Author Topic: Today's adventure at the supermarket  (Read 2272 times)

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misha412

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Today's adventure at the supermarket
« on: April 25, 2013, 10:26:50 PM »
Okay. Today was an interesting day at the supermarket.

Today was the grand opening of a supermarket less than a mile from my house. I, like a silly person, decided I wanted to go shopping. I should have waited a couple of days, but I needed to get some groceries and I am going to love having a grocery so close.

Arrived in the parking lot. People were parking everywhere. Along the curbs, in the grass, etc. Not a problem, just required a bit of careful manuvering into a spot.

Go in the front door, grab a cart. Go through the inner doors and come to a halt. A couple is standing right in front of the door. They are signing up for the grocery's discount card. Which was set up right inside the door where anyone stopping by is blocking the door.

Okay, start going through the store. Getting used to the layout, liking what I am seeing. Plenty of people there doing the same. Almost all the customers were courteous and not getting in each other's way.

I noticed two things: too many employees and even more bigwigs. It looks like all the top brass from the grocery chain showed up for the grand opening. and they had all the employees come out for it as well. Sounds great right? It was a three-ring circus, complete with clown and ventriloquist.

Every time I go around a corner, there is a small pack of managers/VPs/department heads, etc. grouped together...blocking aisles and making getting around...interesting. In the meat department, I swear there was at least half a dozen manager types in suits standing in the aisles...blocking the meat displays.

I go to the deli/bakery section, even more manager types milling around. Plus, a clown and a ventriloquist. (not kidding) Add to that several sample stations. An already busy area turned into a madhouse.

Inch my way to the deli counter...great grand opening specials. They have six guys standing behind the counter taking deli orders. With three slicers and two scales. I was asked four times if I was being helped. They were packed into space usually run by two people. Literally tripping over each other.

About the only sane areas of the store was in the produce and canned good aisles. Even they had their roving packs of managers...but in smaller numbers. They walked down an aisle, stopped randomly (or so it appeared). Then they would start moving again. One or two would break from the pack and move off to the side for a separate discussion. They would drift apart, back together, apart. All while customers are trying to get around them.

Got to check-out. That actually went well. Ended up having an older guy take the groceries out to the car for me. Since it had been forever since someone had done that for me, I was quite happy. We chatted a bit. From what he knew, a good number of the cars in the parking lot belonged to corporate bigwigs who were there for the grand opening. Add to that all the employee cars, plus some contractors who were finishing some work in the back. Plus, many vendors handing out samples and looking over displays. Likely at least 1/2 the parking was taken up by the non-customers.

The people are nice. This will be my primary store for shopping. But, opening day was a three-ring circus.

VorFemme

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Re: Today's adventure at the supermarket
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2013, 10:42:01 PM »
Grand opening at an Aldi's nearby - we used to shop at one in Kentucky, so I remembered MOST of what to expect.  House brands, not many name brands, boxes of cans sitting on the shelf so that they stack more easily, buy a bag or bring your own, minimal displays (one row instead of two) and minimal "prettying up" of things - kind of a warehouse thing going on to minimize the footprint of the store and the number of employees so that they can offer really good prices.  You have to use a coin to unlock the shopping cart - nobody leaves their carts in the parking lot - they take it back & put it away to get their coin back.

What I had forgotten was cash, debit card, or "benefits" card - no credit cards and no checks.

Fortunately, I had a debit card with me.....and the milk was $1.89 a gallon instead of the $2.50 that other places offer as the "sale" price - usually closer to $3 for the house brand and over $3.25 for the Big Brand names).  Let's not mention the price for organic milk.....because I don't even look at it, knowing it will be high.

Three parking spaces (someone backed out just before we got to that space) and people parking on a flat dirt area (future construction zone, I think) off the side entry to the parking lot.  Lots of extra employees, all cash registers open, and people stocking as fast as the shoppers are emptying the shelves (and when someone takes a flat of 12 or 18 cans of food off the shelf - it NEEDS restocking).

But I think that I'll wait until some of the hoopla is over and they are no longer doing the grand opening - because driving around looking for a parking space is really annoying and a waste of time.
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

reflection5

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Re: Today's adventure at the supermarket
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2013, 10:42:25 PM »
I donít go near new grocery stores for about a week for the reasons you talked about.  Sounds like they went overboard and at least ĺ of the bigwigs could have disappeared and no one would have missed them or even noticed.  Would have been nice if they had helped people carry out their groceries, huh?  Or asked if you needed help finding anything.  No, they were too busy clustering and keeping the worker bees on their toes.

But itíll be nice to have a store that close. I used to live really close to my favorite grocery store, and I really got spoiled.  :)

Bijou

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Re: Today's adventure at the supermarket
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2013, 02:45:02 AM »
I love grand openings of supermarkets.  It can be a fiasco but I still think it's fun. 
I've never knitted anything I could recognize when it was finished.  Actually, I've never finished anything, much to my family's relief.

Shalamar

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Re: Today's adventure at the supermarket
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2013, 11:17:11 AM »
My daughter was hired as a cashier for a Target that's opening in my city.  This is one of the first Canadian Targets, so its grand opening day is going to be a Very Big Deal.  I'm looking forward to her stories.  :)

lowspark

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Re: Today's adventure at the supermarket
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2013, 12:25:42 PM »
When they opened Trader Joe's here, there were lines outside the store waiting for it to open on the first day. I saw pictures on line. I didn't go. Not that I wouldn't have, if it had been at a time where I could, but it was during the workday. I don't mind a zoo type atmosphere in these kinds of situations because I know it's coming and would just not have an agenda or be in a hurry. Those grand openings can be fun.

I have not been to Aldi yet because although they opened about 10 stores here, they are all in the outlying areas, no where near me.

Virg

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Re: Today's adventure at the supermarket
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2013, 12:34:47 PM »
I agree with lowspark here.  If you go to a grand opening of any store with the expectation of anything resembling a normal shopping trip you're going to get frustrated, because it's not going to be normal in any way.  Going in with a take-your-time attitude works a lot better.  Also, there's always a bunch of corporates at such things, because there's often a lot of things that have to be observed to be understood.  It makes the opening day more chaotic but things like traffic flow and how the registers are working can only really be understood by being there, and can lead to changes in planning or layout or pricing as the store settles in.

Virg

misha412

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Re: Today's adventure at the supermarket
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2013, 12:36:03 PM »
I donít go near new grocery stores for about a week for the reasons you talked about.  Sounds like they went overboard and at least ĺ of the bigwigs could have disappeared and no one would have missed them or even noticed.  Would have been nice if they had helped people carry out their groceries, huh?  Or asked if you needed help finding anything.  No, they were too busy clustering and keeping the worker bees on their toes.

But itíll be nice to have a store that close. I used to live really close to my favorite grocery store, and I really got spoiled.  :)

The supermarket chain bought the land for this store over 5 years ago. Then the economy took a downturn and nothing was done. We thought they were going to sell the land and not put a store in. Then they finally broke ground in Dec 2011. And now I have my grocery store close. (I was traveling 6-7 miles to the nearest decent store).

This new store has everything I wanted plus a bunch more. I am over the moon.

Seven Ate Nine

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Re: Today's adventure at the supermarket
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2013, 12:39:37 PM »
I'll be honest, the "suits" would have annoyed me.  The rest I'd chalk up to opening day craziness, but the bigwigs have had a whole bunch of time to walk through the place and see how it's set up, etc.  It would annoy me even more that they were in the way and not helping.  I worked at a grocery/department store, and I do remember a pack of roaming bigwigs coming through one day.  I was a cashier, and obviously not allowed to leave my register.  At one point, the customer in front of me had an item that they didn't want, or an item that they forgot (I don't remember the details, it was several years ago) and one of the bigwigs happened to be near.  He actually took the time to get the customer what they wanted.  I thought that was pretty neat, because I hadn't seen that type of behavior from management before.

