Wal-Mart Plans To Open in Redeveloped Suburban Plaza

Holy cow.  From the reliable Tomorrow’s News Today blog

Wal-Mart is coming to Suburban Plaza in Decatur. In a move many months, if not years, in the making, Selig Enterprises will finally re-develop Suburban Plaza and Wal-Mart will be the biggest addition. Pep Boys, Eckerd and Winn-Dixie/Save Rite have all closed at the center over the years and few tenants other than Suburban Lanes, Suburban Custom Awards & Framing and Big Lots have remained open.  Last Chance Thrift shop, once located in a nearby former Kroger, opened in 2009 in the former Pep Boys in the center. From sketches I’ve seen, their space, as well as the neighboring shuttered Eckerd will both be demolished to make way for the coming Wal-Mart.

While nothing is confirmed, sources indicate that Suburban Lanes, located below the current center and possibly the oldest tenant, dating back to 1954, will remain open although its configuration may change slightly.

…Attending ICSC’s REcon last month in Las Vegas, A Selig representative told me the store should be open by early to mid 2013.

P.S.  Someone tipped me off to this way back in early May, but I couldn’t confirm.

224 thoughts on “Wal-Mart Plans To Open in Redeveloped Suburban Plaza”

  1. I’m highly skeptical that this is true, DM. Why would WalMart build a store so close to the one in Avondale? Suburban Plaza just doesn’t seem big enough to house a WalMart; not enough parking. If true, this is not good news for merchants in Decatur.

    1. Fair enough, but TNT is usually right about this sorta thing, and I’ve heard similar rumors myself. Beyond that, TNT says he’s seen the plans, and says that Selig was advertising the site as “Suburban Plaza Featuring Wal-Mart”. It’s not a done deal, but it’s close.

      I don’t think this really matters much to Decatur merchants. More of an issue for Target IMO.

    2. It does seem odd that they’d build another store so close to Avondale, but then again, WMT is struggling big-time to grow its North American business. With so many existing sotries, they are looking to squeeze new stores into any location they can. One would guess that they think they can capture the Druid Hills/Decatur crowd that is not currently shopping at Avondale.

    3. “Why would WalMart build a store so close to the one in Avondale? ”

      I wouldn’t be too surprised if they closed the Avondale location if and when the new one opens. Walmart is known for doing that, although I’ve not seen it in Metro Atl.
      As for the parking, I’ve seen Walmarts with less. The traffic, I’m afraid, will be horrendous.

      1. I saw it happen in Union City (South Fulton) They closed one and built a Super Center right across the road.

    4. I don’t think that a Suburban Plaza Wal-Mart and the Avondale Wal-Mart would be serving the same markets at all. There might be a little bit of overlap in the Decatur-Avondale area, but the Avondale Wal-Mart primarily draws from areas south and east of the location, while a Suburban Plaza Wal-Mart would be drawing primarily from Northeast and Northwest of the Suburban Plaza.

      The Walmart at I-20 and Gresham is already pretty close to the one at Avondale, so I don’t think Walmart is particularly concerned with having too many stores. They usually want to come in and dominate a market.

      1. The biggest loser of anyone if Wal Mart opens at Suburban Plaza is probably the big Kroger on Dekalb Industrial.

        1. Do all Walmarts have groceries now, or is it just the “Super Walmarts?” The “super” one near my parents’ house in TN drove a few local supermarkets out of business.

          Without food, though, I don’t know much in that area that would be hurt by it. I think it would draw more from the Target than anything.

  2. Wow, as a former longtime resident of Decatur (now live in Kentucky), I really hate to hear that Wal-Mart will be moving into Suburban Plaza…. You don’t mention Hancock Fabrics, but I’m guessing they’ve closed, too?

    1. They’re still there, and hopefully will survive the makeover. The next closest one is in Buckhead, at Piedmont/Sidney Marcus (talk about a nightmare traffic vortex).

    2. For fabrics locally, try Gail K fabrics on cheshilre bridge. They have an amazing selection of fabric in a truly one-of-a-kind store. It is amazingly stuffed with well priced fabric, and the clientelle are everyone from debutante’s looking for silk and reembroidered laces for their wedding gowns to show girls from elsewhere on cheshire bridge. They don’t have current patterns, just old books for ideas and yardage estimates. The cottons are in the back which is not very well lit, but they’re there, and they also have beautiful linens, wools, swimming suit fabric, interesting knits, a good selection of linings. The staff are all capital ” C” characters but very knowledgable and helpful. Also for cottons the quilt store at N. Dekalb is a beautiful place to go.

      1. Gail K does have great stuff but the hours are not good. Any other fabric stores out there? I will be sorry to see Hancock go.

        1. Gail K has nicer fabric, but not the notion selection of Hancocks. I hope it doesn’t close– it’s very convenient for needles, thread etc.

    3. Hancock’s has closed a lot of stores in Atlanta. Suburban is hanging on. Walmart cut down their fabric section in AEstates; they don’t offer much in that area any longer. SAD.

    1. Ditto. We need to keep Hancock Fabrics. I’d hate to have to drive all the way to Lindbergh Plaza area.

        1. If you would even *fathom* driving to Athens (I know that was said in jest, but it did enter your mind!), you might give the JoAnn’s in Snelleville a shot. I still dread that trip, and check the sales and coupons to plan the best time to go, but the selection is so much better than Hancock’s. Of course, I still shop at Hancock’s when I just need an item or two, so I would be sad to see it go.

          1. I despise driving to Buckhead but am no fan of the trip to Snellville, either, frankly. Not a seamstress, just need to pick up notions occasionally, or a yard of material to line a tote bag or make a bathroom curtain. I can usually find something in Hancock that will do fine. Plus, browsing around a fabric store occasionally reminds me of my mother, who sewed practically every stitch my sisters and I wore growing up. But I wouldn’t make a trip across town for it. On the other hand, I’m glad you reminded me of that Jo-Ann’s location, because I would definitely not drive to Athens for a spool of thread.

  3. Ugh. This spells a traffic nightmare for the area. I sincerely hope this is not true. Having a Wal-Mart right at a principal gateway to Decatur? Not good.

        1. Ahh, you saw the movie too? An eye opener for those who don’t know the “real” story behind their prices. WAL-MART: The High Cost of Low Price. Target, at least, gives back to community.

          1. There was also a really interesting Frontline about Wal-Mart: “Is Wal-Mart good for America?” They show the ways in which Wal-Mart bullies manufacturers into providing products at ever-cheaper prices, to the point where they’re either forced to find cheaper labor (i.e. send jobs to China) or shut down entirely.

            I don’t go to Wal-Mart, but there are times I’m in Target (lesser of two evils) and I think to myself, maybe a sweater shouldn’t cost $9. Maybe if stuff actually cost what it should (as in, the people making the product are actually being paid fairly), we would all have to stop buying more stuff.

