Sunday, July 15, 2007

It's Not Teen Spirit

The newest grocery store in town is going through an extensive remodel.

Yes.

The Safeway that was planned as part of the commercial development in the Rivermark project (which is kind of like Santa Clara's "Santana Row," in a much lower tax bracket) is going through what an employee described to me as "A Lifestyle Change."

So extensive is this "lifestyle change" that a quarter of the parking lot was fenced off to house all the crates and pallets and boxes. Filled with "Lifestyle" I gather. So aggressive is this implementation, so "visionary" its scope, that the store must stay open for business in order to pay for it (or is it in order for customers to pay for it?) while contractors march through the aisles, knocking jars of pickles and tomato sauce off of shelves with their overloaded toolbelts.

It smells like "corporate." By that I mean, it seems like some group of folks who've never set foot in the store made a series of decisions which were dispatched to their underlings and instituted by their underlings who hired more underlings and lateralings and laborlings and scablings and the like to implement this ideological concept that until now only existed in the collective mind of the board of directors. Now the "boots on the ground" are trying to fit this corporate square peg into the round hole of reality. (Remind you of anything?)

So disruptive is this "Lifestyle" makeover that several additions to the customer experience have been required. Upon entering the store, there is now a bucket of hearing-protection earplugs, should you choose to retain your sense of sound for enjoying the forecasted shiny new (red?) lifestyle. The experience is similar to visiting an international airport periodically; things that assisted you in getting what you wanted and where you wanted to go-- signage, pathways, trusted technology-- are all in question, in flux, in transition. "Why is this way blocked off? Is there a clock in this place? What's the current international symbol for "produce?"

Perhaps it is a ploy to change the lifestyle of their clientele. I know I'm thinking twice about shopping there again.

The absurdity is magnified by the fact that the store was just completed and opened for business about five years ago. Five (5) years ago.

I'm thinking the lifestyle change that is most needed is one that's not happening. And it may be what's creating all this ruckus under the auspices of "lifestyle change."

Smells like corporate.

3 comments:

Suzy said...

You do have a knack for very concistely getting to a point that so many people think. Keep up the good work.

Deb said...

They are revamping it already?!?!?! Sheesh! Smells like corporate to me too.

David said...

Test, Is this on? Tap, Tap..
Its Dad.......hello...