Watch Walmart Spread Across The Country Like A Virus

We’ve seen “Walmart is a virus” videos before, but this interactive map showing the proliferation of Walmart from the early 1960s until 2007 is especially cool. Zoom in and out as the Walmart infection grows…

Watching the Growth of Walmart Across America [Flowing Data](Thanks, synergy!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. brother9 says:

    yeah yeah walmart kills people blah blah.

    How about showing this for any other company? Starbucks?

  2. blong81 says:

    Eh, the cheaper they are, the more I’ll shop there.

  3. jst07 says:


  4. rellog says:

    @blong81: The more jobs are shipped over-seas, the lower our economy sinks, etc, etc…

    Too many people today either have no foresight, or could care-less about the future. Hopefully, these people will be around to reap what they sow…

  5. howie_in_az says:

    @blong81: Cheaper or less expensive? There’s a fairly large difference between the two. I prefer to have high quality goods at inexpensive prices. Walmart can only deliver on one of those points, thusly I don’t patron their warehouses.

  6. BlackBirdTA says:

    When I saw the Buy N Large company in the movie “Wall E”, I thought of Wal-Mart.

  7. nonzenze says:

    Yeah, how dare they move into poor areas and reduce prices. Don’t you know that poor people deserve to be ripped off by smaller, less efficient, retail operations with huge overhead?

    Americans vote with their dollars and, by a huge margin, they vote for Wal-Mart. If we hated them as much as some people claim, they would have been out of business decades ago.

    @Howie: I applaud your freely-made choice about which products to buy. I assume you respect everyone else’s choices as well?

  8. petrarch1610 says:

    what’s with all the wal-mart hate on consumerist lately? Wal-mart helps a lot of communities and it helps poor people who live pay-check to pay-check. For all the wrongs wal-mart has done, nothing compares to how much they have done to provide more options for poor people.

  9. Mr. B says:

    site down at 3:15 EST

  10. rellog says:

    @petrarch1610: WalMart has helped the poor become a throw-away society like the rich- yeah for WalMart.

    Poor communities did fine before WalMart. They’d do fine without them now. Actually they probably do better, since the poor communities are becoming more prevalent BECAUSE of WalMart and their tactics.

  11. purplesun says:

    @petrarch1610: It’s more complicated than that.

    When the local stores go away, there’s no place to work but Walmart (an exaggeration, but work with me here). Walmart pays a lower wage and gives the employees less power than a small business would. Also, WalMart sends most of his profit out of state and out of country, where it does the local community no good. As a result, you end up with a community of lower paid people, forced to shop at WalMart, while the money, that used to flow around the community, is hemorrhaged far, far away.

    The only people WalMart helps are the CEO’s and the investors. They’ve provided less options and cheaper products to people.

    If you want to take it even further, it’s companies like WalMart that took advantage of trade agreement loopholes to lower their manufacturing costs by using small children in third world countries to sew their clothes. This resulted in the closing of local manufacturing in the United States, since competitors could not stay open using goods produced in this country. No, those good paying manufacturing jobs also disappeared.

    Believe me, they have done *nothing* to help the poor, other than make them poorer and force them to shop there due to a lack of other options.

  12. nonzenze says:

    @rellog, the fact is that poor people vote with their dollars and Wal-Mart is the undisputed winner.

    Wal-Mart prices. Wal-Mart provides consumers low prices. For example, studies show that Wal-Mart Supercenter’s food prices can be anywhere from 8 percent to 27 percent lower than large supermarket chains for an identical shopping cart of goods. One study estimates that the average savings on groceries alone from a Wal-Mart or other food retail supercenter is about 20 percent of the average household’s food budget, which is an average annual savings of $1,335 for a household of four. Irwin said it’s important to remember that lower food prices are especially beneficial for low-income consumers, who spend a higher percentage of their income on necessities such as food. “When communities try to keep a Wal-Mart out, it hurts all consumers, but in particular lower income [/quote] []

  13. cmdrsass says:

    @rellog: “poor communities are becoming more prevalent BECAUSE of WalMart and their tactics”

    Prove it.

  14. nonzenze says:

    forced to shop at WalMart

    You and I have very different meanings of the word ‘forced’.

  15. nonzenze says:

    To supplement the national analysis, the study includes an in-depth examination of the Dallas-Ft. Worth area where Wal-Mart has a significant presence. Consumer cost savings in the area are estimated at 4.0% by 2004. “The impact of the cost savings in conjunction with other direct, indirect and induced impacts has led to 6,300 more jobs and a 2.6% increase in real disposable income in the area,” the study said.