    1. I don’t see an appreciable difference in traffic. Church & North Decatur are already highly traveled thoroughfares.

      1. You could be right. Traffic around the Tucker Wal Mart is only slightly heavier than it was when there was no retail at all in that area. Getting out of the WM parking lot can be a horrible experience, but once on the road, traffic flows just fine.

    1. It’s Walmart’s answer to Dollar General. And just think, if somebody were on the ball, then maybe we could have had it in Oakhurst! >;-)

    2. Token, what have I told you about that stick, young man? *spanks Token’s hands with a ruler*

    1. Well, I bet they’d fight annexation tooth and nail, because of the added tax costs. Unless they wanted Decatur Police.

      WalMarts usually sell fabric and groceries, don’t they? Again, the giant sucking sound you hear is all of the local merchants watching business go outside of town.


      Link above has summaries and links to key studies that examine the impact of Wal-Mart and other large retail chains and, in some cases, the benefits of locally owned businesses.

      •Economic Impact of Local Businesses vs. Chains
      Studies have found that locally owned stores generate much greater benefits for the local economy than national chains.

      •Retail Employment
      These studies examine whether the arrival of a superstore increases or decreases the number of retail jobs in the region.

      •Wages & Benefits
      Studies have found that big-box retailers, particularly Wal-Mart, are depressing wages and benefits for retail employees.

      •Existing Businesses
      These studies look at how the arrival of a big-box retailer displaces sales at existing businesses, which must then downsize or close. This results in job losses and declining tax revenue, which some of these studies quantify.

      •Poverty Rates
      Counties that have gained Wal-Mart stores have fared worse in terms of family poverty rates, according to this study.

      •Social and Civic Well-Being
      This study found that Wal-Mart reduces a community’s level of social capital, as measured by voter turnout and the number of active community organizations.

      •City Costs
      These studies compare the municipal tax benefits of big-box development with the cost of providing these stores with city services, such as road maintenance, police and fire—finding that cities do not always come out ahead.

      •State Costs
      Because many of their employees do not earn enough to make ends meet, states are reporting high costs associated with providing healthcare (Medicaid) and other public assistance to big-box employees.

      1. If a fabric store can’t compete with Walmart then they deserve to go out of business. If anything a Walmart in this location will be a boon too surrounding businesses which it does not directly compete with (AKA Kroger, Target). Walmarts I’ve visited have not had the ideal mix of groceries thus I’ve always had to visit a traditional grocery store. Maybe this will force the big Kriger to kick it up a notch and offer a greater variety of what people want and can’t find at Walmart.

      2. I’m pretty sure Walmart has done away with the fabrics departments and now just has an aisle with sewing notions, etc. The new stores aren’t opening with them, and I think they’ve pulled the existing ones. ( I happened to be in the Clayton, GA store when it was brand new. It opened with one, but a team was there to dismantle it. When I asked about it, the clerk said they were pulling them from the region.)

      3. My study shows that Walmart has lower prices than other stores.

        My study has found that controlling for all aberrant variables I prefer to spend less rather than more.

        1. My study shows that I like a decent selection of quality goods. Often times I cannot find this at Walmart and therefore I frequent another store. Sometimes Walmart fits the bill and has just what I’m looking for. I just depends on the item. It’s a matter of limited space and what Walmart thinks will sell. For some items I am not their target demographic so I have to look elsewhere. If there’s a convenient shop that looks like it may have what I want say I don’t know, next to Walmart, where do you think I may head next?

    1. Oh, a Trader Joe’s would be so much better!!! I adamantly refuse to set foot in Walmart and am crushed that one will be going into this shopping center (I go to the Hancock’s all the time). And having used to live directly across the street from a shopping center with one I can say from experience that yes, the traffic on North Decatur rd, Church street, and Scott Blvd will get even worse. They’ll have to put in a traffic light at the shopping center entrance on N Decatur Rd, which will be just lovely, won’t it?
      Seriously, I cannot understand why a Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods wouldn’t go in there, those are far more “Decatur-y” than Walmart!

      1. I think it has been discussed ad nauseum on this blog and elsewhere, but the Decatur area just doesn’t have the population density and income levels to support a Whole Foods and/or Trader Joes.

        These big box stores (and yes, they are big box stores even if they have nicer window dressing than a Wal-Mart) have very strict requirements for store locations and we just don’t cut it.

        Get over it …

          1. If that is SO NOT true, then why are they here may I ask?

            The City did an extensive study as part of the strategic planning process which demonstrated that without a significant increase in population density and per capita income in the area, stores like Whole Foods/Trader Joe’s will not be coming to Decatur any time soon.

            It looked at the demographics of our area and compared them to current Whole Foods/Trader Joe’s locations in Metro Atlanta and we’re not even close to the requirements.

            1. Someone else posted elsewhere that even the TJ’s Midtown location, with better demographics, is not living up to their expectations (though I’m not sure how that could be; every time I’ve been there it’s crowded).

  4. doubt it will cause more traffic in downtown Decatur or competition with Avondale…Most likely it will get plenty of customers from Medlock area, Emory area, Druid Hils, North Decatur/Shamrock area, and Tucker

    1. Tucker already has a Wal Mart, but I agree for the most part. Lots of residents to draw from if they locate there.

      1. It’s still mostly residential on the street that runs along the Last Chance side of the parking lot, plus there’s a gated community about two addresses down. There’s also a big ol’ neighborhood just a side street away.

      2. There are two neighborhoods directly behind Suburban Plaza, Medlock Place and Medlock Commons. I live right behind the bowling alley. I adamantly oppose Wal Mart going in right in my back yard. The construction noise, delivery trucks and traffic would be a nightmare. No thank you!!! I don’t shop at Wal Mart. I don’t care about their cheap products at cheap prices.

    1. from article linked below:

      …The Express stores, concrete square boxes with metal roofs, will cost $1.2 million to build and sit on lots just under 5 acres…..The stores will have 75 parking spaces, a pharmacy and three or four checkout counters…..Wal-Mart supercenters average 185,000 square feet with about 142,000 items, according to the company website. Supercenters typically have as many as 800 parking spaces, according to research from UBS AG…..Sections for fresh produce, refrigerated foods and frozen items will go down one side and along the back of the Express store…..The store will have about a dozen aisles…..It’s not clear from the planning materials how much of the product assortment will be groceries compared with general merchandise. Groceries accounted for 51 percent of Wal-Mart’s $258 billion in sales in the U.S. in fiscal 2010, according to company filings.


  5. “Having a Wal-Mart right at a principal gateway to Decatur? Not good” — Yeah, we’re much better off with that mostly vacant, steadily deteriorating shopping center.

