retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

This morning's Eye-Opener is brought to you by Barnie's CoffeeKitchen…


Thanks to MNB reader Carl Jorgensen, who sent along this story from MulticulturalRetail360, detailing the decision by Mrs. Green's Natural Markets "to offer English as a Second Language (ESL) courses for associates across Westchester County, NY as part of a larger investment in its workforce."

According to the story, "Mrs. Green’s launched the ESL classes at six stores following requests from associates. One of the chain’s employees personally designed the curriculum and leads the language classes. The goal is to provide every employee with the confidence to speak to co-workers, customers, neighbors, friends and family in English."

And here's the key phrase, from the company's new CEO, Pat Brown:

Our associates are our most important asset. These language classes continue our efforts to invest in our own people and make sure they have the resources they need – from health benefits and good wages to quality training – to feel at home.”

Bingo.

(No surprise that Pat Brown's most recent job was as COO at New Seasons Markets in Portland, Oregon - a chain where, in my experience, people feel very much the same way about the place where they work.)

Kudos to Mrs. Green's … and an Eye-Opener for retailers who may not think that their employees are their most important asset.
KC's View: