Thursday, December 28, 2006


Despite their flirt with sanity a while back, I witnessed day before yesterday why Kroger is so pathetic.

Their newly remodeled store at Barracks Road is beautiful. It doesn't look like the same store, and it still has that new store smell. The shelves are fully stocked, they have many more items than before and everything looks clean. I don't expect any of that to last.

One thing hasn't changed... their customer service. It was fairly busy when I was in. The customer in front of me in line was under the impression that the grapes she purchased were 1.99/lb. Naturally, when they rang up at 2.49/lb, she objected. I wasn't going to wait all day to see how another customer's situation was resolved, but after waiting for several minutes, checking out in another line and then leaving the store, she was still standing at the register.

What I did see was a cashier attempt to fix the problem for quite some time, which failed. Also unsuccessful was this cashier's attempt to enlist the aid of another cashier. After about a full minute, an eternity in grocery-store-line time, they FINALLY got a supervisor. The supervisor took a while to arrived, had to be informed of the situation, and then proceeded to go ALL the way to the produce department to check the price. Mind you, this is the farthest register (non-self check) in the store from the produce. As we were leaving the store, the supervisor had returned, and was still haggling with the customer.

This might come as a bit of a surprise, but Kroger and another local grocery store where I happen to work have approximately the same profit margin. We make no more money than they do, even though anyone can see we provide better customer service. This customer at my store would have received her grapes at whatever price she thought they were. The cashiers actually have that ability. Failing that, she may have even gotten them for free. I guess we're more farsighted. We know that a customer returning next week is far more valuable than the 2 bucks you might lose for the grapes.

This attitude is clear at any local Kroger. It has always annoyed me that the Hydraulic Road location turns off some of their lights late at night. I would applaud them if this was some effort to save then environment, but I doubt that's the case. I suspect it's more because they can save a few pennies per hour. It's the same reason they have broken fixtures and employees who are grotesquely underpaid. They want to make a buck now.

I don't care what anybody says, they're far worse than Food Lion.


Blogger StLmom said...

Amen, brother. I don't care if I ever see the Barracks store.

12/28/2006 8:12 PM  

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