Re: Today's Priceless Supermarket Moment

Discussion in 'Food and nutrition' started by OmManiPadmeOmelet, Mar 9, 2006.

  1. In article <[email protected]>,
    "[email protected]" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Um. Do you think those people never come back and buy a full cartload?
    > Everybody needs to eat. And we all pick a favorite store. If that store
    > is useless or rude to us, we will shop elsewhere.
    >
    > So, if you normally shop at X store, and you go in one night for a
    > gallon of milk and spend 15 minutes in line, you might shop somewhere
    > else and like it better. And take the rest of your business there
    > permanently.
    >
    > This is why they work so hard to keep your business even if you buy
    > only a couple items at that time. They want your business all of the
    > time, not just for the small orders, but the larger orders too.
    >
    > Also, a lot of people have gotten into the habit of shopping on an
    > almost daily basis. So, while their orders are smaller than a full
    > cart, they are shopping 5-7 days a week as opposed to once a week. So,
    > they can be spending just as much as somebody else, just not at one
    > time.


    This is all very true... I'll shop at the same place all the time and
    may get a cartload (or two if I'm really out of everything) and at other
    times, I'll just go in for one or two items.

    I like express lanes.

    Midnight or early morning shopping avoids most of the lines tho'. ;-)
    --
    Peace, Om.

    "My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son-of-a-bitch." -Jack Nicholson
     
    Tags:


  2. Dee Randall

    Dee Randall Guest

    >>
    >> This is why they work so hard to keep your business even if you buy
    >> only a couple items at that time. They want your business all of the
    >> time, not just for the small orders, but the larger orders too.
    >>


    Obviously any store that keeps their customers unneccessarily waiting in
    line has no respect for their customers. When I see customers at one end
    of the store in lines 1, 2, 3, 4 and no cashiers at 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and
    11, how does it make me feel? It makes me feel that they don't give a damn
    about my business enough to open those lines. Nothing could be simpler.
    Any fancy jawing about customer service is BS. Give me a break!

    It's similar to a restaurant that has two rooms full of empty seats and they
    keep people waiting in line and hearding them all together while a limited
    number of overworked waitpersons joggle their workload. Why would anyone
    wait for a seat in this kind of business? But they sure give it their all,
    feigning how they are really working to get you a seat and served! If you
    care about my business, just open the space and hire some more people --
    same solution as the previous paragraph.
    Dee Dee
     
  3. Dave Smith

    Dave Smith Guest

    Dee Randall wrote:

    >
    > Obviously any store that keeps their customers unneccessarily waiting in
    > line has no respect for their customers. When I see customers at one end
    > of the store in lines 1, 2, 3, 4 and no cashiers at 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and
    > 11, how does it make me feel? It makes me feel that they don't give a damn
    > about my business enough to open those lines. Nothing could be simpler.
    > Any fancy jawing about customer service is BS. Give me a break!


    I have to wonder about the money wasted on checkouts in grocery stores. I have
    shopped in lots of large grocery stores with lots of checkouts and I have never
    seen more than half of them open at any time. I have to wonder why they
    bothered to install them in the first place. If you only plan to have a maximum
    of 6 cashiers, there is no need to have more than 6 checkouts. If you have 12
    but only use 6 it looks like you don't care. If you use them all customers may
    be more impressed. Granted, there are no guarantees on that because you can't
    please everyone.

    That being said, I am really impressed with the improvement over the years. I
    used to figure at least 15 minutes to check out a grocery store. Even at peak
    periods it rarely takes me more than 5 minutes now.
     
  4. Dee Randall wrote:
    > >>
    > >> This is why they work so hard to keep your business even if you buy
    > >> only a couple items at that time. They want your business all of the
    > >> time, not just for the small orders, but the larger orders too.
    > >>

    >
    > Obviously any store that keeps their customers unneccessarily waiting in
    > line has no respect for their customers. When I see customers at one end
    > of the store in lines 1, 2, 3, 4 and no cashiers at 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and
    > 11, how does it make me feel? It makes me feel that they don't give a damn
    > about my business enough to open those lines. Nothing could be simpler.
    > Any fancy jawing about customer service is BS. Give me a break!
    >


    I know it is frustrating, but grocery store business is up and down in
    a flash. We can be dead for hours and then have an hour that is really
    busy and then back to dead again.