  16. petrarch1610 says:

    people who say wal-mart hasn’t helped the poor obviously don’t know what its like to live pay-check to pay-check.

  17. petrarch1610 says:

    i suggest everyone watch Penn&Teller’s Bullsh*t episode on Wal-Mart hate. Here’s a teaser:

  18. SAGoon987 says:

    I wish that video could’ve used that smiley face brand icon to show the spread. That would’ve been way creepier!

    ps – Wal Mart goes away if you stop shopping at it. If you like it, shop there. If you don’t like it, don’t shop there. Easy!

  19. Jesse says:


    I love that show. They do a great job putting a new perspective on an issue. Although I can’t call them objective, which is why I have to take a lot of their facts with a grain of salt.

  20. MelL says:

    @purplesun: I know the prevailing view is that Wal-Mart destroys small businesses, but at least in my home town, that is not the case. We had an increase in small businesses opening after our Walmart turned into a Supercenter, and they all clustered around Wal-Mart! It may be an exception, but it shows the prevailing view is not always correct.

  21. When you shop at Wal-Mart because that is what you can afford, the only thing you will be able to afford is Wal-Mart.

    It is a downward spiral. Wal-Mart drives manufacturing jobs to China, and puts mom and pop stores out of business. Their goods are often inferior to those made by the same company sold at other retailers.

    When you buy something at Wal-Mart it may be cheaper at the register because of the other costs that don’t get passed on to you at the register. Cheaper made in China goods often come at the cost of destruction of the environment, and an exploitation of third world workers.
    And then when the product breaks (as it is much more likely to happen when buy a cheap piece of crap made at Wal-Mart) the cost on the local environment occurs. Pollution and landfill space.

  22. chuckv says:

    @nonzenze: Usually for me, for something to constitute force it must involve “do X or physical harm Y shall occur to you.” I’m pretty sure Wal Mart hasn’t engaged in this sort of behavior. Now the communities who won’t allow the company to build a store on land they own and would turn the police on Wally World should Wal Mart attempt to purchase and develop land in said community; that fits my definition.

  23. wiIdcatlh says:

    I’ve never gotten the way people have such a fetish for “mom and pop businesses”.

    Somehow, these small businesses manage to pay their employees huge wages, full benefits, and make this world a perfect place.

    The fact of the matter is that these “mom and pop” stores tend to pay low wages, no benefits, and fail and go out of business all the time (at a rate over 90%) without WalMart doing anything.

  24. friedgold says:

    most people (myself included) don’t take into account the ethical or environmental costs of a product. they only look at one thing: the price. there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just a way to spend less money.
    if buying a more expensive, “natural”, “ethical”, or locally made product warms your heart because it wasn’t made in a sweatshop or is covered in chemicals, go ahead.
    the fact is, the cheaper, more popular products are the ones produced with more efficient and artificial processes where labor is cheap. people vote with their wallets, and wal-mart wins by a landslide.

  25. SacraBos says:

    Agent Smith was right when he told Morpheus that Man was a virus…

  26. knyghtryda says:

    I avoid walmart at all costs unless somehow every store around me is out of something I need (rare, but its happened). The whole “poor because of walmart” thing makes a lot of sense. Walmart is not necessarily a store anymore, its more of a lifestyle for some people. Walmart teaches that “cheap is good, longevity means old, and old is bad, so buy cheap and new!”. It thus creates a whole swath of people know nothing more than buy/throwaway/buy/throwaway. Walmart also dictates what media companies can and cannot sell because hey, if your largest retail outlet refuses to sell a CD or game because of content, wouldn’t you as the developer/artist/label react to adapt to this controlled market? As for their employees… well lets just say I’ve seen happier people pumping gas. In the end, its just as much about the money as it is about selling a culture that ties the money to a particular brand or store, thus creating a self perpetuating line of consumers.

  27. ohyeahright says:

    I just watched that episode a few days ago. A few things jumped out at me as bullshit on Penn&Teller’s part. One was that they called bullshit on people who say Walmart offers low wages and benefits by citing Walmart’s average hourly wage as $10 something. Except that the $10.– average hourly wage only includes full time employees. Totally apples and oranges. Even more ridiculous was that they say the average [full time] employee makes more than $10.hour, the only one they choose to profile makes well below that. Another bullshitty fact was their statistic that families save over $2000 because of Wal-Mart. That’s true, but as consumerist readers know, you don’t have to ever shop there to have saved that money [] .

    If I think of more I’ll report back. I love that show, but it was definitely a poorly researched episode and entirely unconvincing.

  28. QuantumRiff says:

    @blong81: Ever watched Big Box Mart? []

  29. nonzenze says:

    Walmart is not necessarily a store anymore, its more of a lifestyle for some people. Walmart teaches that “cheap is good, longevity means old, and old is bad, so buy cheap and new!”. It thus creates a whole swath of people know nothing more than buy/throwaway/buy/throwaway.

    If that’s what these people want (as indicated by their free choice to shop there), then that’s what they want. There’s no sense lamenting the particular choices that make other people happy, no matter how much we cannot understand them.

    If you think you have a better way, then you are free (and welcome!) to try to convince people. If your way of life does make people happier then you should have no trouble getting everybody on board.

  30. snoop-blog says:

    I love wal-mart! They have the cheapest prescription drugs around. My dad may not be alive today if it was not for wal-mart. He was one of those buy groceries or drugs people until wal-mart slashed it’s prices on rx’s.

  31. Angryrider says:

    I’m happy that there’s no actual Wal Mart in my fair city of… And I’m fine with Target not expanding.

  32. WisconsinDadof2 says:

    For a truly objective view of Walmart’s impact, watch the PBS Frontline “Is Walmart good for america?” []

    The crux of what I got from watching that when it came on originally a couple of years ago, that while some believe that Walmart provides a net positive impact on the economy, others are emphatic in their belief that it is a negative influence. In my view, the truth lies somewhere in between, and is dependent on a whole host of factors.

    Don’t like them? Don’t shop there. That is the beauty of a free society.

    As for sweatshop labor, remember that not so long ago that America was built on the backs of that labor, which allowed our economy to eventually flourish. In countries where these practices are common, over time there will be improvements, just as there was in the US. Also note that if not for those jobs, distateful as they may appear, many workers would have exactly zero job opportunities.

    It goes without saying that Walmart should encourage fair and reasonable labor practices of suppliers, but to overlook the true economic picture of those countries (e.g. China) tends to negate many other salient points that could be made.

  33. CrazyMann says:

    Reminds me of the path killer bees took when invading the U.S.

  34. Alexander says:

    @wiIdcatlh: I was thinking the same thing. I want to see these mythical mom-and-pop shops that pay above minimum wage, give health insurance, and instead of smoke spew rainbows and ponies. I used to work for a mom-and-pop cell phone place. We never got a raise, paychecks were late, our “health-insurance” was a dental discount card and when the place went out of business, for whatever reason they fought against us when we applied for unemployment. Yeah, mom-and-pop shops, they are greatest.

  35. Alexander says:

    @WisconsinDadof2: What gets me is that people act as if Walmart is the only one that uses sweatshops. Target, JCPenny, Macy’s, K-Mart, Sears, they all use sweatshops. But it’s understandable, Walmart is the biggest so they have the biggest target painted on them.

  36. timmus says:

    Waiting for…

    (five minutes pass)

    What is this, on Geocities hosting?

  37. thelushie says:

    @wiIdcatlh: Exactly what I was thinking! It just isn’t logical. You have small store, with a relatively small inventory paying employees $15 an hour with benefits and still are able to keep rock bottom prices. Nope. It is a nice idea but it isn’t realistic.

    @WisconsinDadof2: Age of Walmart is on CNBC this weekend. I found it very informative. But like anything, watch with an objective eye.

  38. h0mi says:

    My favorite is how Walmart ‘forced’ some companies to do stupid things like Vlasic pickles. The companies went along with walmart because they were so deathly afraid of losing market share even if it meant selling items at a loss.

  39. stanhubrio says:

    There’s something very eerie about this…

  40. LostAngeles says:

    Considering that there are no Wal-marts in L.A., the smear of green over us is fascinating.

    Personally, I think Wal-mart is a POS store. I don’t know if it was the coming of Wal-mart or something else, but the demise of New England chains Caldor’s, Bradlees, and Ames… ok, no Ames sucked worse than Wal-mart, but the loss of those saddened me back when I lived there.

  41. KarmaChameleon says:

    @ohyeahright: Bullshit! was a much better show when it was actually about skepticism and devil’s advocacy, and before it became nothing but a platform for P&T’s brand of Cato Institute douchebag libertarian propaganda.

    Now the title is much more about the show itself rather than the people featured on it.

