So I went and checked out the competition today…

January 27, 2006, 6:01 PM

After work, I went to the new Martin’s that opened behind our Wal-Mart store in Waynesboro. I got to use their pre-scanning technology, and paid for it all using their self-checkout machines (U-Scan, by the way).

All in all, I had a good experience. The service was friendly, the store was clean and well-decorated, and loaded with touch-screens. For the most part, the store resembles a Giant Food store (and indeed, Giant of Carlisle is the parent company).

I mentioned pre-scanning technology earlier. After you sign up for a “Bonuscard”, you have the option of getting a hand-scanner that fits into a little holder on your shopping cart. The shopping cart also has bagging arms built onto the cart, which employees attach bags to before you start. Then as you shop, you pick out your items, scan them, and bag them right in your cart. To take an item off, you just push a button and re-scan the unwanted item. Fun.

Then to check out while using the scanner guns, you just go through the checkout. I went through their self-checkout, and actually had to chase a few employees off who were trying to show me how to do it. I’m just like, I work at bloody Wal-Mart. This is second nature to me. So at the checkout, you just scan “end of order” with your gun, and then scan your Bonuscard. It pulls it all up and then tells you to pay up (though in a much nicer way).

So all in all, I had a fun time. It was a good experience, and I’ll probably go there from time to time, after the newness wears off and things calm down. It was mobbed on this particular day due to being only the third day that the store was open.

I also saw no less than three coworkers from Wal-Mart there, as well as one former coworker that now works at Lowe’s. I also saw a lot of our regular customers as well. Most of them said to me, “Funny seeing you here!” I just told them straight up – I’m checking them out just like everyone else. After all, we were curious, too.

Also, you may recall that on a trip last July, I went to a Martin’s in Martinsburg, West Virginia. How does the new Martin’s in Waynesboro compare? It feels a lot bigger, and it’s a bit brighter, though it’s still darker than a regular Giant store, or Wal-Mart. The one in Waynesboro also has better decor. So there you go.

Web site: Martin's

Song: Pop Goes the Weasel (don't ask)

Quote: "I have this contraption here to scan stuff with..." - Me to a coworker I ran into at Martin's

Categories: Martin's, Shopping