    They cannot schedule a checker for 1 or two hours. The union requires a
    minimum 4 hour shift. And once somebody checks, they have to be paid
    checker wages. They don't want all the stockers at checker wages. So,
    very rarely, will there actually be enough checkers in the store to run
    all the checkstands. They simply don't have that many people qualified
    to do the job available.

    I know that doesn't sounds great, but the alternative is to schedule
    more checkers, and that means raising the prices to cover them. Grocery
    stores are competing with walmart, Winco, Costco, and other similar
    stores. They've already reduced our Sunday pay, reduced our health
    benefits, put a freeze on raises, and raised the weekly payroll
    deuduction toward our health benefits. The only way to increase the
    number of checkers is to raise the prices to pay for them. And they
    know they will lose more business if they do that.

    As it is, we do call for as much help as we can. And the lines are
    rarely really long for more than 10 or 15 minutes at a time. Steady
    yes, but not backed up.

    I'm sure that varies from store to store, especially since each chain
    has its own set of store policies. If your local store is really bad,
    complain. Send in customer comment cards. Be specific about the times
    and what happened.

    We do mystery shop reports, and we can get everything right with
    departments and our service attributes and still get a bad shop score
    based on how many customers were in line. And they keep a record of how
    many checkers were available as well as how many checkstands were open
    when the mystery shopper went through. If the checkers weren't
    checking, all managers on duty get written up. And if the scores are
    too low, the store manager gets into trouble with the district manager.
    And then we all hear about it. It's no fun at all. I have to go to a
    meeting at 9am on Saturday simply because I didn't offer a sample when
    the mystery shopper asked a question. I'm very ticked about it because
    I know I missed because I was angry at the office lady for pulling our
    til over an hour early. she pulled it at 6:20 and the mystery shopper
    came at 6:45. The office lady got 100% on her shop, and i missed one
    detail. I did manage to greet with a friendly smile, anticipate a need,
    handle a special request with courtesy, be knowldgeable, take to the
    item, and give a parting comment.

    So, I have to work til 10:30pm friday night, go to a stupid meeting at
    9am Saturday, and then go back to work at 3pm on Saturday until
    10:30pm. No sleep for me. And I'll get dinged again in August when I
    get my evaluation.

    So, yes, I do care about customer service and not making people wait in
    line. I was actually upset about the poor customer service offered by
    the office lady by pulling our til early (so that she could get done
    early), and I was keeping track of how many people were turned away
    from our register. I also reported it to my deli manager, and she was
    ticked enough to go complain to the store manager. So, it should be
    fixed now.

    I know it is frustrating, but don't assume that people are standing
    around doing nothing, just because you see empty checkstands. There may
    not be anybody left to call. And that is determined by somebody who
    doesn't work at the store level. Our hours are scheduled in the store,
    but the actual number and timeframes are determined by a computer
    program that compares last year and last week and estimates our sales
    for the upcoming week. And that is something designed and run in a
    different state. If we go over those hours and don't have exceptional
    sales to support it, we get in trouble.
     
  5. Dee Randall

    Dee Randall Guest

    <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > Dee Randall wrote:


    >>
    >> Obviously any store that keeps their customers unneccessarily waiting in
    >> line has no respect for their customers. When I see customers at one
    >> end
    >> of the store in lines 1, 2, 3, 4 and no cashiers at 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10,
    >> and
    >> 11, how does it make me feel? It makes me feel that they don't give a
    >> damn
    >> about my business enough to open those lines. Nothing could be simpler.
    >> Any fancy jawing about customer service is BS. Give me a break!
    >>

    >
    > I know it is frustrating, but grocery store business is up and down in
    > a flash. We can be dead for hours and then have an hour that is really
    > busy and then back to dead again.


