Today, was a typical day like any other which meant I had to head to the grocery store. But I would guess that my typical experience at the grocery story, is different from most people. That’s because I was shopping at New Seasons Market, my supermarket of choice. Pardon me for being a bit of a groupie but I have shopped at this store since the first one opened a dozen years ago and I am a complete and total devotee.
I started schmoozing with the check out clerk which is pretty much standard fare when I get to the check out line. We were chatting about whether she’d been with the company when they opened twelve years ago (she’s a newbie only worked for them for the past six years). I mentioned that while I do shop at a few other local stores, my preference is always to shop at New Seasons. Why? It’s definitely not the price because it does tend to cost more than most other stores, however, in exchange for that price you’ll find unbelievable and unparalleled customer service. I’m not just talking about friendly clerks. I am talking about empowered employees that can decide to give you a replacement item to make up for something you might have gotten last week that wasn’t up to your standards without calling in a manager. Employees who are motivated to always work to make the experience of being in their store better no matter what that might mean.
The man behind me piped in that he also liked shopping at the store and it was because the employees were always friendly and helpful. If he needed something he could ask for it and get it, he’d always be greeted with a smile and taken care of. The clerk said that recently a customer had asked, “Do your stores have some kind of a pep rally every morning when they open to get everyone excited?” Of course she answered, “No we don’t.” But I understand why someone might think this. It’s by no accident that this store has not only weathered a recession in the past twelve years but has actually flourished and expanded. The employees don’t seem to think of themselves only as employees but as human beings doing a great job, connected with other people who might become their friends, definitely treating others exactly as they would want to be treated. That’s why people love shopping at New Seasons and that’s why when I stop there on any given day I am likely to run into neighbors, friends and need to leave myself extra time to actually go shopping and frankly that’s how I prefer it. It turns a normal errand of grocery shopping into a connected, fun and uplifting experience.
Just a “typical” day in the life.
P.S. One of the highlights since my book was published was having it carried at NSM stores where friends often snap photos of it on display to send me. Here is one a friend shared when it was displayed on Mother’s Day.