Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Schnucks on Union - 2 Lists

Why I Still Go to Schnucks on Union Even though I Hate It:
1. It is exactly 1 mile from my house.
2. It is apparently the only store in Memphis that carries the toothpaste my husband likes.
3. Can't get enough of their rotisserie barbecue chicken.

Changes Schnucks Can Make That Will Keep Myself and Other Shopping There:
1. Stop stocking the shelves between 5 and 6 PM, including removing the stocking carts from the already narrow aisles.
2. Stop being out of everything that I need.
3. When you are out of something, leave a space empty where that product should go so that I don't walk around the store for 10 minutes thinking that product must have been moved to another area.
4. Teach the cashiers who need it the fundamentals of customer service.
5. Since you always seem to be caught off guard by all of the customers wanting to check out between 5 and 6 PM, I'm going to let you in on a secret: You have a lot of customers in the store between 5 and 6 PM, and should maybe up the number of registers open at that time.
6. Move the display table that is in front of the customer service window - you know, the one that leaves about 2 feet of space on either side of it, right when you are entering the store?
7. Make the first driveway, the one closest to the store, exit only.
8. Improve all entrances and exits, and the signs and arrows associated with them, including the less obvious ones to the adjacent parking lot and the one off of LeMaster.
9. Expand east like you said you were going to a couple of years ago.

19 comments:

hamlett said...

one of the best things about moving to broad was we were able to shift our shopping to the schnucks next to homedepot on poplar, none of those things you mentioned happen there, it's like night and day. i'm telling you, it's worth the extra twenty or thirty minutes it takes to get there and back.

Chip said...

Mmmmm, Schnucks rotiserrie chicken...

And yeah, our East Memphis Schnucks doesn't have any of these problems either.

Sassy Molassy said...

I just can't do Schnucks on Union. Can. Not.

Jeff said...

I would love it if all grocery stores would teach their baggers not to put fresh fruit and veg in the same bag as fresh meat.

Matt Writt said...

Amen to all. After one too many near-death experiences entering/exiting the parking lot from Union, I started using the back entrance on Lemaster exclusively.

Adam said...

Excellent post. I live in Midtown but I shop out East, close to work and my GF's house, for precisely these reasons.

I miss the Schnucks (Seessel's back then?) that used to be behind Piggly Wiggly, where the Midtown Home Depot is now. It was gigantic and clean, and I was nearly always the only person in there. Which is why it closed, of course.

Anonymous said...

The Schnucks on Union is quintessentially Midtown. That means it's old school, full of character (and sometimes characters), and not sterile and cookie-cutter, like all the rest of the Schnuck's are.

And, just like Midtown in general, you put up with a little inconvenience in exchange for a bit of charm and the freedom from homogenization you find in the rest of the city.

That's why, for example, the Home Depot in Midtown sticks out like a sore thumb. It's totally incompatible with the Midtown ethos, and why many people still insist on shopping at Stewart Brothers.

If you can't deal with that, maybe you either need to live someplace other than Midtown, or, like Sassy Molassy shop someplace other than Schnuck's on Union.

Gary Bridgman said...

Don't confuse "character" with dimwitted business practices. The Midtown Schneesel exemplifies both, but it doesn't have to. Does the fact that the Rendezvous knows how to handle its volume (when humanly possible) make it just another Applebee's?

Anonymous said...

"Does the fact that the Rendezvous knows how to handle its volume (when humanly possible) make it just another Applebee's?"

My answer to that is, yes, except that Applebee's, unlike the Rendezvous, isn't a cheesy tourist trap.

Anonymous said...

Saying that the Midtown Schnuck's has character and is not "sterile and cookie-cutter" would be a much better argument if everything they sold wasn't sterile, processed, and cookie cutter. I wish I didn't have to drive to downtown to go to the Farmer's Market or to East Memphis to shop at Whole Foods. A store with healthier, greener food options would have a much more "Midtown" ethos.

Stacey Greenberg said...

hamlett--hilarious. we moved across east parkway and now warren thinks the kroger on summer is closer than schnucks.

Gary Bridgman said...

Then I wish Schnuck's would become a cheesy tourist trap, if that's what it takes to effect just a little Flow there. Now I'm hungry. But I have to keep packing up the U-Haul (Midtown® evicted us for not wearing enough flair).

Elizabeth Alley said...

Whoa whoa whoa! When did this turn into the comment section on the Commercial Appeal? Or one of Stacey's blogs? ;)
My points about Schnucks have nothing to do with character and everything to do with shopping, which is what I go to a grocery store for.
Most people I know stopped shopping at Stewart Brothers around the time of Hurricane Elvis, when they had big signs up that said "WE HAVE CHAINSAWS", but you couldn't get any because they still closed at like noon on Saturday. Useless.

Gary Bridgman said...

Yeah, I only go to Stewart Bros when I'm taking a vacation day (or, ahem, unemployed). They are open on Sat until 3 p.m. now, according to a funky, authentic, hand-lettered sign in the window.

If Schnuck's (the corporation) really cared about that store, they would fix most of those items on your list very quickly, in order to maximize sales per square foot. But there aren't enough square feet there to begin with. And their bean counters in St. Louis are looking at the 38104-etc demographics, expecting to see numbers like Atlanta's Virginia Highlands or Nashville's Hillsboro, but they're seeing much lower per capitas. The Seessel brothers understood the economic anomalies, but then again, they ran the store with the same bottlenecks, albeit with slightly better cust svc.

dan said...

sometimes I want to burn that place down. then again, it IS better than that crappy piggly wiggly just a block from me on madison. i sometimes go to other areas to grocery shop as well... the home depot used to be MegaMarket and they all closed some time ago.
i live in-and love- the whole midtown deal but that schnucks is not necessarily midtown-y it's just a cluster. still, better than my local kroger (scary) and aforementioned piggly wiggly. i want trader joe's. now.

Anonymous said...

wasn't there a montessi store there a long time ago...maybe the piggly wiggly side facing madison??? and the skaggs with "big jug" gallon size beer

Anonymous said...

The great Yogi B once said, "No one ever goes there anymore because it is so crowded." That IS the Union Avenue Schnuck's. Yes, the aisles are narrow. There are displays for products stuck in every available location in the store. That is what exists in urban stores. They have to utilize every inch of precious space they have. In many cities, the grocers in Midtown-like neighborhoods have to have go vertical, creating the need for ladders to reach some products.

I don't mind the parking lot. At least every other parking space isn't taken up by a shopping cart return slot like many other grocery stores. If you're not driving a giant SUV, you can park in the compact car spaces along the north side of the building.

The key problem with the Union store, unfortunately, can be the customer service that Art Seessel instilled in every staff member. But that can only be improved if you point it out. I miss the comment cards they once had. They were always answered.

I didn't want to post as anonymous, I just don't know how to do otherwise. My name is Jeanice.

Elizabeth Alley said...

Dan I totally agree, except change Trader Joe's to Publix - I don't know from Trader Joe's.

Gary Bridgman said...

I've been in a Trader Joe's once, but my wife, Madame Bridgman Pottery, stocks up there on visits to Nashville, or she sweet-talks Nashville-based family members into making a run before coming to Memphis.

It's a little like Whole Foods, but less flashy merchandising, no track lights or displays of hemp dream-catchers. Lower prices too. It's a source for organic/sustainable/fair-trade/non-GM groceries for us Chevrolet/Subaru types.

"They" say that TJ is considering a Memphis store. If they had one in Shelby County we would buy most of our groceries there. If they had one in Midtown, we'd buy all of our groceries there.