Monday, September 10, 2007

Leevers closing?

According to a very interesting tip I received tonight, the Leevers grocery store on South Washington Street will be closing within the next few weeks. Perhaps this blog has some readers who work at Leevers who can confirm or deny this?

If memory serves me correctly, Leevers used to be a 24 hour store but started closing down at night a few months ago. It's possible that scaling back their hours was a sign of things to come. This would be the first grocery store to shut down since the new Wal-Mart Supercenter opened on 32nd Avenue last year. I know there have been questions in the past about how many grocery stores Grand Forks can accommodate.

Update - 9/11/2007 - 11:40 PM
It's not just a rumor...Leevers is going to close.

101 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yet another casualty of sprawl-mart? Me thinks so. If this turns out to be true, it is very sad. Sad that we would rather do our shopping at a soul-less
machine, funneling our money directly out of town(less the minimum wage they leave behind for their staff)
Leevers has served our community for some time, and has always been a nice friendly family grocery store. Shame on us. Once wal-mart has closed all of the local retailers, no new ones will ever open again.

Anonymous said...

have you been in Leever's lately? It feels very sketchy. Perhaps if they had re-invested their money and stayed competitive with pricing, this rumor wouldn't seem so believable.

Charlie said...

Ditto to previous anonymous.
Like our own homes, a business place needs to be revitalized from time to time. Why should one be expected to shop in a place that hasn't seen any improvements in years?

Sad, though, that some of the "home-grown" businesses are replaced by big-box concerns. Unfortunately, it's inevitable if the business owners don't want to expend the energy and reinvest their profits.

The announcement of Hooters opening is less than exciting, too, on a personal note. Not very encouraging to think of a replica of a stock car or an orange fan bus sitting outside a building that strangely makes one think of Halloween all year 'round.

Grand Forks...always loved that hometown 'feel'...small town, if you will...and I've never adjusted to the franchise row one sees upon entering Fargo (which also boasts some beautiful old neighborhoods, to be fair); it seems like we're well on the way to being just another franchise city.

Such is progress, I guess. *sigh*

MattFacingSouth said...

This oughta make the midtown/downtown crowd happy.

/sarcasm

Elucidarian said...

The ongoing outcry for a downtown grocery, and now the nearest one wants to close? Good grief, what's happening?

Maybe I'm sensitive to it, but it seems like for more than any other other retailer, even Target, I hear people mention something they bought at Wal-Mart, in reference to the good deal they get. It saddens me, and sometimes, if the moment seems right, I'll mention that I don't shop there. I just don't want to seem like some kind of elitist turning my nose up at another person's choice, however poor I might think it is.

Trying to remain optimistic, the Leever's location could be yet another site for Trader Joe's to move in (I've never been to one, but everybody talks so highly of them). Personally, as a frequent Leever's shopper, I hope things work out.

ec99 said...

Given the glut of eating establishments in GF, and more on the way, perhaps people don't buy groceries anymore.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised it stayed open as long as it did...it was dingy, dirty, and very overpriced. I'm not sure how much Wal-Mart had to do with their closing, they did it to themselves, another competitive grocery store in town was just the final straw.

Anonymous said...

yeah, i totally agree with previous anon,

i don't live in gf, but on visits back, my family said they wouldn't step foot in the place because of the filth. the location is a crossroads of sorts, so i hope it's developed appropriately.

Anonymous said...

evil wall mart? You would think that Walmart was the anti-crist.

Anonymous said...

I mean anti-christ.

Anonymous said...

I live near Leever's and only stop there if I only need one thing and I don't have time to go to another store. It is dirty, dark, and the prices are usually twice as much as what you would pay at Target, Wal-Mart, and even some items at Hugo's or Super One. I am all for supporting local business (I love to shop at Super One!), but not at the expense of my checkbook. The prices are not even close to being comparable at Leever's.

Anonymous said...

We used to live a block away from Leevers & after 2 or 3 trips there we realized what a terrible grocery store it was. The prices are high, the store itself was dirty looking, and the "fresh" produce always looked like it had been sitting there for at least a month. I can't imagine Walmart is the only reason Leevers is closing, but I'm sure it didn't help any & maybe just put the final nail in the coffin.

We also shopped at Walmart a few times for groceries, but having to wait in line 1/2 an hour drove me nuts so we haven't been to Walmart in a couple months. Walmart is a great place to shop for essentials you need at a low price, but ever since it became "SUPER" Walmart the service has gone terribly down hill. Why open 5 cash registers out of, what, 30? When you have 6 or more customers in each line can't you open more tills?

I'd rather shop at Walmart because of the prices because we have to watch our budget, but I'm willing to spend more money somewhere else that I can get better service.

Anonymous said...

I agree; service at Wal-Mart has tumbled. The last time I entered the store, a pleasant (but dumb as nails) greeter asked if she could help me find anything. Yes, I said, there aren't any baskets, just carts." Her response: "Yeah, you're right. They're all taken."

She made no attempt to call someone to round up baskets from the check-out.

Yes, I did go to a check-out myself to get a basket, but the point is, why ask if you can help, if you have no intention of helping.

