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!