  42. SinisterMatt says:


    I think that was the point. I thought the same thing. So, does that mean that in x years if we fill the earth up with trash, does that mean that Wal-Mart will save us all and reduce us to blobs of fat and atrophied bone floating around on chairs staring at screens for our whole lives?


  43. EtherealStrife says:

    As an informed consumer I always include walmart in my shopping arsenal. If they have the product I want for less than the competition, I shop there. Period.
    It amazes me the hypocrisy consumerist editors and the vast majority of commenters show when it comes to walmart. Corporations exploit their employees and attempt to smudge out the competition. It’s their nature. Why single one (or a select few) out as the root of all evil?

    Cool animation btw. Next up: Starbucks! :)

    @LostAngeles: o rly?
    The smiley face beckons. Go to it and partake in its low, low prices.

  44. kelrod says:

    @nonzenze: “Yeah, how dare they move into poor areas and reduce prices.”

    Most of my relatives live in Portsmouth, Ohio. You’ve probably never been there, but it is a poor city. The standard of living has been quite low there ever since steel manufacturing left the area in the 1970s. When Wal-Mart move d into Portsmouth in the mid 1990s, one by one most of the mom and pop grocery shops and somewhat larger regional grocery stores (Big Bear, Festival Foods, etc) closed their doors. Once most of the competition was driven out of town, prices stopped falling at Wal-Mart. I live in Toledo, where the standard of living is much higher than Portsmouth, yet the prices at the Portsmouth Wal-Mart are higher than those here in Toledo. The next closest town whose main grocery store is not Wal-Mart is over 50 miles away.

  45. Why don’t people shit all over Target like they shit all over Wal-Mart? Is it because they are a smaller operation, or because their business practices are somehow better? I’m a big fan of Target because I find their merchandise and aesthetic to be superior to Wal-Mart, but they are pretty similar, so I wonder why Target largely escapes derision. Anyone?

  46. thelushie says:

    @AtomicPlayboy: Because the soccer moms driving Lexus SUVS and college students finishing their slurpees and throwing the cups out their car windows need a place to buy their Head and Shoulders and Pledge after the anti-Walmart protest. And besides Target is “kewl”.

  47. nonzenze says:

    kelrod, the singular of data is not anecdote. I’ve provided solid evidence from a number of sources that Wal-Mart’s prices are, in fact, lower than the competitors.

  48. Trai_Dep says:

    @nonzenze: Watch the PBS show cited above. As I recall, they have a Wal-Mart manager chortling how they use the price-leaders to draw in the rubes, then get them to switch to the higher-margin models which – surprise! – are more expensive than competing stores. And the Wal-Mart staff during meetings cheering their dep’t managers who do this the most effectively.
    They use smoke and mirrors to seem like they’re cheaper, but they’re not. They’re just cheap.

  49. rellog says:

    @cmdrsass: Gee…. uh, their practices of forcing companies to continue cutting the bottom line until they are forced to shipped jobs over seas…. Check Rubber Maid, and Jockey for examples…

    And if people chose to vote with their dollars, they deserve what they get. Just like to morons that voted “W” into office. That retard has trashed our country… only problem is, is that he’s also fucked it up for the rest of us- just like WalMart.

  50. rellog says:

    @friedgold: There’s nothing wrong with buying without a conscience??? Then I guess you wouldn’t mind your family being kidnapped to work in sweatshops so others can buy cheap t-shirts…

    I really wish karma was real, so people that behaved in this manner would get what they have coming…

  51. rellog says:

    @alexander: WalMart was the company to lead the way to sweatshop labor. They flex their corporate muscle and others fall in line and follow suit.

  52. rellog says:

    @h0mi: They weren’t afraid of loosing market shares, they were afraid of collapsing. WalMart, like a drug dealer, sucks you in and then you’re SOL. They become your biggest client and companies are forced to open new facilities to keep up with demand, then WalMart says “do this or you’re out” and since the companies are so dependent on WalMart, they cave. Other stores try to do this as well, like Home Crapo, but they aren’t quite as successful as WalMart is. HD tried it with Pella windows, and Pella told them to go take a flying f@#k! :)

  53. rellog says:

    @nonzenze: That’s only when they HAVE competition. If they’ve driven out other stores, then they magically start raising prices… nothing new to retail, but don’t try and say they are trying to be beneficial to their communities. They could give a rats ass about the communities.

