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(Business Insider)   Whole Foods now using scorecards to track employee effectiveness and productivity, though this HR enhancement is seen as negative feedback for employee morale, with store managers saying "Seeing someone cry is the new normal"   ( businessinsider.com) divider line
    More: Followup, Foods, Whole Foods Market, OTS, Vice president, Grocery store, Employment, employees, Management  
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1260 clicks; posted to Business » on 02 Feb 2018 at 11:20 AM (23 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2018-02-02 09:48:37 AM  
It's all these people can do not to eat a bullet to begin with, let's make it worse.
 
2018-02-02 10:21:50 AM  
The Whole Foods near me is staffed with Stepford people.  Smiling, robotic, Stepford people.  You get the distinct impression that if you put a foot wrong, a squad of very poilte riot police would appear and escort you from the premises.

It's creepy.  I'm used to surly cashiers.  This is not normal.
 
2018-02-02 10:49:18 AM  

Marcus Aurelius: The Whole Foods near me is staffed with Stepford people.  Smiling, robotic, Stepford people.  You get the distinct impression that if you put a foot wrong, a squad of very poilte riot police would appear and escort you from the premises.

It's creepy.  I'm used to surly cashiers.  This is not normal.


Sounds like Disney World.
 
2018-02-02 10:49:56 AM  
Welcome to Amazon, slaves.
 
2018-02-02 11:26:06 AM  
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2018-02-02 11:28:46 AM  
img.fark.netView Full Size

Ebenezer Bezos?
 
2018-02-02 11:30:34 AM  
I thought this was rolling out before Amazon bought them?
 
2018-02-02 11:31:54 AM  
I didn't read the article, so I don't know how draconian these measures are and how normal they are in terms of a person being able to achieve them... but when I worked at a grocery store (stocking), there were standards.  Now, no one had the technology to apply these standards on an hourly basis or anything- they were kinda just agreed to (as in between the union and management.)

I remember 70 cases per hour being the standard, and not draconian.  At the same time, I do know of people that didn't work that fast and only got yelled at to move quicker.  But it was labor, and that's about the only way to measure people doing their job.
 
2018-02-02 11:32:00 AM  
TFA buried the lede -- Whole Foods now does top-down planograms ("maps") of where every product is supposed to be in the store.

That means that employees at individual stores can't adjust their merchandising to account for needs & wants of local customers or to show any personal creativity.  Which is absolutely, totally, soul-crushingly, bad for morale.
 
2018-02-02 11:36:19 AM  

FrancoFile: TFA buried the lede -- Whole Foods now does top-down planograms ("maps") of where every product is supposed to be in the store.

That means that employees at individual stores can't adjust their merchandising to account for needs & wants of local customers or to show any personal creativity.  Which is absolutely, totally, soul-crushingly, bad for morale.


I don't understand why it's necessary to show "personal creativity" and put the peanut butter in the fish department. Or why it's soul-crushingly bad for morale to be told to put it back on the shelf with the other nut butters, and for god's sake, put some pants on, Johnson.
 
2018-02-02 11:40:10 AM  
Whole Foods is going to turn into (Safeway, Vons, Piggy Wiggy insert regional chain here)
 
2018-02-02 11:42:59 AM  

Theaetetus: I don't understand why it's necessary to show "personal creativity" and put the peanut butter in the fish department.


What if you have a lot of Thai customers looking to make seafood and noodles in peanut sauce?
 
2018-02-02 11:46:49 AM  

Theaetetus: FrancoFile: TFA buried the lede -- Whole Foods now does top-down planograms ("maps") of where every product is supposed to be in the store.

That means that employees at individual stores can't adjust their merchandising to account for needs & wants of local customers or to show any personal creativity.  Which is absolutely, totally, soul-crushingly, bad for morale.

I don't understand why it's necessary to show "personal creativity" and put the peanut butter in the fish department. Or why it's soul-crushingly bad for morale to be told to put it back on the shelf with the other nut butters, and for god's sake, put some pants on, Johnson.


Ha ha.  Yes, put some pants on, etc.

