Thursday, April 06, 2006

Kroger @ Hydraulic

I've been around, but by far, the worst grocery store I have ever experienced is the Kroger at Hydraulic Road.

I go there from time to time, because it's convenient to my house, and, presumably, anything packaged somewhere else is safe to eat.

But, I never go there without being amazed at the sheer lack of quality of their products and the incompetence of many of their employees.

I remember going there a couple of years ago and noticing the horrific nature of their produce section. Not only did they simply place the boxes that the produce comes in on the floor, but there was actually rotten produce on the floor. This went on for quite some time, when, suddenly, the produce looked good! I thought, maybe they got a new manager or a new produce manager. But after awhile, it went back to sucking. It seems clear that the only reason they shaped up when they did was because the health department came down on them.

I am constantly amazed at being able to interact with their cashiers, even attempting to engage in conversation, without their saying a single word. I have been amused to hear a comment along the lines of "my nametag says 'cashier,' why am I bagging," as if bagging three items was some kind of major hardship.

Today, with my four items, I said I did not want a bag. The bagger heard me, asked how I was going to carry my stuff to my car without a bag (despite my having done a fine job getting my items to the checkout), and then proceeded to put my items in a bag and mockingly ask if I needed help to my car.

I feel bad for blogging this, but I have been shocked so many times, that I need to express it somewhere. I would call the store or the company, but I have a vested interest in their going down in flames, so it actually benefits me for them to suck. And given that I used to work in a produce section at an area grocery store, and I currently work customer service at another store, so I know how good customer service can be. I think service at more stores is passable (even at the Barracks Kroger, which most people think is worse than Hydraulic), but this one is atrocious.

And to that bagger today... don't mess with customers. If they've ever worked customer service at a grocery store, they can make your life a living hell, hehehe..... you're lucky I was in a hurry.


Blogger maiaoming said...

You are SO right. I call it the "Crack Kroger." The whole place is DEPRESSING. It makes me want to starve myself and not eat. Even the nasty Food Lion, whose employees sometimes seem close to suicide, is cheerier.

I totally agree!!! I do everything I can NOT to go there!!

4/07/2006 12:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to agree.. as a new person in town, I've sampled many grocery stores to find ones I liked. The Kroger on Hydraulic was shockingly bad. I had a hard time pegging exactly "what" was wrong with it, but you put it in to words pretty well.

4/08/2006 8:29 AM  
Anonymous Kym said...

You are so right about Kroger! The only store they had that was the least bit appealing was the Rio Rd. location when I lived there. However, I've noticed no matter what Food Lion I go to in this world, I am always subjected to the slowest, most apathetic employees I've ever seen in my life. It makes me wonder if there's some sort of "The Wall" scenario going on in the break room before they emerge and begin "work".

4/08/2006 10:46 AM  
Anonymous fdr said...

It's sad but true. This store used to be the only Kroger in town, and I recall there was a period in the early '80s after Safeway closed but before the Seminole Square Giant opened where it was the best place for quality everyday food shopping. There was A&P (where Old Navy is now) and the IGA (now the downtown Staples), as well as Reid's, but the Kroger was way better. But your post pretty much nailed all the problems; I stopped shopping there years ago.

On the bright side, if you're on the east side of town, you should know that competition has improved things at the Pantops Food Lion (when they lost all their customers to the new Giant). Although their selection is still a bit limited on a few things, they have started stocking better fresh (even some organic) foods than ever before, and almost everything is cheaper than Giant. I can do almost all my grocery biz at Food Lion now and spend 1/3 less than I would up the hill.

4/08/2006 6:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently was a cashier at the Rio Hill Kroger (very briefly), and I cannot agree with you more about the conditions at all of the Kroger stores. I enjoyed interacting with the customers, but the magagement is the biggest problem. Being a cashier, I'm the one that got the complaints about the stores "renovation" (which seems to be neverending). I know how frustrating it is, but I would suggest voicing any complaints to management, considering they are the only ones that can do anything about it. Maybe if they treated their employees better they would be happy to be working there, and therefore more things would get done, and the customers would be happier with the service. I know if I was treated better I would still be happily working there. I totally understand the frustration of the customers, and the cashiers. And I don't shop there anymore either.

4/10/2006 10:30 AM  
Blogger Dan Kachur said...

If they would actually pay their employees, then maybe they would have less turnover, and as a result, better service.

I once was offered a job there (Hydraulic) at $6 an hour. Of course I turned it down.

I have a co-worker who worked in a Dallas Kroger for ten years, including nine and a half in management. When he moved to CVille, he was informed they were going to pay him minimum wage. So, of course, he turned it down.

I know from personal experience that Giant and Whole Foods both pay very well, the latter with excellent benefits. I've heard that Harris Teeter also pays competitively. And these places ALL have better customer service than Kroger.

4/10/2006 12:20 PM  

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