Single Status Update
So total gut punch this week. The company I've worked for for almost 17 years of my life is closing the store I work at after filing bankruptcy. The lease is up on our building, and despite being probably the 4th best grossing store in the district, we're all out of a job by next month. And they couldn't have done a shittier job of letting anyone know. They just stopped shipping our dry grocery and perishable orders 2 days before they told us, and blamed it on "transmission errors".
But Luckily I have some solid connections and already lined up a job at Publix, which I feel is the future and should have jumped ship a few years ago. I was too complacent with my tenure and vacation time. But I'm only losing around $1.48 an hour just to throw stock full time and not be a manager. That's how much better they pay. Hopefully I'll be working different hours to where I can play games with everyone again. But for now its peace of mind since I just bought a new car.
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Wal-Mart doesn't have as much dominance here as they do else where, they do build a lot of locations to try and put others out of business, and they do indeed hurt competitors, but they don't kill them. People despise Wal-Mart in my area with a passion. When I first started the grocery business there was just Wal-Mart, Delchamps, Bruno's, Food World, and my company Winn-Dixie. WD focused on customer service and superior meat products, and it served us well. Delchamps was a unionized chain, they went out of business simply because the wages got too high and you couldn't downsize to stay alive because of union rules. People may think I'm crazy to be pro right to work over unions, but I've seen what it does to companies. High wages is only as good if the company can stay in business. Unions may be a good thing in different industries, but it doesn't work for the retail world.
Bruno's soon followed by getting bought out several times and just eventually died. Winn-Dixie being the only legitimate competition to Wal-Mart out of the blue decided they wanted to go with lower prices. Lowing prices means less money from sales. You'll naturally underperform from the previous year when everything costs less... and along with the CEO being a greedy fuck, things started going south. Payroll was cut, less people in the stores, customer service went down. We were told to perform at the same standards with half of what we had. Obviously that's impossible. Eventually we hit bankruptcy for the first time in 2005. Companies generally NEVER survive this. I can't think of a single big retailer that ever has... but we did thanks to hurricane Katrina. Partly because we opened back up first, generating a reputation of being there for the community, and partly because we totally ripped off the insurance company by reporting much higher losses than we really had. You won't find that on any record, but as the guy that was scanning out each item 10-15 times, I can tell you everyone was doing it because they were told to do it.
Once again our prosperity was squandered by wasteful execs taking private plane trips instead of 2 hour drives to prance around stores and tell you that you needed to do better. In 2011 we once again filed for bankruptcy and were purchased by a private equity firm that owned BI-LO. This was the writing on the wall, as since then everything got progressively worse each year with more position slashing, hour cutting, and draconian inventory control. We were no better than a third rate off brand cost savers chain. By this time Publix and Rouses Markets moved in to add brand new competition we haven't faced in years. Publix reminded me of what we once were. They loaded their store with hours and groceries. Prices are high but customer service is #1. When you make high end stores, you don't cater to people with food stamps or low income in general. It just doesn't work, they wont buy anything that isn't on sale, and they'll go to Wal-Mart for that.
So as of Wednesday, WD filed bankruptcy again for the 3rd time. Publix is a Fortune 100 top company to work for, and they are employee owned, so no CEO. Their assistant department heads make more than I did as a MOD, and their MOD's make double what I was making. I look forward to the new opportunity.
Congrats on the new job. I hope it works out well for you. I hate how ceo's and the higher executives make literally hundreds or thousands per hour compared to the average worker. Some people say it's because they are never off the clock and they're literally on call 24/7 but that's a load of crap. It's like those toys r us corporate employees with their million dollar bonuses they give to themselves literally months before bankruptcy.
Wal-Mart is strong I the grocery department here but their meats suck ass. And i know for a fact almost everything is delivered to the store frozen. All the hamburger meat, chicken breast, everything has already been frozen before. Even all their deli/ bakery fresh cookies. The biggest grocery stores here are Wegmans. That place is quality that Wal-Mart will never achieve with its current grocery business model. The fruit at wegmans is so good I have never once seen a single bad strawberry in a package. That store is open 24/7 and it's always busy. Costco is another recent major competitor. And Topps is still in business for now until they go bankrupt.
Yeah Wal-Mart isn't about to pay a butcher $20 an hour. Nothing beats fresh meat, especially when it comes to beef. Chicken is always prepackaged everywhere you go, but not necessarily frozen. Companies aren't going to take the risk with salmonella, its not worth it with everyone looking to sue you for anything... and honestly I wouldn't trust any business... there is always someone being lazy.