Saturday, February 14, 2009


Thoughts on the economy. We were shopping for groceries at Food Maxx the other day and noticed that the parking lot was crowded and the store seemed to be filled with customers. It was a weekday morning and yet it looked like Saturday AM. Laurae asked the clerk what was going on and he said business has been growing steadily as the Depression deepened. (Or the perception that there was a Depression.) Food Maxx is a no-frills supermarket and has quite a few bargains; certainly more than Raley's or Safeway. And then we decided to go to Quizno's for a small lunch, a Sammi. That's a $2 sandwich that we have found to be just right in size. But Quizno's' had a 'For Lease' sign on the door and so we went to In-n-Out and splurged on a cheeseburger, fries and a malt. (It was OK, we skipped dinner) In-n-Out was filled with customers. It always is.

So what's happening in these examples? To me it says that a smart business owner will do well in these tougher times. Food Maxx is not just a cheaper place to buy groceries, it's also perceived as being friendly. Same with In-n-Out, they are always friendly. It's the culture of that corporation. Quizno's? Never a smile. Businesses that are run by bookkeepers never get it. And they will fail. It's the human touch that will save businesses during the hard times.

I think Raley's will make it through these times because they are also perceived as being friendly, despite their higher prices. We will still shop there on occasion. I really don't care what happens to Safeway. They never cared much about me.

1 comment:

  1. Overall I'd say you're onto something. I can't afford to shop at Raley's too often, but when I need something in particular from that store I never regret going. They seem to have a superior corporate culture -- an ethic handed down from the founder, I understand.

    Good service should be expected. Great service should be rewarded.