This week, an article in my newspaper ranked 52 grocery stores. Two of my favorite local stores were not on the list, but Wal-Mart was. To my surprise it was ranked 51 out of 52. I think its low prices saved it from being dead last. Excellent was its rating in the pricing category but failed miserably in customer service, cleanliness, and perishables. One shopper commented that he doesn’t need a smile when purchasing a banana. It isn’t necessary, but it sure makes the shopping experience better.
I always leave Wal-Mart much grumpier than when I entered the store. After my last trip during the Christmas shopping season, I made a commitment to forgo the frustration of poor customer service for at least one year. The last time I set foot in a Wal-Mart store was December 9th, and I just may never shop there again. My husband is a big fan of the store, so I am not sure what will happen if he pulls in the parking lot while on a vacation.
It’s not that I want to see Wal-Mart fail; I just want other stores to be able to succeed as well. I don’t want Wal-Mart to become my only option. I love Harmon’s, and had they been on the list, they might have scored low in the pricing category but would have scored very high in cleanliness, customer service, and perishables. I LOVE their produce. And yes, that banana does taste better when it comes with a smile. Until my recent Wal-Mart ban, I hadn’t given WinCo a chance, and now I am a fan. I think it could clearly be the low price leader. I have to bag my own groceries, but now if my bread is smashed, I am no longer annoyed with the Wal-Mart employee because it is my own fault. And, I can easily correct myself.
Might I spend a little more? Probably, but when fresh produce, a helpful employee, great selection, and cleanliness make me a happier person, you could say that is simply priceless!