retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

I got a note yesterday inviting me to Joanie Taylor’s retirement party at Schnuck Markets headquarters in St. Louis next week.

My first reaction was that I’m sorry that I won’t be able to attend. But my second reaction was that the food industry is a little bit diminished when people like Joanie - the company’s longtime director of Consumer Affairs & Community Relations - retire.

Joanie has been with Schnuck Markets in this role since 1978 … that’s just short of 40 years. In that time, she has been a tireless advocate for the company’s shoppers, as well as the best possible ambassador for the company. She’s been dedicated not just to the company, but to the industry at large, dedicating herself to all sorts of industry initiatives that made it a better, more responsive place to work.

As far as I’m concerned, Joanie is way too young to retire … but I imagine that she just wants to spend more time being a grandmother. She’ll probably go to a lot more Broadway musicals. And I expect that she’ll probably be attending more Cardinals games, at home and on the road and probably even at spring training. (For the record, Joanie is one of my favorite people to attend a baseball game with, and I had the privilege of going with her to the last regular season game at the old Busch Stadium, and was sitting next to her the night the Cardinals won their last world championship. She arranged both tickets. She’s the best.)

It is a cliche, but they simply don’t make them like Joanie Taylor anymore. People will succeed her, but nobody can replace her.

I do have to chuckle, though. The party next week may be celebrating her career and taking note of her retirement, but it’s being billed as a “Silver Transition.” That’s perfect for Joanie … it has panache, just like she does.

But I think they have the mineral wrong. Because Joanie Taylor is the gold standard.
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