Jewel Is No Gem (Processes)

In the Chicago area, Jewel (aka, Jewel-Osco) is a very prominent grocery store chain. I am finding a new favorite place for my routine trips to the grocery store.

And I’ll tell you why: Jewel has piss-poor practices, processes, and service.

As a general rule, I’m not a fan of processes that are a disservice or inconvenience to customers. I know, I know, I’m old fashion in that way. There is one part of the checkout process at Jewel that is not only piss-poor but additionally a pet-peeve of mine. Bravo, Jewel. You made me alliterate…twice.

Most grocery stores have a “savers” program card. They swipe this card or key fob at check out, and you save money. This enables the store and manufacturers to track my buying habits so they can target more marketing offers my way. Just what I want, right? More companies trying to separate me from my money. I don’t care for the practice of using saver cards, but what am I going to do? Don’t use the card, don’t get the discounted price. I won’t cut off my nose to spite my face. I use their silly little cards.

But here’s the issue I have with the Jewel process: they MUST swipe the card before they scan the groceries. I’m busy stacking my groceries on the belt while the clerk stands there waiting for my card.

Let me share MY preferred process for check out:

  • Find the shortest line (and one without a person holding a bag of change that he plans to use to pay for his groceries);
  • Remove groceries from my cart and place on the conveyor belt;
  • Pay; and
  • Leave the store as quickly as possible.

See where my preferred process locks horns with the desire of the store to hold me hostage in order to make me spend more money?

The Jewel checkout process stipulates that the worker behind the cash register follow this order of events:

  • Stand in front of the register;
  • Mumble “Do you have a Preferred Card?”; and
  • Do nothing until the card has been secured and scanned.

Jewel, your process results in slower lines. I have to stop loading groceries to produce my card while you stand there NOT SCANNING my groceries. You’ll get my card. Why don’t you take things in the order they are presented to you?

Don’t slow down the line by adhering to an inefficient process. Let me be the customer just this once. While I finish putting my groceries on the belt, why don’t you go ahead and scan them? I’ll hand you my card before we finish the transaction. Promise.

0 Comments Add yours

  1. Tom says:

    You should shop at Dominicks. You can use your home phone number instead of your card and you can enter it after everything has been rung up and then immediately see the change to your bottom line cost, which is very satisfying.

  2. scott carbonara says:

    You’re getting ahead of me, Tom! First, the rant; then the solution! 🙂

  3. zbicyclist says:

    I know I’m commenting on an old post, but today (6/28/2013) Jewel’s new owners announced they are eliminating the loyalty program.

    1. scottcarbonara says:

      Wow. Maybe they read my blog….HA!

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