  6. This doesn’t bring any direct revenue into City Of, does it?

    One positive thing it would bring is a facelift to one of the ugliest entrances to the city. Aesthetically, it will look a little better than what’s there now. It sucks that the face will be that of a corporation with a history of bad practices… Trader Joe’s would be the same. Both places may save us a few bucks, but the bucks they do get support companies that don’t treat their people–or the world–with much respect.

    1. Agreed. I’ve been hoping for years that someone would come in and improve that shopping center. But not a WM. Doesn’t seem like a big enough space for a WM anyway.

      1. Agreed that the shopping center definitely needs a makeover and some strong anchor tenants but those of us that live in the surrounding area are VERY concerned about this potential deal. Oil changes, diapers and fast food paper wrappers in the parking lot? Additional traffic, noise all night, and possibly crime spreading into our neighborhoods? Puh-lease can we have a Trader Joe’s instead????

    2. Even if it were in the City, the only additional revenue right now would be property tax and business license tax. Until the whole HOST thing is settled (I thought we were supposed to have heard by now), the City gets no sales tax revenue.

    3. Now don’t lumping Trader Joes into the same category at Wal-Mart. I’ve know several people who have worked for TJ and I’ve also done research on the company and they treat their employees VERY well.

  7. WTF is going to happen to the thrift store? 🙁

    Maybe it will be a Neighborhood Market?

  8. Added TNT’s last sentence in his post to mine above:

    “Attending ICSC’s REcon last month in Las Vegas, A Selig representative told me the store should be open by early to mid 2013.”

  9. I think it’s great and I don’t think it will adversely affect any shopping in downtown Decatur — I live and shop here in Decatur, but there are many items I simply can’t find at our boutiques and for which I already drive to the Avondale Walmart. I would be glad to shorten that trip. I also agree with the others who have said an improvement to that shopping center would be nice. It would be great if, as they redevelop, the existing businesses (Hancock, Suburban Lanes, etc.) would be able to stay there. I certainly don’t support Walmart pushing other folks out, but if their presence allows for the update of that run-down space to happen, and the current businesses there could remain, I’m all for it. I think everyone would benefit from the update — a better shopping experience for customers will drive more business to those establishments and it would create more jobs.

  10. The Impact of an Urban Wal-Mart Store on Area Businesses – by Julie Davis, David Merriman, Lucia Samayoa, Brian Flanagan, Ron Baiman, and Joe Persky, published by the Center for Urban Research and Learning Loyola University Chicago, December 2009.


    The opening of a Wal-Mart on the West Side of Chicago in 2006 led to the closure of about one-quarter of the businesses within a four-mile radius, according to this study by researchers at Loyola University. They tracked 306 businesses, checking their status before Wal-Mart opened and one and two years after it opened. More than half were also surveyed by phone about employees, work hours, and wages. By the second year, 82 of the businesses had closed. Businesses within close proximity of Wal-Mart had a 40 percent chance of closing. The probability of going out of business fell 6 percent with each mile away from Wal-Mart. These closures eliminated the equivalent of 300 full-time jobs, about as many Wal-Mart added to the area. Sales tax and employment data provided by the state of Illinois for Wal-Mart’s zip code and surrounding zip codes confirmed that overall sales and employment in the neighborhood did not increase, but actually dipped from the trend line. Although Wal-Mart claims its urban stores recapture dollars leaking to the suburbs, the findings of this study suggest that urban Wal-Mart stores primarily displace sales from other city stores. “There is no evidence that Wal-Mart sparked any significant net growth in economic activity or employment in the area,” the researchers conclude. The study also examines Wal-Mart’s Job and Opportunity Zones initiative, which provided marketing for five local businesses, and found it largely ineffective.

    1. This is true, but really just for businesses offering competitive products and services. In contrast, retail in Decatur has been dealing with the proximity of large format retail for years and, as a result, have largely carved out niche businesses that are not impacted by the price-conscious, consumer goods crowd.

      It’s a strength in terms of our local economic resilience but a weakness in that it’s the primary reason we don’t have basic staples in the bulk of our downtown stores. You just can’t compete on price or convenience when you’ve got WalMart, Target and a million other things nearby.

  11. I’m co-pastor at one of the two churches right across the Scott/North Decatur/Medlock intersection. A Wal-Mart in the plaza initially strikes me as appealing. The plaza is pretty sad, with a few vital businesses clinging to life without a real “anchor” store. This would be a big upgrade and I don’t see a lot of direct competition in the immediate area.

    Size-wise, I can’t imagine a full-size WalMart with such a small-ish parking lot–the Express sounds more logical. Traffic flow might actually improve–from a pedestrian perspective. I could see better sidewalks and crossing signals and a SLOWER pace of traffic, which drivers won’t like, but might make the center more accessible to non-drivers.

    I dunno. Low-cost goods for people with modest incomes in Medlock…or… this: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/01/walmarts-eco-efforts-enough-balancing-sustainability-social-responsibility.php

    1. I agree with what you wrote. I read the article you linked and have mixed feelings. I know many people who live in that neighborhood, who are older and on fixed incomes. They also have trouble with mobillity, and walking across the street for groceries and some basic items, as well as an affordable price would really help them. I also have wished for something less of an eyesore in the neighborhood.
      I also worked for Wal-mart as a teenager, and to pay for college and can say I am just not convinced they care about their people or helping communities.
      But what I think most is, that plaza needs something in it. Too many vacant businesses already as you go down Lawrenceville highway.

  12. My mom was a project manager at Wal Mart for a million years. She is retired for the last year so I can’t get it confirmed 100%, but she says it is very possible they are putting one there. They develop stores based on population concentration not so much distance from store to store. She is going to ask one of her friends later today to look it up after I get her the address.

  13. That’s sacred ground they’re building on! I used to work at the Belk there in the 80’s gift wrapping with my best friend during the holidays. We’d spend our lunch hour drinking beer underaged in the bowling alley, then not remember if granny got the gift wrapped bedroom slippers or the red lace thong! Good times…

    1. I remember that Belk well! I was just a kid at the time–my mom dragged us there when she couldn’t find what she needed at North Dekalb Mall (in the days of Rich’s and the fountain).

    2. Gosh, I’d forgotten all about that Belk! It hardly ever had any merchandise and oh that mildewy smell…!

  14. I think the stores that have the most reason to worry are the Pet Supermarket and any hangers-on at North Dekalb Mall.

    I’m not a fan of WalMart, but anything is better than the current situation at Suburban Plaza. I’m old enough to remember when it was a bustling, vibrant shopping center. I’d be very happy to see it find new life.

    1. Ooh, I hadn’t considered how it will affect N. Dekalb Mall. A Wal Mart at Suburban Plaza is probably the worst thing that could happen to that mall.

