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Rising Grocery Prices and How They Relate To Your Career

October 10, 2011 · 14 comments

in Personal Finance, Work

This post is written based solely on my own personal experience as a consumer.  I have not conducted a scientific poll.  

There are two major grocery store chains in my area, Kroger and Meijer.  I have written a post already about my negative shopping experience at Kroger, and there is a particular cashier at my local Kroger that practices poor customer service literally every time I see her in the store.  (I call her Amy.)  My main complaint about Kroger has been the lack of available cashiers at the store in the late evening hours.  I avoid going to the store after 9:00 pm because the only available way to check out is the self check-out, which I hate because I usually have many items.  My favorite cashier actually turned off her lane light as I was approaching during one visit, and told me I had to go to the self checkout lane instead!

Starting about 3 weeks ago, I was shopping at Kroger, and I noticed the prices were increasing on a couple items I was buying.  Then I noticed it more and more during subsequent visits.  However, the fact prices were rising really hit home when my husband returned from the store and commented on how much Tostitos now cost at Kroger.

After my husband’s comment I thought “OK, the prices seem to be rising at Kroger, and the customer service is lacking. Guess I will just have to go the extra few miles and head over to Meijer from now on”.   Then I was watching TV and saw a commercial for Kroger that was touting their great plan for customer service.  More cashiers will be available!  No long waits!

Really?

Is Kroger Purposefully Improving Customer Service To Counteract Higher Prices?

The grocery chain had addressed my concern before I could even act on my impulse to change stores, at least that is what they are telling me on TV.  That is a very smart way to do business.   I may be reading way too much into the whole situation, but I wonder if Kroger recognizes they have to increase prices, so they must shift their focus to an area other than competitive pricing to try and either retain customers or gain new customers.  Perhaps this is the reason why Kroger has been able to stay in business whereas so many other grocery store chains have either been bought out or just flat-out gone under?

However, I am not going to base my shopping decisions on a commercial alone.  Next time I shop at Kroger, I am going to pay attention to the customer service aspect and see if they are truly living up to what they promise.  I will make sure I stop by after 9:00 pm and see if anything has changed.

How Kroger Applies To You

Regardless of whether my individual store improves customer service or not, the customer service campaign reinforces the fact that companies and individuals both need to always evolve or adapt to the business or economic climate they are dealing with.  Think about your own career.  Are you being proactive?  Or, do you resist new technology as it becomes available become you liked the ‘old’ way of doing things?  Are you taking advantage of certification programs that are available, or are you coworkers leaving you in the dust?  If you see jobs in your industry are being shipped overseas, are you doing everything you can to make yourself invaluable to the company?  Do you update your resume regularly?   Are you on the lookout for a competitive advantage for both yourself and your company.  Do you try to anticipate where the economy and your industry is heading.

I know  I just asked a lot of questions, but they are questions you need to answer honestly.  If you found that the answers you gave are going to hinder your career or your goals in life, then you need to take action now.  If you instead choose to wait and react to circumstances as they come along,  you might just find yourself in the unemployment line.

Is there something you have done to increase your marketability in the last year?  Did you feel your efforts have paid off?  Also, do you notice prices are increasing where you live?

 

 

 

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

101 Centavos October 10, 2011 at 7:25 am

I bet if we took a supermarket receipt from a couple years ago and compared the unit price to a current receipt, we’d see a dramatic change.

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Kris October 10, 2011 at 11:25 pm

You aren’t kidding. I commented to a different poster that cheese is ridiculously expensive at Kroger right now. You would go crazy without your Sam’s club!

I wish I had some of my receipts from last year. I probably do, at the bottom of an old purse somewhere…

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funancials October 10, 2011 at 8:18 am

It’s a common sales tactic to lay out any objections before the customer has a chance to. Odds are if you are noticing a problem, the company noticed it long before. As long as they correct the issue in a timely manner their retention rate will be strong.

