retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

There was a lovely piece in the Huntsville Item that was forwarded to me by an MNB reader, about a woman named Brenda Shaw who has worked at the Kroger store there since the day it opened in 1981. Last Friday was her last day at work, and employees and customers alike came in to celebrate with her.

"It’s that camaraderie," the story says, "between the employees and customers that Shaw says she will miss the most about working at the grocery store. She can still recall when she first applied for the job and receiving that phone call from the manager telling her she got the position."

Since then, the Item says, "Shaw has worked in various departments throughout the store, including the deli and pharmacy, and for the past 15 years she has worked as a cashier. During her time, she has seen children who began going to the grocery store with their families, grow up and start shopping at the store with their own families ... Even though she will no longer be a member of the Kroger team, Shaw says she will still be around the store and staying in touch with her friends at the store.

"'I may not be seen every day, but you may see me every now and again. You’ll never know when you’ll see me walking down the aisle,' Shaw said. 'I will come in always, and celebrate the workers that are still here and talk and see what’s going on. I plan to be aware of everything that’s going on. I’m their biggest cheerleader'."

She sounds very special ... but it is worth remembering, I think, that there are many stores in this country with people like Brenda Shaw working in them. Which is not to diminish her importance, but to point out that is people like this that make the retail environment work. People who go to work, serving as ambassadors for their stores, and making big and small differences in people's lives ... in many ways more important than people with grander titles and bigger offices.

It is an Eye-Opener.
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