But people who go to work at Whole Foods (or Trader Joe's, or similar places) don't want to be brainless drones who just stack up boxes & bags from multinational food conglomerates.  They are, more often than not, foodies of some sort, and enjoy talking about recipes and such with customers.  Whole Foods knows this, Whole Foods wants this, Whole Foods relies on this as part of their brand.

If you do the ordering for the nut section, and your customers buy a lot of regular salted almonds, and you really love a new almond with sea salt and herbs, then you're going to want to shelve them next to each other, and add some short-term "hey, if you like this, why not try that?" signage.  But if corporate tells you to stock only 1 case of the new almonds, and that the regular almonds go on the bottom shelf at the left end of the aisle, and the new almonds go on the 3rd shelf up, on the opposite side of the aisle, 10 feet farther down, then you're never going to be able to promote that new almond the way you want to.  You won't create as many happy customers, and you won't increase sales as much as you could.

That part in bold is why planograms are a bad idea for high-end retailers that try to hire intelligent, enthusiastic staff and who strive for customer loyalty.
 
2018-02-02 11:49:49 AM  

Gordon Bennett: Theaetetus: I don't understand why it's necessary to show "personal creativity" and put the peanut butter in the fish department.

What if you have a lot of Thai customers looking to make seafood and noodles in peanut sauce?


They shop at these type of places.  Open on Christmas.

s3-media4.fl.yelpcdn.comView Full Size
 
2018-02-02 11:51:45 AM  
FTFA: "The walks also involve on-the-spot quizzes, in which employees are asked to recite their departments' sales goals, top-selling items, previous week's sales, and other information."

Why the fark does the floor drone need to know previous week's sales at the drop of a hat?
 
2018-02-02 11:57:23 AM  
The very failing Jeff Bezos knows how long your poop breaks are.
 
2018-02-02 11:57:27 AM  
Amazon is a modern day salt mine.   To expect any acquisition they  make to not also be converted into a modern day salt mine is silly.

Shop there.  Don't work there.
 
2018-02-02 11:59:03 AM  
FrancoFile:If you do the ordering for the nut section, and your customers buy a lot of regular salted almonds, and you really love a new almond with sea salt and herbs, then you're going to want to shelve them next to each other, and add some short-term "hey, if you like this, why not try that?" signage.  But if corporate tells you to stock only 1 case of the new almonds, and that the regular almonds go on the bottom shelf at the left end of the aisle, and the new almonds go on the 3rd shelf up, on the opposite side of the aisle, 10 feet farther down, then you're never going to be able to promote that new almond the way you want to.  You won't create as many happy customers, and you won't increase sales as much as you could.

That part in bold is why planograms are a bad idea for high-end retailers that try to hire intelligent, enthusiastic staff and who strive for customer loyalty.


Your argument seems to rest on the premise that corporate doesn't have intelligent, enthusiastic staff, or that intelligent enthusiastic people shouldn't strive to get into that sort of analysis and planning position. Maybe corporate has some particular reason for stocking only 1 case of the new almonds - they've got finely tuned sales data, including data they've gathered from competitors and the manufacturer, that say they don't sell quickly, they're very low margin, and the nuts go bad and increase breakage.

Or maybe they've got reasons for consistency between stores, like increased efficiency for overnight inventory and restocking teams. It's usually not a great idea to have every site different - including for customers, who may visit multiple stores.

/but my more fundamental point is that ground-level retail has always been soul crushing, so this shouldn't be considered a huge change
 
2018-02-02 11:59:39 AM  

Sgt. Expendable: FTFA: "The walks also involve on-the-spot quizzes, in which employees are asked to recite their departments' sales goals, top-selling items, previous week's sales, and other information."

Why the fark does the floor drone need to know previous week's sales at the drop of a hat?


You want your drones to know WHY their manager can only afford a third vacation house and not the fourth he so richly deserves.  It also helps explain why there will be no raises this year as profits have fallen from $4.5 billion to $4.49 billion and its time for some belt tightening....
 
2018-02-02 12:01:08 PM  
Before Amazon bought Whole Foods, they had zero local inventory management.

