Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Some Disparaties in Shopping

I do love my shopping cart, but it's been out of commission lately

thanks to the icy sidewalks like this one.
It's been a little easier to shop lightly with a back pack and a couple of canvass shoulder bags than to risk balancing on the ice while pulling the cart along behind me. With today's rain melting away the ice, I could be bringing the cart out for a trip this weekend.

Usually, when it's time to go the store, I head to the food co-op, one of the Price Choppers or Hannaford, but the other day, a friend of mine was taking her mini van to go grocery shopping and asked if I'd like to join her. I thought about the near-luxury of buying a jumbo pack of paper towels and perhaps some laundry detergent and having it driven right to my front door, and I didn't hesitate to take her up on the offer. When I got in the car, she asked if I'd like to go to the Price Chopper on Central or the one in Slingerlands. Decisions, decisions. We went for Slingerlands, and BOY what a difference -- what good service they've got in the suburbs -- we were astonished.

There were two major points of exceptional service that we both noticed.

  1. Upon walking up to the store's entrance, a Price Chopper employee in charge of carts was wheeling back a number of carts from the parking lot, and putting them into the location for shoppers to use. The employee saw us coming, pulled us each out a shopping cart, checked the cart for debris and removed the debris from the carts, then handed us each a cart. Wow. Here in Albany -- this just doesn't happen.
  2. During checkout they have quite a system of packing. Each cash register station must start off their day with an extra cart. So, when your items are being bagged, you don't have to wheel your cart to the front of the cashier to be loaded with your bags because they already have a cart there ready to go. It's a little thing, yes -- but the system is what's noticeable. I really noticed a team spirit among the people I saw working there. Granted, I have seen this type of packing before -- but NEVER at a Price Chopper or Hannaford in the city of Albany (and it wouldn't happen at the co-op because there just isn't room...yet.)
Of course, the store was also more brightly lit and much cleaner than the stores we have here in the city.

Why is it that folks in the suburbs are treated to brightly lit stores with better service than those of us who reside in the city?

Well, I had fun on my outing, but I'm not moving out of this pretty city any time soon. Of course, the Number 13 bus does go to the Slingerlands Price Chopper, so I could return on my own, and bring my shopping cart along for the ride!

No comments: