Pullman's new Wal-Mart Supercenter seems to be doing SUPER business.
I took half an hour this afternoon to drop by the new store to try to gauge community response to our newest business neighbor on its opening day.
There was a steady stream of cars entering and leaving the parking lot. At the entrance I used, it was a bumper-to-bumper crawl, like an ant colony marching in columns to and from a feeding frenzy.
The gigantic parking lot was full.
Based on what I saw and heard during my short visit, Wal-Mart's Pullman store will likely exceed the $300K they'd projected for their first day in business. All nineteen front-end registers were at least 4-5 customers deep at 4:15 pm and showed no sign of slowing. I went to the Jewelry department to purchase a replacement for a watchband that broke yesterday; three or four co-eds were ahead of me at the register, checking out purchases from departments other than Jewelry, hoping to shave a few minutes off their visit.
Undoubtedly, it was "baptism of fire" day for more than a few Wal-Mart associates, but they were handling the pressure with grace and smiles on both sides of the cash registers.
When it comes to combining capitalism and consumerism, Wal-Mart is the world's 800-pound gorilla.
Welcome to our new zoo.