Zeeman is the Belgian Walmart

I’ve never physically been inside of a Walmart, and I want to some day. I know people give Walmart a hard time, but holy shit. The “People of Walmart” site made me laugh a long time ago, and now the site’s sold out to scary sex-spammy advertising. It’s gotten old.

Walmart doesn’t care what their customers look like as long as money’s being made and they’re on the top of the Fortune 500. Walmart probably loves that their name’s become iconic in social constructs, and how they’ll always be archived as more than just a store. Don Draper would have probably loved to have their account. They could probably use someone like him right now to clean up some of their literal mess, in messy stores. Standards are falling and if they keep falling then People of Walmart will win, and Walmart will die.

Yeah right. Walmart will never die. Will they?

Over here in Belgium, I’ve physically been inside of a Zeeman. Zeeman translates to “Seaman” as in sailor, hence the logo. I feel all of a sudden funny saying I’ve never been inside a seaman. I never thought about it like this before today.

Without having been in a Walmart I can still say that the Zeeman’s the Belgian equivalent, except in size. But then again, Walmart’s are gigantic and Belgium’s too small a country to handle Walmart-sized stores everywhere.

I will show you freely the Zeeman not far from my house…

ZeemanNotice the universally-understood and super classy STOP signs, and keep in mind prices are in Euro and not USD. That 0.79€ pile out front on the left, is the equivalent of $1.07 as of today’s foreign currency exchange rate. The 2.99€ rack on the right is actually a $4.06 rack, if you do the math. I don’t think I’ll ever stop thinking in dollars, while I shop in euros, partly because it keeps my mind fresh. I don’t get to do much math writing blogs and running around in the grass with Noah.

I’ve never seen any horrendous-looking people at the Zeeman near my house, unless I’ve blocked them from my memory which is likely. When I’m there it’s for socks for Noah, which I’ve realized are very high quality at Zeeman despite Walmart prices. Oh, and last week I bought Noah an ice cream to eat on the way home and I had to popinto the Zeeman to buy a kitchen towel to use as a bib. I think places like the Zeeman and Walmart are convenient. No?

I’m not about to go taking pictures of people inside of Zeemans all over Belgium and posting them here as “People of Zeeman” (unless someone, ahem, asks).

Always dishing,

Jun

 

16 Comments

  1. Kristy

    Walmart here is never convenient. They employ too few people and the lines are atrocious. It’s also difficult to not shop there, as all other stores have gone out of business. They treat their employees like dirt with too high of expectations for a low rate of pay. I go out of my way to keep away from Walmart.

    Reply
    1. The WalMart stores around here give a packet of info to new hires. Included in the packet are instructions to apply for food stamps and a state medical card. 95% of WalMart employees work less than 25 hours a week, making them eligible for state-funded welfare. Three Super WalMart stores are within twenty miles of the house and I haven’t been in any of them. Sam Walton is rolling over in his grave!

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  2. Lisa Ann

    Walmart pays $2.00 to $3.00 more an hour compared to other retail establishments but I agree with Kristy that they do have high expectations of their associates. I know a lot of people who work there who are treated well and they have never heard from others that they are treated like dirt. Just my 2 cents.

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    1. Kristy

      I’ve had 4 family members work at our local Walmart and this is not true. However, I’ve been to other Walmarts that are nicer, friendlier, less hectic than ours. My Walmart may be an exception.

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  3. Shannon

    I wouldn’t consider Walmart super convenient only because they do have long lines at times. However if you have one item or even 10 it is pretty quick because express lane..but with low prices on food,toys,clothes & almost anything you need or want I shop there the most! You can’t beat the food prices & they price match anyone! As a single mom they come in handy on most items. They also have layaway for the holidays so that helps me buy for my boys & have a nice Christmas in that way.

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  4. GaYToR

    I’m asking. Show me the people. Please.

    I have to agree with Kristy. Walmart is evil. I almost thought you were kidding when you said you’d never been but then I remembered where you grew up so I gave you a pass. But you should find one some day if only for the experience.

    Now we also have Walmart Super Centers. Those include so much more and top them off with a full line supermarket. Most have banks, nail salons, food courts, hair salons, tax preparation offices and Optometrists. You can even pick up flowers or a birthday cake. You can have your wedding cake made there and pick out the rings. If you want to make large quantity purchases never fear. Next to a Walmart you usually have a Sam’s for those bulk quantity items. Remind me some day to tell you about the time Danny and I found truck stop display cards of assorted condoms. We caused quite a stir getting past the receipt checkers as we were trying to get out the front door.

    I remember pre-Walmart times. I’m from another era.

    But Sam Walton did indeed start, if not start the beginning of the end, of small business as we knew it. Walmart came into a town with job and tax revenue promises and it was all the American dream… until the family-owned businesses that had been there for a town were forced to shut their doors, remove their signs that proudly proclaimed the year of establishment which sometimes showed decades if not centuries of service, and prepare the building for demolition, then walk away with tears streaming down their cheeks as they hear the sound of the wrecking ball meeting brick and mortar and the foundation of their lives.

    Oops, I did it again. I went off. But your Zee looks much more friendly. I bet the clerks still say a few words of gratitude for your patronage. I hope so. At our local Walmart you have to beg to be acknowledged and usually it’s an exercise in futility.

    But don’t worry if you get ignored inside the store. You won’t be at the door because there will be someone there demanding to see your receipt to be sure you aren’t trying to sneak out a 55″ TV without paying for it. Have you never gone to a store to shoplift a ‘big box’ item when all you went in for is a gallon of milk and some toilet paper?

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  5. GaYToR

    Again, Richard and I are too much alike. I readily admit to being a per. It’s up to Richard to decide when it’s the right time for him. I never out my friends. :-p~

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  6. Anonymous

    I love “Zeeman” they have the cheapest dishtowels, but they last a long time…I always ask my family to send me dish and handtowels…and I love shopping in that store…actually they do have some quality stuff there. LOL

    Reply
  7. I shop at Walmat because they have the best price on cat food. We have four inside the house and three outside. so i go becuase its only a few blocks away and i can get what I need. In all the years of going to walmart here in oregon and also in Arizona I have never seen people like those in the photos. never.

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  8. I actually work at Wal-Mart, they have started to only hire people as temps and rarely offer them a permanent position. This way they do not have to give them the discount card after 90 days or offer them insurance. Some stores are better than others but mine personally sucks in the upper management area, The store manager is a stick in the mud and only 1 co-manager that is worth a damn. I could go on but then it would give me away and I actually need a job.

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  9. kcsmum

    I’ve never been inside Walmart. Our local store has a scary, creepy parking lot. However, I wouldn’t mind seeing a few Zeemans shoppers. 😉

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  10. Thistle

    I’ve only been in a Walmart once. I thought it would be a normal store, that People of Walmart only worked because they had people watching so many different stores looking for odd-looking people, but I was wrong. It seemed like every single person on the site was in the store that day. I try not to judge people based on their looks (I’m no supermodel), but man, I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. I’ve never been back, and I hope to never have to return.

    Reply

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