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Survivus most anythingus
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Given all of the gloom and doom we have been experiencing for the last several years, I have to say it's surreal and more than a little ominous to actually see a supermarket empty out. Sure, this was planned and it's bad enough because so many Superfresh (they were neither "super" nor "fresh," trust me...) grocery stores are closing now... A&P is not doing so well...where will these people find employment? Some, no doubt, took early retirement, but so many of the stores closed, I doubt if any of them were moved to other stores and regular cashiers and stockers are not management making the big bucks, it's not like they are going to relocate to another state on what they make...

Imagine if these pictures were packed with people fighting over every last nugget and morsel of food...
 

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Inglorious Deplorable
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Here is the thing about staying on a sinking ship.

For the last few years, more and more customers have been moving to other stores in your same area. Did a new store open up? Did it create new jobs?

Or is it more serious. Is your town/city a sinking ship. Are people moving out of town to other areas? In this case, the grocery jobs moved with these people to anouter state.

These jobs did not just disappear - they moved, some months or years ago.

The last remaining Superfresh customers will need to find another place to shop. These other stores will hire a few more people - just maybe not the old Superfresh employees.

If I managed a grocery store, I would think twice before hiring one of these Superfresh employees. They stayed on as the store sunk - took no initiative to find other work. I still might hire them, I would just think twice about it.
 

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Survivus most anythingus
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I would hire them for the simple fact they stayed to receive a severance package. It's a rare person that would leave behind a several thousand dollar severance package if they just hang out to the bitter end in return for just another cashier or stocking position which would most certainly be at a lower wage, too.

To answer something you were asking about, a Super Wal-Mart (ain't that a vomit-title...) with a grocery store in it opened about five years ago approximately three miles from this Superfresh after they closed the older China-Mart that was smaller and therefore not "super," that didn't have a grocery store in it.

Two Giant grocery stores, both within three miles of this Superfresh closed within the last five years.

So, no one really moved in lately that put them out of business. But their meats and vegetables and whatnot have been looking really, really bad over the last three years.
 

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Here is the thing about staying on a sinking ship.

For the last few years, more and more customers have been moving to other stores in your same area. Did a new store open up? Did it create new jobs?

Or is it more serious. Is your town/city a sinking ship. Are people moving out of town to other areas? In this case, the grocery jobs moved with these people to anouter state.

These jobs did not just disappear - they moved, some months or years ago.

The last remaining Superfresh customers will need to find another place to shop. These other stores will hire a few more people - just maybe not the old Superfresh employees.

If I managed a grocery store, I would think twice before hiring one of these Superfresh employees. They stayed on as the store sunk - took no initiative to find other work. I still might hire them, I would just think twice about it.
You would think twice about hireing an experienced worker who remained LOYAL to his previous employer by riding the ship down? How do you know the poor guy didn't try to find work somewhere else? It's not like there's a sea of "help wanted" signs out there for job hunters to pick from.
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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If I managed a grocery store, I would think twice before hiring one of these Superfresh employees. They stayed on as the store sunk - took no initiative to find other work. I still might hire them, I would just think twice about it.
Or you can look at it another way. Those that did jump ship, may just jump ship on you too if another store offered a few pennies more per hour, or opened a store 2 blocks closer to their home. Whether they jumped ship or stayed on doesn't tell you enough about them to be a useful criteria without knowing why they made that decision. The ones who left might have found openings and the ones who stayed were still trying.
 

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Patient Zero of WWZ
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So, no one really moved in lately that put them out of business. But their meats and vegetables and whatnot have been looking really, really bad over the last three years.
Sounds like a simple case of free market. The customers saw that the quality of the stores products were going down hill.

They stopped shopping there and found a place with better quality products.

That's exactly how capitalism is supposed to work.

Offer a crappy product, go broke.
Offer a superior product, get rich.

In the end it's the customer who wins by getting the better food.

I just don't understand why people don't see the beauty of that system.
 
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Sounds like a simple case of free market. The customers saw that the quality of the stores products were going down hill.

They stopped shopping there and found a place with better quality products.

That's exactly how capitalism is supposed to work.

Offer a crappy product, go broke.
Offer a superior product, get rich.

In the end it's the customer who wins by getting the better food.

I just don't understand why people don't see the beauty of that system.
Because eventually.



And then the customer gets whatever the hell I tell him to get.
 

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Survivus most anythingus
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sounds like a simple case of free market. The customers saw that the quality of the stores products were going down hill.

They stopped shopping there and found a place with better quality products.
The thing of it is, the groceries I could purchase at the "super" Wal-Mart (we need a vomiting emoticon for an occasion such as this...) with the grocery store in it and the Giant grocery store and the Shopper's Food Warehouse and the Food Lion, all basically the same drive for me...didn't really offer anything better at all.

Bill, I'm not kidding. You can't even get decent looking yellow delicious apples or green bell peppers...they look incredibly nasty. If I want to make chili, for example, I roll the dice and sometimes I leave the store unable to make what I want because the onions were sort of spoogey or the bell peppers looked nasty AND THEY WANT TOP DOLLAR FOR THAT NASTINESS, TOO!

That's exactly how capitalism is supposed to work.

Offer a crappy product, go broke.
Offer a superior product, get rich.

In the end it's the customer who wins by getting the better food.

I just don't understand why people don't see the beauty of that system.
I do see the beauty of it in theory and over a decade ago, I used to actually experience that as well. But now? No, not really. You know, brown and graying ground beef, ground chuck or ground round...it's on its way out, right? You used to be able to get it for a greatly reduced cost, they damned near gave it away and they told you, "you should really fix this today." Now? They put a "Manager's Special" on it with a buck or two, literally, off of this pack of decomposing meat so instead of paying $13.76, you are going to get it for $12.76 or $11.76. They would rather throw it out then make something off of it, it's like they're cutting off their nose to spite their face, as the old saying goes. And they ALL do it.

And as far as meats at Wal-Mart are concerned, the way that corporation is, if their meat doesn't look 100% I wouldn't trust it. They've got the whole beancounter thing going on, if they had freezers go down and stuff thawed, I bet they would sell anything they could that didn't look rotten. Hell, when I was a teenager I worked for a now-defunct grocery chain called "Valu-Food" and they would do it.
 

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Survivus most anythingus
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Because eventually.



And then the customer gets whatever the hell I tell him to get.
That's how Wal-Mart made it. They killed off all their competition, created something that any legitimate government with anti-trust laws would feast upon, and then ripped down all of the signs with the big yellow smileys that screamed - "PROUDLY MADE IN THE USA" and had everything made in China that they could and charged more than their competitors used to.

And...if that is really "capitalism," I think we need to examine other avenues...
But it's really just more crony capitalism which is nothing more than socialism for wealthy people instead of poor people.
 

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Inglorious Deplorable
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You would think twice about hireing an experienced worker who remained LOYAL to his previous employer by riding the ship down? How do you know the poor guy didn't try to find work somewhere else? It's not like there's a sea of "help wanted" signs out there for job hunters to pick from.
Or you can look at it another way. Those that did jump ship, may just jump ship on you too if another store offered a few pennies more per hour, or opened a store 2 blocks closer to their home. Whether they jumped ship or stayed on doesn't tell you enough about them to be a useful criteria without knowing why they made that decision. The ones who left might have found openings and the ones who stayed were still trying.
I did not say I would not hire - Just that I would think twice.

What about the culture of the company. Look at the K-marts, how are any of them still open. They still look like a store from the 70's.

Sure the culture is going to work down from management (and union if any), so you could claim that is not the workers fault. However they have been contaminated by it. Of course I'm working under the assumption that the culture is one that is lazy, dirty and overall unprofitable. If not, the chain would still be open.

You do have good points, why did they stay - Their answer may get them the job -- or not.

In a way I am agreeing with you that they have an uphill battle to get another job. I hope that most of the employees were able to grow, become stronger, and more developed as a result of working for the store. I can always hope.

Back to your original intent of the post. Yes, those are creepy pictures of empty shelves.
 
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That's how Wal-Mart made it. They killed off all their competition, created something that any legitimate government with anti-trust laws would feast upon, and then ripped down all of the signs with the big yellow smileys that screamed - "PROUDLY MADE IN THE USA" and had everything made in China that they could and charged more than their competitors used to.

And...if that is really "capitalism," I think we need to examine other avenues...
But it's really just more crony capitalism which is nothing more than socialism for wealthy people instead of poor people.
yep same here.
 