  15. Very Interesting. I had heard Selig had a whole plan for re-development that included a big box store and possible residential. I was hoping it might be something like Edgewood and involve some sidewalks and underground parking. Any shade and actual living plants would be nicer at that eyesore/drainage problem currently known as Suburban Plaza.

        1. Dig a big hole, pave it, put up walls and a roof. Add stairs, an elevator, and a building on top. Poof…underground parking.

          1. I guess what I’m wondering is where will the hole will go? I just can’t picture it there–unless pretty much everything on the Church St. side goes away.

            1. The Walmart is where Last Chance is currently and will cover the parking lot in front and maybe a third of the remainder of the strip. The parking could be partially underground depending where they put the floor elevation of the store. It’s not one of the small intown stores. It looks like the east half of the existing center will remain although I’m sure it will change over the next couple of years.

        2. Chamblee WalMart has underground parking, and above ground, a bunch of other stores. It’s similar to the parking situation over near the Target near L5P.

  16. Too bad this is not mixed use with rental on site….may well at least make it a lasting development.

  17. walmart eh?
    walmart is great for some low cost goods, even if the majority of them are plastic, made in china, but i’m wondering what the plans look like, are they taking down the old grocery store, and the corner of the plaza with the Moe’s and etc? the cozy burger town?
    the old pep boys? i.e. are they leveling everything and putting in a small walmart with attached small retail fronts for the displaced current tenants?
    If so, wouldn’t be a bad idea for City of Dec to annex that lot, and put a small police substation there.

  18. I’m definatly less interested in the store…more interested in the layout…Mixed use? parking in back? Will it create a nice street wall? Make the architecture and uses work…just cause its a wallmart today does not mean it has to be in 10 years…but buildings tend to stick around a long time.

  19. I live in the Medlock area. Although the shopping center has gone from sad to sadder recently, with the exception of the thrift store, I do not applaud a Walmart solution. At all. I will be terribly upset if it affects the Big Kroger, and the mall is already sad enough, it doesn’t need more reason to decay. We love the Pet Supermarket, especially as an after-Melton’s treat for the kids.

    There are more important things than low prices. I would love to see the center re-vitalize, but this is not the right direction.

    Not happy.

    1. So you seem to be against Walmart, but a fan of the fan of the Kroger? They’re both big corporations. And anything you can buy from Kroger, you can buy from smaller business folks around between the markets, and the Ace for the home things.

      “There are more important things than low prices.”

      That’s a nice luxury to have in this economy. If you’re still taking the family out to eat and then shopping after, your doing a lot better than many at the moment. If people want to save $1 on their toothpaste at Walmart, I’m not going to judge them for it.

      Anyhow, unless your buying more expensive clothing and products, *mostly* everything you buy was made in a sweatshop overseas, full of underage, overworked employees.

      1. Perhaps, but I don’t have to shop at a store that openly discriminates against its employees and pretends to serve the very towns that it kills.

        I don’t have the “luxury” to do anything (furloughs, pay freezes), but if I live my live driven by finding the lowest prices, then I lose out on wonderful places like Little Shop of Stories, Beehive, Seventeen Steps, etc. Sorry, that’s just how I see it.

        I’m not against big corporate stores. I shop at Publix, Kroger, and Target. But Wal-mart is my least favorite of all of those. I too would rather have seen Trader Joe’s.

        1. Certainly you have every right to shop elsewhere if WMT offends your values in any respect. But why would you be “not happy” if a WMT moved into Decatur, given that you are free to avoid the store personally? It bothers you that others shop there?

          1. Because, DEM – it is MY neighborhood, with MY traffic issues, MY conveniences, MY desires for our community. It isn’t about where I shop. I haven’t given WM a dime of my money in 10 years, and don’t intend to, ever. Yes. Suburban Plaza is in need of revitalization. Those of us who live nearby want a vibrant retail space, one we can walk to, dine in, and enjoy.

    2. I think Pet Supermarket has more to worry about with the Petco or Petsmart or whatever it is going up at Emory Commons. Walmart doesn’t have ferrets!

  20. Suburban Plaza is in bad shape and sorely needs the boost a store like Wal-Mart. Without an anchor store, I just don’t see how it’s going to survive in its current zoning configuration.

    I wish it was another store like Trader Joe’s, but a Wal-Mart that can support service-oriented side stores like hair/nail salons, dry cleaners, etc.,. along with the existing restaurant tenants would not be a bad thing.

    1. “When will they bring a Trader Joes to Decatur???”

      My opinion for some time has been that Suburban Plaza was the only shot at a Trader Joes close to the city limits. Looks like that isn’t going to happen. I was really hoping SP would be redeveloped into something more like Midtown Promenade; probably it’s going to end up like the Walmart Center in Chamblee.

  21. The Suburban Plaza WalMart will probably be built like the new Chamblee WalMart with the underground parking. Increased competition will hopefully make the Kroger company remodel that wretched store on Dekalb Industrial. I would expect that it’ll also bring in a whole second tier of new smaller stores as well.

  22. Won’t care that it is there. For big box I’m a Target girl once every 3-4 months–even with a longer drive. The rest of the time I find what I need in Decatur between the CVS and YDFM (with occasional Publix supplements). Maybe I’m the exception, but it won’t change the way I shop at all.

    1. It won’t change how I shop either (very similar to you!) but I care a great deal that it’s going in. It is just so disappointing that rather than put in a Trader Joe’s (which is sorely needed in our area) we’re getting a big box discount store full of crap. Ok, disappointing and infuriating.

  23. Wal-Mart really reminds me of Kmart from the mid-1970s. Cheap junk stacked to the ceiling and a visual overload. I agree with the poster above, there’s more to life than low prices. I’ll still go to Publix, which I like better than Kroger because the employees are nicer and the store is cleaner, and the Farmer’s Market for fruits and vegetables. I, too, wish there was a Trader Joe’s close by.

    1. I heard Clark Howard say recently that Wal-Mart had tried to clean up their stores the last couple of years to compete for Target customers – offer better inventory, wider aisles, etc., but that their sales actually went down when they did this because people perceived that things were too expensive even though it was the same thing. So Wal Mart is now going back to the “cheap junk,” “visual overload” model.

      It seems that the cheap junk, messy aisle, etc. makes people believe they are getting better deals and they spend more money in the store.

      1. “It seems that the cheap junk, messy aisle, etc. makes people believe they are getting better deals and they spend more money in the store.”

        Yeah, I suppose it didn’t have anything to do with their demographic being arguably the hardest hit by the recession.

      2. This is correct. The WSJ did a front-pager on this a few months back. Most WMT customers hated the cleaned-up isles and shelves. They also hated the organic food being added to the stores, which was regarded as a pointless luxury item. WMT is now largely turning away from trying to out-Target Target and getting back to “low prices everyday” as a strategy.

