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(The Fiscal Times)   The worst supermarkets in the country, slideshowing on the left. Your horror stories, scrolling down on the right   (thefiscaltimes.com) divider line 211
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6522 clicks; posted to Business » on 17 Feb 2013 at 6:30 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-17 07:13:11 PM
We lost the local Giant with the Stop&Shop merger, but when we go back to MA, they honor my Giant discount card.

Giant, Giant Eagle, Weis, Safeway, Aldi, Wegmens... my keychain is loaded with those tags.

Also, back in the 90s I went to GA/Northern FL with my ex and found a chain store that had their carts with in-store GPS to locate items. Stupid farking biatch noticed I was having too much fun with it, and took control of the cart, wouldn't let me near it. Anyone know of the chain?

/did I mention the stupid farking biatch is my ex?
 
2013-02-17 07:14:17 PM

davidphogan: Shaggy_C: It all depends on the age of the store, the store manager, and the amount of investment coming in from corporate. I don't think there are any grocery stores that are horrible across the board just as there are none that are all great.

/ Except maybe Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, of course.
//People buy food at Walmart ?!

There's a local chain called New Seasons around here that you can pretty much count on to be awesome, but they're a little more expensive than Fred Meyers or Safeway so it might just be a case of you get what you pay for.


The few times I've been to your parts, I've always found myself going into New Seasons to buy stuff.  Always had a great experience there.  It rivals the glitzy Whole Foods here, and I think it's a bit better.
 
2013-02-17 07:14:50 PM
OtherLittleGuy:

Also, back in the 90s I went to GA/Northern FL with my ex and found a chain store that had their carts with in-store GPS to locate items. Stupid farking biatch noticed I was having too much fun with it, and took control of the cart, wouldn't let me near it. Anyone know of the chain?

/did I mention the stupid farking biatch is my ex?


Possibly Publix.

Good chain.  Privately held company.
 
2013-02-17 07:15:57 PM
if i don't like the grocery store, i sometimes take chicken or fish, unwrap it, and hide it behind cereal boxes, or on top of shelves where you cant find it, until it starts to smell. then it becomes a fun game for the people there to find where the horrible stench is coming from. it can also be fun to poke small holes in wine boxes, grind meat of vegetables in the coffee grinder, or put very expensive things in other peoples carts.

how do YOU have fun while shopping?
 
2013-02-17 07:22:29 PM
The article in question is almost a year old.

I can't believe someone hates Woodman's. great prices, easy to check out. So so meats.
Pick-n-save has to be the worst. Poor service, no checkouts open, long lines, service desk not often open, etc.
 
2013-02-17 07:23:11 PM
We need a wegmans in my area, if for no other reason than the 'make your own 6-pack' section.

We could also use a Hannaford, but for now, its Trader Joes. I refuse Whole Foods.
 
2013-02-17 07:24:59 PM
Surprised this hasn't yet turned into a 'I Heart Publix Subs' thread.
 
2013-02-17 07:30:58 PM

Pentaxian: And Stamford has a Fairway as well.


The last time I was in there, I was sort of surprised.  The produce was not very fresh -- tomatoes were all wilting, nothing looked to be at its peak.  And the self-serve with the pickles and olives and things area was kind of gross, it seemed like people had been ransacking it and I didn't feel like I wanted to buy anything from it.  I got the treat of the truffle cheese (the best open-faced grilled cheese ever) and bought some dish soap and that was it.   Maybe I just hit it on a bad night, though, because I didn't have the same experience the previous times I've been there. I don't think it functions well as an everyday grocery store, though.
 
2013-02-17 07:33:54 PM

some_beer_drinker: if i don't like the grocery store, i sometimes take chicken or fish, unwrap it, and hide it behind cereal boxes, or on top of shelves where you cant find it, until it starts to smell. then it becomes a fun game for the people there to find where the horrible stench is coming from. it can also be fun to poke small holes in wine boxes, grind meat of vegetables in the coffee grinder, or put very expensive things in other peoples carts.

how do YOU have fun while shopping?


You should follow that up by getting an old grocery work shirt (if possible) and wear that to the store so you could troll the other customers.  Then when you get to register, hand the clerk a huge pile of coupons that only a few are for the items you have in your order.  The later works best when a line is behind you.
 
2013-02-17 07:36:12 PM

exvaxman: The article in question is almost a year old.

I can't believe someone hates Woodman's. great prices, easy to check out. So so meats.
Pick-n-save has to be the worst. Poor service, no checkouts open, long lines, service desk not often open, etc.