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Here is the thing about staying on a sinking ship.

For the last few years, more and more customers have been moving to other stores in your same area. Did a new store open up? Did it create new jobs?

Or is it more serious. Is your town/city a sinking ship. Are people moving out of town to other areas? In this case, the grocery jobs moved with these people to anouter state.

These jobs did not just disappear - they moved, some months or years ago.

The last remaining Superfresh customers will need to find another place to shop. These other stores will hire a few more people - just maybe not the old Superfresh employees.

If I managed a grocery store, I would think twice before hiring one of these Superfresh employees. They stayed on as the store sunk - took no initiative to find other work. I still might hire them, I would just think twice about it.
As succesful business owner and employer. The fact the employees stayed on is a sign of loyalty to the company and great work ethics... I would hire those people and train them in a heart beat versus the rats who run when the water starts to rise..

The fact they stayed on shows great work ethic...Chances are they had new jobe to walk into once the store shut down.
Companies are less inclined to hire people who are unemployed after doing the HR past employment verification and reviews, especially when people have run out on a company that is closing. History follows.
 

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Survivus most anythingus
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Sure the culture is going to work down from management (and union if any), so you could claim that is not the workers fault. However they have been contaminated by it. Of course I'm working under the assumption that the culture is one that is lazy, dirty and overall unprofitable. If not, the chain would still be open.
What I have to say will, no doubt, be counterintuitive to what many people believe in here.

The most helpful employees in a grocery store, a store of ANY kind, that I have ever experienced was from Giant Food Corp. They started to change, in the 1990s, a British Company purchased them and they succeeded in weakening the employee's union to the degree that they could pay new hires about $7.00 or $8.00 per hour instead of way over $10.00 to start. So, what happened after that was, you could have two people, might be cashiers or any other position in the store, except management of course, and one would be just very polite and helpful and in the next isle, you might meet a really nasty person. I eventually found out that it was because some poor person was making between 7-9 dollars per hour with less benefits, sick and vacation time and they might be working next to a person making, literally, $22.00 per hour.

The first time I ever stepped inside a Wal-Mart was the spring of 1995. They had those HUGE signs up with the smilies, as I said before. I would assume the people were well paid because they were tripping over each other to help you find something.

Some of the most extremely unpleasant shopping experiences I have had, I have had at Wal-Mart in the last twelve years or so. The wages went down or the amount and number of raises did...or both...and the place is just a prime example of not everything that is great about The United States...but about everything that is wrong with it.
 

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Survivus most anythingus
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
As succesful business owner and employer. The fact the employees stayed on is a sign of loyalty to the company and great work ethics... I would hire those people and train them in a heart beat versus the rats who run when the water starts to rise..

The fact they stayed on shows great work ethic...Chances are they had new jobe to walk into once the store shut down.

Companies are less inclined to hire people who are unemployed after doing the HR past employment verification and reviews, especially when people have run out on a company that is closing. History follows.
I stayed on for many years with a company that was eventually purchased by ADT. I stayed through unpaid furlough days, raise freezes and then, ultimately, pay and benefits cuts. I figured I already had about three years in, I was about 24 at the time...I'd ride it out.

Didn't get better, stayed almost nine years. Had to sign a non-competition contract that I would not work for another alarm company or tell any of the incredibly valuable company "secrets," of which there was none except how they screwed people on installs, and for that last vow of employment chastity, they would give me my severance and all monies due.

Best job I ever had. I lost it in early July, 1998, I've been struggling ever since.
 

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American fearmaker
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Where I live a number of locally owned and operated grocery stores closed down because the family that ran them decided to get out of the grocery business. For about 100 years a local family ran a number grocery stores and the new generation of the family decided to not continue the business. So they closed down the stores, sold the land and buildings then moved on with their new lives. Other stores have moved into the area to fill the slack.
 

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Prepared Firebird
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There is a term used in retailing called "being overstored". This refers to having too many of the same type of stores within a given area of population. I see this, often, with the "big box" stores.......Walmart, Target, K-mart, Sears, etc. They are all basically selling the same things. The only difference is the name on the front of the building. And not enough customers in their local selling area to support ALL of these stores. Hence, something has to give. In this case, it (so far) it is K-mart and Sears. JC Penney is still barely hanging on. Walmart and Target are slugging it out toe-to-toe. Montgomery Ward is already history.