        When I read that WSJ article, I could not stop laughing. Everything “between the lines” was, let’s say, not very complimentary of the average WMT shopper’s taste. I mean, it’s one thing to want low prices. It’s another to prefer that the merchandise be strewn about the store.

        1. The only Walmarts I visit are in Alabama; we combine trips with my mother-in-law when we visit her so we don’t have to shop at the ones here. The stores there are much cleaner and better-staffed, for whatever reason. I can’t fathom why anyone would prefer the crappy experience that is the typical Walmart in Metro Atl, with dirty floors, aisles that are nearly impassable, and pretty much zero in the way of customer service.

          1. I don’t get it either, but there it is. I’ve been to the Avondale WMT a few times. It is pretty nice, to be honest with you. Very neat and clean and comparable to a Target, for sure. Apparently, it is all the things the average WMT shopper hates.

    1. Wow. Quite a statement.

      Good luck finding a place where there are no Wal Marts.

        1. No real complaints here. They have pretty good prices on ammunition, so I’m good.

        2. I like to think I had something to do with that. 🙂

          And didn’t my info on Trader Joe’s/Aldi’s/Nazis help, too?

          My opinion stated here & elsewhere a million times is that until the American addiction to mass cheap consumer goods is broken, these giant consumer boxes are going to continue to exploit and rape, none of them are any better than the others despite whatever justification you might want to throw at it because of pretty merchanidising (Target ain’t no better than Wal-mart, kids), and you just have to figure out where your personal compromise lies without being hypocritical.

        3. Agree that Target and Ikea are no better than Wal-Mart. I do generally prefer the store experience at Target, but I try to avoid all such stores as much as possible because I end up with crap I don’t need. 99% of what I’d need from Wal-Mart I get at the CVS or the little Kroger. Though neither of those are joys, they are super convenient.

        4. I appreciate the courteous and pleasant Walmart employees at both the Avondale and Flat Shoals/Gresham Rd locations. The cashiers speak with me like we are acquainted, similar to Intown Ace. I generally don’t get that experience in other big box retail stores.

        5. And lo, all you get is the expression of snobbery (again) and hatred (exaggerated).

                    1. Fixed it.

                      Weird though. I accidently deleted a comment last night on my iPhone (way to easy to do IMO) and never un-deleted it. Because I replied to that comment it eliminated all subsequent threading.

                      Should be good now.

              1. Yes, but your pride can’t be a reason for the dismissal of others. If it is–and it usually is–, you are a snob. I’m a snob, but being one was more fun in high school.

              2. Proud: “I am great.”
                Snobbish: “I am better than you.”
                Questionably snobbish, halfway: “I am the best.”

                As for the rest of the discussion, I’d love to supply Spider Jerusalem’s “monoculture” rant, but it contains vile invectives probably not appropriate for a community blog.

              3. Ahem, the politically correct term for “pride” is “high self-esteem”. Obviously you haven’t yet read the part in the parenting books where they tell you not to tell your children “I’m proud of you” because then the children will base their sense of worth on your opinion instead of on inner confidence. Once you read that, you’ll go through all sorts of contortions to reward the action, not label the child, and avoid saying “I’m proud of you” or “Good boy!” So there’s several years of “I really like the way you picked up your room” and “You must have worked hard for that A” and, when you run out of all other ideas–“Good job!”. But as they get older and one’s own self-esteem as a parent is more solid, you ditch the effort. I’m a good parent and have tabs on my children between the risky behavior hours of 3-6 PM and do not let them wander in gun-infested downtown Decatur after midnight but I’ll say “I’m proud of you” to them if that’s how I feel.

                Pride = high self-esteem
                Snobbery = low self-esteem maked in obnoxiously high self-esteem

                1. Good job, Karass, once again somehow you managed to both over-simply and complicate the issue. I know a lot of snobs that also have high self esteem–they’re just snobs, their pride is a point of departure when evaluating others, and it may be a matter of making themselves better or belittling other people.
                  One of the funniest Decurite sayings starts with, “I’m not a snob, but…”

                    1. Sure, and wouldn’t it be nice if it were true? All people belittle other people.

  24. I’ve seen comments about Walmart competing only with Targets, etc., but what do you think the impact will be on other local businesses, such as Intown Ace Hardware (only about a block or two away from the proposed Walmart intersection).

    Does anyone know how the Walmart in Tucker impacted the business of Handy Ace? I see that as a direct comparison to the situation with the proposed Decatur Walmart & Intown Ace.

    It really concerns me that this business which has been faithfully serving Decatur for over 20 years is being threatened by a “big box” store like Walmart. I know that many loyal customers will continue to shop at Ace, but they will most certainly lose the casual, walk-in customer. Also wonder of Walmart will offer local businesses charge accounts like Ace does?

    1. Totally loyal to Ace. Will always go there first before any other hardware or big box store. Love the friendly and diverse set of employees. So helpful. Fun to shop there too! LOVE ACE. Have I mentioned I love Intown Ace?

      1. I’m with you, altmod. Ace is easy to get into and out of, the staff are superb. They always either give me stuff or a great discount if I’m buying for a Decatur event. I don’t otherwise buy stuff in enough quantity there for it to make a difference to my pocketbook.

      2. I’m a fan of the store also, to a point. Just could not buy my latest grill there since their outrageous price on the grill I coveted was $600 more than online, delivered to my front step. Loyalty to local stores only goes so far. I’m also a bit curious why people don’t feel ACE falls into evil corporation category and seem to speak as if it’s a cute little local mercantile.

        1. Um, it’s not a cute little local mercantile? I mean know it’s an Ace brand, whatever that is, and not a Mom and Pop shop, but isn’t it owned and run by Tony Powers, a local Decaturite? And it’s definitely got its own unique character, different from the other Aces in the area.

        2. Ace stores are not part of a “corporation” like Home Depot or WalMart. Almost all are independently owned and operated. They get the Ace name from joining the Ace purchasing coop/distribution system. There are a very few Ace stores that are owned by Ace, but most are privately owned, such as our own Intown Ace (Decatur), Intown Ace (VaHi), Handy Ace & Smith Ace.

          Also, it is a misconception that everything at Ace is more expensive. On many products, they are often at or below what Home Depot charges. On some items, they are higher, but not on everything! And, the grill you buy will come assembled. 😉

          1. Amen to that! Decided to upgrade our Weber a few years ago, shopped all over the interwebs, figured out which one we wanted, considered Amazon and then called Intown Ace. They had the grill at the same price as Amazon and it was already assembled. We drove over to Ace, made the purchase, drove right home and were grilling within the hour. Awe-some.

            I’m fine with a Wal-Mart at Suburban, but it won’t deflect me from the local merchants. WM just never seems to have what I need. For such a large place the inventory is surprisingly shallow.

