Supermarket Pet Peeves

(Jimmy ) #141

Just realized how much this irked me when it happened this morning at a local Kroger: I’m behind two other shoppers pushing carts of bagged groceries out the exit. All three of us have to stop while a half dozen people want to enter the store together.

Doofuses, the entrance is 30 feet away!


Hmm. It might be because I’ve refused to let it update for at least the past year, but I actually like Stop & Shop’s mobile app for the coupons. But only for the coupons, for everything else, it’s horrible. But I always look at circulars from my desktop anyway, and don’t use any store’s online shopping list… Shoprite, on the other hand, seems to have pulled a serious “Chowhound”. Their online presence was pretty good until about a year ago, when they “overhauled” both their mobile app and their main website, turning them both into barely-functional monstrosities…


This hasn’t happened at a conventional stand-alone supermarket but it does at my Walmart and sometimes Target:

Waiting in line to leave the store so that an employee can put a random pen mark on the receipt. Sometimes the employee scans the basket, most times they don’t because all the items are bagged up anyway. What’s the point? I get it if they are trying to see i the checker missed the items at the bottom of the cart (flats of water, dog food, large items) but they check everyone’s receipt. And that’s the thing…they check the receipt but not the items I’m leaving with. Is it so I don’t come right back in and load up another identical cart using the same receipt?


Part of the point is the deterrent factor. If someone knows they will be checked at exit, albeit casually, they are less likely to throw an extra 40” fat screen on the cart?


They do this at Home Depot and Lowe’s, too, though somewhat randomly. There, at least IMX, they do usually at least give a glance - sometimes cursory, sometimes more careful - at the receipt and over one’s “stuff”, partly to check for rough comparability in terms of overall volume and also for possible high-ticket items. But I think it’s partly, maybe even mainly, for evidence that the person has “left the building” with their stuff, to prevent, or at least minimize successful attempts, to go back into the store and grab more stuff that’s on the receipt, claiming, if it challenged, that was paid for…

ETA: A few years ago, Home Depot busted a small “ring” of that sort of thief somewhere or other. Apparently one person would go in, buy stuff, then hand the receipt off to a confederate who would immediately go back into the same store and grab more of the same stuff (in that case construction materials). Evidently they did pretty well, driving around to several different stores per foray, with several pairs of people hitting each one in turn… And while it may sound ridiculous, apparently it was pretty profitable before they finally got caught…


If they do it with everyone then no one can say that they were being singled out due to bias. Protects the store from liability and protects the customers from individuals preconceptions.


Hey, my friend’s daughter works at Costco, and has worked there for at least 6 years. She is the stopper at the door…$22.00/ hour, health insurance, 401k, overtime, paid holidays and semi-annual bonuses! …she probably makes about $60k/year…
Who would not like a job like that checking receipts?

(Jimmy ) #148

Just returned from a grocery shopping trip to a Kroger in a town other than where I live. Turned into the “beauty” aisle and immediately noticed myself on a very High Resolution CCTV screen hanging about six feet, six inches above the floor. The image was so clear, anyone viewing it would see that I hadn’t shaved in a couple of days. In red, below me and my cart was the message: Now Recording.

Surveillance has long been a flash point for me. Seeing it as a new intrusion in my grocery shopping experience, is so much more than a Pet Peeve…


They have that here at our new Walmart. It is just on the razor aisle so I guess that is where they get hit. It doesn’t bother me. There are cameras virtually everywhere these days that we don’t even notice. Agree the resolution is striking.


Ha! I thought you were mentioning the motion activated infomercials that some of my grocery stores have. The first time I encountered one I kept trying to see who was talking to me! (Sound is muffled and unclear for me in places with lots of background noise.) I guess it got me out of my little bubble and made me momentarily aware of my surroundings.


I don’t know if this qualify’s as a a pet peeve but does anyone know why horseradish is stored by the butter? I am talking about the grated, perishable, non cream sauce stuff. I have seen this in a few markets but I know for sure that Safeway does this. The shelf stable stuff is located in the condiment isle, the meat section, the seafood section and the produce area in various styles. The “fresh grated” is only by the butter on the other side of the store. Is horseradish commonly used with butter?

I was going to ask the cashier if she knew but she was having too much difficulty trying to figure out what produce is and how to bag it I left the issue alone. The thing is, I don’t buy it very often so I always forget where to find it and most employees don’t know what I am talking about (the difference between shelf stable vs perishable.)


I’ve seen this in many stores. I think it might be since horseradish is often used in making a sauce which can contain sour cream. This has been it’s “home” for decades - I’d be surprised if anyone in the grocery biz remembers why. Probably it started because there used to only be one cooler -which was for dairy. There weren’t coolers in the produce area.


Your explanation makes sense, thank you. I think that the butter used to be by the sour cream. They moved the sour cream but forgot that the horseradish should go with it. I always thought it should go by seafood but that was before I knew people ate it with beef.


These days I do see horseradish and cocktail sauce in the seafood cooler. I also see bottled clam juice and crab boil seasoning in that area. But they will also stock those items in their usual “homes” too. Remember, it hasn’t been that many decades since fresh fish was hard to come by inland. Between better transportation, improved flash freezing, etc. fish is much easier to source than even 20 years ago.


All of our major markets stock tartar sauce in both the condiment section and at the fresh fish counter. There’s a particular brand I prefer (Beaver) so I wind up having to check both places as it seems the brands are not all the same in both. For some reason Beaver Tartar Sauce is no longer available at the 2 or 3 markets I frequent, but I keep hoping.


In one of my supermarkets, (refrigerated) horseradish is in (at least) three places.:smiley: Near the butter, near the eggs, and in a “cold, packaged dairy/fish kosher food” section where things like “kosher brand” (i.e.g, Miller’s) cheese, actually-kosher pickled herring, etc, are - which is, I think coincidentally in this case, at the end of the refrigerated case aisle just past the butter…:wink: I’m inclined to think it’s mostly because these are “reasonable” places for it, and/or simply where store managers know people tend to look for it.

As for why it started out in dairy-product cases, I suspect it’s just logistics - it needs to be refrigerated, it’s not in “larger” packaging like milk and cream and wouldn’t really fit very well in the same area as that stuff. For that matter, things like pre-packaged cookie dough, rolls-in-a-tube and refrigerated pickles (like Claussen’s) don’t have much in common with either butter or horseradish or each other, but in the big supermarket closest to me, all of those things have wound up in one “everything else” section of the refrigerated cases, I think mostly for lack of a better way to shelve them…


Claussens are another one that I have to search for. That is what I get for being a disloyal shopper. I shop at so many places I can never remember the quarks of each store. It does not help that stores seem to be reorganizing more and more frequently. Even Trader Joe’s has gotten into the act.


"That is what I get for being a disloyal shopper. "

Hummm, Sorry, many people shop at various locations now. I don’t call that disloyal, I call it smart. I have commented on other threads that grocery shopping is highly competitive and complex today. Complex for grocers and simple for shoppers.

It is simple if you are a shopper. You simply have the time to visit multiple places and buy what you need at the best quality and price.


I was being a bit tongue in cheek. The payment machines always thank me for being a loyal shopper which always makes me chuckle a little since it is not uncommon for me to shop in three stores on the same day if not more.


Anybody catch the King of Queens day before Thanksgiving at the supermarket episode? It’s one of best of the series. The whole family is a walking pet peeve.