I did a FaceTime the other day about how employee disengagement actually can be an infection that can ravage an organization. One MNB reader responded:
Businesses that are grounded in higher purpose, mission, values and beliefs offer their customers an opportunity to be part of something greater than themselves. In tandem, these organizations culturally are predisposed to treat employees like valuable assets, not commodities or in the case of more transactional brands, regard their customers as walking wallets rather than a potential community of ambassadors and advocates.
The organizations facing employee discontent must only look within their own value system to see if they are culturally wired to nurture.
We tell clients you actually need to actively care about the wellbeing and personal growth of your customers, because this kind of thinking infects organizational behaviors. Businesses steeped in balance sheet priorities over all else, frequently fail the cultural tests on adding deeper meaning to the employer/employee relationship.
To those companies facing the rising tide of discontent, start with a realistic assessment of your own belief systems. If you want to have a deeper relationship with employees, then imbue your culture with deeper meaning.
Don’t you want to work for an organization that has a higher sense of purpose and just meeting the quarterly earnings report targets?
On the subject of Giant Food changing its e-commerce/delivery business model, one MNB reader wrote:
On the Giant shift out of micro warehousing don't forget Ahold's purchase of Fresh Direct in NYC in early 2021. Fresh Direct was rolled into Stop & Shop. Since taking over Fresh Direct, S&S reduced the Fresh Direct coverage area and incorporated Fresh Direct into Peapod, which is now S&S's store operation for pick-up and delivery and operates out of store locations. The purchase of Fresh Direct gave S&S penetration into NYC, a tough market to enter and one that S&S has had mixed results in.
While Ahold appears indecisive they have plenty of experience between Peapod and Fresh Direct in operating warehouse delivery businesses. Their exit from warehouse delivery at Giant seems to show it has fallen short of results they anticipated, at least in Giant's market . For now I think the most promising approach is store anchored selection for pick-up and delivery with shoppers shopping in store for their perishables.When Fresh Direct first started in NYC I knew many New Yorkers that raved about Fresh Direct until they got the first batch of bad meat or produce.
On another subject, from an MNB reader:
Don’t you think one of the primary goals of the Kroger acquisition of Albertsons is to increase KR’s ecommerce volume in key markets to such an extent that the massive Ocado sheds have enough throughput to operate economically? My understanding is the don’t currently have those local densities and this is a fundamental challenge, that only gets bigger as ecommerce grocery volume declines…
And, regarding Aldi's growth and penetration, one MNB reader wrote:
To the reader whose message to you tagged Aldi as "overhyped": the retailers who've had to compete with them would disagree. Walmart pays attention to Aldi (likely because WM's shoppers also shop at Aldi, and because of the devastating effect Aldi had on WM in Great Britain.) Each mainstream retailer I've talked to who faced Aldi entering their market has paid attention. Aldi US is properly hyped.
And, chiming in on our discussion about Dollar General and the lawsuit it is facing over deceptive pricing, one MNB reader wrote:
The issue at Dollar General is that the pricing is correct in the system but not tagged correctly on the shelf. But that is due to labor or rather the lack of labor. Have you been in a Dollar General lately? Typically there is only one person, sometimes two, working in the store. They have run the register, assist customers, stock the shelves, unload the trucks, clean the store as well as change tags. And Dollar General pricing changes often – sometimes up, sometimes down – in addition to all the promo tags that need placed weekly. On a recent Saturday visit to a Dollar General there were only two people working. The register was backed up because the employee and customer were trying to figure out why the total ring was incorrect – between digital coupons (including a save $5 on $25 on total purchase) and promotions. The aisles were crowded with boxes of merchandise but the shelves were bare. And the store looked like it had not been cleaned in months. I don’t put the blame on those working the store. It is Dollar General’s leadership who, despite touting additional millions of dollars invested in labor, seem oblivious to what is happening in their stores. Dollar General leadership needs to take a tour across the US to understand what their stores actually look like – not just the ones in their backyard. Honestly I’m not sure I would shop Dollar General if their were not my client!
And from another reader:
Dollar Generals from coast to coast are woefully understaffed. They don't have enough staff to get the shelves stocked and the checkouts manned. What kind of priority would hanging the correct shelf tags have?
I mentioned the other day that I'll be eligible to get the new Covid vaccine next week, and that "I've got Tuesday, September 26, circled on my calendar. I have total confidence, and no hesitation" about getting the shot.
Leading one MNB reader to write:
What a bazaar [sic] statement to say "I have Sept 26th circled on my calendar.
The only reason you stated that you have confidence and no hesitation is because well.. we just dont know what the long term implications of this drug are. I watched a hearing on asbestos from 1957... Guess what: It is safe and economical to use for building.
Are you trying to sell us something? Is this like prom for you? Did you circle the calendar and tell everyone when you had your colonoscopy or your annual physical?
Or is this what the kids call virtue signaling? Frankly it is weird and a little creepy. Because either you are over the moon for a shot (weird) or you have an agenda (stay in your lane). Selling people on your choices is dystopic.
Gee. I was just saying something I've said before, and said consistently during the pandemic - that I trust the science, trust the medical establishment. I've actually reported every time I've gotten a vaccine.
And by the way, I think I've had three or four colonoscopies since I started MNB, and I've reported on those, too. (Just trying to encourage folks to get colonoscopies when doctors recommend it.). No agenda beyond that, though maybe it is a little too much information for some folks.