    2. “Does anyone know how the Walmart in Tucker impacted the business of Handy Ace?”

      They recently moved into nicer digs across the street. My dentist is across the street, and he told me they seem to still do ok. Actually, there is now a Staples next to where the hardware store was. I doubt they will be there long, though, based on the few cars I see in the parking lot.

      1. I wrote “recently” in the above comment, but the Tucker Ace actually moved across the street from its old location about two years ago.

    3. If Ace has survived having a Home Depot just a few miles down the road, Wal Mart is no big deal.

    4. At least in my 15 years of observation, Intown Ace has never competed on price. They’ve always competed on service. Bottom line, they make sure you get what you need and have your questions answered. Competently. Which means they’re not very vulnerable to Walmart because Walmart competes mostly on price, and part of competing on price is hiring largely unskilled labor.

      Try asking the aisle clerk at Walmart how to make a connection between old school and modern pipe or electrical standards. Ain’t gonna happen.

      1. When I went to the Avondale WalMart at 2am during the famous floods of September 2009, the guy in the tool department didn’t even know what a shop-vac was! I had to explain that it was like a canister vaccum that would suck up water. He sent me to home electronics. hehehe.

    5. I think Ace will do fine. If they were just a typical “nuts and bolts” hardware store, they might be in trouble, but they are not. Their overall inventory is not going to be even closely duplicated by Walmart, and Walmart cannot compete service wise.

      I have mixed feelings about the news, I shop Walmart for some items… but I was hoping for a Traders. The fact is that Suburban Plaza is in such a sad state that it will take a big time tenant like Walmart to get the spinoff traffic to other stores.

    6. Doubt it will hurt Ace. There’s already a segment of us who shop at Ace when we need advice or expertise but go elsewhere for simple stuff–light bulbs, trash bags, bug spray, batteries, spray paint, anything we already know how to buy and use.

    7. We shop at Intown Ace not only for obscure home repair supplies requiring major expertise, but also for birthday, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas presents, crafts supplies (they had fluorescent green duct tape just when we needed it for a talent show costume), whatever. It’s the kind of place you can go into with your kids and say “Go ahead and pick out something for Grandma” whereas Walmart or Target are too large in scope for browsing.

      I think Intown Ace could compete with Walmart simply by putting on their marquee “You need it, we have it” because that’s true 99% of the time for our family. Strangely enough, those huge box stores often don’t have what I want. Intown Ace knows my mind, Walmart and Target do not.

    8. The new Tucker Ace seems busier than they were in their old location whenever I go there.

      Agreed about the Staples next to the old Tucker Ace. I went there a lot for a few months when I was selling things on Amazon, and it was always DEAD in there.

  25. If you don’t like Walmart, don’t shop there. Simple as that. Obviously, not many people were shopping at all the other stores that used to be open at Suburban Plaza or they wouldn’t be closed now. If no one shops at this new Walmart it won’t be around long either. But I think Walmart will do well there. It’s nice to have all the little boutiques in downtown Decatur, but it’s not where I am going to find a lot of household items or electronics. If I can walk to the Walmart instead of driving to Target, that’s exactly what I will do. Think of that, I’ll be cutting my carbon footprint (ha!). For all the people moaning about Walmart, I’d suggest you all get together,pool your money & purchase the property. Then you can make it just the way you want it. FYI, all you fabric lovers, Hobby Lobby has a good selection of fabric, and great prices. It’s in Stone Mountain, next to (gasp) a Walmart.

    1. Oh, for heaven’s sake, nothing is ever “as simple as that.” If it were, there wouldn’t be 100+ responses from this small community.

    2. The major chain stores mostly closed due to overall company worries, not lack of customer support. SaveRite: downsized during & after Eckerd conversion to stay afloat. Winn Dixie: exited the market. Big Star: closed in corporate overhaul. Pharmor: house of cards collapsed. Don’t know what the deal was with Pep Boys, but their customer service was pretty poor every time I went there. The last two big tenants to leave were the America’s Thrift Store in the old Pharmor space (no one knew it was there) and the independent grocer with shady practices. Going way back, the movie theater probably couldn’t afford to stay in the game, and the Belk was barely a “D” tier level store and was downright dismal.

      Tenants not yet mentioned that are worth a visit: Family Dollar, Decatur Estate (antique store), That Pottery Place, and the mail & copy place that replaced Mail Bag (which also offers notary, passport, and doc shredding services.) And Piccadilly is popular.

      (I ventured into the Stn Mtn Walmart & Hobby Lobby on Saturday. Mercy! Mind boggling!)

  26. I’d shop at that Wal-Mart just to have somewhere 24hrs beyond Big Kroger to get random crap at 3am when I’m writing papers. Big Kroger doesn’t always have what I’m looking for. It has always mystified me that there is not a 24hr Wal-Mart anywhere (as far as I can recall) ITP.

      1. I’m surprised the gresham rd WM went back to 24/7. Soon after it opened it went to shorter hours and had a LOT of Dekalb officers stationed there nightly.

  27. Damn. I’m disappointed. (And don’t call me a snob: I love Last Chance!)

    What will this mean to Onstage Atlanta?

  28. Shut the front door! Lookit all the comments already– we may be on track to exceed the Dollar General thread!

    1. I was hoping the Kecia Cunningham thread would hit the 500+ comments that DG had, but it only made it about half way.

      I’ve got my hopes up for this one, though!

      1. DG’s proposed location struck a nerve; I don’t think Suburban Plaza will generate that kind of passion. I say it levels off at 200 comments.

        1. Well, it’s not near 500, but it’s over 200– so, I’d say there’s a bit of passion goin’ on!

  29. While I agree that something needs to go there, I don’t think that Walmart is the right fit for the area. If not Trader Joe’s, how about Whole Foods? Surely there is something that fits the Decatur-area better than Walmart? Also, if there is organized opposition, what are the chances of squelching this development?

    1. You don’t think that people from the Decatur area shop at places like Wal Mart? HA !!!!

      They might not admit to it, but they do. Plus, you’ve got to remember, many of the areas north and east of this location are pretty middle class, not upper middle as Decatur is.

      Wal Mart knows what they are doing. I suspect that this location gets off the ground, it will be very successful for them.

      1. Someone I know to be a proud “Greenie” had paper yard bags from….*gasp*…..WalMart in front of her house. Love it!!!!!!

  30. As a Decatur city resident of N. Decatur Rd., I find this heartbreaking. Putting aside the many reasons I find the Walmart model unappealing and contrary to not only my interests, but the interests of our economy (which I will leave to others to debate and discuss) – the infrastructure of the intersection will be completely overloaded, and while Walmart is usually more than happy to address infrastructure for the surrounding areas (and reap the tax benefits they get for doing this “needed” work – needed, of course, mostly b/c of its coming) – but when it does so, it affects the streets all around the center.