    This is the way with all businesses, ebb and flow -- most businesses do
    their best business at Christmas time and they put extra people on to help.
    Obviously in a grocery store, you can't pull checkers out of a hat and put
    them back in every 15 minutes, and obviously the store doesn't WANT to pay
    for more checkers, and that's the reason. And you say, oh, oh, then they'll
    have to charge you more -- well, do it!!! But they never will, they'll keep
    cutting corners for their own profit!

    You replies about remedies and how much the groceries care about business
    may apply to some of the low-grossing chains, but where I shop, there are
    plenty of customers everytime I'm there (never the middle of the night,
    though) and I hardly ever see a short-line. They may not be making ENOUGH
    money in their way of thinking and may always be under pressure to make more
    by doing this and that, but the stores that I shop have the products to
    bring me in, but they don't give a damn about putting enough people to check
    me out. Ridiculous!

    The way you are talking about the team work of the grocery store you are
    working at sounds like a nightmare. Good rhetoric, but walk-in-step! Got
    all the rules for making it work like an oiled wheel. Sounds like any other
    corporate nightmare to me. Get a grip!

    Dee Dee
     
  6. Dan Abel

    Dan Abel Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    Dave Smith <[email protected]> wrote:


    > I have to wonder about the money wasted on checkouts in grocery stores. I
    > have
    > shopped in lots of large grocery stores with lots of checkouts and I have
    > never
    > seen more than half of them open at any time. I have to wonder why they
    > bothered to install them in the first place. If you only plan to have a
    > maximum
    > of 6 cashiers, there is no need to have more than 6 checkouts. If you have
    > 12
    > but only use 6 it looks like you don't care. If you use them all customers
    > may
    > be more impressed. Granted, there are no guarantees on that because you
    > can't
    > please everyone.



    They build for maximum use, not average. My local store usually has
    half the registers closed, sometimes more. Still, some days they are
    all in use. It isn't often, and I try to avoid shopping then, but it
    happens.

    --
    Dan Abel
    [email protected]
    Petaluma, California, USA
     
  7. Doug Kanter

    Doug Kanter Guest

    "Dan Abel" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > In article <[email protected]>,
    > Dave Smith <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >
    >> I have to wonder about the money wasted on checkouts in grocery stores. I
    >> have
    >> shopped in lots of large grocery stores with lots of checkouts and I have
    >> never
    >> seen more than half of them open at any time. I have to wonder why they
    >> bothered to install them in the first place. If you only plan to have a
    >> maximum
    >> of 6 cashiers, there is no need to have more than 6 checkouts. If you
    >> have
    >> 12
    >> but only use 6 it looks like you don't care. If you use them all
    >> customers
    >> may
    >> be more impressed. Granted, there are no guarantees on that because you
    >> can't
    >> please everyone.

    >
    >
    > They build for maximum use, not average. My local store usually has
    > half the registers closed, sometimes more. Still, some days they are
    > all in use. It isn't often, and I try to avoid shopping then, but it
    > happens.


    On insane days (before holidays), I've been Wegman's stores and seen the
    store manager at a register if things were getting too nutty. Apparently,
    they think that when it comes to serving the customer, anything goes, and
    rank is right out the window.
     
  8. Dave Smith

    Dave Smith Guest

    Dan Abel wrote:

    >
    > > of 6 cashiers, there is no need to have more than 6 checkouts. If you have
    > > 12
    > > but only use 6 it looks like you don't care. If you use them all customers
    > > may
    > > be more impressed. Granted, there are no guarantees on that because you
    > > can't
    > > please everyone.

    >
    > They build for maximum use, not average. My local store usually has
    > half the registers closed, sometimes more. Still, some days they are
    > all in use. It isn't often, and I try to avoid shopping then, but it
    > happens.


