Anyone looking for some other affordable and convenient stores like Walmart could be forgiven for shopping around.
Sure, the retail giant carries a huge selection of goods and their prices are hard to beat, which makes them an easy go-to for many shoppers.
But shopping in giant windowless big-box stores can be pretty unpleasant (curbside pickup is slightly better, but still far from perfect), and even placing online orders through their website leaves a lot to be desired.
Plus, their customer service can be hit or miss, depending on the day and the particular employee you happen to get.
The good news is that, while they may loom large in the retail industry, they’re far from the only game in town:
There are plenty of other viable Walmart alternatives out there.
In this post I’ll break down some of the best other stores like Walmart where you can find great deals on a wide variety of products.
Break Out of the Big Box
32 Other Stores Like Walmart
Best Online Store like Walmart ↓
Amazon arguably Walmart’s biggest competitor, and kind of like an online-only version of Walmart:
They sell just about everything under the sun, often at lower prices than you’ll find elsewhere.
Amazon also now owns Whole Foods, which competes with Walmart’s grocery business, so just about everything you can get at Walmart is now available through Amazon.
Plus, when you shop with Amazon you get a number of other benefits, especially when you sign up for Prime.
Not only does it give you free shipping, but you also get access to the Amazon Prime streaming platform, which has a ton of great content you can watch for free.
Best Bricks and Mortar Store like Walmart ↓
If Amazon is basically the online version of Walmart, Target is basically the (slightly) more upscale version of it.
Like Walmart they carry a wide variety of products, and offer some great deals.
But Target also prides itself on its style, which makes it a good place to turn for clothes and home goods that look modern and stylish, but don’t cost a fortune.
This is about as traditional as a traditional department store gets.
Bloomingdale’s prices aren’t nearly as low as Walmart’s.
But if you’re looking for clothes or home products that are a cut above what you find at discount department stores like Walmart and Target, it’s still a great place to turn.
Another entry in the category of OG department stores like Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s is an American institution that’s been in business (and in Thanksgiving Day parades) for decades.
Like Bloomingdale’s their merchandise tends to be of a higher quality, and comes with higher prices than Walmart’s.
But with that said, they’ve been forced to respond to the dominance of discount stores like Target and Walmart by offering more frequent sales, so you can sometimes score a great deal on brand name merchandise.
Very much in the same mould as retail stores like Walmart and Target, Kohl’s carries just about every category, including clothes, home decor, outdoor living, jewellery, accessories and more.
They don’t have quite as many brick and mortar locations as Walmart, but their website is easy to use and offers access to most of their merchandise.
As department stores go, Nordstrom is basically on the opposite end of the spectrum from Walmart.
Where Walmart is all about offering the lowest possible prices on every category of merchandise, Nordstrom carefully curates their selections (both in terms of merchandise categories and the brands offered therein).
You’ll pay a premium at Nordstrom so it’s not a great everyday Walmart alternative, but it’s a good place to turn when you want to splurge and buy something for a special event.
(Case in point: I actually bought my wedding tuxedo there.)
If Walmart is where you turn for affordable furniture, then you should definitely give Overstock a try.
An online-only furniture outlet, Overstock offers great deals on furniture across a wide variety of styles and categories.
One of the nice things about their site is that you can sort by style, which makes it easy to find stuff that’s likely to suit your tastes and preferences.
Best Buy is one of Walmart’s biggest competitors when it comes to all things related to electronics, cell phones, computers and video games.
Like Walmart, they have big box brick and mortar stores all across North America, but also have a well stocked and easy-to-use website for those who prefer to shop online.
Before discount department stores like Walmart and Target came to dominate the retail landscape, Sears was the place you turned as your one-stop shop.
The popularity of big box stores has made both your local store and big legacy chains like Sears much less popular than they used to be.
But Sears is still a good place to turn for home appliances, and other big ticket items, in addition to merchandise in other categories.
JC Penney falls somewhere in between a discount department store like Walmart and the more upscale, fashion-focused stores like Nordstrom.
Like Nordstrom they focus more on lifestyle, beauty products, fashion and accessories, so they don’t carry electronics or groceries. But they’re like Walmart in that they offer lower priced merchandise targeted at more price-conscious consumers.
Digital auction site eBay was an early entrant into the world of online shopping, but eventually found itself playing second fiddle to Amazon.
But it’s still a great place to turn for a wide variety of both new and used merchandise.
I’ve found it’s especially good for secondhand electronics that are still in good condition, but have been replaced by newer models.
Bonanza is an online shopping site that provides an alternative to the big retail giants like Walmart and Amazon.
It’s similar to eBay in that you’ll find a mix of new and used products across a wide variety of categories.
But instead of an auction where you can bid on items, merchandise is offered for a fixed price, much as it is at Walmart and other retailers.
Dillard’s is an upscale, fashion-focused department store that’s a closer competitor to Nordstrom, Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s than it is to Amazon.
Like those other higher-end department stores, it’s a good place to turn if you’re looking for clothes that go beyond the limited offering found at Walmart, and don’t mind paying a bit more money for higher quality merchandise.
Costco takes the same warehouse approach that furnitures stores like Ikea use, but applies it to the world of retail and grocery.
You have to become a Costco member in order to shop there, but becoming. one is a great way to score the best deal on a lot of products.
You immediately get access to wholesale pricing on a huge array of merchandise, which makes it both one of the best places for families to shop and one of the top alternatives to Walmart.
Sam’s Club is essentially Walmart’s answer to Costco:
A membership-based, warehouse-style department store that offers great deals on a wide selection of merchandise.
It’s a good option if you like the range of merchandise offered at Walmart but want to get extra savings by buying in bulk.
Storenvy is an online market place that allows you to buy directly from independent brands, without going through a middle man like Walmart.
More than 50,000 brands sell their merchandise through Storenvy, including big brand names you’ve heard of and hundreds of smaller brands you wouldn’t otherwise find.
And because there’s no retail mark up, they’re able to offer some pretty low prices.
Since Walmart carries such a wide variety of products, a lot of the best alternatives to Walmart are category-specific stores that really only compete with one Walmart department.
Office Depot is very much in that category, providing a good place to turn for small businesses that usually buy their office supplies and electronics from Walmart.
(But if you’re buying paper, I highly recommend a smaller outfit out of Scranton, PA called Dunder Mifflin. Perhaps you’ve heard of it?)
Staples is a close competitor of Office Depot, and another good place to turn if you’re looking for a Walmart alternative that specializes in office supplies.
Like Office Depot, their inventory goes beyond, well, staples and other basic office supplies, and includes a pretty wide range of computing and electronics equipment as well.
Club Monaco is a modern clothing company that sells hip, of-the-moment styles for both men and women.
Their price point is definitely higher than the clothes you’ll find at discount stores like Walmart, but it’s a good option for anyone who’s ready to step up their style and wants something a little more refined.
As one of the most popular pharmacy brands in America, CVS is a close competitor of Walmart’s when it comes to all the essential pharmacy products you can’t live without.
Like a lot of other major pharmacy chains, CVS also carries a lot more than medicine, making it almost like the modern day equivalent of a general store.
Sheetz is a chain of convenience stores that are mostly situated along the East Coast of the United States.
As convenience stores/gas stations their selection is obviously much more limited than a typical Walmart store.
But it’s a good place to turn if you just want some basics without having to deal with crowded stores or long lines.
HSN, aka the Home Shopping Network, has come pretty far since its days as a TV channel that hocked novelty products.
Today they have a well stocked website that carries all manner of lifestyle and home merchandise, including a lot of exclusive brands and products you won’t find anywhere else.
The Disney Stores is an obvious place to turn when you’re shopping for kids and looking for alternative toy stores like Walmart and Toys R Us.
But Disney now owns both Star Wars and Marvel, so if you’re
a big geek young at heart like me, it’s also a good store to pick up some fun toys for adults.
(Can Captain America’s shield hold up to a light sabre? There’s only one way to find out…)
Toys R Us
For any toys or merchandise that doesn’t fall under Disney’s umbrella, there’s Toys R Us.
They carry a wider selection of toys and kids’ stuff than you’ll find at department stores like Walmart and Target.
But it’s worth noting that the prices vary, and you probably won’t find as many deals as you’d get at those stores.
Meijer is kind of like a grocery store on steroids.
They helped pioneer the supercenter concept (which Walmart arguably perfected) and today operate more than 250 stores in the Midwest, selling everything from food and groceries to electronics, sporting goods and more.
In modern times KMart has kind of been overtaken by more popular big box stores like Walmart and Target.
But with that said, as one of the OG discount department stores it’s still a great place to turn if you’re looking for low prices on a pretty wide range of general merchandise.
The electronics department at Walmart is one of its biggest earners, so it’s no surprise that a lot of the Walmart alternatives on this list compete with them in that category.
Radio Shack is one of the country’s oldest electronics stores and still a great place to turn for all manner of electronic devices and gadgets.
Shop your way is a little bit like a digital version of Costco.
You have to become a member to shop on the site, but once you do, you get access to thousands of brands, and each purchase earns you points that you can use to score deals on future purchases.
Most dollar stores don’t have websites, but this is kind of the exception.
DollarDays is a bulk goods and wholesale store where you can score deals on a wide assortment of products and merchandise.
They sell products in most of the same categories as Walmart, but it’s worth noting that their selection isn’t quite as wide.
So if you’re looking for something in particular, it might make sense to start by seeing if you can find it at DollarDays, then move on to Walmart or Amazon if they don’t carry it.
As the single largest supermarket chain of grocery stores in the U.S., Walmart tends to dominate the food and grocery market.
But as big as it is, it’s far from the only game in town.
Publix is an employee-owned supermarket chain based in Florida that competes with Walmart’s grocery business and has more than 1,000 locations across the South.
More Great Stuff from Irreverent Gent:
- The 15 Best Electronic Stores like Radio Shack
- The Best At-Home Workout Equipment for Men
- The Best Self Improvement Books for Men
- The 9 Most Stylish Types of Sweaters for Guys
- The Best Toys for Adults
- The Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $300
- Treat Yo’ Self: The Most Expensive Clothing Brands in the World
- 35 Home Furnishings Stores Like West Elm
- 17 Stylish Sites & Online Stores Like Shein
- The 30 Best Affordable Furniture Stores Like Ikea
- The 19 Best Stores Like Hot Topic for Alternative Fashion
- The Best Stores Like Target to Score Some Great Deals
- The 27 Best Computer Chairs For Long Hours
- The 31 Best Online Stores Like HomeGoods
- The (Absolute) Best Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Men
- The Best Brands Like Carhartt for Workwear Alternatives
- The 25 Best Stores Like Marshalls for Great Deals on Stylish Brands
- The 31 Best Furniture Stores & Web Sites Like Wayfair
- The Best Department Stores Like Macy’s
- The 21 Best Leather Recliner Chairs
Banner image: Mike Mozart of JeepersMedia via Wikimedia