C. Y. said...

Leevers is closing in a few weeks. Their building lease is up and the parties haven't come to an agreement.

Elucidarian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elucidarian said...

Yes, Leever's glory days are long past, but it's been a conveniently short walk from my house. As for pricing, I'm selective enough that I don't usually pay more than I would elsewhere. Their staffing has steadily gone down, limiting their service options. I used to rave about their deli, compared to Hugo's. That, unfortunately, got fixed too.

Maybe, out of the ashes...

Anonymous said...

Leever's closing is officially official. They had a staff meeting yesterday and informed employees that they will be closing.

bethski said...

Yay for us! another sketchy place gone!

Anonymous said...

I remember going to Red Owl (what is now Leever's) and getting all you can eat pancakes in the restaurant on the south end of the store. Ahh, the old days.

MattFacingSouth said...

ec99 sez "Given the glut of eating establishments in GF, and more on the way, perhaps people don't buy groceries anymore."

I agree. I think I said something to this effect when Golden Corral opened up... "Who is taking the biggest hit? Home-cooked meals. Count on it," or something like that. And, of course, that effects supermarkets.

Anonymous said...

affects.

Another anonymous voice said...

I do a reasonable amount of shipping of small packages. I used to frequent my local north end Hugo's, as they were a post office agent. While I was doing the small amount of postal business in the store, I would generally pick up something, ie: spend money.

Recently Hugo's did away with its mail service. After I finished swearing and complaining to the store manager about what happened to customer service, I started going to Leever's, the next closest mail stop. Out of my way a bit, but still a local store and closer than traveling all the way to the so. end post office. While at Leevers, yep. I spent money.

Crap. I know. I am complaining about my personal inconvenience. But our friendly "hometown" businesses have always been the places we have relied on for that personal touch. That personal touch, unfortunatly, is becoming a very rare thing.

webmasterzero said...

This oughta make the midtown/downtown crowd happy.
/sarcasm


Exactly.

What about Super One, or is that not there? It's been a while.

I recently visited Chicago, and didn't see a Walmart anywhere. Granted, I was in the urban districts the whole time...

It is dirty, dark, and the prices are usually twice as much as what you would pay at Target, Wal-Mart

That just isn't true, so quit exaggerating. Any business charging $1.50 for a can of black beans wouldn't be open long if there are alternative.

Honestly, they probably just can't compete since GF is so happy to push all of their business southward and sprawl. This just opens up new opportunities for new businesses northward, granted, they may not be able to compete - there is always going to be local acceptance of new businesses of various kinds.

webmasterzero said...

You have to wonder what's going to go in that spot. Sadly, I hope something high-draw, like an Old Navy or conversion to a small outlet mall. That would probably keep the parking filled.

dale said...

Regardless of whether the Leevers management caused their going out of business, or Wal-Mart did, the real concern is the ongoing commercial reduction in north Grand Forks. There will now be only one grocery north of 13th Avenue, and it's the oldest and smallest Hugos (barring 17th & Washington,) in the city.

Odds are good that it will NOT be filled by anything of note, barring another local grocery. It would make a little sense for Hugos to move the 17th Avenue operations to the Leevers location, but that's about it. Can't see Super One opening another store, and forget about anyone new coming to a town that has Super Target, Wal-Mart Super Centre, and a well established local chain.

Anonymous said...

The people that own leevers have had financial troubles for many years. They sunk money into some golf courses that didn't pan out some years ago and even sold the Liqour locker in Devils Lake.

Leevers in grand forks has never been anything compared to what the leevers in devils lake was. Leevers is a grocery store that started in Devils Lake, not grand forks so don't get confused and lovey dovey by home grown grocery store.

Walmart was also started as a single store in a small town. Just because a company is successful people turn on it does that really make any sense?

Anonymous said...

According to the manager, Leevers went quit being open 24 hours because between 12am and 6am, they really didn't get that much business ever. There was more riff raff to deal with than anything. I recently talked to him this summer about it.

Anonymous said...

Leevers: dingy, dirty, and over priced ! 3 things to kill any business. Wal Mart and Target didn't have to enter the ring for a fight. Leevers knocked themselves out of the fight. At least Hogo's is clean, but the prices there are often $1.00 higher than Wal Mart. Oranges Hogo's : $1.77 a pound. Walmart : $.50 each or $.70 a pound. Save average of $20 a shopping trip at Wal Mart or Target. You can tell by the employees which store you are shopping at.

MattFacingSouth said...

You know, I originally typed "affects," but for some reason had second thoughts. Always go with the gut, I guess. :)

Anonymous said...

(You know, I originally typed "affects," but for some reason had second thoughts. Always go with the gut, I guess. :) )

Easy enough to do, Matt! I've made similar guffaws (and continue to do so) many, many times.

In fact, I 'went with the gut' when I posted the grammatical correction, sticking my nose where it doesn't belong! Okay, I was tired, but that's no excuse.

I'm looking forward to more of your imput---er, input---in this blog; you're a valuable contributor. :o)

dale said...

