Wal-Mart: Arab-America's Store - Mothering Forums

 
Thread Tools
#1 of 12 Old 03-04-2008, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
umsami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Capital City
Posts: 9,943
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This is the most popular article on Newsweek right now. :

http://www.newsweek.com/id/117835

Quote:
As Arwa Hamad strolls a new Wal-Mart, an eight-foot display of olive oil stops her in her tracks. "Oh, wow," she says, marveling at the sight of so many gallons of Lebanese extra virgin. "We could go through one of these in a week in my house." Around the corner, row upon row of gallon jars of olives—from Turkey, Greece, Egypt and Lebanon—soak in deep hues of purple, red and green. "Look at the size of these olives," says the stay-at-home mother of three and native of Yemen. Hamad, 34, has shopped at Wal-Mart before, but never one like this. She is overcome with nostalgia as she spots Nido powdered milk and Al Haloub Cow, canned meat she calls the "Arabic Spam." "My father loves this," she says. "People from war-torn countries, this is what you lived on when you couldn't go out of the house to shop." This Wal-Mart, though, isn't in a war zone. It's in Dearborn, Mich., home to nearly a half-million Arab-Americans, the largest concentration of Arabs outside the Middle East.

As America changes, so does the store where America shops. In Dearborn this week, the world's largest retailer opens a store like no other among its 3,500 U.S. outlets. Walk through the front door of the 200,000-square-foot supercenter and instead of rows of checkout counters, you find a scene akin to a farmers market in Beirut. Twenty-two tables are stacked high with fresh produce like kusa and batenjan, squash and eggplant used in Middle Eastern dishes. Rimming the produce department are shelves filled with Arab favorites like mango juice from Egypt and vine leaves from Turkey used to make mehshi, or stuffed grape leaves. A walled-off section of the butcher case is devoted to Halal meats, slaughtered in accordance with Islamic law (when a Wal-Mart manager noticed the pork section was too prominent he ordered it moved, since Muslims don't eat pork). In the freezer case, you'll find frozen falafel. You can also pick up a CD from Lebanese pop singer Ragheb Alama or buy Muslim greeting cards...
When I go visit the folks in Michigan, I'm going to have to check this out. : How awesome that you can get halal meat at Wal-Mart (well, at least the one in Dearborn.)

Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1).  "Kids do as well as they can."

umsami is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 of 12 Old 03-04-2008, 01:56 PM
 
diamond lil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Toddlerville
Posts: 1,933
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Reading this makes me hungry!

I'm glad that Wal-Mart is trying to cater to the communities it joins (or invades), but I have to wonder if this tactic will drive local Arab food stores and markets out of buisiness?
diamond lil is offline  
#3 of 12 Old 03-04-2008, 02:15 PM
 
Phantaja's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Detroit
Posts: 2,751
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You can find tons of Halal meat here. There's even a McDonalds with Halal offerings not far from my apartment!

The Arabic population around here is really huge. In some neighborhoods, the default language is Arabic and you have to ask if someone speaks English in a store. It's really cool having so much cultural diversity.

Body, I've been more than patient. Please make a baby. Please?
always loving my babies. (May 08)(April 09)(August 09)(September 09) (December 10)
Phantaja is offline  
 
#4 of 12 Old 03-04-2008, 02:34 PM
 
TiredX2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: it appears to be a handbasket
Posts: 19,789
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I found the 2nd to last paragraph most surprising:

Quote:
Despite the sensitive sell, local shopkeepers still worry about Wal-Mart. "There is a fear factor in the business community," says Osama Siblani, publisher of Dearborn's Arab American News. To allay those fears, Wal-Mart is making an extraordinary promise: it will not undercut the prices of the small local merchants (though it will still go after Kroger). The insular company even agreed to be scrutinized by a "community advisory board" made up of local Arab-American leaders to ensure it isn't harming the mom-and-pop shops. One example: Wal-Mart agreed to charge one dime more than local grocers for a six-pack of pita bread.
That, honestly, is a shocker.

But:

Quote:
Arwa Hamad says her devotion to Dearborn's Muslim merchants doesn't simply rest on one thin dime. After all, when her husband goes to their Arab butcher, he buys in bulk. "It's hard to get half a lamb at Wal-Mart," she says. And yet, the more she wanders the aisles, the more she likes. There are the Turkish sweets and dried dates her kids love, and the Nescafé coffee she adores. "This brings back memories from home," she says. "I'll never forget Mustafa's corner store, but as soon as this place opens, I'm coming here with my checkbook." Going native just might be the next way Wal-Mart wins.
So, what is the draw?

 

 

TiredX2 is offline  
#5 of 12 Old 03-04-2008, 02:39 PM
 
Kajira's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,452
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Tired I'm guessing the draw is they have stuff the local stores don't.
Kajira is offline  
#6 of 12 Old 03-04-2008, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
umsami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Capital City
Posts: 9,943
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kajira View Post
Tired I'm guessing the draw is they have stuff the local stores don't.
I'm guessing it's the breadth of things... plus the one stop shopping.

