You would think a plan of action which turns its stock by and large 300-times each year should have things down to a science. You'd think the second biggest supermarket chain in the US in this advanced age would have everything made sense of. You'd think they'd have the client rewards programs tweaked and their store network appropriation a case of the embodiment of Six Sigma 'Dark Belt' administration. You'd likewise accept they 'get it' with regards to client administration and helping us shoppers get our staple goods rapidly and get out, so they can get in more clients and we can return to more vital things.
Well, this is a different story or a set of stories which show that customer service is a distant second to the profit driven strategies of retail merchandizing - so let's talk shall we?
Yes, Mr. Corporate Grocery Store Executive with all your benefits, pension, Cadillac healthcare plan, stock options and that black 7-series BMW, this message is for you - that is if you have a clue how important it is for you to get into the minds of your consumers.
Re-Arranging the Merchandise for No Apparent Rhyme or Reason:
The other day I went into our local grocery store, obviously as an upright walking primate, I have memorized where all the food I want is located - that is innate. Unfortunately, someone switched all the products and aisles around. Some products that naturally go together were no longer in the same place. I was in a hurry, so it cost me another 15-minutes trying to find my items. I asked the clerks several times where things were. They no longer had them memorized either - using a fold-out cheat sheet. I asked why they moved everything. They told me; "Someone from corporate came in and told them it would cause shoppers to spend more time in the stores, thus putting more items into their basket, more sales = higher profits."
Allowing Product Spoilage or Freezing:
Last time I went to the grocery store, I had just run two trail training runs back-to-back, I needed some chocolate milk to help rejuvenate my torched quads, calves, ankles, feet and knees, but chocolate milk was nowhere to be found. I asked the clerk, who went in back to check. He told me that, there was some in the back, but it was slushy and didn't look right. He asked if I wanted it anyway; "No Thanks," I said. After all, chocolate milk spoils fast, so if it was already getting there, no way - or - if it froze in transit and was re-thawed in the back of the store - again; "No Thanks," I thought. Once starting to separate it wouldn't taste right even if it were okay.
It would seem as I've stated above that grocery store chains would have their act down to a science - it seems however that they aren't being run like the Swiss Watch you'd expect. I would have expected more from the second largest grocery store chain in the greatest nation on Earth - how about you?
Why is this considered acceptable by wannabe corporate executives? It's not, but with all the grocery store consolidation the big boys have eliminated nearly all of the major competition - so, they don't really have to give you good service. This happens in other industries too, for instance Home Improvement and Hardware, where all the neighborhood hardware stores were taken out by Home Depot and Lowe's and personal service and product selection turned into a low-cost, high-volume Chinese hardware trinket market, where you can never find exactly what you want so you settle for whatever it is sells the most.
Corporate America - We Have a Problem. You aren't good enough and it isn't funny anymore.
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