Hard to believe, but I know some previous corporate employees/contractors who confirm it. The managers just looked at what they have and ordered what they thought they needed when things run out.

It does not surprise me in the slightest that Whole Foods employees are stressed, as this is a new responsibility that directly affects their evaluation. Having worked that sort of job before, I feel their pain, but on the other hand, this is a standard practice in most other grocery stores so I am not too sympathetic.
 
2018-02-02 12:02:47 PM  

Fizpez: You want your drones to know WHY their manager can only afford a third vacation house and not the fourth he so richly deserves.


How much do you think a grocery store manager makes?
 
2018-02-02 12:08:11 PM  

Wonktnod: Fizpez: You want your drones to know WHY their manager can only afford a third vacation house and not the fourth he so richly deserves.

How much do you think a grocery store manager makes?


It's a bit of a tongue in cheek joke, so OK "...their regional VP..."
 
2018-02-02 12:23:45 PM  

Theaetetus: FrancoFile:If you do the ordering for the nut section, and your customers buy a lot of regular salted almonds, and you really love a new almond with sea salt and herbs, then you're going to want to shelve them next to each other, and add some short-term "hey, if you like this, why not try that?" signage.  But if corporate tells you to stock only 1 case of the new almonds, and that the regular almonds go on the bottom shelf at the left end of the aisle, and the new almonds go on the 3rd shelf up, on the opposite side of the aisle, 10 feet farther down, then you're never going to be able to promote that new almond the way you want to.  You won't create as many happy customers, and you won't increase sales as much as you could.

That part in bold is why planograms are a bad idea for high-end retailers that try to hire intelligent, enthusiastic staff and who strive for customer loyalty.

Your argument seems to rest on the premise that corporate doesn't have intelligent, enthusiastic staff, or that intelligent enthusiastic people shouldn't strive to get into that sort of analysis and planning position. Maybe corporate has some particular reason for stocking only 1 case of the new almonds - they've got finely tuned sales data, including data they've gathered from competitors and the manufacturer, that say they don't sell quickly, they're very low margin, and the nuts go bad and increase breakage.

Or maybe they've got reasons for consistency between stores, like increased efficiency for overnight inventory and restocking teams. It's usually not a great idea to have every site different - including for customers, who may visit multiple stores.

/but my more fundamental point is that ground-level retail has always been soul crushing, so this shouldn't be considered a huge change


There is an entire department at Clemson University designed to maximize profitability based on packaging and product placement in stores.

Corporate usually knows what they are doing. And LOL at the joker thinking stockers who work in a grocery store give two farks what comsumers want.
 
2018-02-02 12:25:29 PM  

Theaetetus: FrancoFile: TFA buried the lede -- Whole Foods now does top-down planograms ("maps") of where every product is supposed to be in the store.

That means that employees at individual stores can't adjust their merchandising to account for needs & wants of local customers or to show any personal creativity.  Which is absolutely, totally, soul-crushingly, bad for morale.

I don't understand why it's necessary to show "personal creativity" and put the peanut butter in the fish department. Or why it's soul-crushingly bad for morale to be told to put it back on the shelf with the other nut butters, and for god's sake, put some pants on, Johnson.


Probably more like having a particular brand of peanut butter that sells well, but without the freedom to give it more shelf space they simply have to restock it constantly throughout the day when it sells out. Store managers should have at least a -little- autonomy in understanding their customer base.

OTOH, maybe brand Y has a contract with the chain to ensure they get a certain amount of shelf visibility as part of their pricing agreement. I don't know if things work that way, seems semi-logical. In that case the individual stores wouldn't have the nightmare  requirements list and would only see the product map from corporate.
 
2018-02-02 12:28:01 PM  

Syrrh: OTOH, maybe brand Y has a contract with the chain to ensure they get a certain amount of shelf visibility as part of their pricing agreement. I don't know if things work that way, seems semi-logical. In that case the individual stores wouldn't have the nightmare  requirements list and would only see the product map from corporate.


I can confirm that such things absolutely exist.
 
2018-02-02 12:30:17 PM  

Unikitty: Theaetetus: FrancoFile:If you do the ordering for the nut section, and your customers buy a lot of regular salted almonds, and you really love a new almond with sea salt and herbs, then you're going to want to shelve them next to each other, and add some short-term "hey, if you like this, why not try that?" signage.  But if corporate tells you to stock only 1 case of the new almonds, and that the regular almonds go on the bottom shelf at the left end of the aisle, and the new almonds go on the 3rd shelf up, on the opposite side of the aisle, 10 feet farther down, then you're never going to be able to promote that new almond the way you want to.  You won't create as many happy customers, and you won't increase sales as much as you could.

That part in bold is why planograms are a bad idea for high-end retailers that try to hire intelligent, enthusiastic staff and who strive for customer loyalty.

Your argument seems to rest on the premise that corporate doesn't have intelligent, enthusiastic staff, or that intelligent enthusiastic people shouldn't strive to get into that sort of analysis and planning position. Maybe corporate has some particular reason for stocking only 1 case of the new almonds - they've got finely tuned sales data, including data they've gathered from competitors and the manufacturer, that say they don't sell quickly, they're very low margin, and the nuts go bad and increase breakage.

Or maybe they've got reasons for consistency between stores, like increased efficiency for overnight inventory and restocking teams. It's usually not a great idea to have every site different - including for customers, who may visit multiple stores.

/but my more fundamental point is that ground-level retail has always been soul crushing, so this shouldn't be considered a huge change

There is an entire department at Clemson University designed to maximize profitability based on packaging and product placement in stores.

Corporate usually knows what they are doing. ...


I worked at Trader Joe's full-time for 3 years.  I ran the wine section.

Damn straight I knew more about what my customers wanted than the HQ people did.  Which is why ordering, stocking, and merchandising are mostly done at the store level with Trader Joe's.

If a particular grape or wine region is favorably written up in the local newspaper or lifestyle magazine, then I'm going to order more of it for a few weeks than the other stores in the region.  If I get a special order of 5 cases of something for the Junior League or the Kiwanis or the Sons of Italy, I'm going to make sure there is plenty more of it in the store for when those people come in after enjoying it at the event.
 
2018-02-02 12:34:12 PM  

bdub77: Welcome to Amazon, slaves.


It's not new. I used a variation of this a very long time ago when I used to run petrol stations. I didn't invent it either, it's been around a long time. I'm kind of surprised, well I guess given the prices it's not totally surprising, that Whole Foods didn't use something like this before. Incidentally, just as I had a "scorecard" for my employees my boss had one for me, and his/her (I worked for two different regional managers) had one for them, et al.

Calling this soul-crushing is a bit much.
 
2018-02-02 12:35:47 PM  
"In the beginning, we actually had a checklist where one task was to initial that you initialed off another task," said one employee who was involved in OTS training at several East Coast stores. She said that duty was quickly dropped, but that it was emblematic of how the implementation of OTS has gone.

"This is a receipt for your husband, and this is my receipt for your receipt."

Brazil (1/10) Movie CLIP - A Receipt for Your Husband (1985) HD
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kab
2018-02-02 12:56:15 PM  
This is how you wind up with a spiteful employee base.  You can take this one step further of course, and have employees score each other, if you really want to see morale take a turn.
 
2018-02-02 12:57:02 PM  

Unikitty: Theaetetus: FrancoFile:If you do the ordering for the nut section, and your customers buy a lot of regular salted almonds, and you really love a new almond with sea salt and herbs, then you're going to want to shelve them next to each other, and add some short-term "hey, if you like this, why not try that?" signage.  But if corporate tells you to stock only 1 case of the new almonds, and that the regular almonds go on the bottom shelf at the left end of the aisle, and the new almonds go on the 3rd shelf up, on the opposite side of the aisle, 10 feet farther down, then you're never going to be able to promote that new almond the way you want to.  You won't create as many happy customers, and you won't increase sales as much as you could.

That part in bold is why planograms are a bad idea for high-end retailers that try to hire intelligent, enthusiastic staff and who strive for customer loyalty.

Your argument seems to rest on the premise that corporate doesn't have intelligent, enthusiastic staff, or that intelligent enthusiastic people shouldn't strive to get into that sort of analysis and planning position. Maybe corporate has some particular reason for stocking only 1 case of the new almonds - they've got finely tuned sales data, including data they've gathered from competitors and the manufacturer, that say they don't sell quickly, they're very low margin, and the nuts go bad and increase breakage.

Or maybe they've got reasons for consistency between stores, like increased efficiency for overnight inventory and restocking teams. It's usually not a great idea to have every site different - including for customers, who may visit multiple stores.

/but my more fundamental point is that ground-level retail has always been soul crushing, so this shouldn't be considered a huge change

There is an entire department at Clemson University designed to maximize profitability based on packaging and product placement in stores.

Corporate usually knows what they are doing. And LOL at the joker thinking stockers who work in a grocery store give two farks what comsumers want.


You have never had a job, have you?
 
2018-02-02 01:06:00 PM  

Sgt. Expendable: FTFA: "The walks also involve on-the-spot quizzes, in which employees are asked to recite their departments' sales goals, top-selling items, previous week's sales, and other information."

Why the fark does the floor drone need to know previous week's sales at the drop of a hat?


There is nothing more in need of rapid oxidation than a corporate middle manager trying to justify their existence.
 
2018-02-02 01:12:45 PM  
The whole concept of 'Human Resources' is soul-crushing but the Genie is out of the bottle.
 
2018-02-02 01:39:09 PM  

kab: This is how you wind up with a spiteful employee base.  You can take this one step further of course, and have employees score each other, if you really want to see morale take a turn.


Stack rank your department colleague.  In an open meeting.

Don't think it's coming?? Probably with 18 months, it's coming.

Oh, and hundreds and hundreds of little mini-Bezos knob-polishers are coming out now.  I had a friend working for a social-service-agency nonprofit.  Their annual all-hands training meeting... about half of it was some ex-Bezos VP coming in and talking up "The Amazon Way", as if it had the tiniest, tiniest farking application to anything.
 
2018-02-02 02:03:38 PM  
lol someone please get some pics of whole foods employees crying.   I want to see the souls being crushed!

tasty crushed soul mmm..  make a personalized display for that too.. then tear it down and squeeze more soul out muhahhah
 
2018-02-02 02:08:04 PM  
It's pretty standard for retail in general, planogramms, walks, random employee quizzes on things that don't pertain to their job function. Like pretty much every business idea in the US it starts as a good one; "let's build employee knowledge and engagement at the same time as we standardize practices and reudce shrink", once they have the idea however when it comes to implementation "this seems like it's hard and may increase costs in the short-term, so how can we do this in the most half-assed way possible and fudge the action plan so we get a big bonus for making things worse"

So yeah it happens everwhere in retail, it's counter productive and damaging, and will never change so long as Wall Street remains the focus of MBA's and Management.
 
2018-02-02 03:14:02 PM  

bigdanc: Unikitty: Theaetetus: FrancoFile:If you do the ordering for the nut section, and your customers buy a lot of regular salted almonds, and you really love a new almond with sea salt and herbs, then you're going to want to shelve them next to each other, and add some short-term "hey, if you like this, why not try that?" signage.  But if corporate tells you to stock only 1 case of the new almonds, and that the regular almonds go on the bottom shelf at the left end of the aisle, and the new almonds go on the 3rd shelf up, on the opposite side of the aisle, 10 feet farther down, then you're never going to be able to promote that new almond the way you want to.  You won't create as many happy customers, and you won't increase sales as much as you could.

That part in bold is why planograms are a bad idea for high-end retailers that try to hire intelligent, enthusiastic staff and who strive for customer loyalty.

Your argument seems to rest on the premise that corporate doesn't have intelligent, enthusiastic staff, or that intelligent enthusiastic people shouldn't strive to get into that sort of analysis and planning position. Maybe corporate has some particular reason for stocking only 1 case of the new almonds - they've got finely tuned sales data, including data they've gathered from competitors and the manufacturer, that say they don't sell quickly, they're very low margin, and the nuts go bad and increase breakage.