  54. snoop-blog says:

    @rellog: umm, hello? The whole idea is to put your competition out of business idiots! Who wouldn’t want to do that? Even your small business owners would love to be the only hardware/grocery/whatever store in town. Why? So they can RAISE PRICES! They don’t like competition because then they have to LOWER PRICES, and I’m sorry the simple supply and demand = the more you buy the more you save so places like wal-mart buy big quantities and can afford to sell it cheaper. I love the southpark about wal-mart. I live in bfe, and Wal-mart has not put ONE SINGLE grocery store out of business. In fact, the locally owned grocery stores expanded and grew bigger to the point where it feel just like any other super center. I don’t wear there clothes because I like my name brands, but food is food. I’ll eat whatever is cheapest or on sale. totino’s pizza’s at wal-mart- $.99, same pizza @ kroger = $1.50; Bar s hotdogs at wal-mart- $.50, same hot dogs at kmart- $1. Don’t tell me that wal-mart is not really cheaper, I know better. Where I live Wal-mart, K-mart and kroger are all less than a mile from eachother. I go to all 3 all the time and every single time wal-mart is the cheapest. When someone else offers cheaper stuff, I’ll ditch wal-mart and shop there instead. My wallet discriminates against high prices. When your income for your house hold becomes less than 25k per year (gross mind you) I’ll bet you’d shop there too, if you don’t already.

  55. Iskandr says:

    While Wal-Mart is definitely not my favorite store, I am amazed at how inaccurate the positioning is on these maps. This would have gotten me fired day one when I did GIS work for CAST at the University of Arkansas.

    Living within five miles of the Wal-Mart home office, I can see that A) store #1 is almost in Beaver Lake when it is no where near it in reality, B) store #100 which is across from the Wal-Mart Home Office is shown south of the Bentonville, AR municipal airport no where near the main offices, and C) the newest store in the Rogers, AR area is located on the map where Rogers High School resides.

    Seriously, neat concept but shitty GIS work.

  56. parrotuya says:

    Wal-Mart is bad for the economy and bad for the environment. As Milton Friedman said, only a large crisis will bring about real change. When the “race to the bottom” which is led by Wal-Mart finally hits bottom, real change will come after a lot of pain and misery for all. Bring out the guillotine and prepare to storm the bastille!

  57. Trai_Dep says:

    @snoop-blog: One of the favorite tricks that Wal-Mart does is that they site between two localities then play them against each other until they get a tax holiday for 5 years plus tens of millions of tax-paid “improvements” that only benefit their store.
    Once they coerce these, they move in, competing against the local businesses that lack these hidden benefits – you know, they have to pay local taxes and fees. So consumers are paying to subsidize Wal-Mart at the expense of existing retailers.

    The kicker is, in year four, month ten, right before Wal-Mart has to pay taxes like everyone else? They chose shop and do it again. Leaving a wasteland in their wake, since you and I paid to destroy the local businesses that thrived there previously.

    > Over the long haul, no one wins but Wal-Mart. And they cheat.

  58. Go shop at Walmart, I don’t care. Just don’t bring it to my town. Support factory closings so you can get the cheaper Walmart crap from overseas. Buy your contaminated veggies and unsafe Chinese goods. It’s all about the price, right? Well, Walmart shopper who bought a big-ass SUV, voted for Dubya and got a mortgage with a crappy income, keep doing the American thing and flush this country down the toilet. Just not in my town.

  59. thelushie says:

    @postnocomments: Wow, I guess you make sure everything is American made and that every piece of food you put in your mouth is certified organic (just not by the USDA as they can’t be trusted…damn Republicans).

    Just about every store in this country buys Chinese made goods, sells contaminated food. And it isn’t the working class and poor who are buying SUVs and receiving bad mortgages. It is those who hate Walmart and buy all American.

    I hate hypocrites. I can’t wait to buy my own island, move there, and not let any stupid people on it!

  60. thelushie says:

    @rellog: Most of those stores that are driven out of business were either 1) close to that way anyway, 2) not willing to do what it takes to compete ie. lower prices, etc, and/or 3) not even close to being able to compete. Some also are completely clueless to what it takes to run a business and then are just shocked when that little thing called competition walks in the door. Then they sit and pout and blame the competition for their woes instead of doing what is needed to keep their businesses intact.

  61. Moosehawk says:

    The other day I was driving through some country roads in Wisconsin and I came upon this small, little town. On one side of the street, there are two small little grocery stores, maybe about half a mile apart, both with empty parking lots and closed signs on them.

