You're killing me here Mike! I am laughing so hard about the U2 video, I might pee my pants. And if you need to swear at traffic we call all get together and drive past your house preventing you from leaving your driveway :-)
Steve April 23, 2011 at 04:49 PM
Way to go Mike! Wal-Mart generates jobs here in Greendale (only if they come) and at the manufacturing plant I work for right here in Milwaukee, not China. Their new store format is awesome and we sure could use a decent option other than "Pick 'N' Slave" (Sendik's is good too). Business generates business. P.S. nice to see all seven of your followers post a comment! Good to have you back!
Bryan K. April 23, 2011 at 07:33 PM
Hmmm... looks like Walmart took their Muskego design and "Greendale-ized" it. They should be more creative with this one.
Mike Vickery April 28, 2011 at 12:41 AM
What are they building in Franklin's now-vacant Sentry parking lot?
greg turay April 28, 2011 at 03:48 AM
The Walgreens store thought they were lost in the mall, so they are building a free standing store in the parking lot. Then the mall will be an empty used to be Sentry and an empty used to be Walgreens. So sad......
Sunny April 28, 2011 at 03:57 PM
Sad ,very sad, it looks that Wal Mart is done deal and nobody even ask ALL of us what we think.All we are allowed is to write a comment here and there to "get rid of the steam" HA!Greendale , where is your dignity? selling yourself for a bowl of soup?
Harold April 29, 2011 at 08:20 PM
Wal-Mart no way! Business doesn't always generate business either. Where do you take your dollar now? Where won't you be taking your dollar if Wal-Mart moves in? Is it so hard to drive to an existing one? I don't shop there if I can help it. It's rare that this defiler of community has the best deal anymore anyway. Unfortunately, and please... mark my words; if Wal-Mart moves in, South Ridge's days are numbered. I know some lovely shop owners in the Mall that may not survive. HEY! An empty mall, maybe we save time and just have Wal-Mart move in there! *kidding* (I'm thinking Green - the parking lot is already there!) ;~)
Dana Weber May 02, 2011 at 05:05 PM
Thanks for the info Greg.....and you are right, it is so sad
Bruce Barry May 12, 2011 at 02:19 AM
Welcome Back Mike! When will you consider a column about our Village President and his clown like statements?
Bryan K. June 22, 2011 at 03:23 PM
However, the owner has been planning the land directly east of the strip mall to build a better, newer one because of the fact that Walgreens and Sentry will both be out of the plaza. Let's hope that happens!
Cheryl Sanders June 22, 2011 at 04:04 PM
I heard someone is looking into putting a Laser Tag Adventure business into the old Sentry part of the mall but has run into problems with Franklin's building requirements.


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