Tour de Grocery

This morning, I took a bike ride to the grocery store and in addition to a training session, I got a business lesson. It all started when Debbie began to prepare a Brussels sprouts dish for Easter dinner. She went to get some garlic in the pantry, a key ingredient, and realized that we used the last clove the night before. I volunteered to pick some up since I was going out for a ride. I left the house with my American Express card and $5.00 in my pocket. 

My first stop was the Manchester Highland Park Market, a store that is part of a local family owned chain of boutique grocers. They were closed. My second stop was Big Y, a large grocery store that is part of a mid-sized regional chain of stores with 8,500 employees. They were closed. My last stop was Stop & Shop, a large grocery store that is part of a massive 375 store chain owned by an even larger international grocer. They were open. 

I went in and bought my $2.17 worth of garlic. Then I called Debbie to let her know that I secured the goods. I rode home and the kitchen was bliss again. So, the lesson: the grocery store with the largest profits, most stores, and biggest scale is the only one with the strength to be open on Easter Sunday. Stop & Shop is the only one of the three with a record of SEC, FTC, and other violations. Tremendous waste and tremendous profit often go together. Eventually, both can lead to scale. Scale is what allows a store to be open on a weak sales day with high costs (holiday and overtime pay) like Easter. The Brussels sprouts tasted better because they were cooked with garlic.

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