OTOH, my nearest grocery store takes 20 minutes to get to, and even if one were to appear 3 miles down the road tomorrow, there's no way I'd go in for the first week.  I am well aware that my patience isn't up to that  :)

misha412

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Re: Today's adventure at the supermarket
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2013, 01:36:48 PM »
I agree with lowspark here.  If you go to a grand opening of any store with the expectation of anything resembling a normal shopping trip you're going to get frustrated, because it's not going to be normal in any way.  Going in with a take-your-time attitude works a lot better.  Also, there's always a bunch of corporates at such things, because there's often a lot of things that have to be observed to be understood.  It makes the opening day more chaotic but things like traffic flow and how the registers are working can only really be understood by being there, and can lead to changes in planning or layout or pricing as the store settles in.

Virg

Actually, except for a couple moments of brief irritation, I was not frustrated. At times, it was a bit amusing.

I knew it was going to be crazy. I just did not realize that normal opening day crazy would be complicated by roving packs of bigwigs actually getting in the way instead of helping customers. Add to that 1/2 the parking lot taken up by everyone but customers, and that is why I termed it a three-ring circus.

The employees were all, except for one, in a good mood and happy to chat a bit. Customers were dealing with the chaos with grace. I took my time and dealt with everything. I went home exhausted but happy.



Jocelyn

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Re: Today's adventure at the supermarket
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2013, 12:01:32 PM »
I would have been tempted to comment to each and every suit, about how difficult having groups of suits standing around doing nothing was making the shopping experience, and that contrary to whatever they thought they were doing, they were actually creating a negative shopping experience. Because, really, they ought to know.

siamesecat2965

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Re: Today's adventure at the supermarket
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2013, 03:04:22 PM »
They are supposedly breaking ground sometime this month for a new shopping center within a mile of my apt. Which will have a Trader Joes. I can tell you with certainty as much as I am thrilled to have one that close, and love the store, I will NOT be going there anytime within the first week of opening. Depending on the day of the week I may go first thing on the weekend, if it opens mid-week. If not, I will wait. I just canít deal with any of that nonsense. Iím too old and cranky

Ginger G

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Re: Today's adventure at the supermarket
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2013, 04:54:51 PM »
The first Trader Joe's in my city opened a couple of months ago.  There was no way I was going near it for the first few weeks!  I took the Thursday before Easter off as a vacation day, and my mom and I decided to check it out.  This was about 3 weeks after it opened, it was a Thursday in the middle of the afternoon and it was still totally packed.  Cars were parked everwhere, no spaces to be seen.  I thought we may have to give up and try again another day, but we got lucky - a car pulled out of a space right in front of us.  I want to go back, but I'm going to wait until I have another vacation day and show up there when they first open.

siamesecat2965

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Re: Today's adventure at the supermarket
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2013, 02:00:28 PM »
The first Trader Joe's in my city opened a couple of months ago.  There was no way I was going near it for the first few weeks!  I took the Thursday before Easter off as a vacation day, and my mom and I decided to check it out.  This was about 3 weeks after it opened, it was a Thursday in the middle of the afternoon and it was still totally packed.  Cars were parked everwhere, no spaces to be seen.  I thought we may have to give up and try again another day, but we got lucky - a car pulled out of a space right in front of us.  I want to go back, but I'm going to wait until I have another vacation day and show up there when they first open.

They are always busy, but certain times of the day moreso than others. Unfortunatley the one that's sort of close by me now is in the opposite direction of where I work, so going on a weekend isn't really an option as its a good 30 mile round trip!  I prefer gettin there first thing when they open, but i usually end up going after work. i get out at 4, so can be there by 10 after.

a couple years ago I was so excited; had to drive a friend to the airport on a sunday, early, and was back by there just as they opened. it was soooo nice to be in there shopping with very few others!