Or maybe they've got reasons for consistency between stores, like increased efficiency for overnight inventory and restocking teams. It's usually not a great idea to have every site different - including for customers, who may visit multiple stores.

/but my more fundamental point is that ground-level retail has always been soul crushing, so this shouldn't be considered a huge change

There is an entire department at Clemson University designed to maximize profitability based on packaging and product placement in stores.

Corporate usually knows what they a ...


Well who pissed in your cheerios this morning? I've worked with a variety of planograms in several different retail establishments. They're there for a reason, mostly because retail employees are one step above a one-celled organism when it comes to marketing and branding know-how. Do you really think the guy stocking shelves for minimum wage gives two fark's whether or not Oatie-O's sells over Oatie-Ovals? No, he doesn't.
 
2018-02-02 03:16:26 PM  

FrancoFile: Unikitty: Theaetetus: FrancoFile:If you do the ordering for the nut section, and your customers buy a lot of regular salted almonds, and you really love a new almond with sea salt and herbs, then you're going to want to shelve them next to each other, and add some short-term "hey, if you like this, why not try that?" signage.  But if corporate tells you to stock only 1 case of the new almonds, and that the regular almonds go on the bottom shelf at the left end of the aisle, and the new almonds go on the 3rd shelf up, on the opposite side of the aisle, 10 feet farther down, then you're never going to be able to promote that new almond the way you want to.  You won't create as many happy customers, and you won't increase sales as much as you could.

That part in bold is why planograms are a bad idea for high-end retailers that try to hire intelligent, enthusiastic staff and who strive for customer loyalty.

Your argument seems to rest on the premise that corporate doesn't have intelligent, enthusiastic staff, or that intelligent enthusiastic people shouldn't strive to get into that sort of analysis and planning position. Maybe corporate has some particular reason for stocking only 1 case of the new almonds - they've got finely tuned sales data, including data they've gathered from competitors and the manufacturer, that say they don't sell quickly, they're very low margin, and the nuts go bad and increase breakage.

Or maybe they've got reasons for consistency between stores, like increased efficiency for overnight inventory and restocking teams. It's usually not a great idea to have every site different - including for customers, who may visit multiple stores.

/but my more fundamental point is that ground-level retail has always been soul crushing, so this shouldn't be considered a huge change

There is an entire department at Clemson University designed to maximize profitability based on packaging and product placement in stores.

Corporate usually knows what they a ...


What? Do you want a cookie or something? That's YOU. One in how many thousands of employees? Your one anecdote does not make for a "best practice" in business. Sorry.
 
2018-02-02 03:39:07 PM  

meat0918: I thought this was rolling out before Amazon bought them?


Yep.  But when did facts get in the way of a good hate fest?
 
2018-02-02 03:53:06 PM  

Unikitty: FrancoFile: Unikitty: Theaetetus: FrancoFile:If you do the ordering for the nut section, and your customers buy a lot of regular salted almonds, and you really love a new almond with sea salt and herbs, then you're going to want to shelve them next to each other, and add some short-term "hey, if you like this, why not try that?" signage.  But if corporate tells you to stock only 1 case of the new almonds, and that the regular almonds go on the bottom shelf at the left end of the aisle, and the new almonds go on the 3rd shelf up, on the opposite side of the aisle, 10 feet farther down, then you're never going to be able to promote that new almond the way you want to.  You won't create as many happy customers, and you won't increase sales as much as you could.

That part in bold is why planograms are a bad idea for high-end retailers that try to hire intelligent, enthusiastic staff and who strive for customer loyalty.

Your argument seems to rest on the premise that corporate doesn't have intelligent, enthusiastic staff, or that intelligent enthusiastic people shouldn't strive to get into that sort of analysis and planning position. Maybe corporate has some particular reason for stocking only 1 case of the new almonds - they've got finely tuned sales data, including data they've gathered from competitors and the manufacturer, that say they don't sell quickly, they're very low margin, and the nuts go bad and increase breakage.

Or maybe they've got reasons for consistency between stores, like increased efficiency for overnight inventory and restocking teams. It's usually not a great idea to have every site different - including for customers, who may visit multiple stores.

