Monday, April 24, 2006

Gy-Mart As General Store

(75) Gigundamart As General Store

(Moote Pointe, PA) They have a general store here, but no cracker barrels. No fat old guys sitting around the front porch, waiting for cars to pull up at the pump, or playing checkers in the back room. There are no gas pumps out front, and it’s in a mall.

But make no mistake. Gigundamart IS the 21st Century version of the ole, back woods general store, maybe with a touch of elephantiasis. Maybe more than just a touch.

Gomer’s, back in Poultney, VT, had maybe five thousand square feet of space; maybe a storage shed or barn out back. Gy-Mart has maybe 250,000 square feet, plus all kinds of storage space all over the place.

Gomer would ring up a sale on an ancient National cash register. Or maybe he’d write out the sale by hand in a log book. Gy is all computers all the time. To the point where they don’t have to have checkout people half the time because the customers check themselves out at a work station both simpler and more sophisticated than what NASA used for its moon shots.

Gomer had everything, so does Gy. With one exception: whatever it was you went in for. That’s the one thing they don’t have.

You name it, it’s there. You want a suit? You want a dress? A diamond ring? A guitar? Dishes? Sheets, towels (paper, woven cloth, unwoven cloth?) How about 65 varieties of pasta? (eat your heart out, Heinz!)

Do you need motor oil? How about the motor in which to put it? Construction equipment? Lawn tractors, Tylenol, underwear, outerwear, ready-to-wear. They got it.

Picnic gear, snow removal gear (like restaurants that serve breakfast all day, these guys have snow removal equipment all year.)

But no holders for toilet paper. No belt in your size. No shoe in your size.

There’s a Subway Sandwich Shop franchise, but they don’t have the BMT Italian special.

They must have studied Gomer pretty carefully.

Right down to the 1892 wage and benefit levels.

They’re the General Store that succeeded where the Soviet Union failed. They have squeezed their suppliers so tight, it’s driven all the manufacturing off shore. Khrushchev said he would bury us. Gy-Mart HAS.

It should be a crime to shop there. But it IS a crime not to.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2006 WJR

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