As I mentioned previously, I am finding living on the coast a bit difficult. The town I live in is small and a tourist town. This means we have over inflated prices on a lot things – like rents. My roommate and I pay a ridiculously high rent on an extremely tiny, crappy apartment.
There is also a lack of places to shop within the town itself. We have one grocery store. One. It’s a Safeway. I dislike Safeway for a number of reasons, the foremost being its complete inability to stock a powdered chai mix. As it is, they only carry two brands of chai mix and they are both the kind you have mix with hot milk. I don’t have a milk steamer, and I’d rather not break out the saucepan every time I’d like a cup of hot chai (how horribly lazy of me, I know). The majority of the aisle is coffee. Mostly bags of beans and bags of grounds. But a good portion of that aisle are those damn keurig cups. I am talking close half of the coffee/tea aisle.
I wrote to Safeway, as the cashiers suggest you do when you’d like to see something in the store, and asked them about their stark refusal to carry powdered chai. I even included several brands as a suggestion. The response I got was almost hilarious. Safeway, a huge chain store, asked me for the products codes of the brands I may like to see in their stores. Honestly Safeway, you can’t look them up on you own? You don’t have access to finding the product codes? I call bullshit.
But I took the cans I had and dutifully sent back the product codes. Their response?
Please contact the store manager at your local Safeway. This is a company Safeway can order from. Please ask the manager to order this product for you. Due to shelf space, you may be required to purchase the entire case.
Due to shelf space? Buy the entire case? Hey Safeway, how YOU stop stocking every known keurig flavour known to mankind and create a little shelf space for the people who don’t drink coffee and who don’t have keurig machines.
This not an issue at only this small town Safeway. Every Safeway I have ever been to does not stock any powdered chai mixes. None. I don’t know why they have chosen to ignore the fact that you can’t travel with a mix the needs refrigerated very easily, or that the majority of people do not own a milk steamer (or a keurig machine), but they have.
I find that offering to order a product on a customer request is great. Unless you are requiring that customer to buy any and all cases ordered – at the retail price. Unless the customer is asking for a one time thing, this is insane. Especially when being told to contact corporate about stocking a new item. Stocking. As in on a regular basis.
Please, Safeway, stop. Just stop. While I understand you can’t stock everything everyone wants, telling the customer to contact corporate about stocking an item, then telling that customer ‘Okie dokie, we can do that – as long as you buy a full case’ is not providing service. So just stop telling your cashiers to tell people to contact you regarding new items. You don’t intend to stock them. You don’t intend to really solve the issue. So just stop. Just. Stop.
Oh, and at providing at least one powdered chai mix really isn’t going to screw up your love affair with keurig cups. Really.