On this journey I am finding it very important to “keep up” and find out what is going on in different areas.  Things are changing so quickly and it is very interesting to find out why things are being done.  “On line” is really having an impact on how we do most everything; how we shop, communicate, work and research items.

The brick and mortar business is having to really think outside the box in order to compete for our business. Listening to business radio, I have learned that the latest trend in grocery shopping is to make it “an experience” for the customer.  You might have  noticed when you first walk into a grocery store often the floral department is the first thing you see and smell.  The produce areas are looking more like outside markets where everything is bright in color and very fresh. The fresh meat markets are bigger and better than ever.  You can stop and eat while you shop or grab a freshly made dinner to take home.  Often there is an “event” that coincides with the season.  People are so busy now that grocery shopping is another “job”.  You can now order groceries online and they will deliver to your front door.  But, why would you do that if you can take your whole family with you and actually “enjoy” the “experience” of grocery shopping? The aim is to make it a “family outing”.

I heard tonight that  gas stations have now caught on to this. In addition to gas and lottery tickets you can now find all types of cuisine including barbecue.  At “Tom’s Thumb” in Arizona, people come just for the barbecue. People say it is the best in town!  They have a great gift shop and the ladies have  even requested they open a nail salon!  The owner says he thinks he has to draw the line there!

It is nice to know customers are now being fought over and customer service is coming back, a little.  Hum, I started out as a grocery clerk. I wonder what it would be like to go back into that field.  It was fun to interact with all the customers.  Uhhhh, no, I don’t think so!  Mark that one off my list!


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