After researching and doing a bit of reading into their business practices, my wife and I have agreed to not shop at Wal-Mart any longer. I was always a bit of a "stop your whining, it's just business," when it came to all of the complaints about the company, but I honestly believe that their obsession with low prices, while helpful to the short-term economy, inflation-wise, is long-term harmful to us all.

The quality and prices are about the same at Super One, where we've done the vast majority of our grocery buying for many years. Hugo's also has good prices on some things, and the many locations are time and gas savers.

Spend a few minutes googling for Wal-Mart and read up on how they treat their employees, suppliers and customers. We love our cheap, lead paint tainted, Chinese labour produced crap, but there's not a lot of love coming back in the other direction.

(Unfortunately, the lack of a Costco here means that we'll still go into Sam's Club periodically.)

dale said...

After researching and doing a bit of reading into their business practices, my wife and I have agreed to not shop at Wal-Mart any longer. I was always a bit of a "stop your whining, it's just business," when it came to all of the complaints about the company, but I honestly believe that their obsession with low prices, while helpful to the short-term economy, inflation-wise, is long-term harmful to us all.

The quality and prices are about the same at Super One, where we've done the vast majority of our grocery buying for many years. Hugo's also has good prices on some things, and the many locations are time and gas savers.

Spend a few minutes googling for Wal-Mart and read up on how they treat their employees, suppliers and customers. We love our cheap, lead paint tainted, Chinese labour produced crap, but there's not a lot of love coming back in the other direction.

(Unfortunately, the lack of a Costco here means that we'll still go into Sam's Club periodically.)

Anonymous said...

I'll bet they will really miss you.

Google anything and you will find lots of junk and biased web pages.

Real research digs beneath the B-S on the surface.

C. Y. said...

Why is it that when something closes, Walmart gets blamed?

I've asked it before and will do it again.

Tell me what store closed because of Walmart, what they paid their help and what their benefits were compared to Walmart. Nobody has yet to come forward with an honest, accurate answer.

We heard the same thing about Menards and other stores because it's easy to blame them. Let's see the evidence.

MattFacingSouth said...

WalMart's pricing practices are enough for me to never shop there. It's been 4 years now and I got my wife on the wagon, too.

It's not totally their fault - the consumer's quest for lots of cheap stuff, now, is the real culprit.

Look at where the manufacturing jobs are going and ask yourself, does that make a well-balanced economy here? If the global situation were to change suddenly - disaster, weather, war, loss of non-renewable resource - basically, if the crap hit the fan, would we be able to adjust quickly?

I think that's the point of being balanced - if somebody tries to knock you over, you are stable. Buying on credit, high interest rates, and having a service-oriented workforce is not balanced, IMO.

WalMart and their contemporaries are based on a business model that requires sustained growth. Guess what that means? Yin and Yang - growth comes at the expense of loss somewhere - namely local businesses. Read another way, WM's business model is predicated on local businesses dying. Now, I'm all for business growth and success, but not when the model means at the expense of everybody else.

And it's truly a juggernaut - economy-of-scale-wise - one simply cannot compete with a company with a world-known name brand, with a company that can loss-lead until the local competition is all but gone. That's all good. For Wal-Mart. But other than local wages and the ocassional monetary contribution (kudos for those), how are they an integral part of community growth and spirit?

And it'd be one thing if they were buying their inventory from US factories and hence all the service, transportation, and manufacturing sectors were symbiotically cycling cash throughout our country, but there's a hole in the plan - one of these sectors is largely missing. Instead, a good chunk of that money is going to a place that'll never benefit us. What has (insert S/SE Asian country here) done for you lately? Furniture that breaks in two years? Lead-painted toys?

Globalization is teh suxx0r.

Give me a local store with deep roots and traditions. Part of the reason people don't like shopping at these places anymore is because price and selection suck. Well, I have news - it wasn't always that way. Ever consider that some are struggling? Gee, I wonder why that is...

Wal-Mart is just taking advantage of a situation - we are the problem. Seems there's only one thing I can do...

And that's why I don't shop at Wal-Mart.

Elucidarian said...

Anonymous said...

Leevers: dingy, dirty, and over priced ! 3 things to kill any business ... Leevers knocked themselves out of the fight. At least Hogo's is clean

I'm sorry, but Leever's is not so much dirtier than Hugo's. It's just not true.

dale said...

while helpful to the short-term economy, inflation-wise, is long-term harmful to us all.

This is true in many aspects of our culture. We just tend to ignore how wasteful and greedy for immediate gratification we are.

We love our cheap, lead paint tainted, Chinese labour produced crap, but there's not a lot of love coming back in the other direction.

(Unfortunately, the lack of a Costco here means that we'll still go into Sam's Club periodically.)


I also go to Sam's, for lack of alternative competition. But the truth is, there's crap almost wherever you shop.

The thought of Americans buying products lacking both quality and necessity, marketed to us purely for profit, makes my skin crawl. I do my best to avoid operating as a pawn for the commercial machine. I teach my kids to be critical of advertisements that target them, asking them questions about how ads look and sound, and pointing out the fact that they basically are trying to trick you into buying what they're selling.