Like here in NYC, I can go to a Turkish Halal Store (my favorite), a Pakistani one, an Egyptian one, a Lebanese one, etc. But it's rare to find an Arab or Muslim Supermarket which is going to carry everything from all of those places. Although, strangely, the Turkish candy/cookie people, Ulker, have invaded my Chinese-owned bodega. (Wow.. I just found out Ulker bought out Godiva. That's a shocker for me.)

Even if Wal-Mart agrees not to undercut the local merchants, they will suffer. No doubt. Because it's rare to find somebody who does all of their shopping at the local guy store. This way, the shoppers are going to go, well at Wal-Mart I can get my ethnic stuff plus the batteries, diapers, and laundry detergent.

Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1).  "Kids do as well as they can."

umsami is offline  
#7 of 12 Old 03-04-2008, 03:04 PM
 
Kajira's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,452
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by umsami View Post
I'm guessing it's the breadth of things... plus the one stop shopping.

Like here in NYC, I can go to a Turkish Halal Store (my favorite), a Pakistani one, an Egyptian one, a Lebanese one, etc. But it's rare to find an Arab or Muslim Supermarket which is going to carry everything from all of those places. Although, strangely, the Turkish candy/cookie people, Ulker, have invaded my Chinese-owned bodega. (Wow.. I just found out Ulker bought out Godiva. That's a shocker for me.)

Even if Wal-Mart agrees not to undercut the local merchants, they will suffer. No doubt. Because it's rare to find somebody who does all of their shopping at the local guy store. This way, the shoppers are going to go, well at Wal-Mart I can get my ethnic stuff plus the batteries, diapers, and laundry detergent.
I totally know the feeling, for my holiday meals I must go to the flea market (Latino but doesn't have everything I need), Asian, Mexican and Indian stores
I'd LOVE a one stop shop place
Kajira is offline  
#8 of 12 Old 03-04-2008, 04:42 PM
 
Summertime Mommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,625
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Wow, that is a great business strategy for Wal-Mart. Sadly, I am sure it will hurt local businesses.

But, what I really want to say in this thread is, how cool would it be to be able to buy halal meat at Wal-Mart? Heck, I would be happy to even be able to get it anywhere. But there is no where that sells it (that I know of) within 60 miles.
Summertime Mommy is offline  
#9 of 12 Old 03-04-2008, 04:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
umsami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Capital City
Posts: 9,943
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Summertime Mommy View Post
Wow, that is a great business strategy for Wal-Mart. Sadly, I am sure it will hurt local businesses.

But, what I really want to say in this thread is, how cool would it be to be able to buy halal meat at Wal-Mart? Heck, I would be happy to even be able to get it anywhere. But there is no where that sells it (that I know of) within 60 miles.
Yeah. The MBA in me has to give them their props for the b-strategy.

I wonder if K-Mart or Target are employing a similar strategy. K-Mart used to have their headquarters in Troy (suburb of Detroit)... so one would think that they'd be more tuned in.

Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1).  "Kids do as well as they can."

umsami is offline  
#10 of 12 Old 03-04-2008, 09:55 PM
 
Nickarolaberry's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Running away...
Posts: 4,475
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well our WalMart doesn't carry halal or kosher meat here (both of which they should, given local demographics) but I must say that the local KMart is the most depressing, lackluster store I have ever had the displeasure to set foot in. And overpriced, too.

Target here has no food really. Just snacks and milk.

 "Now bid me run, and I will strive with things impossible." (William Shakespeare -- Julius Caesar)

Nickarolaberry is offline  
#11 of 12 Old 03-04-2008, 10:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
umsami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Capital City
Posts: 9,943
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickarolaberry View Post
Well our WalMart doesn't carry halal or kosher meat here (both of which they should, given local demographics) but I must say that the local KMart is the most depressing, lackluster store I have ever had the displeasure to set foot in. And overpriced, too.

Target here has no food really. Just snacks and milk.
All of the K-Marts I've been in have been rather depressing too. I do remember buying my first make-up there as a teen. So on that note, I will always have warm, fuzzy memories of the blue light special land.

Super Targets have the food and stuff. They even carry Organic Ben & Jerry's. (Or at least the one I visited in Florida did. No Super T's near me right now.)

Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1).  "Kids do as well as they can."

umsami is offline  
#12 of 12 Old 03-05-2008, 10:17 AM
 
nicole lisa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 4,427
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kajira View Post
I totally know the feeling, for my holiday meals I must go to the flea market (Latino but doesn't have everything I need), Asian, Mexican and Indian stores
I'd LOVE a one stop shop place
For my family one of the most important parts of community and community building is going to more than one store and checking in with the different shop keepers and keeping up to date with how everyone is doing. It's social and it's important to us we know our neighbours and our neighbours know us. Maybe it's because we live downtown and walk everywhere so we're not trying to get into the core and park but the idea of one stop shopping is so unappealing to me.
nicole lisa is offline  
Reply


User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

Online Users: 14,088

24 members and 14,064 guests
agentofchaos , Beemo3780 , Bow , Deborah , Dovenoir , girlspn , greenemami , healthy momma , hillymum , Hippie Mama 79 , IAmNehaRastogi , jacobpalmer2018 , Katherine73 , Kelleybug , Motherof3already , mumto1 , NaturallyKait , RollerCoasterMama , Silversky , Springshowers , verticalscope
Most users ever online was 449,755, 06-25-2014 at 12:21 PM.