Hmmmm, I'm not so sure it's a matter of crowds = success as it is a matter of crowds disperse quicker at Target... Afterall Target is hardly hurting for financial success, and from my estimation WM is adjusting its formats to Target, not visa versa... So success is debateable. I like Target because you're in, you're out... They usually have more than 2 or 3 aisles open... Though not all WM's in my area have self-checkouts too so I dunno ifyou guys all have them and I just don't or what. I love those wherever they are.
As far as Wal-Mart making life better... Well, I know some hundreds of commuters currently who disagree about that in my area because Wal-Mart going in (down near the city somewhere) caused a rockslide that has a major artery closed down... It's ruining some small businesses too that depended on foot traffic in that area because the roads are closed.
All for a store that had major opposition and was really fought by the region it went into. That's just a local thing but how much they improve your life is really a relative POV thing. All WM's are far enough from me that I'm fairly happy about that though... I'm hoping we don't get one in any time soon, at least not too close to where I live.
Not to say I loathe Wal-Mart completely by any stretch, but Wal-Mart isn't high on my list of stops if I can avoid it in general. I don't feel like they make my life better and/or easier in any way, but I still buy my groceries and home-use items at a local-er owned chain, I still buy my clothes at other stores, and I get auto parts and tires from other places, etc... Wal-Mart's just not my cup of tea for all that other stuff. I really only pick up random things at WM here and there, but it's not my shopping place of choice I guess. Toys, that's about it anymore.
It'll be less so now that Lay-Away is done away with too, because I used to buy an electronic item there once in a while, like my X-Box, my DVD player... Now it's off to Best Buy and 0% financing on my card there. I have a friend in the local Wal-Mart hiearchey and he was saying to me how the Lay-Away program's death is less an issue of cost to the company and more an issue of "cleaning up their image", which they've been openly saying they were wanting to move towards a more upscale market that they feel they can't get... Personally I think everyone shops there at one point or another simply out of necessity, but whatever.