We like to believe we're the best country in the world. We still have a lot going for us, but we're losing our edge. I'm tired of discovering how far behind other countries we are on education, science, or the environment. We're gradually becoming more reliant on higher-skilled, lower-earning foreigners who haven't had the luxury of relatively consistent prosperity for the past 60 years. I'm worried that expecting too much while striving too little will lead to our decline.

But, hey, ignorance is bliss. Right?

Elucidarian said...

MattFacingSouth said...

the consumer's quest for lots of cheap stuff, now, is the real culprit.

It's a vicious cycle.

Dugan Fan said...

I'm a Hugo's guy. That Hugos on 32 is beautiful. I don't mind payin' a little extra there.

dale said...

I'll bet they will really miss you.

Probably not, but every dollar that I used to spend there will go somewhere else. Even on a minor scale, that's good for the competition, and bad for Wal-Mart. Now, they need to grow sales for what I'm no longer spending, as well as their unsustainable growth.

Google anything and you will find lots of junk and biased web pages.

Okay, go find me an article that shows Target treating one of its suppliers like this one. Unless you think that Fast Company is some tool of the anti-Walton faction. (And check out the most recent issue if you think they are.)

Anonymous said...

For your entertainment:


http://www.behindthecounter.com/

Anonymous said...

Here's one for you...when I was a child (NOT in North Dakota), my mother and I had to go to our local grocery store AND to the regular (non-SuperCenter) Wal-Mart to get what we needed. We lived in a small town and had to drive about 15 miles to the nearest Wal-Mart.

By the time I was 13 or so, a Wal-Mart SuperCenter opened up in a town 30 miles away. We gladly drove it. We were able to one-stop shop AND get low prices. I really don't see the problem in wanting to get the most for your money.

But, the point of my post is that even if Wal-Mart SuperCenter or Super Target did not exist in Grand Forks, you can bet anything that I (and many others, I'm sure) would be willing to drive to Fargo to shop there, at least bi-monthly. Sure, we'd pick up odds and ends at Hugo's or wherever, but the majority of our grocery/necessity money would still be spent at a big-box retailer.

Mike said...

I don't like Walmart or shopping at Walmart but I do it because one of my biggest expenses is food. And the only way to make that expense as small as possible is to shop at Walmart. I truly believe that if I made more money I would shop elsewhere.

MattFacingSouth said...

The problem of getting the "most" for your money is that the "most" is an illusion.

You're really getting "cheaply-made crap" and supporting foreign economies for your money. Heck, you almost can't get non-cheaply made foreign crap anywhere anymore. Why? Because to compete, everyone has gone the same route. Is that good in the long run?

I won't even get into the fuel you're willing to expend to save a few bucks.

Anonymous said...

I dont go to Walmart very often...maybe to comparison shop brands to see what they have. But if it is only a few dollars difference I will go elsewhere such as Target which is much cleaner and friendlier people in my opinion. When I get home from Walmart I always feel like I was either at a freak show seeing the different types of people there or I have to take a bath.

Anonymous said...

"Okay, go find me an article that shows Target treating one of its suppliers like this one. Unless you think that Fast Company is some tool of the anti-Walton faction. (And check out the most recent issue if you think they are.)

What is your point? Business is constantly changing. People demand the low prices and stores are forced to produce them. People have and always will be laid off. I believe if you go down the page a little ways you will see the shortage of workers. It's just easy to blame the successful, hell lets just ban all business and go socialist and we will all have jobs and share.

Mike said...

MattFacingSouth said...

I won't even get into the fuel you're willing to expend to save a few bucks.


Well I live just south of 32nd so I could just walk to Walmart if I wanted to... so its not a case of going out of my way to save a buck.

MattFacingSouth said...

You're really getting "cheaply-made crap" and supporting foreign economies for your money. Heck, you almost can't get non-cheaply made foreign crap anywhere anymore. Why? Because to compete, everyone has gone the same route. Is that good in the long run?


If your argument is that "everyone has the same cheaply made crap..." then why does it matter where I buy it? Why not buy it from the cheapest place if it is all the same?

Anonymous said...

I was the person who gave the story above about shopping at Super Wal-Mart even if it wasn't in Grand Forks.

You say that we support foreign economies and buy cheaply made crap, instead of getting more for our money. Guess what? I buy the same cheaply-made crap if I shop at Hugo's, Leever's, or anywhere else...it's just cheaper at Wal-Mart.

I should also clarify...I don't LIKE shopping at Wal-Mart. I much prefer Target, but Target is out of the way for me to get to and for what I buy, more expensive by a little bit. Admittedly, Target and Wal-Mart are pretty even (or at least close) on MOST things, but for the specific things I buy, Wal-Mart is the best value.

Mike said...

anon above and I have the same view point... I just happen to finish my thought 3 minutes quicker

MattFacingSouth said...

Yup, let's go socialist. Attack the successful. Rawr.

That's not what I'm saying at all.

Let me ask you this: does it surprise you that in nearly every sector, the large companies get bigger and bigger and the startups have a tougher and tougher timne "breaking through" only to either die or get acquired by the larger companies. Same goes for long-established companies. The trend is for everybody merging into a handful of "supercompanies."

Need proof of this? Seen Reno Air lately? How about TWA? Reynolds Metals? Pacific Bell? Leevers? I can go on...

