Love it or hate it, at one point or another on your trip to America, you'll probably find yourself inside a Wal-Mart. They are gigantic warehouses of stuff sold really cheap prices.
Most Trek leaders are either for Wal-Mart or against it. The ones who hate it are among the crowd who thinks its takes away from local businesses and is just one more giant corporation of American greed. The old Wal-mart motto was "Made in America", when in fact most of its items were made and imported from overseas.
I am on both sides. I rarely find the need to shop at Wal-Mart in my personal life, but while leading tours, Wal-Mart is a really great thing. Not only can you shop for basically anything you might need, such as shampoo or a sleeping bag, but you can also get lots of groceries for camping.
Each time someone visits Wal-Mart for the first time, the awe and amazement overcomes him or her. How can one store sell so many things? Aisles and aisles of stuff fill the space. The funny thing is that no matter where in the USA you first find a Wal-Mart, the chances are that the next one you visit is going to be laid out in a very similar way. This makes is easier for shoppers to head for exactly the item they need.
Wal-Mart often has a McDonald's or Subway right inside it too. Next to that is a pharmacy, sometimes even a haircut shop. See, Wal-Mart really does have it all.
Because of its size and span across America, Wal-Mart is a huge market influencer, for better or worse. However, just recently the chain made headlines when they announced they would start to sell the so-called 'ugly' fruits and vegetables. These foods, whether they are bruised or oddly shaped, are traditionally deemed unfit for normal supermarkets, sending massive amounts of perfectly edible sources of food into the trash. The fact that Wal-Mart is starting to sell this type of produce has the potential to change the market thinking towards buying 'ugly' foods.
So, should you find yourself inside Wal-Mart along your USA travels, be sure to have a good look around at an interesting part of the American experience!