/but my more fundamental point is that ground-level retail has always been soul crushing, so this shouldn't be considered a huge change

There is an entire department at Clemson University designed to maximize profitability based on packaging and product placement in stores.

Corporate usually knows ...


Never said it was a best practice for all grocery stores.

Said it was a best practice in this particular niche of the business.  I can speak from experience in working at TJs that ordering & merchandising is devolved to the store level, that pay and benefits at the store level are far, far better than big-box grocery, dollar store, etc.  That local stores are encouraged to know their local markets, to develop rapport with their customers, etc.  Haven't worked there in 8 years, but still friends with my old coworkers, some of who have gone on to work at or manage stores all over the country, and they confirm that strategy hasn't changed.

Trader Joe's doesn't release their financials, since it's privately held, but industry publications regularly estimate that their sales per square foot are double that of their nearest competitor and that their operating margin is significantly higher than the rest of the industry.  And I know from personal experience at multiple locations that shrink and employee turnover are significantly lower than their competitors.
 
2018-02-02 04:34:16 PM  
Used to work at an Amazon DC, not surprised they're crushing any joy their employees might possibly have.  They excel at it.
 
2018-02-02 04:43:44 PM  

FrancoFile: Never said it was a best practice for all grocery stores.

Said it was a best practice in this particular niche of the business. I can speak from experience in working at TJs that ordering & merchandising is devolved to the store level, that pay and benefits at the store level are far, far better than big-box grocery, dollar store, etc. That local stores are encouraged to know their local markets, to develop rapport with their customers, etc. Haven't worked there in 8 years, but still friends with my old coworkers, some of who have gone on to work at or manage stores all over the country, and they confirm that strategy hasn't changed.

Trader Joe's doesn't release their financials, since it's privately held, but industry publications regularly estimate that their sales per square foot are double that of their nearest competitor and that their operating margin is significantly higher than the rest of the industry. And I know from personal experience at multiple locations that shrink and employee turnover are significantly lower than their competitors.


static.tvtropes.orgView Full Size


Though in all seriousness, the less corporate has to do with the day-to-day running of a store, the better. Employees or customers, you have to account for the actual people involved, not what some spreadsheet, or best practices manual, or management seminar has to say about what works everywhere for everyone. You'll just get a store full of morbid employees that do nothing because they have no agency to do anything. Work at a chain restaurant that decides the tuna no longer comes with free cheese, or two slices of deli meat only is the new standard for a six inch. Work at a store where the cashiers get dinged if they don't offer every single customer the buy 2 get one free candy of the week. You'll eventually get the same dismal outlook and who-gives-a-fark attitude that morons always point out as evidence of a lack of work ethic.
 
2018-02-02 04:50:09 PM  

Girion47: Used to work at an Amazon DC, not surprised they're crushing any joy their employees might possibly have.  They excel at it.


My understanding from scuttlebutt is that Amazon is one of the worst places in the world to work thanks to their 360 feedback system, encouraged competitive behavior among employees, and the "all the downsides but none of the perks of an internet startup" environment.
 
2018-02-02 05:08:30 PM  

Wonktnod: Before Amazon bought Whole Foods, they had zero local inventory management.

Hard to believe, but I know some previous corporate employees/contractors who confirm it. The managers just looked at what they have and ordered what they thought they needed when things run out.

It does not surprise me in the slightest that Whole Foods employees are stressed, as this is a new responsibility that directly affects their evaluation. Having worked that sort of job before, I feel their pain, but on the other hand, this is a standard practice in most other grocery stores so I am not too sympathetic.


Yeah. Used to just order 10 tons of everything and throw away 9 tons of it when it doesn't sell. Fully stocked all the time!
 
2018-02-02 05:09:25 PM  

Wonktnod: Fizpez: You want your drones to know WHY their manager can only afford a third vacation house and not the fourth he so richly deserves.

How much do you think a grocery store manager makes?


Store managers are $80k to $150k.

Department manager is $40k to $65k.

YMMV in your state.
 