    Looking across to the other side of the street, you see a parking lot about the size of the other parking lots put together, completely packed full. A Wal-mart Supercenter, towering over this small town. It’s the only grocery store within about 20-30 miles of this town.

  62. bonzombiekitty says:

    I don’t like Wal*Wart simply because of the atmosphere in the store. I feel depressed even setting foot into the store. There’s just something about it… it’s like it’s sucking the life out of me or something. Similar thing with K-Mart and, to a slightly lesser extent, Target.

  63. TACP says:

    @MelL: Same story in my hometown, too. The factories and businesses had already closed. Downtown was dying. They came in with a store and distribution center and pumped tax dollars and traffic back into town. Downtown started filling up again.

    Some places are so poor that Walmart is actually a step up.

  64. tankertodd says:

    People who hate Wal-Mart:
    a. are not poor
    b. don’t care about poor people
    c. don’t believe in the free market
    d. all of the above

    Wal-Mart effectively does more good than any welfare program ever did – raising the quality of life by making dollars go further. Poor people don’t shop at Whole Paycheck like you.

  65. Spookyooky says:

    I like that. It looks like when the WOPR computer is simulating launching the nukes at the end of Wargames.

  66. aphexbr says:

    @KarmaChameleon: For what it’s worth, apparently the last episode of the current season will be about the bullshit of Bullshit! That is, admitting to areas where they were wrong or misguided on previous episodes. Should be fun if it happens.

  67. redkamel says:

    I honestly think people hate wal-mart because it associated with the rednecks, poverty, and low quality, throw away goods (whether or not its true). I am not denying its effect on communities though (good or bad).

  68. @tankertodd: Yup, you’re right. I hate to admit it, but the thing I hate most about Wal-Mart is walking around with other people that shop there. I’ve been living in Germany for about a year, and I went home to CT about a month back for a long weekend. It was a great time until I went to Wal-Mart. I’ve never thought of myself as an elitist, but as soon as I walked into Wal-Mart I wanted nothing more than to escape back to Europe. Looking at the crap being peddled by Wal-Mart and seeing scores of people riding around on automated shopping carts disgusted me. In my eyes for all the good Wal-Mart does it does just as much bad by making unnecessary items accessible for America’s working poor. Instead of eating healthy and saving their money for things they need there people waste their money on shitty food and cheap crap made in China. I’d continue, but I already look like enough of an elitist D-bag.

  69. Vejadu says:

    If you think that Walmart is doing good for the poor, you’re being very short-sighted. Look at what has happened to the state of manufacturing in this country. America used to manufacture most of what we bought, until Walmart put the screws to its suppliers and demanded continually lower prices. The only way to meet Walmarts demands was to close their factories here and move them to China.

    A friend had a family owned grocery store in a small town 30 miles from the nearest town. When the town became home to a Walmart Supercenter, they lost 50% of their business within TWO WEEKS. Their small town store’s prices were reasonable, but there’s some mysterious draw about being able to buy everything in one place. Most people are sheep. Just because the majority of people choose to shop at Walmart doesn’t make it the right thing to do. Remember, the majority also elected this disaster of a President TWICE.

    I don’t make a lot of money, but I’ve been boycotting Walmart for years and I get by just fine by taking advantage of sales at local stores. I pay the same or less than people who shop at Walmart and I’m supporting the local economy.

  70. LostAngeles says:

    @EtherealStrife: ya rly. Look at that map again.

    Only one of those stores is actually in L.A. itself. And none of the others are remotely close. I think there’s an ordinance that prevents Wal-mart from opening any of its super-stores which has somehow been discouraging them from opening any more.

  71. ELC says:

    @brother9: No kidding, I bet there are a LOT more STarbucks – and they aren’t offering the deals Walmart is. That would be a funny one b/c you could have them growing, then shrinking. I bet you won’t get that with Walmart’s map. :)

  72. texmandie says:

    It’s been that way in Germany for years. Actually, here it’s 150cm (4’11”) or 12 years old, whichever comes first. Most booster seats here are simple heavy-duty styrofoam jobs with cloth covers. Inexpensive, and are about as wide as the average slightly overweight American or German adult. Note that Germans tend to think the Golf/Jetta is a mid-sized car, suitable for a family of five.

    If you want to go fancy, nicer cars often have integrated boosters that look like they’d make it more comfortable all-around for kids too big for child seats, but not quite adult height yet.

  73. texmandie says:

    Oops… that was supposed to go with the MA child booster seats story. Mods, feel free to delete it.