Is this good for our long-term future? These supercompanies essentially force everybody to follow their model lest they die a quicker death; when these supercompanies turn to other markets to exploit both on the production and retail side of things. Where does that leave America? What happens when they can grow no more? Do they collapse like a supergiant star?

I'm not sure it's a good thing. But, hey, save a few bucks.

Mike - the reference to gas money was toward the comment made about driving to Fargo to hit Wal-Mart if the one in GF were not here - a hypothetical scenario posed by someone else.

As far as cheaply made crap everywhere - yeah, it's too bad, ain't it? We are reaping what we have sewn. It may be too late to not have cheaply-made crap in most retailers anymore.

And my issue with this. Do you see what it's all become? We're in the hole looking out.

But hey, save a buck.

MattFacingSouth said...

"sown"

"And that is my issue with this."

So much for proofreading.

Matthew said...

Proofreading rep to mattfacingsouth.

Anonymous said...

The closing of Leevers is not good news for the people of Grand Forks no matter if you think the store was outdated or not. The area in which the store lies contains a significant number of elderly and low income residents who now have to travel further to buy groceries, and a number of those people do not have access to automobiles. Although I'm sure not that many people did, it was a store that one could easily walk to which isn't the case for Wal-Mart, SuperOne, and Target.

In regards to whether Wal-Mart was the culprit or not, that isn't exactly clear. Indeed, SuperOne is doing fine and it's right in between the two supercenters. If Leever's clientele was mainly low-income, however, I'm sure a lot of their former customers switched to Wal-Mart. SuperOne is perhaps marketing itself to more middle-income consumers in order to survive. I have to say, however, that I find Wal-Mart to be a very depressing store. Many of the workers there look very bad health-wise, and elderly women seem to be substantially over-represented among their employees. The employees at Target look much healthier and happier. I have also found the food in Wal-Mart to be very subpar especially in regards to their meat and produce departments. The stuff actually looks very, very bad. I really don't see how this is progress. Even if the food is cheap, I still think there are many other things to consider rather than simply price, (including where the food comes from and how the food was grown or raised) and this is coming from someone who is making less than 30K a year.

dale said...

"Okay, go find me an article that shows Target treating one of its suppliers like this one. Unless you think that Fast Company is some tool of the anti-Walton faction. (And check out the most recent issue if you think they are.)

What is your point? Business is constantly changing. People demand the low prices and stores are forced to produce them.


What's my point? You (well, some "anonymous") claimed "Google anything and you will find lots of junk and biased web pages. Real research digs beneath the B-S on the surface."

So, go do some "real research" (which you apparently think Fast Company doesn't do,) and find me the same story, with Target, Kmart, Sears, whoever as the villain.

Anonymous said...

I won't argue with you that the best meats and produce are not found at Wal-Mart. In fact, they (next to Leever's...seriously) are the worst in town.

Target has an awesome line of steaks and beef products that is quite de-lish (and a bit spendy, but worth it), and Hugo's fresh meats and produce are also good.

However, in this day-and-age of "fast food" (I don't necessarily mean restaurants), I tend to buy more processed items, like microwave meals, snack bars, etc. If I made my diet mostly of fresh meats and produce, I would probably not shop at Wal-Mart.

Elucidarian said...

With this kind of comment debate, you should ask yourself, "Am I putting myself on the defensive too quickly because somebody has criticized something I associate with, like saving money at Wal-Mart and liking it?" Nobody likes to have their lifestyle, their identity, criticized. But before you disagree with a comment, consider whether their could be anything to it, and try responding with curiosity instead of scorn (unless you're a flamer and your only purpose in posting is to fuel conflict.)

So far, the only people offering some investigative evidence of their claims oppose the Wal-Mart model. The proponents have offered little more than defeatism and denial. None of them claim to have done any research. Are they afraid of the answers? Would they be willing to make an earnest and objective to look into the topic of debate?

Elucidarian said...

"whether there could be"

Anonymous said...

:o)

Ah. So nice to see people being more conscientious of their grammar.

Even in the immediacy of the internet, the impression is all important, as it is in any social interaction.

Keep it up, gentlemen...

Anonymous said...

"find me the same story, with Target, Kmart, Sears, whoever as the villain."

So as long as there are a lot of stories they all must be true?

Okay, whatever you say.

dale said...

So as long as there are a lot of stories they all must be true?

Did you even read the article? Since you apparently didn't and/or can't, I'll summarize. Wal-Mart effectively put Vlasic (the pickle company) into bankrupcy by forcing them to sell gallon jars of pickles, which cut into Vlasic's other business, at a price that meant no profit for Vlasic, as well as no profit for Wal-Mart.

So, "win" for the consumer? Well, even ignoring the societal costs of bankrupting a major company, it turns out that only about a 1/4 of those pickles in the jar were eaten before they got mouldy (a gallon is a lot of pickles,) so even the buyer wasn't getting a great deal.

But it brought people in the door, so Wal-Mart kept chucking out gallon jugs of pickles for $3.00, waste and loss of profit ignored for this "loss leader."

When Vlasic realized the screw job they had agreed to, they begged Wal-Mart to raise the price or lower the quantity, and were basically threatened with removal of ALL Vlasic products if they persisted.

And that's the sort of company that you're defending with your anonymous, "it's all lies" claim. Awesome argument, keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Gone are the days of Sam Walton when he professed how Wal-mart proudly sold Made in the USA stuff. Do you think he rolls over in his grave with the way things are now? Lawsuits for unequal treatment, etc. Wal-mart tried to get into banking, but eventually withdrew their applications after so many protests.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it's very unfortunate the "regulars" have to find somewhere else to shop. However, the employees have more important things to worry about such as paying the rent and making ends meet after this shocking news.

Anonymous said...

ANON SAID:
Indeed, SuperOne is doing fine and it's right in between the two supercenters.

Um, NO SUPERONE is NOT DOING fine. they have been hurting since Wal-MArts super center opened. They have cut back on employees, number of hours the employees they do have work, and are hard pressed to find people to work.

dale said...

Um, NO SUPERONE is NOT DOING fine. they have been hurting since Wal-MArts super center opened.

Well, they're doing a pretty good job of faking it, then. Every time that I go in there, it's very busy, and the parking lot is fuller on the weekends than I think I've ever seen it. About the only thing I don't see too much of is the busloads of Canadians in there, although I haven't seen that for several years, so it has nothing to do with Wal-Mart.

The quality of Super One's meat, produce and other products is every bit as good as it ever was, the store is clean (though a bit disheveled, though that's always been a bit of the charm) prices are about what they've always been and the employees are friendly.

From my perspective, at least, they do indeed seem to be doing fine.

They have cut back on employees, number of hours the employees they do have work, and are hard pressed to find people to work.

How have they cut back on employees, and hard pressed to find people? Those are diametrically opposed ideas. If you cut people, you're not looking to hire more. Unless they cut people because they thought Wal-Mart was going to crush them, then wanted to hire replacements when they realized that things weren't as grim as they'd seemed.

But according to the post before yours, there will be plenty of people available to come over from Leevers.

Anonymous said...

"Am I putting myself on the defensive too quickly because somebody has criticized something I associate with, like saving money at Wal-Mart and liking it?"

And the flip side to that is, "Am I too quickly condemning Wal-Mart for most of the smaller/local businesses closing down in this town?"

Mike said...

I have to say, however, that I find Wal-Mart to be a very depressing store. Many of the workers there look very bad health-wise, and elderly women seem to be substantially over-represented among their employees. The employees at Target look much healthier and happier.

This is just a ridiculous argument... And it has no effect on where I shop. Granted, I like good customer service, but just because they "look" unhealthy or are old has no affect on where I shop.

I have also found the food in Wal-Mart to be very subpar especially in regards to their meat and produce departments. The stuff actually looks very, very bad. I really don't see how this is progress. Even if the food is cheap, I still think there are many other things to consider rather than simply price, (including where the food comes from and how the food was grown or raised) and this is coming from someone who is making less than 30K a year.

Then don't buy it. I grocery shop at Walmart but I rarely buy meat there. I love L & M meats. Their meat is fresh and their prices are great (some even cheaper than Wally world). Also their employees are healthy looking and young (hope you see the sarcasm). Just to let you know I also make below 30k.... I just don't understand why buying products from Walmart is a bad thing if I can save money and it is all the same stuff anyhow....

Elucidarian said...

I just don't understand why buying products from Walmart is a bad thing if I can save money and it is all the same stuff anyhow....

Think of where the retail profit is going. Buying the same crap at Hugo's keeps it local. Even Target is run out of the twin cities, which is a lot closer than Bentonville, Arkansas.

And while it's a challenge to find much not made in China, it's not a bad practice to find the "Made In ..." sticker before you buy, just to keep those things in mind. Being an informed consumer is a habit that you get into when you start caring about the big picture.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised no one has opened an upscale grocery store. You don't have to spend a lot to dim the flourescent lights and add some tile and wood here and there.

Anonymous said...

How can anyone be so clueless that they support Wal-Mart? Okay, if you're poor, shop there. There is no other reason other than that!

Mike said...

How can anyone be so clueless that they support Wal-Mart? Okay, if you're poor, shop there. There is no other reason other than that!

Just in case that was aimed at me I was to reiterate that I hate shopping at Walmart. I am not poor but I fail to see why saving money is a bad thing. Granted I am not supporting a local business (but I do buy all my meat at L&M) But I do it because the offer the cheapest prices on the food I buy. That is it.

I would also assume that is why a lot of people shop there... not because they want to but because it saves them money that they enjoy spending elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

"Many of the workers there look very bad health-wise, and elderly women seem to be substantially over-represented among their employees. The employees at Target look much healthier and happier."

"This is just a ridiculous argument... And it has no effect on where I shop."

Old and sick people carry diseases. So do people who always wear sweatpants in public. I'll take my food shopping to a "healthier" looking store.

dale said...

I am not poor but I fail to see why saving money is a bad thing.

It's a difficult argument, because it seems to run counter to common sense, and I certainly don't fault you for not buying into it. However, ultimately (not today,) the irrational drive for low prices doesn't do anyone any good.

