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A Tale of Two Wal-Marts

Wal-Mart Calexico

Wal-Mart Calexico

One of the big advantages of living in Mexicali is that we have our choice of two Wal-Mart Supercenters – one in Mexicali and the other in Calexico.

This way, we can get the best of both shopping worlds. Manufactured in the U.S. items are cheaper at Wal-Mart Calexico, and non-imported food items including meat are cheaper at Wal-Mart Mexicali.

Wal-Mart Mexicali has the advantage that there are people waiting to help load your car or truck when you are through shopping (for a small tip). These same people return the shopping carts to their proper place for the next customer.

At Wal-Mart Mexicali, we have a heavy-set fellow who always helps us unload. In fact, when he sees us, he comes running. He then takes the cart and pushes it to our truck, as we walk behind.

Wal-Mart Calexico does not have these helpful fellows. You push your own cart. You load the stuff, yourself. Moreover, at Wal-Mart Calexico, frequently there are no carts in place at the store. You have to walk out into the parking lot and find your own cart. Sure, Wal-Mart Calexico does have guys that collect the carts from the parking lot, but they are seldom on the job.

The management at Wal-Mart Calexico is lax, to say the least. Inside the place is a mess. There are even employees who do not speak a word of English. Others who have their young children with them.

Wal-Mart Mexicali

Wal-Mart Mexicali

This riles Matthew, as he has applied for a job at Wal-Mart Calexico five times now. You apply for the job on a computer, and your application is good for only sixty days. After sixty days, you have to start over and go through the entire tedious and complex process of applying again.

Matthew said, “How do those people who don’t even speak English manage to put all that crap into Wal-Mart’s computer? I bet they just get hired by their friends in the store.”

Well, whether Matthew is right or wrong, he seems to have a point. How do those non-English speakers get jobs at Wal-Mart Calexico? I doubt it is through the manager, a young blonde guy with a very American name whom you will never see in the store, but who has his photograph proudly hanging on the wall.

September 8th blackout gave a true test to the two Wal-Marts.

In Mexicali, everything was dark—everything! Still Jim had faith in Wal-Mart Mexicali, and decided to get some things there. Down in Plaza San Pedro where Wal-Mart Mexicali is loaded all the electricity was off. Even the big movie theater, Cinépolis, was dark.

Wal-Mart Mexicali, however, was lit up as always with people coming and going as per normal. Inside, Jim found that the air conditioning was normal, and he was able to find all his items. Obviously, Wal-Mart Mexicali had its own backup power system, which makes sense—not just for the customers, but to keep refrigerated items from spoiling.

That same day, we drove across the border into Calexico. The southern part of Calexico, on the border, had electricity. On the north side of town, where Wal-Mart Calexico is located the town was without power. Having faith we drove on up to Wal-Mart Calexico only to find that the parking lot entrance was blocked of with shopping carts—the place was closed. No backup power?

When the power came back on the next day on September 9th, Jim made another trip to Wal-Mart Calexico. The place was open as were all the shops in Calexico.

Inside, however, most of the shelves for refrigerated items were empty. Obviously, Wal-Mart Calexico did not have backup power (which is hard to believe), or that manager guy didn’t have the gas or the knowledge to run it (which is easy to believe).

So, as a result of the blackout, Wal-Mart in Calexico, California, shut down and most of its refrigerated food spoiled. Just across the border in Mexicali, Mexico, Wal-Mart Mexicali remained open during the entire blackout with no loss of food thanks to its back-up electrical generators.

So, for The Tale of Two Wal-Marts, Wal-Mart Mexicali wins-hands down.

3 comments to A Tale of Two Wal-Marts

  • Spense:
    We go to the Walmart at Plaza San Pedro, and they sell tires. I think there may be another Walmart in Mexicali, but don’t know for sure.
    God Bless,

  • Spence

    Maryann, is there more than one Walmart in Mexicali? If yes, which do you prefer? Does it sell tires?


  • Freddie

    I know exactly what you are talking about!
    The Manager of Calexico-Waltmart is never walking around the store!@@i don’t know what the heck this guy is doing???
    The store’s a real mess, and i have to FIGHT for a shopping cart!
    Walmart should get rid of him for running such a lousy job!

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