Somebody hates Woodman's? Even out here they stepped into Roundy's backyard they weren't exactly shunned.  And Roundy's/Pick n/Save deserves that spot and then some.
 
2013-02-17 07:40:39 PM

SBinRR: OtherLittleGuy:

Also, back in the 90s I went to GA/Northern FL with my ex and found a chain store that had their carts with in-store GPS to locate items. Stupid farking biatch noticed I was having too much fun with it, and took control of the cart, wouldn't let me near it. Anyone know of the chain?

/did I mention the stupid farking biatch is my ex?

Possibly Publix.

Good chain.  Privately held company.


Love my Publix. Only 3 reasons to go to WalMart for grocery items for me:

1. Golden Curry sauce mix. Publix wants over $4 while it's about $2.50 at WM for the same item.
2. Comstock Lemon filling. Publix carries every flavor filling ever created in the history of everything EXCEPT lemon. WTF?
3. Halloween candy. WM usually has better sales and I can get the mini glowstix in the same trip.

/love my publix even more on the rare occasions i get the $5 off $30 coupon in the mail
 
2013-02-17 07:42:21 PM
This thread needs more skeptical third world child.
 
2013-02-17 07:43:11 PM

DanZero: Hard to believe A&P is on the list.


Hard to believe A&P is still in business.
 
2013-02-17 07:45:37 PM

Adolf Oliver Nipples: As far as Wal-Mart goes, they suffer from being Wal-Mart. If you're OK with that they're just fine, otherwise the down votes are typical anti-Wal-Mart votes. Seriously, they don't sell anything objectionable, they're always stocked, and they're always packed, apparently with people who hate them but can't resist the urge to buy there.


They're not "always packed". You should go shopping at 4 AM. I've been to one near me and didn't see a single other customer. As a bonus I've never had to wait for more than one customer in line ahead of me when I go then.

And that's the only store on the list I can remember ever going to. I don't hate them but I don't really trust them for perishable items. They're so aggressive about cost cutting the milk probably doesn't even last until the sell-by date.
 
2013-02-17 07:46:48 PM

Catsaregreen: List fails without IGA. Everyone I've ever been to has been in a town that has seen better days, or has been bypassed by a new road (and the eventual SuperCenter that follows). I've been to IGAs with meat refrigerators at 64 degrees, frozen food that was literally freezer burned and required an ice pick just to get them off the shelves, and popcorn that had product tie-ins to movies that left the theaters 2 years ago.


I like having IGAs around. It confirms that I am in fact in the Goldilocks zone between the sticks and McWalTargStripmallia.

IGAs tend to be wildly uneven from town to town, and once a chain shows up nearby they're farked no matter how good they are, because they can't compete on price.

Maronna's in Millbrook, NY is a good IGA.
 
2013-02-17 07:47:02 PM
I loved Meijer's random sales, "Buy a car battery and get 3 pounds bananas free!"  Moved too far west for them, now in the subpar grocery market of Minneapolis. Hometown of two national grocers and I'd rather shop at a Walmart in Tennessee.
 
2013-02-17 07:48:32 PM

CreativeFarkHandle: davidphogan: Shaggy_C: It all depends on the age of the store, the store manager, and the amount of investment coming in from corporate. I don't think there are any grocery stores that are horrible across the board just as there are none that are all great.

/ Except maybe Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, of course.
//People buy food at Walmart ?!

There's a local chain called New Seasons around here that you can pretty much count on to be awesome, but they're a little more expensive than Fred Meyers or Safeway so it might just be a case of you get what you pay for.

The few times I've been to your parts, I've always found myself going into New Seasons to buy stuff.  Always had a great experience there.  It rivals the glitzy Whole Foods here, and I think it's a bit better.


I have a New Seasons in my neighborhood, and I just feel so awful every time I shop there. It is an upscale grocery store which caters to an upper middle income crowd who do not want to deal with "those people."

I feel more comfortable shopping at my local Winco.
 
2013-02-17 07:51:55 PM

Sum Guye: DanZero: Hard to believe A&P is on the list.

Hard to believe A&P is still in business.


I have to agree, if only because they're outrageously expensive. When we get talking about money and saving on stuff at work, A&P being ridiculously overpriced always comes up.  I don't know why they are so much more expensive than stores not even a mile up the road from them, but they are.

I started buying all non-perishables and frozen stuff we  take to work for lunch at Target, I don't trust their limited produce and meat, but everything else is SO much cheaper than any other grocery store.  Plus, I got a Target debit card that is linked to my bank account and gives me 5% off every purchase.
 
2013-02-17 07:52:09 PM
The waldbaums near me sometimes ships in some special needs people from a mental hospital nearby to get them out and doing something like bagging groceries. I'm cool with it, though one time one of them did drool on my grocery bags. I did my best to be gracious about it and I feel bad for the patients, but...eeeeew.
 
2013-02-17 07:56:25 PM
Thruway Market, Walden, NY..... nuff said
 
2013-02-17 07:57:38 PM

Skirl Hutsenreiter: I was also surprised to learn Food Lion still exists.


That's all we have around here.  Food Lion and Walmart, although a Kroger superstore opened up about two years ago.  Food Lion stores are just sad.  We have one nice one and three that look like the employees are waiting to die.  The produce and meat selection sucks, and they only carry Food Lion brand lunchmeat, which is cheap but not very good.  However, the overall food quality is still light years better than the crap that Wal Mart serves up.

Never buy meat at Wal Mart.  Starving is a better option.
 
2013-02-17 08:00:15 PM

Satosuke: The waldbaums near me sometimes ships in some special needs people from a mental hospital nearby to get them out and doing something like bagging groceries. I'm cool with it, though one time one of them did drool on my grocery bags. I did my best to be gracious about it and I feel bad for the patients, but...eeeeew.


Our local Martin's (which used to be UKrops, now owned by Giant's parent Corp) staffs their baggers exclusively with mentally handicapped adults.  My favorite, Denny, has a noxious gas problem and whenever he farts he just mutters "oh no oh no oh no oh no" to himself while he bags groceries.  It's a real treat to watch old women try to pretend the entire line doesn't smell like ass.
 
2013-02-17 08:01:08 PM

flaminio: This thread needs more skeptical third world child.


                                                ↑
 
2013-02-17 08:04:34 PM
Ralph's is fine here. Very few bargains to be had though. My usual order on shopping day:

99¢ Only- Many staples and goodies here. I have gotten awesome asparagus there that was better than what they were selling in the supers for almost four dollars.

Mexican chain store such as Vallarta or Superior- Way cheaper and better produce, mexican specialties, etc.

Trader Joe's- Cheapest for bananas, many other goodies, coffee.

Ralphs- Fill in the gaps, and I like their milk and OJ.

Notice that Ralphs is getting the crumbs. If you are buying everything at one store you are paying too much.
 
2013-02-17 08:06:40 PM

Harry_Seldon: CreativeFarkHandle: davidphogan: Shaggy_C: It all depends on the age of the store, the store manager, and the amount of investment coming in from corporate. I don't think there are any grocery stores that are horrible across the board just as there are none that are all great.

/ Except maybe Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, of course.
//People buy food at Walmart ?!

There's a local chain called New Seasons around here that you can pretty much count on to be awesome, but they're a little more expensive than Fred Meyers or Safeway so it might just be a case of you get what you pay for.

The few times I've been to your parts, I've always found myself going into New Seasons to buy stuff.  Always had a great experience there.  It rivals the glitzy Whole Foods here, and I think it's a bit better.

I have a New Seasons in my neighborhood, and I just feel so awful every time I shop there. It is an upscale grocery store which caters to an upper middle income crowd who do not want to deal with "those people."

I feel more comfortable shopping at my local Winco.


You're missing out if you skip their deli for that reason. Very affordable and tasty.
 
2013-02-17 08:07:15 PM
Worked at Jewel when I was in HS. The stories I have from the bake shop would make you vomit. I did get my first taste of cougar when I worked there. She managed the previously mentioned bake shop... And may have had a pie or 2 too many. I have never wanted a skinny girl after that experience.

/off to the bathroom with that memory in mind
 
2013-02-17 08:12:48 PM
I buy all my groceries at the Big Lots.
 
2013-02-17 08:13:55 PM

HighlanderRPI: Thruway Market, Walden, NY..... nuff said


Aaaaaack. I remember going in there once just out of curiosity. Only place I've ever been that had head cheese, basketballs and ammunition under one roof.

I think it's being replaced by a Hannaford.
 
2013-02-17 08:14:03 PM

margarito bandito: I loved Meijer's random sales, "Buy a car battery and get 3 pounds bananas free!"  Moved too far west for them, now in the subpar grocery market of Minneapolis. Hometown of two national grocers and I'd rather shop at a Walmart in Tennessee.


When a really popular DVD releases, Kroger does a buy the movie and get pop, popcorn and other goodies free.  Of course they charge more for the movie than other stores.  Also, they have done a buy case of Miller Lite and get a recliner for $199 sale.  I have noticed ads for the Detroit area (I like the Detroit Free Press) with sales like buy a turkey and get some fixin's free.  Not as crazy as seeing lawnmowers displayed on top of a Winn-Dixie frozen section in West Columbia, SC.
 
2013-02-17 08:17:43 PM
Can't say I've had any complaints from when I've shopped at Jewel, Dominick's and Sunset back in Chicagoland, Big Y, Price Chopper and Shaw's in Wormtown, or Woolworths and Coles in Australia... Worst supermarket I've ever used is Garden Fresh Market, near Chicago. Their produce is terrible...
 
2013-02-17 08:22:38 PM

Gulper Eel: HighlanderRPI: Thruway Market, Walden, NY..... nuff said

Aaaaaack. I remember going in there once just out of curiosity. Only place I've ever been that had head cheese, basketballs and ammunition under one roof.

I think it's being replaced by a Hannaford.


Reminds me of the Rock Hill Trading Post in Rock Hill, NY, right off of 17. Combination supermarket and hardware store. Not to say it was a bad place, everything was fine, but being the suburban/city boy I am I wasn't expecting that combination.
 
2013-02-17 08:24:43 PM
Work as a bagger at a stop and shop.

Once, when putting one of those meat packet things (with the styrofoam and the plastic wrap, whatever its called its late and im retarded), I noticed something weird in the package.

There was a god damn fly in there, under the plastic.

I was horrified.
 
2013-02-17 08:24:44 PM
Winn-farking-Dixie.   They should just change their logo to the FAIL tag.
 
2013-02-17 08:25:30 PM

margarito bandito: I loved Meijer's random sales, "Buy a car battery and get 3 pounds bananas free!"  Moved too far west for them, now in the subpar grocery market of Minneapolis. Hometown of two national grocers and I'd rather shop at a Walmart in Tennessee.


My favorite oddball giveaway was  free beef February at Les Schwab Tire Stores here in the Pacific NW. By tires and get free steaks. Not a coupon for free beef, either - they had a meat freezer right there in the tire store. It was awesome, but sadly is no more.
 
2013-02-17 08:27:12 PM

Lsherm: Satosuke: The waldbaums near me sometimes ships in some special needs people from a mental hospital nearby to get them out and doing something like bagging groceries. I'm cool with it, though one time one of them did drool on my grocery bags. I did my best to be gracious about it and I feel bad for the patients, but...eeeeew.

Our local Martin's (which used to be UKrops, now owned by Giant's parent Corp) staffs their baggers exclusively with mentally handicapped adults.  My favorite, Denny, has a noxious gas problem and whenever he farts he just mutters "oh no oh no oh no oh no" to himself while he bags groceries.  It's a real treat to watch old women try to pretend the entire line doesn't smell like ass.


Now that's pretty funny. I'd deal with a cloud of special-people flatus if I got to see that. The drool on my bags is a tad harder to ignore.
 
2013-02-17 08:28:55 PM
Here in Iowa, the dominant grocery store chain, by far, is "Hy Vee".

It's great. Always clean, great selection, great meat, great produce, nice stores, friendly employees. I'm always weirded out to hear about nasty grocery stores, because they don't really exist in Iowa. They can't, because they have to compete with Hy Vee stores. In fact, there really AREN'T any other grocery stores chains in Iowa anymore. Between Hy Vee at the "high end", and Wal-Mart for everything else, there simply wasn't room for anybody else.
 
2013-02-17 08:30:14 PM

Catsaregreen: List fails without IGA. Everyone I've ever been to has been in a town that has seen better days, or has been bypassed by a new road (and the eventual SuperCenter that follows). I've been to IGAs with meat refrigerators at 64 degrees, frozen food that was literally freezer burned and required an ice pick just to get them off the shelves, and popcorn that had product tie-ins to movies that left the theaters 2 years ago.


IGA = Independent Grocers Alliance. They can be nice or run out of a barn. It's not really a chain though.
 
2013-02-17 08:42:42 PM

Smeggy Smurf: You are welcome for WinCo Foods not making the list


But when are you going to fix my local store, hmmm?
 
2013-02-17 08:47:13 PM
Perhaps some of you folks should move out of shiathole neighborhoods to somewhere decent. Supermarkets in the Action Park area of No.NJ are just as clean, well lit and nicely stocked as can be.
 
2013-02-17 08:49:48 PM
They mention Ralphs (Kroger) here in SoCal, but I think Von's (Safeway) is worse.
 
2013-02-17 08:55:20 PM
Wegmans is the greatest supermarket in the world, hell, I just came from there after having a slice of their amazing pizza and sushi.  Can't wait till the one in Germantown MD opens so I won't have to travel Columbia.
 
