All the hubbub about Target stores opening across Canada reminds me of 19 years ago when the first Wal Mart stores opened. Has it really been that long? My god, yes it has.
I haven’t visited any of the new Target stores yet, but I’ve been hearing complaints of poor selection and sparsely stocked shelves. Many people say it’s because we simply don’t have access to good suppliers in Canada. But the Wal Mart experience leads me to believe our choices will improve in a short period of time and soon we’ll be only too happy to spend our Canadian money filling another American giant’s coffers.
Here’s an editorial I wrote back in 1994 when I was the managing editor of the White Oaks News, a community newspaper in London, Ontario.
People’s current beefs with big red mirror my first impression of Wal Mart. On a side note, Wal Mart forced me to eat my own words after this column was published. The White Oaks News was funded by the White Oaks Community Council and Wal Mart interpreted my little column as representing the opinion of the entire community. They had donated $10,000 towards building a community pool (which stands today as the whale shaped White Oaks Pool) and threatened to take back the funds once they read my column. I didn’t print a retraction but I was forced to cover their grand opening a year later complete with a cover shot of cheerleaders standing in front of WalMart. The headline?
“Three cheers for Wal Mart.”