“Man oh man, I’m sure glad that we have a Safeway Club Member loyalty card!” writes reader Richard. Even if you have a card, dearest readers, you’re going to miss out: the sale ended on Saturday.
Sure, after you check for silver quarters, you could roll up the coins in that jar you’ve got on the counter and deposit them in the bank. You could take them to a coin-counting machine at the bank and deposit them in your savings account. You could even dump them in a fountain, making hundreds of wishes in the process. But the folks behind Coinstar’s ubiquitous machines hope that you’ll take your spare change–and maybe a few bills–and deposit it in your PayPal account. [More]
Whole Foods is quickly working to smooth over a recent controversy over its policy on speaking languages other than English on the job. Two employees at New Mexico store claimed their pay was docked for speaking to each other in Spanish while on breaks, but Whole Foods says they were reprimanded for rude behavior, not for Spanish. [More]
Most of the time, when a vendor understands retail logic and basic math, an item costs less per unit when you buy more of it. Sometimes, due to errors or sale prices, things cost more per unit when you buy more. We call this phenomenon “Fuzzy Math,” and laugh at it. Reader K. found this great example of such fuzziness at a Harris Teeter store, where customers who buy the larger box are seriously missing out. [More]
You might have had some nice celebrations this weekend, but we’d guess that none of them had the shocking level of true Above and Beyond customer service that karen experienced at a cookout on Saturday. Something as tiny as an insect can totally ruin the party, when that insect is a dead gnat lodged in the frosting of your birthday carrot cake. [More]
Staying with her dad for the weekend, a Colorado girl wondered why it took so long for her dad to run to Safeway for some ice cream. When he got back, she asked him what the delay was all about. “I had to break up a robbery,” he said. Yeah, right. But unlike when your dad kids about being a superhero, it was true! [More]
The retail environment takes a huge toll on people who can’t do math. Sort of. This Safeway display is fairly typical: identically-sized packages of the anti-histimine loratadine (generic Claritin) sit side by side, with one price a little higher than the other. Look more closely: those boxes are the same size because the pills are impossibly tiny. One bottle offers more than twice as many as the other.
Ed sent us these chocolate bunny photos after lunchtime on Monday, which we’re assuming means that he bought them on post-Easter clearance. Even if he did, that doesn’t give Russel Stover an excuse to sell him a skimpy bunny with a meager amount of peanut butter inside.
There’s been a major battle brewing among those of us who like to close plastic bags. Are you gonna go with a twist-tie, which can be repurposed into a cat toy, or a plastic clip of the kind often seen to close bread bags, which can be bedazzled and sold online? Your answer matters to those in the $10 billion a year business of making bag closing devices. [More]
Wegmans, the Rochester, N.Y.-based chain that serves as the Platonic ideal of what a grocery store should be, currently has two recalls going. First came a recall of their in-store bread products, and now they’ve recalled bags of flour that may contain little blue balls. [More]
Express! That means fast, right? If you make a beeline for the express checkout lane at the grocery store any time you only have a few items, you might want to reconsider. Apparently there are other issues with the express line that can make the whole experience take almost as long as a regular lane, or in some cases, your wait could be even greater. [More]
For the apparently shrinking amount of milk drinkers out there, we’ve got some bad news: There’s a thing called the Milk Cliff, and we’re standing on it. If Congress doesn’t act on a new farm bill that amends a policy from 1949, the price of a gallon of milk could increase and possibly even double. Yes, a milk cliff. It’s a thing. [More]
Have you bought a gallon of orange juice lately? Yeah, me either. Thanks to the Grocery Shrink Ray, the gallon-like containers of not-from-concentrate OJ first got zapped down to 96 ounces from an actual gallon of 128 ounces, then zapped seven ounces further just to make it more insulting. Now the same process has begun with milk. Organic Valley brand milk, to be precise. [More]
A Twinkie here, a Ho Ho there — with bidders reportedly lining up to gobble Hostess’ assets, the brand’s snacks could be split up among some big name brands. Walmart and Kroger are said to be in the scrum of companies waiting to bid on the bits and pieces that remain of Hostess during its liquidation sale. [More]
Back in milk’s heyday, the cool thing to do in a commercial was proudly wear a white mustache and smirk, “Got Milk?” The idea being, if you didn’t, you weren’t being healthy, as milk was the reigning drink in the health food arena. All you had to do was drink a glass a day and you could claim that yes, you had milk. But with all the energy drinks and enhanced waters flooding the market these days, dairy farmers are worried they’re losing their audience. [More]
Sure, organic produce doesn’t provide any extra nutrition, but it does have other benefits, like keeping artificial fertilizers and pesticides out of the soil and helping people feel extra smug. There can be downsides, though. Just ask the Connecticut woman who found a live black widow spider in the bunch of grapes she brought home from Whole Foods.
Yesterday, we shared the heartwarming story of a Harris Teeter supermarket that let customers leave with carts full of free groceries and not force them to wait around for the registers to start working again. Yesterday evening, sort of the exact opposite of that happened to Dina when she tried to get through her shopping trip to Giant quickly by using the self-scan station. Trying to get out of a crowded grocery store “quickly” is tempting fate, doesn’t Dina know that?!
Pop quiz, hot shot: You’re the manager of a grocery store and a computer crash leaves your cashiers without any easy way to tally up customers’ purchases, let alone process payments. Do you (A) tell customers they’ll have to wait; (B) pull out the old calculator; (C) give them their food for free. [More]