2018-02-02 05:12:39 PM  

Unikitty: bigdanc: Unikitty: Theaetetus: FrancoFile:If you do the ordering for the nut section, and your customers buy a lot of regular salted almonds, and you really love a new almond with sea salt and herbs, then you're going to want to shelve them next to each other, and add some short-term "hey, if you like this, why not try that?" signage.  But if corporate tells you to stock only 1 case of the new almonds, and that the regular almonds go on the bottom shelf at the left end of the aisle, and the new almonds go on the 3rd shelf up, on the opposite side of the aisle, 10 feet farther down, then you're never going to be able to promote that new almond the way you want to.  You won't create as many happy customers, and you won't increase sales as much as you could.

That part in bold is why planograms are a bad idea for high-end retailers that try to hire intelligent, enthusiastic staff and who strive for customer loyalty.

Your argument seems to rest on the premise that corporate doesn't have intelligent, enthusiastic staff, or that intelligent enthusiastic people shouldn't strive to get into that sort of analysis and planning position. Maybe corporate has some particular reason for stocking only 1 case of the new almonds - they've got finely tuned sales data, including data they've gathered from competitors and the manufacturer, that say they don't sell quickly, they're very low margin, and the nuts go bad and increase breakage.

Or maybe they've got reasons for consistency between stores, like increased efficiency for overnight inventory and restocking teams. It's usually not a great idea to have every site different - including for customers, who may visit multiple stores.

/but my more fundamental point is that ground-level retail has always been soul crushing, so this shouldn't be considered a huge change

There is an entire department at Clemson University designed to maximize profitability based on packaging and product placement in stores.

Corporate usually knows wh ...


Just gotta remember the guy you're replying to is one of those generally unemployable people who can't follow the planogram map and bursts into tears over his own stupidity.
 
2018-02-02 05:13:13 PM  

gingerjet: meat0918: I thought this was rolling out before Amazon bought them?

Yep.  But when did facts get in the way of a good hate fest?


That's a good summary of Fark.
 
2018-02-02 05:23:34 PM  
These forms are pretty much standard in most retail settings, as mentioned at least once above.

Think of it as an open book test where most of the standards are one-time set-up items.  They have one or two "Is the operations board set correctly?" questions.  You set it up, then change out reports as needed.  30 seconds of work a week.  Hell, even the "Do they know their numbers" question is actually "Do they know their numbers OR where to find them?".
 
2018-02-02 07:16:18 PM  

Theaetetus: FrancoFile: TFA buried the lede -- Whole Foods now does top-down planograms ("maps") of where every product is supposed to be in the store.

That means that employees at individual stores can't adjust their merchandising to account for needs & wants of local customers or to show any personal creativity.  Which is absolutely, totally, soul-crushingly, bad for morale.

I don't understand why it's necessary to show "personal creativity" and put the peanut butter in the fish department. Or why it's soul-crushingly bad for morale to be told to put it back on the shelf with the other nut butters, and for god's sake, put some pants on, Johnson.


It's not putting the peanut butter with the fish.  It's putting the grits the little old lady has to ask for every week on a lower shelf so she can reach them without help.

I've ran up against similar nonsense on the customer side at Circle K.  They call the Buffalo Chicken Rollers and the Ranchero Beef Tornadoes a "lunch" item, which means they don't go out until 10am.  But in Lawrenceville, we literally eat those for breakfast.  The old manager knew this, but corporate transferred her.  New management finally figured it out after so many of us complained.  Took over a month to overcome inertia.
 
2018-02-02 07:19:03 PM  

kab: This is how you wind up with a spiteful employee base.  You can take this one step further of course, and have employees score each other, if you really want to see morale take a turn.


Dad was offered the bakery manager a couple times, and always turned it down.  He said he became a baker to be a good baker, not a manager, and that it just wasn't worth the headaches.
 
2018-02-02 07:41:57 PM  

Rent Party: Amazon is a modern day salt mine.   To expect any acquisition they  make to not also be converted into a modern day salt mine is silly.

Shop there.  Don't work there.


You shouldn't really shop there either.
/Walmart keeps looking like a less evil place to shop.
 
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