For example, let's say that I make a product. I take wood and, through some work, turn it into a table. My labour, materials and capital costs mean that I need to sell the table for $10. People are happy to pay $20 at the store for the item, a standard retail markup, and every one's happy.

Okay, along comes one of my stores, the biggest outlet I sell to, and he says that he wants to sell my table for $8. Sales will go through the roof, he says. I say that my costs are such that I can't sell it to him for $8, let alone give him a discount. He replies that, if I can't do it, there's this company over in China that can. Oh, and they'll also provide him with everything else that I sell. I will have to double sales to my next five largest vendors in order to make up for such a loss, and I'll be trying to do so with a table that costs over double what the largest vendor is selling it for.

So, I give in. I can't cut the material cost, because he's buying a certain quality of table, and capital is a sunk cost, so all I'm left with is to run at a loss, and eventually go out of business, or cut my labour costs, and that inevitably means firing everyone who works in the US manufacturing, and moving it all overseas.

Who is the "winner" in this situation? Well, you, the consumer ostensibly are. You get the same stuff, for less money.

But who are the losers? The manufacturer, obviously. Even the store isn't making as much as they used to. But the real losers are the workers in the table factory and everyone who is a part of their economic community. In other words, I lose a good paying factory job, I'm left to find another job, in a larger pool, so I'm inevitably going to be paid less. Money that I used to spend going out to eat, buying a new car, buying tables, well, that's gone, and likely gone forever.

That, in a nutshell, is what's wrong with irrational money saving. Good today, good for you personally. But, in the future, everyone, even you, may feel the negative impact of the economic repercussions.

Sweatpants and proud said...

So, people who wear sweatpants in public carry diseases?? What type of bigoted assumption is that??
I don't know about you; but on a Sunday afternoon, I have on sweatpants and I'm wearing them where ever I go.
And for the record, I am a Wal-mart hater and I don't shop there.

MattFacingSouth said...

Dang, Dale, you nailed it! This argument comes up all the time in the sector of the retail industry I work in.

You said it in about half the words it always takes me. Kudos to you.

Compicating things: The internet has a profound effect on the way the street price is communicated. People say to me all the time: "But I can get that for $20 cheaper online." Well, great, but have you considered the cost of me flooring the product, of the training it takes to demonstrate it, what it costs me to get it trucked up here to the End of the Earth?

In other words: local price variation goes out the window because Bob's Bargain Basement in Arizona has successfully leveraged his supplier and everybody can google his prices. Sweet. And can I leverage my suppliers the same way, keep transportation costs down with volume purchases? I'm in a market of a little over 50,000 - what do you think.

This is why the Wal-Marts and Best-Buys and Amazons will win in the short-to-mid-term.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure that people in their 20's, that shower daily, and wear expensive suits also carry diseases.

BTW, what disease are you worried about catching just from shopping at a store? Now, if you were worried about catching a cold or something I'd understand. Still, you don't need to be old to have a cold or dirty even. Idiot...

Anonymous said...

I think the person was being facetious about the whole disease thing. Still, Wal-Mart is pretty scary.

"Disease-wary" anonymous said...

"Yes" to everything the last poster said.

Mike said...

dale

Thank you for the explanation. There is a reason why I am not in the business field...

But I can still honestly say that if I got paid more (I am a meteorologist for a private company in town) I would never shop at Walmart. But no one respects the job I do (so pay sucks unless you work for the gov't) and yet without meteorologists people would freak out (also have no one to complain about). Thus is life though huh?

Oh yeah, and for the record, meteorologist on TV give the rest of us a bad name. Everyone I went to school with that wanted to be a meteorologist on TV got the worst grades and truly did not deserve to graduate.

I said my peace.

Anonymous said...

It's depressing to go to Wal-Mart not because I think I'll get sick there, there but because it's sad that people are desperate enough to have to work there. I've seen so many of their employees that don't have any teeth, or look as if they haven't gone to a doctor in years. It's just sad that a company that large chooses not to provide decent benefits so that a 25 year old employee can get some dentures! They do, however, give them information on receiving public assistance. What a joke!

Anonymous said...

It's depressing to go to Wal-Mart not because I think I'll get sick there, there but because it's sad that people are desperate enough to have to work there. I've seen so many of their employees that don't have any teeth, or look as if they haven't gone to a doctor in years. It's just sad that a company that large chooses not to provide decent benefits so that a 25 year old employee can get some dentures! They do, however, give them information on receiving public assistance. What a joke!

Anonymous said...

Mike: You need to go back to school. Every sentence verifies that fact.

Mike said...

Thanks. I will take that into consideration.

GrandForksGuy said...

Anybody who doesn't shop at a particular store "because the old people who work there carry disease" has some serious growing up to do. Really.

Actually, most of the "old people" who work at Wal-Mart are much better employees than many of the younger ones. To be brutally honest, the younger employees usually appear to be much more likely disease carriers.

Anonymous said...

So--just to stir the pot a little. How many people no longer go to Starbucks, but support a locally owned coffee house like Porpoura instead?