Walmart is no longer the leader in low prices. The quality of many of their products is awful. Often, their prices are higher than their competition. Walmart changed, radically, after Sam Walton died. He was a marketing genius. His relatives are not. His family sold out to a big corporation and is no longer actively involved in the day-to-day business. The only thing that is the same is the Walmart name on the building.

It's the same with grocery stores. No city of average size can support a large number of grocery retailers. There is a limited pool of grocery purchases being made every week. And most customers are smart enough to shop the loss leader specials at several stores within a short driving distance. Stores don't make their profits from those special sales. Management hopes you will fill your cart with their other regular priced items (and some that are vastly overpriced) while you are in the store picking up the weekly sale items.

Also, there is the overhead cost involved with the deli, the in-store bakery, the wine section, and the gourmet meat and seafood counter. (Try checking out the reduced rack for the bakery. More and more items going unsold, week after week.) Fewer customers in line at the deli counter. One bored-looking employee standing behind that gourmet counter. Shelves of expensive bottles of wine with a coating of dust. Customers have come to EXPECT these departments to be there in a grocery store. But, profits for them are falling.

There is definitely a sea change ongoing in the grocery business. But the suits and ties at the top management level are not seeing it. It's still business, as usual. Reminds me of the Titanic steaming full speed ahead in the iceberg field.
 

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If I managed a grocery store, I would think twice before hiring one of these Superfresh employees. They stayed on as the store sunk - took no initiative to find other work. I still might hire them, I would just think twice about it.
This is one of the most bizarre leaps of logic I've ever seen. Really.

How do you know they "took no initiative"? Does the initiative to stay knowing you will soon be on the street count for anything? Have you noticed that jobs are hard to find? Isn't the job you have --no matter how inevitable the end may be-- better than quitting cold with nowhere to go solely because business is sliding? Staying on a sinking ship is not such a bad idea if there are no lifeboats.

As a business owner, would you be ok with your employees bailing at the first sign of trouble?

Honestly, I would think twice about working for someone who thinks less of me for not quitting.

~Tevin~
 

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Survivus most anythingus
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
This is one of the most bizarre leaps of logic I've ever seen. Really.

How do you know they "took no initiative"? Does the initiative to stay knowing you will soon be on the street count for anything? Have you noticed that jobs are hard to find? Isn't the job you have --no matter how inevitable the end may be-- better than quitting cold with nowhere to go solely because business is sliding? Staying on a sinking ship is not such a bad idea if there are no lifeboats.

As a business owner, would you be ok with your employees bailing at the first sign of trouble?

Honestly, I would not want to work for someone who thinks less of me for not quitting.

~Tevin~
Tevin,

Well, now you know why working in the U.S. as an employee in the vast majority of businesses sucks. His attitude is not rare. You can't win, it's best just to try to keep your mouth shut.
 

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Start up the rotors
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WalMart is definitely putting the hurt on the smaller chains.
Around here the grocery chains have basically distilled down to three - WM, Aldi's, and Dillon's (local chain now owned by Kroger's). We also have Sam's, Super Targets and even Mega Menard's that sell groceries too, but they're not as numerous.

We do a lot of business with Dillon's because of quality. I won't buy much produce or meat from WM because it's inferior IMHO (I believe they buy in bulk and too early, it effects freshness and ripeness), and the customer incentives often make Dillon's as cheap or cheaper than WM. Also shop Aldi's because they are cheaper than WM on some things.
Now, we spend enough at WM, they have a place, but my point is that other businesses seem to be able to compete with WM despite the economy of scale that WM can bring. In the end the free market works.

In-fact, WM is not the grocery leader here, and is looking to challenge Dillon's and Aldi's, etc... head on by building some Neighborhood Marketplace concept stores that are basically small grocery stores, these in addition to the eight? Supercenters already here...

http://www.bizjournals.com/wichita/stories/2009/03/09/story1.html

ETA: Speaking of 'over-storing'... we have a WM Supercenter, a Super Target, a Dillon's Marketplace (big nice grocery stores with banks, jewelry stores, furniture, etc...), a Lowe's and a Mega Menard's all on the same square mile! And they aren't the only ones here or anything. Crazy, but everyone seems to be doing OK.
 
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