TFG.

I have a love/hate relationship with our local grocery store, Giant Food. Actually, it’s just a hate relationship. I misspoke.

So when this tidbit of research crossed my screen, I was intrigued:

Nearly half of Americans (46%) feel antagonistic toward their grocery store because it falls short of their expectations, according to IBM. (source:EPM)

So, evidently, I’m not alone.

Our store used to be a small, local chain. We shopped at one when I was a kid. It was THE grocery store. They were a full service store with great selection and terrific, smiling employees. Maybe my childhood screen is overlaid here, but I don’t think so. I really think it was nice.

But then they were bought. And bought again. Now they are owned by Royal Ahold. Seriously, I recognize it’s not an American company but did anyone think about that name?

At any rate, my Giant has deteriorated in so many ways. Where shall I begin?

  • I actually hear the employees complain. To me and to each other. WTF?
  • They shelves have huge gaps where product should be
  • They stopped carrying many of my favorite brands
  • SKUs are greatly reduced
  • More and more Private Label branded items, many of which I’m not interested in considering
  • The deli counter used to have some pre-sliced meats. Not any more. It takes an eternity to order and get product. At least it gives me time to text my friends
  • When I actually took the time to go to customer service to ask about a specific product, I got a shrug. Yup.

Unfortunately, this store is very close to our house. So, for a quick item, it is extremely convenient. I hate giving them the business! So this past weekend, I went to Costco, Trader Joe’s and Safeway. Seriously. All three. I stop at Bloom if I need an item on Sunday because it’s near my kids’ religious school.

Sad, but true. I am willing to make four trips to avoid the Giant. ON A WEEKEND, no less.

Funny thing is, I am absolutely sure it’s not just me. I hear people say these things all the time. So why do they still frequent the place? Convenience. Sigh.

There are plans to build a Wegman’s about 10 minutes from here. Local merchants (including Giant) are fighting in. They should be scared, very scared.

Plus a Harris Teeter is opening in a few months just a bit farther away.

If I was management at Giant, I’d be busting butt to improve service and quality today. In a few months or a year? I don’t think they’ll have the chance.

Do you like your grocery store? Do you just shop there because it’s close? Inquiring minds want to know!

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12 thoughts on “TFG.

  1. i share your discontent with the giant. i’m glad it’s not conveinent anymore so i don’t have to feel bad about popping in for a quick item.

    i’ve come to love bloom; they are a smaller store so they don’t always have everything i want but the employees are NICE and HELPFUL. i’ll take less selection for better customer service any day.

  2. I don’t especially like the local Giants or Safeway and prefer Trader’s, Whole Foods or if a regular grocery is a must, driving up the road 10 min to Superfresh. It’s a chain but way nicer than Giant or Safeway.

  3. I also avoid Giant as much as I can. You hit the nail on the head, having addressed almost** every one of my gripes. (And you even took it one step further, leaving me to ponder the appropriateness of the corporate name. How funny!)
    [**How about their frequent rearranging of products, leaving customers ever uncertain about where to find that last item on the list?!!]
    I recently read that Royal Ahold is upgrading about 100 area Giant stores, calling it “Project Refresh”, to “focus on improving Giant’s perishable food sections and modernizing the stores to improve customer convenience”. I don’t know if there’s any amount of refreshing they can do that will win back my loyalties.
    –Laurie

  4. i shop at giant but am frequently annoyed. but it is all about convience. as soon as the others come in, i will drive the little bit of distance for something better!
    -elizabeth

  5. I shop at the local organic grocery store for food. I only go to Giant if I need paper goods, etc. But even then I try to stock up at Target when I’m there. someone should tell Royal Ahold they are a bunch of “Royal A- holes”!

  6. I shop at the Commissary, usually on Fort Belvoir. There is actually one a little closer to the house, and on the way home from school, but it is smaller.

    I drive 30 minutes to get to base and pass three or four Giants and Safeways on the way. Mainly I go for the prices (suppliers love to give discounts to military) and the lack of sales tax, and also because my husband isn’t really comfortable shopping off base. (I don’t know why. I think it is part of the indoctrination process.)

    The biggest problem is that they are always out of things. They stock the shelves several times of day, but the store just is so busy that on the weekends they will always be out of Diet Coke and my Dog Food. We usually just solve the problem by going first thing in the morning. There is a pretty good selection, but they don’t always carry things I need. If they don’t, I just stop at the Giant on the way home. Oh, and the fruits are sometimes awful, but I attribute that to being on the East Coast. Except for the farmer’s markets I never find fruit up to my standards here.

    I don’t have too much of a problem with Giant, but I hate Shoppers. Before I got married I would drive 20 minutes out my way to avoid them.

  7. I do my best to avoid Giant. I’ve found the local international markets, particularly the Korean grocery stores in Howard County, rock in the produce and dry goods sections. They’re crowded … and with good reason: they have great product at a great price.

  8. i actually *like* my local grocery store – publix – but i have to shop at several stores anyway because publix does not meet all my kosher needs. i’m sorry shopping has to be such a drag for you. you should write a letter and complain!

  9. I despise the parking lots at Columbia grocery stores, so I avoid them. Yay to Super Fresh, BJ, and Bloom. Giant Owen Brown just rearranged their shelves and have yet to put a new directory up, so I don’t even go there anymore. I look forward to Harris Teeter and Wegmans!

  10. I wouldnt shop at a store where the staff were audibly complaining either! In fact I try to avoid shopping full stop and luckily my lovely Chopper does most of it.

  11. is great! It’s Albertson’s — their shelves are always well stocked (and I shop at all hours of the day and night!), their staff is friendly and helpful, and they will order items that I want if I let them know.

    I hate Wal-Mart in my area — they are always crowded, the lines are long and slow-moving, and I can’t always find the brands I want to buy. They are cheaper, but the product quality sometimes suffers.

  12. I also avoid the Giant whenever I can. Another thing I hate is the lack of cashiers. It is almost impossible to do the “do it yourself” check-out without something going wrong and having to wait for someone – anyone – to come and help.
    And I agree wholeheartedly about the deli. What kind of a system is that? Who has the time? It’s preposterous!
    There are some items that just can’t be found at BJ’s, Costco, Trader Joe’s, of the local health food store, which is the only reason I ever go to the Giant. And the pharmacy. Though that can be switched with a littl effort….

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