Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Save Mart Closing next Month


My roommate, Michael, told us in past weeks our neighborhood Save Mart will be closing its doors soon. This is an inconvenience. To the extent many workers may fail to find jobs at neighboring Save Marts, this is even a little sad. Still, it was a predictable closing.

Having worked as a union grocer, I appreciate grocery shelves well-stocked, and quality customer service. I love having an intimate environment where the foods I like are plentiful, and the workers running the store are cared for by their company. Despite meeting those needs, our local Save Mart was ill-equipped to battle when the Wal-Mart down the street remodeled to accommodate their own grocery sections.

I listened as people spoke optimistically about their vision of Save Mart being saved from the chopping block. The declines in business were almost immediate. I love the spirit of a dedicated customer base, but shiny new fridge and freezer cases -filled with Banquet microwave dinners at rock bottom prices- provide an enticement that trumps us hands down.

I suppose my irritation will fall back. I will accept that WalMart (or nearby Target) are the only groceries in the neighborhood. I won't feel too bad about it, either. Now, I cannot speak about the economic values of this. I know the big box on Story Road seems to be a mess of aisles, racks, hurried workers, and clients scrambling to find a fast check-out line. It is just chaos to me. But the chaos is fed daily by one simple fact: people love the savings, and do not mind the craziness.

So, as my neighborhood grocery closes its doors, I will show up, and participate by lending my dollar to purchase perishables at close-out prices. I will then wonder how long the storefront will stay empty before someone else attempts to capture market-share from Wal-Mart.

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