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: piss-poor practices, processes, and service.
So what now? I live within walking distance of this rotten Jewel store. Growing up in an adjacent town, I lived within walking distance of a Jewel then, too. Am I really principled (or stubborn) enough to reject this store in favor of one that will be greatly inconvenient for me?
Luck has it that a friend of mine told me about a Dominick’s store about 5 miles from my house. Dominick’s is another Illinois-based grocery chain, this one owned by Safeway. Dominick’s is the second largest grocery chain in Illinois, garnishing 15% of the market as opposed to the 45% share of Jewel.
Here’s what my friend told me about this store. She said, “They’ve created an environment where employees treat customers like guests.” OOOOOoooo! I like it already. You mean I’m not an inconvenience? Since my friend is also a business consultant, we talked in terms of how common this service philosophy is within the Dominick’s chain. Is management at that one particular location doing something different from other stores? Is this service philosophy pervasive and replicable in each location? Do they train something? What’s the key?
I don’t know that answer. But given my habit of eating 5 square meals each day, there’s a good chance I’ll be grocery shopping very soon. And my next stop is Dominick’s on Naper Blvd. I’ll bet I can figure out what differentiates them after spending less than $4200 on olives and wine.
Jewel, you’re no gem in my book. Dominick, I have to say that I like the way that name sounds. Let’s do business together really soon.