As for the latter half of your article…I update my resume frequently. Although I’m extremely happy with my current position, I’m always in search of something better. No manager or employer can ever fault you for a desire to advance yourself.

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Kris October 10, 2011 at 11:24 pm

It really is such a great strategy to diffuse a problem before it ever gets too serious, and I assume that is what Kroger is doing.

You are so smart to keep that resume up to date. It is so hard to remember what you did 3 years ago if you are suddenly forced to update your resume.

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Kaycee October 10, 2011 at 2:39 pm

I generally shop at Kroger on my way to work. There are NO lanes, other than U-scan, open until AFTER 8 AM. I am there at 7:30 and don’t have time to wait until 8 for a real cashier@@ I don’t mind the U-scan, but when you have a large order and/or bulky items, that don’t easily fit in the bagging area, the machine goes bonkers. I primairly shop at Meijer. They will now and then have cashier lanes open and even if they don’t, their U-scan lanes have a full conveyor belt. Although their machines have hissy fits over stupid stuff too.

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Kris October 10, 2011 at 11:23 pm

Don’t you hate how much the UScan beeps at your and tell you an attendant has been notified? I don’t even know what I have done wrong most of the time.

You will have to stop by sometime on the way to work now that their focus is suddenly customer service and let us know if they actually hired a human to help customers in the morning.

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The Biz of LIfe October 10, 2011 at 3:07 pm

In my field you have to retool yourself every two to three years or you become a dinosaur. That’s just the way things are, and if you don’t do it you will soon be unemployed. Self-education is a necessity.

No Kroger’s in my area, but competing with Wal-Mart on price is really putting a hurting on every grocery store chain.

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Kris October 10, 2011 at 11:22 pm

Where I work, training used to be free and highly emphasized. Now things are so busy and it seems like the only thing the company requires is more corporate-type training. You are right, you gotta educate yourself because nobody else is going to do it for you.

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Krantcents October 10, 2011 at 3:17 pm

I am working on increasing my marketability by getting an additional credential. I changed some things regarding my blogt to increase my marketability as well. My writing changed and I am promoting much m ore. I starting to see positive feedback and results too.

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Kris October 10, 2011 at 11:17 pm

KrantCents- you have been on fire all year. Most importantly though, you have done some great things for your health, and you will reap rewards for that for a long time. Don’t get me wrong, your blog growth has been phenomenal, but I really like how your exercise is such a focus for you too.

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Lindy Mint October 10, 2011 at 9:05 pm

YES! Prices of groceries have risen where we live. We used to spend around $100 per week, now it’s creeping up to $120 or $130 per week. That’s an interesting strategy by Krogers, but absolutely makes sense.

It’s so easy to get complacent in your job. It’s a great reminder to constantly be staying with the times.

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Kris October 10, 2011 at 11:07 pm

I was at Kroger today and there were 2 cashiers actually working. I was able to walk right up, so no complaints there. I noticed produce is ridiculously priced, but it is getting to be that time of year unfortunately.

I almost screamed when I went to buy cheese for dinner. I went without instead, I just couldn’t bring myself to spend the money. Maybe I need to follow 101 and go to Sam’s club.

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Payday Desk October 17, 2012 at 5:04 am

Of course I have noticed the price increasing. It seems that goods are getting expensive across the world today, not just in some particular places. Unfortunately, wages do not become any higher in most of occasions and it impacts budget – you have to pay more, but you get less or at least the same wage and your financial situation do not acrtually improve. Today’s economic sitiation is tough and people need to make more money to stay afloat and provide themselves all the necessary things for living.

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QUALITY STOCKS UNDER 5 DOLLARS April 2, 2013 at 1:40 pm

When the price of food and fuel increases it hurts the poor more than anyone else. Most of the customers in a food store go their because they have great prices. Theirs a chain of food stores called aldi in the chicago area. The service is very limited but every year their stores get more busy. They simply have the lowest prices of any chain around..

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