That’s the last time I go to Meijer for groceries

OK, I’m in a mood. Tonight, I went to go do my grocery shopping but have decided I’ll no longer go to that store for future shopping.

It started out innocent enough last year when my local Meijer was remodeled. It was a grand ordeal, and to this day the renovated store is among the nicest in the area coupled with the large footprint (square feet) it has the potential to be a pleasant experience.

image

I started noticing placement changes that put more higher yielding items forward and lesser yielding items harder to find or not available at all. This could also be interpreted as a tightening of seasonal goods, but I found myself  traversing the store to find that little nick-nacky items are no longer available there.

Tonight’s experience was the nail in the coffin, however. I’ve decided to forgo future shopping there for the following reasons:

  • Bottled water: Yes, I know bottled water is a whole scam anyways. But, we purchase Dasani or Dannon (0r even Aquafina in a pinch) brand bottled water. The store only had it’s private label offering and premium products like Evian and the like. All indications are there that these brands are carried, but at the time I shopped the only multi-pack water available was the private label.
  • Checkout lines: I checked out at 10:15 PM. Or, should I say, arrived at 10:15 PM to the checkout area. The only lines open were self-checkouts. I had a $250 cart, and I must have spent 20 minutes unloading, scanning, clearing the line, bagging and repeating. The lack of full-service line makes me think this is not where I want to spend my money.
  • Ground beef: I know this is a completely contentious issue as well (Yes, I’ve watched the Food, Inc. movie), but I refuse to purchase “vac-pack” ground beef. I will only purchase “wrap-pack” product. The two are shown below:
    imageThe store is clearly pushing more of the vac-pack product and leaving nary an option for those whom know the difference. And the time of day of my shopping wasn’t a factor, it’s always nearly 90% vac-pack product available.

Am I anti-Meijer? Absolutely not. In fact, I hail from Grand Rapids, Meijer’s home base and I have a lot of friends that work in the stores and their head offices. I just need to ensure that the shopping experience and product selection is to my liking.

Update: On my Twitter feed, the @meijer account asked if they could do anything to help. While nice, I don’t like using Twitter as a customer service tool as I think it is unmanageable.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Chuck N. on July 21, 2010 at 10:31 am

    Ok. So you don’t like customer support via twitter (in response to your statement about no longer shopping there), but you are okay with criticizing them on twitter? I think they were doing the responsible thing in inquiring. Shows they are actually monitoring twitter, and looking for ways to improve.

    “Hello, Kettle? This is Pot….”

    FYI, if you don’t shop at 10PM, you can get any amount of ground beef (1.25lbs, 2.14 lbs, 0.75 lbs) from the meat counter for the same prices as the val-paks you speak of.

    Did you ever think that the water issue was just a stock related? What if you utilized some initiative and asked staff while in the store about the items you were looking for. Hmm. Must not have been THAT important to you.

    While I agree in part, that the self checkout lanes are more time consuming (and I have had issues with correctly counting inserted money), you have to know that this is more of a business decision that anything. Do you like Meijer’s prices? Do you like the selections they offer? Then they have to remain competitive in the marketplace to do that. Allowing 1 cashier to oversee 4 lanes at once is a direct savings in overhead to Meijer. Thusly, allowing them to maintain lower pricing and brand selections.

    I get the sense that most of the issues you raise in your blog above are due to your lack of effort, and not the evil Meijer.

    Reply

  2. Hi Chuck, sorry for the late reply – I just now noticed your comment. It’s just something that overall on my experience at the hour, I’ll avoid it for groceries ongoing.

    Reply

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