Saturday, April 3, 2010

That Didn't Last Long

A row of shopping carts.Image via Wikipedia
Last week, I posted about a recent Trip to the Grocery Store.  In the post, I talked about how my local grocery store had made the decision to remove all of the cart corrals from the parking lot.  Instead, a clerk would walk customers out to the cars and help them load the groceries into the car.  At the time, this was my concluding comment about the policy:
Personally, I like the idea. I am all for  actually adding customer service to the shopping experience, but I wonder about the practicality of it. That will require a lot of extra labor costs. I also wonder how they will handle it during their busiest hours or during a snow scare. It would be hard to keep up with all those customers.
I did not have to wait very long to find out.  This morning, I needed to pick up a few things at the store.  I probably got there a little before 10:00 am.  It was not very busy.  Very few people in checkout lines.  Even though I used the self checkout, there is usually somebody there to help bag the groceries.  There was none.  In fact, they didn't even have bags on the checkout that I used so I had to grab them off of another checkout.

I wheeled my cart out of the store, and lo and behold, there was nobody to walk me to my car to load the groceries.  It is not that I needed help.  I am perfectly capable of loading my own groceries into my car. The problem is the fact that after loading my car, I had no place to put my cart, so I left it in the parking space adjacent to where I parked. 

I suppose that makes me a bit of a jerk, but I was not the only one.  There was already several other stray shopping carts littering the parking lot.  I am not surprised that this is the result.  I predicted it in my previous post.  What does surprise me is that it happened so quickly after the new policy went into place.  Usually after a major remodel, it takes several weeks before these new customer service initiatives fade away, not a few days. 

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  1. There are two new stores in Hilltop Plaza that offer a different experience. At Aldi, you have to insert a quarter as a deposit when you take a cart, and when you bring it back to the front of the store, you get your quarter back. There is also MOMs (My Organic Market) which has super customer service - too much if you ask me. They attempt to help everyone out to their car - even if you have a single bag. They grab your bag before you know it, and they say, "let me help you out to your car with that."

  2. I imagine that having to leave a deposit is better than carts littering the parking lots as used to happen years ago. I guess the cost of all those carts walking away is getting prohibitive. Ugh, changes.

  3. Buggys, Aldi is a German store, and requiring a deposit is something they've been doing in Europe for a while now.

  4. my wife likes Aldi's. Prices are low and she says they have different selection every time she goes in.



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