Where I like to shop has changed as well. In my younger, thinner days, I enjoyed shopping for clothes. When my boys were babies and I was in complete control of their wardrobes, I enjoyed shopping for kids' clothes and supplies. Now I like shopping for food and kitchen gadgets. I could spend hours in a well-lit, big grocery store. Days in Williams-Sonoma.
After exploring some grocery stores around here, I have decided that I have shopping standards (which apply to any store, not just grocery stores):
- Your store must be clean. I do not want to leave and feel an immediate urge to shower. I don't want to feel like I need to Purell my hands (and, if I'm wearing flip-flops, my feet) after I walk out of your store. If you are a grocery store, you sell cleaning supplies, therefore you get them at cost. Please use them on your own store. Thank you. [Sidebar: My favorite store is, big surprise, Target. One day when I was in there, I overheard a store manager tell a customer something to the effect that their floor cleaning budget for a month was more than many stores' budgets for the whole store for a year. I may be exagerating a bit, but the point is, their floors are always clean and sparkly because they are willing to shell out the big bucks. I appreciate that. And so do my flip-flop clad feet.]
- I want to be able to get down the aisle with the big-ass cart you provide. If you have the semi-truck sized cart with seats for toddlers, please make sure your aisles are wide enough to maneuver such big carts. And for crying out loud, don't stock the store during morning hours when moms are shopping with their children. Even if you are open 24/7, don't you think it would be better to stock during off hours when there (a) aren't many people shopping and (b) almost no one using the gigantic shopping carts?
- Please don't make me pay for my shopping cart. OK, so I get my quarter back when I return the cart, big deal. I usually don't have a quarter with me. If my children haven't "borrowed" it from me to buy a bubblegum ball, then I've tossed it in the change jar at home. Also, I'm a bit embarrassed that I can't figure out how to put my money in and get my cart. I don't want to ask the 80 year old grandmother who just whipped the quarter out of her change purse, said "abracadabra" and got her shopping cart what I am doing wrong.
- Please, please, please for the love of God, make your cashiers be polite and friendly. I know they are probably only making minimum wage and don't want to be there. That, frankly, is not my problem. I don't think it will kill them to say "Hello." "Thank you." "Have a nice day." It's called manners...good manners, no less.
- If you have carts for shopping and carrying purchases out to my car, please have a "cart corral" in the parking lot. After spending money in your store, I don't want to walk the cart all the way back to the store. I'm an American, I'm a bit lazy. But I'm also Catholic, so I feel a bit guilty abandoning the cart in the parking lot.
I know I have more, but that's all I can think of for now. What about you?