2013-02-17 08:59:56 PM

realmolo: Here in Iowa, the dominant grocery store chain, by far, is "Hy Vee".

It's great. Always clean, great selection, great meat, great produce, nice stores, friendly employees. I'm always weirded out to hear about nasty grocery stores, because they don't really exist in Iowa. They can't, because they have to compete with Hy Vee stores. In fact, there really AREN'T any other grocery stores chains in Iowa anymore. Between Hy Vee at the "high end", and Wal-Mart for everything else, there simply wasn't room for anybody else.


You've obviously never been to the Hy Vee in Corydon. I lived there for 2 years and maybe set foot in their 6 times. It was actually cheaper to drive the extra 30 miles one way to Centerville, where there was a little more selection in stores and not just one that had everyone by the short hairs.
 
2013-02-17 09:01:15 PM
There are two Piggly Wiggly chains. The southern company and the Midwest company.
The Midwest is pretty good. The southern? I went into one to get a frozen lamb leg. I noticed that they were all with a month of expiring and asked the manger if I could make a deal for all of them. The answer was "no!".  I came back later that week and saw that they all had new labels with an expiration date a year in the future. I never shopped there again out of fear.
 
2013-02-17 09:09:52 PM

realmolo: Here in Iowa, the dominant grocery store chain, by far, is "Hy Vee".

It's great. Always clean, great selection, great meat, great produce, nice stores, friendly employees. I'm always weirded out to hear about nasty grocery stores, because they don't really exist in Iowa. They can't, because they have to compete with Hy Vee stores. In fact, there really AREN'T any other grocery stores chains in Iowa anymore. Between Hy Vee at the "high end", and Wal-Mart for everything else, there simply wasn't room for anybody else.


There are some Aldi's kicking around too.  Hy Vee is all over the place though.
 
2013-02-17 09:11:56 PM
Food Lion keeps trying, but they insist on treating their employees like crap.

I will say that the Meat-Scandal was found to be a set-up.  The producer they snuck in was the one purposefully food tampering.  They're extremely anal about food safety now.

/13 year Food Lion employee
//Only mildly treated better than a Walmart Drone.
///All I get is extra slashies.
 
2013-02-17 09:14:26 PM
No Winn-Dixie? Color me shocked.
 
2013-02-17 09:25:53 PM

serpent_sky: Gulper Eel: Shaw's in Connecticut. Back in the day I'd stop by the one in New London to pick up dinner ingredients for an old girlfriend of mine, and invariably I'd have to explain to the cashier that the large purple thing I was purchasing was an eggplant. After about the third time I got a blank stare when buying an eggplant, I took to calling it an aubergine just to be a pain in the ass.

The first good that came of being dumped by that girl was that I never had to set foot in that store ever again.

And you didn't have to eat eggplant constantly, either, so there's that.

It also seems like store experiences aren't really chain-wide, so much as store specific.  Around here, A&P is unpleasant because it's usually the most grossly overpriced store.  Stop & Shop is too large and never has enough registers open, despite being more like a grocery mall than a store. And half the customers seem like they're auditioning for a role in a zombie movie, shambling around, looking at the 7000 varieties of bread.  But they're not disgusting or anything.

The only really bad thing I can think of in recent times was one of the Grade A stores (Shop Rite, but under a different name) definitely did not clean out after losing power for 5 days in the hurricane.  They took some things off the shelves, but not nearly enough.  A lot of the frozen stuff was clearly defrosted and re-frozen -- the packages had that soggy look to them.  We actually still haven't bought perishables there because it seems like if they let something that significant go, other things are probably up to par.


You can report that the Department of Agriculture, who will come in and clean everything up for them. The hard way.

Who knows? It might prevent an outbreak.
 
2013-02-17 09:42:09 PM
I'll be another Florida person raving about Publix. Great selection, fantastic service. The prices are a little higher than Wal-Mart, but I'm more than happy to give my money to a more local chain that deserves it.

The Winn-Dixie produce section always smells like some homeless person urinated in it. ALWAYS. I can never figure it out.
 
2013-02-17 09:48:49 PM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: Whoever made that list has never been in a Grocery Outlet

/cleanliness means no live rodents visible
//might find a dead one behind that box of cornflakes, though
///or in it


Came here to post this.
 
2013-02-17 09:49:35 PM
The only one of those I've ever been in is WalMart, and the one in town near me is neat as a pin and has the second lowest prices in town. Only the WinCo is slightly cheaper. It's clean, too.
 
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