Thursday, November 08, 2007

Whole Foods...

how do they stay in business??? Okay, I like going to Whole Foods. They have great humuus, really tasty crostini, that great mexican dip and the produce and meat selections are fresher than Wegman's, however, some aspects of their business model really confuse me. Take for instance, the type of folks they hire. Everybody seems well meaning and generally carefree. This is great for limited retail applications (perhaps a Starbucks, etc.) but in a grocery store? Case in point, I pick out a container of store-made guacamole. I didn't really notice until I went to check out that it didn't have a bar code (or any pricing information, for that matter). At check out my cashier flags down "Rotkar" the front end manager. He just shakes his head and waves his hand indicating "just put it in her bag." Yup, Guacamole not marked-- ever heard that joke "oh, no price tag, it must be free today!" well, apparently, at Whole Foods that's true. If it were Wegman's they'd have some sort of a code for guacamole by the pound or worse comes to worse they'd just not sell it to you and say it's your loss... WF? Oooops! We didn't mark it! Our mistake! Just take it!!

Then I had a dozen roses. When I picked them out in floral they were in a bucket marked $12.99. They rang up $14.99. Rotkar goes over to floral to check it out and in the mean time my cashier rings up the flowers at $12.99 and processes my AMEX. (Why she did this I'm not sure...) Rotkar comes back and says "$12.99 is for the conventional roses." (Mind you, I didn't quite see what was unconventional about the roses I picked out, but whatever). I say, "For $14.99 I don't want them. Can you credit me the $12.99?" The cashier explains that she already rung them up at $12.99 and processed my card. Rotkar says, "You'll take them for $12.99?" and I reply, "Sure." Done.

Granted, the bucket was marked $12.99, but still, no holding firm, no process the credit, no we'll just give you cash back... nope, go ahead, name your price!

Again, I'm not complaining, I got free guacamole and flowers at the right price, but the semi-hippie retail mentality just throws me!

1 comment:

Anastasia said...

Oh how I miss the Austin mentality! (Whole Foods is based in Austin.) I think living in that city for twelve years has totally affected me. When I interview for law jobs I'm just like, "Not only can I not wear flip-flops to work, but you want me to wear a suit, maybe even a skirt at times? You want me to work more than 40 hours a week? You don't stock your fridge with Odwalla beverages? There's no breakroom with a ping-pong table at your offices? No in-house masseuse or lunch time yoga classes? How in G-d's name do you get people to work here?"