    I was totally hoping for development in that center – but hoping for something on a smaller scale, and not redundant with the centers close by – like a trader Joes or other mid-sized store.

    The reality is that most days I can’t pull out of my own driveway near any high-traffic times without waiting for traffic to clear. My kids aren’t safe riding their bikes out of our driveway b/c pretty much every car on the road is speeding. My yard is constantly littered with soda bottles and McDonald’s wrappers thrown from cars. But the very, very worst of all: the way the water collects in the road when it rains hard, due to poor drainage and poorly placed stort sewers that neither Decatur nor Dekalb County will address, combined with everyone continuing to drive 40+ miles an hour in the outside lane, means the yards of residents act as storm sewers for the entire street – we all get sprayed with water as far as 8 feet into our yards with every car that drives by, speeding, b/c of the pooled water. When our own yard drainage can’t handle the added load of all the street spray, our driveways flood, our basements flood. These things are bad enough as it is – I can’t imagine the effects of being bookended by the Publix on one side and the Walmart on the other. The increase to traffic on N. Decatur will have real, painful effects on residents there (YES, there are residents there – but probably not for long). The difference between a small development and a walmart is major.

    If this is for real, I can’t imagine staying at my house. I will move. I’d love to hear how we can speak up during the zoning process.

    1. “I’d love to hear how we can speak up during the zoning process”

      I imagine there are no zoning issues involved since the property use is not drastically different.

    2. Has anyone else heard that there are two natural springs under the parking lot at Suburban Plaza? I always romanticized them uncovering the natural springs and creating a natural water feature combined with some trees and mixed use. Still could be possible. Selig has an excellent reputation.

      1. “Selig has an excellent reputation.”

        I would take issue with that. For instance, if they had had their way, the Decatur CVS would have been in the back corner of the parking lot where there is a big obvious empty spot, leaving a sea of asphalt on that corner. Just one example.

      2. There was a Walmart that was almost developed in John’s Creek last year, but it was stopped because locals got together, hired a lawyer, and found a “dry creek bed” that somehow put a wrench in the gears and stopped it. Granted something like this would be near impossible since it’s already developed…. but were you serious about a natural spring?

    3. I’m on N. Decatur and agree 100% with what you said. I get the trash and the water runoff (like a river down my driveway!). I knew it wasn’t perfect when I moved in living with a major road. However, the traffic is bad enough at the 6 way intersection right now. I can’t imagine Wally World traffic on top of it! Also- if people think Suburban Plaza is sketchy now, imagine a store that’s open 24 hrs… it attracts a lot more sketch than stores that close after 8 or 9. Plus the light pollution from the parking lot will be terrible having them on all night.

      I wish Tradrer Joes franchised… we could get Decatur City to annex the parcel, then lobby TJs to come to our semi-sustainable, happy town.

  31. So I’ve scrolled/skimmed all the way down here. When I started I thought that the Walmart was going in that empty space where the grocery store was (and the Piggly Wiggly was going to go until…something happened). But no, it’s going where Last Chance and that mattress store are? Is that correct? So if that’s the case, then WHAT is going in that nasty big empty grocery building? Because, hey, Trader Joe’s? You still could go there…just saying.

    1. Reading comprehension of the original post, I can has…

      OK. Catching up slowly. Got it. Still a bit confused about the empty grocery storefront though. And would miss Big Lots if it left, though I’m probably one of the few who would say that.

      1. Walmart will likely have a clause written into their contract that blocks another grocer from being added to Suburban Plaza.

      2. I’m with you on Big Lots, and I ain’t too proud to say it loud. Also with Small Town Gal on Hancock’s. Wal Mart has put many a small-town fabric shop out of business, but their urban stores tend not to emphasize sewing less, so maybe there’s hope for Hancock’s.

  32. I would love to see a site plan. End to end, that is a huge piece of property. While this is relatively close to my house, it won’t be in earshot or visible. What concerns me is the development that occurs around the WalMart. With Medlock School sitting empty, will there be a push to rezone that property and push for commercial down Medlock Road?
    And what about all that land sitting empty on Scott? More big box stores?

  33. I’m worried about the effect of this on my property value. Will miss the Hancock’s, and I’ve even had a need for the wig store (twice!). And we’re at the Pet Supermarket at least once a week.

    From a news story on dollar stores not long ago: A woman was talking about how she preferred to go to dollar stores because “I don’t have to get dressed up to go to a dollar store, like I do when I go to Wal-Mart.”

  34. RE: Trader Joe’s. Many of you are probably part of the “Bring Trader Joe’s to Decatur” facebook group but for those who aren’t, here’s what I know. Last year, Trader Joe’s basically said that they weren’t expanding at all because the midtown store was performing much lower than they’d originally anticipated. We can keep contacting Trader Joe’s headquarters but I’m not sure there’s much we can do to get TJ’s to Decatur right now.

  35. …..ah CSD mom….yes, to me, the only benefit of Walmart coming to Decatur is to give us all a better shot at being key contributors of PeopleofWalmart.com. No matter how cool Decatur is, they will come, apparently.

  36. If you don’t like Walmart, then don’t shop there.

    If you’re concerned about the impact on traffic, then support transportation strategies and initiatives that might keep us from suffering vehicular constipation every time there’s a change in the retail landscape.

    If you worry about Walmart’s impact on the surrounding retail environment, make it your business to patronize the merchants you think are imperiled, and encourage your friends and neighbors to do likewise.

    If you think big box stores have unfair advantages over independent businesses when it comes to tax deals and development incentives, then raise hell with your local and state governments–demonizing the big boxes doesn’t accomplish anything.

    If you think Walmart is “not Decatur-y” enough (or however you choose to express or imply it), then make room for the possibility that your understanding of Decatur is overly narrow.

    If you think everybody in the greater Decatur area and its environs has a choice about whether or not to save money in whatever increments possible, at every opportunity, then get a clue.

    PS – I used to like the wig store, too, until I picked up a tote bag and roaches ran out. Not big palmetto bugs, which I tend to consider garden creatures who’ve lost their way — I’m talking the horrible little brown ones. That’s never happened to me in any Walmart, and I’ve shopped ’em in Ga, Fla and Ala.

    1. Excellent post STG. Replace “Walmart” with “Dollar General” and this is the same thread more or less. Slightly different disguises for the same attitude. “I don’t intend on shopping there, therefore, I don’t believe anyone else should be able to do so either.” Should have just called the post “Dollar General pt. 2”

    2. Redirecting traffic flow will be a major issue, because Suburban Plaza is bound by complex intersections, particularly to the west (near the pet store, gas station, and church). I don’t think that the current road design will be safe with a significantly higher volume of activity.

