retail news in context, analysis with attitude

There are two things that I think of as being central to MNB - one is that what happens in the stores is ultimately what determines success or failure (as opposed to what happens at headquarters), and another is that the MNB community often offers the most interesting and provocative observations.

Here's an email that is an example of both at work:

I live in what might be described as an upper middle class Columbus, Ohio neighborhood but the nearest supermarket is a Kroger store in what might be characterized as an economically challenged neighborhood.  This Kroger store is subpar but has the advantage of being close by. 

At a recent shopping trip I gave the cashier my Kroger shopper card on my key chain right away.  She told me she would wait to scan it until I had all my purchases on the belt.  The reason was that the cashiers are evaluated on how fast they move customers through and the time begins when that shopper card is scanned. Lower scoring cashiers get assigned fewer hours.  I told her I thought that was really unfair as a lot of factors beyond the control of the cashier affect the checkout time.  I often thank cashiers for their service in what I know is not the easiest of jobs, particularly those who show some enthusiasm and have a good attitude.   It upsets me that the Kroger Company uses this unrealistic metric to evaluate their performance.

I wonder how many companies have evaluation standards that make sense on paper but might be less sensible in practice.

I'm betting there are a lot.
KC's View: