Cashier(l), Walmart cart(c), Cash register(r)

Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock @echoesofnostalgia/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘All of those checkouts open’: Viral video shows what it was like to shop at Walmart in 2005

‘When Walmart had the fish aquariums, food places, smiley face stickers.’


Jack Alban


Ah, Walmart in 2005. Groceries weren’t as expensive as they are now. Customers had an abundance of checkouts to choose from, and the store stayed open 24/7.

One video that recently went viral on TikTok has shoppers reminiscing about the good ol’ times.

The video was posted by Echoes of Nostalgia (@echoesofnostalgia), a popular TikTok account that shares “nostalgic moments from our childhood.” And it’s been viewed 6.8 million times.

“Shopping at Walmart in 2005. All of those checkouts open,” a text overlay in the video reads. The clip shows footage of what visiting a Walmart store some 19 years ago looked like. The comment refers to a gripe that many Walmart shoppers have of the popular brick-and-mortar retail chain—its checkout system. “Now there are only 2 open…” Echoes of Nostalgia added in the caption.

@echoesofnostalgia Now there are only 2 open…#n#nostalgicn#nostalgian#nostalgiacoren#nostalgiatrip2#2000sthrowbackd#dreamcorel#liminalspacesf#fypppf#fypシ゚viral2#2000skidsn#nostalgiatok2#2000sc#childhoodw#weirdcorec#corecoren#nostalgia90an ♬ aquatic ambience (slowed + reverb) – Scizzie & sped up sounds & Slowed + Reverb Sounds & Aesthetic Instrumentals

The video hit a soft spot with consumers

Shoppers shared their own personal experiences about what it was like shopping at Walmart back in the day.

At one point in the video, a woman’s shopping cart is filled to the brim with goods. “Damn! That lady’s Walmart cart filled over the top. That would be like MF $900 nowdays,” one viewer exclaimed. Another said, “That ladies cart was probably 80-100$ then , now probably pushing 5-609.”

Walmart’s prices have risen tremendously in the past few years due to inflation, among other factors. Shoppers have also accused the store of shrinkflation, less product for more money. An NPR report found that shrinkflation is very real at the store.

“When Walmart had the fish aquariums, food places, smiley face stickers.. everything use to be so cheap. miss it,” one viewer said.

What happened to the fishes and stickers?

Wallmart was once, according to For the Fishes, responsible for the sale of 30% of tropical and freshwater fish sales in the U.S. It “made the decision to stop sales due to pressure from consumers concerned about the welfare of the animals,” according to the outlet.

As for the smiley stickers shoppers would receive, Walmart spokeswoman Danit Marquardt told CNN Money in 2016 that the logo no longer “fit” with its advertising. It stopped using the smiley logo in 2006. “We were taking a different approach,” Marquardt said. “He has been used intermittently, but he hasn’t been an active part of our advertising.”

Walmart’s checkout process

“When Walmart was open 24hrs and wasn’t full of self checkouts,” a second viewer commented.

There have been shoppers who’ve also complained that Walmart makes the purchase of items more difficult than it needs to be. Like this one guest who visited a store to purchase a $4 battery. The item was locked up. Baffled that such a relatively inexpensive item would be locked up and waiting too long for an employee to help them unlock it, the customer said they ultimately rage-quit shopping at the store.

Some shoppers have accused the Arkansas-based retailer of intentionally making the self-checkout experience annoying in some locations to try and push folks into purchasing a Walmart+ subscription. One of the features of Walmart+, in addition to getting a Paramount+ login and free shipping for home deliveries on items, is the ability to scan items on your phone while you’re shopping in store before heading to self-checkout in order to expedite the process.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Walmart via email and Echoes of Nostalgia via TikTok comment for further information.

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