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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 09-24-05, 07:41 AM   #1
sydney_b
it's my road too, dangit
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Talk to your store managers for goods you need close

All,

Had a real shocker the last couple of weeks. First, there's only one grocery that carries the coffee I like, and only one that has my preferred tofu. Unfortuantely, these two staples are in opposite directions. Anyway, I had gone to the coffee grocery in the wee hours of the morning and didn't see the bike racks. I emailed corporate the subsequent Monday and had an email from the local store manager within 20 minutes telling me where they were.

But, it gets better. I thanked him for getting back to me and mentioned that I hoped he wouldn't stop carrying my coffee brand and that I wished they carried my tofu. Two weeks later, I received another email from him telling me where my tofu was located in the store. I responded that I appreciated his efforts b/c I used my bike and it would really simplify my life if two staples were in the same place. I also said I was surprised I hadn't noticed it before. He said they hadn't carried it before I asked for it. So, I promptly went over and bought a bunch, along with a couple of cans of coffee.

The moral of the story is that the meglomarts are putting so much pressure on your local stores that perhaps they are increasingly receptive to customer needs. If your bike-centric lifestyle would be facilitated by having certain goods closer, talk to the management. It just might pay off.

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Old 09-24-05, 07:59 AM   #2
darrencope
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Fantastic! Glad to hear it! I wish more stores were like this.. Is it a big chain store, or a privately owned store?
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Old 09-24-05, 09:25 AM   #3
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Right on! Just make sure you don't seem "shrill" though, you catch more flies (and store managers) with honey than with vinagar. If gas really does start its climb toward $4 this year, the stores will be seeing more walking/biking customers and find it profitable to keep things on hand they might need. Like coffee (although when I was a hardcore rider before, I had to swear off coffee, and generally drank this really light tea my co-workers swore by, "Jasmine Tea Homely Refresher")
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Old 09-24-05, 10:49 AM   #4
sydney_b
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I think it is a regional chain. There are stores here in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa. I don't know how the stores are handled though...I don't know if all are controlled by corporate or if it's more of a franchise or what. I do know however, that we have a Sam's Club, two Walmarts, and a proposal on the board to install ANOTHER Walmart. Personally, I don't think we're big enough to support the supercenters AND our more local enterprises. We are big enough that the 3 independent groceries seem to do OK, because they've found a way to specialize and meet particular customer demands.

On the note of not being "shrill." That's good advice. Be friendly and make sure you vote with your wallet every day. As my husband likes to say, "your consumer dollar is the most potent vote you have in this country."
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Old 09-24-05, 07:50 PM   #5
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What a great story and it does show that these stores are run by people. These people want to make their customers happy. So, if you communicate your needs to these store owners, often they will do their best to oblige. They can't do it every time, but for the most part, store owners will do their best to make their customers happy.

Great story, Sydney, and a good reminder that their are real people operating businesses.
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