    I have never seen them all open, not even at the busiest times of the busiest
    days of the week in the busiest season of the year.
     
  9. Dan Abel

    Dan Abel Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    Dave Smith <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Dan Abel wrote:


    > > They build for maximum use, not average. My local store usually has
    > > half the registers closed, sometimes more. Still, some days they are
    > > all in use. It isn't often, and I try to avoid shopping then, but it
    > > happens.

    >
    > I have never seen them all open, not even at the busiest times of the busiest
    > days of the week in the busiest season of the year.


    I have, many times (over 30 years, though). The day before Thanksgiving
    and the day before Christmas, they have them all open and the lines are
    still really horrible.

    --
    Dan Abel
    [email protected]
    Petaluma, California, USA
     
  10. Dave Smith wrote:
    > Dee Randall wrote:


    > I have to wonder about the money wasted on checkouts in grocery stores. I have
    > shopped in lots of large grocery stores with lots of checkouts and I have never
    > seen more than half of them open at any time. I have to wonder why they
    > bothered to install them in the first place. If you only plan to have a maximum
    > of 6 cashiers, there is no need to have more than 6 checkouts. If you have 12
    > but only use 6 it looks like you don't care. If you use them all customers may
    > be more impressed. Granted, there are no guarantees on that because you can't
    > please everyone.
    >


    There's a couple reasons. During the holidays, the checkstands do all
    get used. There are some times when it really does get that busy.

    But the main use for those extra checkstands is the ability to move
    checkers and change out tils when needed.

    For example, every night, we doing a rolling close. This means that for
    about 1 minute, the checkers stop checking, and the computer runs
    reports for the day. The checkers close off their checkstands and
    divert the customers to the unused checkstands which have new tills in
    them, ready for the next official day. After the report is done, teh
    checkers start up on those new tills, and the office lady comes out and
    collects the old tils and starts counting them. This is how a store
    stays up 24 hours but has daily sales reports. They can switch it over
    in only a minute because they can prepare the new tills and just move
    the checkers. They just wait for a lull in the lines and then run the
    reports.
     
  11. Doug Kanter wrote:

    > On insane days (before holidays), I've been Wegman's stores and seen the
    > store manager at a register if things were getting too nutty. Apparently,
    > they think that when it comes to serving the customer, anything goes, and
    > rank is right out the window.


    Our manager checks every day. Anytime it gets busy, the checkers call
    the managers, including the top one. It's the only way to have spare
    checkers.

    Also, during visits from the disctrict manager, I have seen him bagging
    groceries and even mopping up a spill.
     
  12. Dave Smith

    Dave Smith Guest

    "[email protected]" wrote:

    > > I have to wonder about the money wasted on checkouts in grocery stores. I have
    > > shopped in lots of large grocery stores with lots of checkouts and I have never
    > > seen more than half of them open at any time. I have to wonder why they
    > > bothered to install them in the first place. If you only plan to have a maximum
    > > of 6 cashiers, there is no need to have more than 6 checkouts. If you have 12
    > > but only use 6 it looks like you don't care. If you use them all customers may
    > > be more impressed. Granted, there are no guarantees on that because you can't
    > > please everyone.
    > >

    >
    > There's a couple reasons. During the holidays, the checkstands do all
    > get used. There are some times when it really does get that busy.
    >
    > But the main use for those extra checkstands is the ability to move
    > checkers and change out tils when needed.
    >
    > For example, every night, we doing a rolling close. This means that for
    > about 1 minute, the checkers stop checking, and the computer runs
    > reports for the day. The checkers close off their checkstands and
    > divert the customers to the unused checkstands which have new tills in
    > them, ready for the next official day.


    You are talking the modern cash registers.This has been going on around here since
    the days when cashiers had to enter everything digitally, which used to mean with
    your fingers.

    I always thought that it was just for diplay, that they stuck in a bunch of extra
    registers so that people would think that the store was able to handle crowds, but
    they had no intention of using them.
     
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