      And while Ace does have a wonderful supply of unique, whimsical items, I would bet that most of their revenue still comes from basic goods. Convenience and charm might be in their favor, though. I hope so, because they’re an anchor in the community and a marvelous doorway to Decatur.

      1. Traffic’s already a real issue on the Church Street side. It’s way too dangerous to make a left out of the parking lot because of the cars barreling through the intersection at top speed. I see lots of near misses with folks trying to turn onto Sycamore Dr./into Moe’s parking lot and folks swerving to go around them. And trying to cross on foot in the crosswalk is a death defying act!

  37. News reports indicate that Wal-mart increases the strain on local government resources. In one city, as an example, calls for service to police increased 57% and misdemeanor crimes jumped 55%. The local police department indicated that DUIs, predominantly drug DUIs, increased. Police often respond by placing a substation in the store. Local criminal court caseloads increase. Just FYI.

    1. Remember the saying “There are lies, damn lies… and there are statistics”? I am very suspect of the numbers put together by the numerous big box opposition groups. I am certain beyond a doubt that there is an increase of crime in the area of any large business that draws large numbers of customers. True with Lowes, IKEA, Costco… and yes Walmart too. But these offenses do not appear out of thin air. Predators go where the victims are… these crimes are going to occur somewhere.

      I recall the opposition to the Walmart in Avondale… same groups. How many would want to return to the way it was before? Not many. And I am sure that there is “more crime” in that location now… because now there are actually people there!

      The current state of Suburban Plaza is sad indeed. Something drastic is needed to jumpstart this property. Concerns about traffic are legitimate. Concerns about property values are applicable. But lets stay away from the one sided “statistics” put together by biased opposition groups.

  38. I would much rather shop at Last Chance than any Walmart I’ve. ever seen. At Last Chance you have at least the chance of buying quality merchandise.
    Walmart really sucks.

  39. The Avondale WM is not 24 hours and I’d be willing to bet this one won’t be either. I think the concerns for the DeKalb Industrial Kroger (which I admittedly find baffling) are unfounded. I live practically across the street from the Avondale WM and still drive all the way over to the DI Kroger (to avoid the WM AND the Kroger City Center). We do buy some groceries at the WM, but IMO, they really can’t compete. Kroger is cleaner, better organized, has more in stock, and has MUCH better store brands. Price is comparable or better depending on sales. Ace Hardware is not in competition with WM and I honestly doubt they have a lot of “drop in” business. People trying to save currently drive a few miles more to Home Depot. People who want service and advice will still go to Ace.

    Also, I’ll say that I was really worried about traffic when the Avondale WM was built, but have not noticed an appreciable difference. Not sure why that is since there really are a LOT more people driving through, but it is what it is. I also wouldn’t think WM would bring a big increase in crime as a previous poster mentioned. With other WM close by, this one will draw from the immediate neighborhood. All the crime will stay over on my side of the tracks (across Memorial).

    1. Agree that the new Wal-Mart is unlikely to generate tons of crime. One teeny correction, though: unless they’ve just changed their hours, the Avondale Wal-Mart is 24 hrs. I work very odd/unpredictable hours, so I have shopped there really late/early several times. I have mixed feelings overall about a Wal-Mart at Suburban Plaza, but I think I’d probably rather do my late night shopping there, if given the choice.

        1. It says on there that the store is open 24 hrs, and I can assure you it is. Look on the left hand column at the bottom. The 9-9, etc. hours are just for the pharmacy.

  40. In fact the idea of a big box retailer that close to Decatur really sucks. One of the other posters was right, put it at North Dekalb. Better yet build all Walmarts in Arkansas. What a soul sucking development.

  41. Pretty sure spies from Walmart have turned off the cascading feature in an effort to disrupt this conversation. Heck, they might even be behind the new bell schedule – it’s all just a ruse to distract us from the real issues of the day.

  42. Decatur, I love you, but you talk about Trader Joe’s like that ex-boyfriend who married someone else eight years ago, but you’re still SURE that any day now he’s going to leave that smug bitch and their three conventionally adorable kids and come back for you.

    You’re better than this, Decatur. Clearly, Joe has moved on. So should you.

    And you probably shouldn’t adopt that sixth cat, either.

  43. I’ve observed that some of the posters most vehemently opposed to Wal-Mart call it Walmarts
    just like people use to refer to Kmart as Kmarts. I classify this is the same category as those in the past who referred to the Krystal hamburgers as Christials. Me thinks thou dost protest too much incorrectly.

    1. You’re almost right. In their latest change, Wal-mart has dropped the hyphen (or star) and is now just Walmart.

  44. What about parking for existing businesses? ONSTAGE ATLANTA, a small but active community theather calls Suburban Plaza home and the installation of a Wal-Mart in Suburban Plaze would wipe out the parking for ONSTAGE. If you haven’t been to ONSTAGE ATLANTA, give it a try. It’s a great theater company with a very committed group of actors.

  45. Man, forget going to the club to meet someone new. When I want to meet someone new I go get me a basket and I go walk around Walmart.

  46. If you really don’t want them there start now by calling both Walmart and Selig and expressing your opinion American style. Oh, and they’ll probably want some kind of tax break or rezoning deal from your local gov so watch the money flow there. The usual folks will be involved so you know who to call or contact. The name of the game is friction. Make it as difficult as you can for them.

  47. My Secret Shame…I also love Big Lots. I cannot believe it will stay if Walmart moves in. Ah, I will miss it!

  48. Every time i’ve been in a walmart, there is the sensation that something is completely wrong with
    the way the place works. i mean… really, a winter jacket for 8 dollars.

    1. I don’t have any “helpful” suggestions as to where to put the Walmart. I do have some “helpful” suggestions as to where all the overreacting, sky-is-falling, big box bashing NIMBYs can go but I don’t want to be put on DM probation again…

  49. “really, a winter jacket for 8 dollars…”
    Of course it’s just 8 dollars. They didn’t even have to pay the Chinese slav…er, worker that made it, just for the materials!
    Having everything made in China makes it so much easier for Americans to ignore all of the bad things that happen to people…it’s just like magic!

    1. Plus do NOT put that jacket in the dryer…..! Better idea is Columbia sportwear at consignment sale or store….also $8!

  50. I’m no fan of Wal Mart. In fact, I hate the company. However, Suburban Plaza is a deteriorating eye sore. Let’s be real. Who else is going to put anything there in this economy except another junky thrift store? Even when the economy was doing ok, no real quality places located there. I never could figure out why given the demographics of the area – fairly high income, relatively stable populatioln, and in between downtown Decatur and Emory. However, in the absence of anyone else putting anything decent there, a Wal Mart would not be a bad choice. Beats an empty parking lot with vacant buildings.

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