I have heard and seen the strangest things in Starbucks---from the employees. Almost as if they have no clue they are in public and have customers standing there. And yes, I am aware this happens everywhere, but, if one is going to keep it local that place should be the first to boycott.

Anonymous said...

Um, NO SUPERONE is NOT DOING fine. they have been hurting since Wal-MArts super center opened.

Well, they're doing a pretty good job of faking it, then. Every time that I go in there, it's very busy, and the parking lot is fuller on the weekends than I think I've ever seen it. About the only thing I don't see too much of is the busloads of Canadians in there, although I haven't seen that for several years, so it has nothing to do with Wal-Mart.

The quality of Super One's meat, produce and other products is every bit as good as it ever was, the store is clean (though a bit disheveled, though that's always been a bit of the charm) prices are about what they've always been and the employees are friendly.

From my perspective, at least, they do indeed seem to be doing fine.

They have cut back on employees, number of hours the employees they do have work, and are hard pressed to find people to work.

How have they cut back on employees, and hard pressed to find people? Those are diametrically opposed ideas. If you cut people, you're not looking to hire more. Unless they cut people because they thought Wal-Mart was going to crush them, then wanted to hire replacements when they realized that things weren't as grim as they'd seemed.

But according to the post before yours, there will be plenty of people available to come over from Leevers.


SuperOne might be clean to YOUR standards-but sure the hell not mine. That store is filthy, the bathrooms are just gross, they need to clean that whole store.

They have been cutting back on full time employees hours that have been there for years and trying to hire more less paid individuals.

And yes SuperOne still gets busloads of Canadians all the time, also if business is so good, then how come a lot of the regular full time employees that use to be there are no longer working there, something must be going on?

Anonymous said...

Starbucks?

When there's perfectly good coffee at any number of eating places in town?

dale said...

They have been cutting back on full time employees hours that have been there for years and trying to hire more less paid individuals.

Since you apparently have inside information into the inner workings of Super One, why don't you tell them to clean the bathrooms? I don't generally go to the grocery to use the bathrooms, so I can't testify to their condition, sorry.

how come a lot of the regular full time employees that use to be there are no longer working there

I suppose because few people view working at a grocery to be a life long career, and they've moved on to other things. The few people that I interact with enough to remember (deli, meat, manager) are still there.

In case you hadn't noticed, I'm making an effort to accentuate the positive for a semi-local business. I shop Super One because I like it. If you don't like it, don't go there... Wal-Mart is right across the street.

Anonymous said...

Hey! Great idea for a new thread: Which retail outlet has the nicest bathrooms?!

Anonymous said...

I vote for Lowes for the cleanest restrooms. They look nice have great sinks and offer paper towels to dry your hands so you do not have to stand for 30 minutes in front of a loud air dryer only to walk away with wet hands.

Elucidarian said...

I was going to say Lowes, as well. Like The Blue Moose (I know it's not retail, but where does bathroom cleanliness count more than at a restauruant?) there are no doors. Nothing to touch on the way out. One of the craziest things I've noticed about public bathroom evolution is how they can make everything touch-free inside (the flush, the sink, the hand dryer/towel machines) but in order to get out of most you still have to pull on a door handle. That way, you get to share germs with every dirty slob who didn't wash his hands after doing his duty.

So, what point are all the other health safety precautions? Not every restroom can be without doors, unless you want passersby watching you relieve yourself. The easy solution that seems to be lost on most establishments: turn the hinges around. Let the door open outward, requiring no more than a shoulder or elbow to push. I know there's a some danger of hitting someone coming in, but it's no worse than the oft-confined space just inside the door.

Elucidarian said...

Don't get me started on urinal design.

Anonymous said...

The few people that I interact with enough to remember (deli, meat, manager) are still there.

You apparently dont interact enough because some of the people you mention as still being there in fact have quit after 15+ yrs of working there.

And yes I would rather shop at SuperOne or HUgo's anyday over WalMArt, but they are still a filthy store, and WalMArt has hurt there business. If SuperOne didnt own atleast 23 other stores mostly in Minnesota that actually made them money, they would probably have shut this one down already because it is a huge money pit to them.

Anonymous said...

The chinese buffet on Gateway & Carmike have the filthiest bathrooms I've ever seen. I would rather pee in a pop bottle than use their restrooms. The bathrooms are one reason I won't eat at the buffet place anymore.

Anonymous said...

Blue Moose bathrooms are filthy!

Elucidarian said...

Blue Moose bathrooms are filthy!

Sorry, I didn't mean it to sound as though I thought the Blue Moose had the cleanest restrooms. I only meant that I appreciate not having to open any doors.

Anonymous said...

I guess you can consider the University a business...you can go into just about any bathroom in any University building on campus and it will be very clean. The custodians that take care of them deserve a pat on the back, IMO.

GFgruel said...

Yo! I guess I kind of always liked Leevers a little bit growing up since it was so nearby home. I was also one of the few people that went there a lot late night when they were 24 hours.

I don't go to Wal-Mart that much, usually just to pick up cases of water or their awesome deli take 'n bake pizza (great deal there!). Main reason why I don't go there is because I hate maneuvering around their cluttered parking lot, and yeah, I usually only try to hit it up latenight when I need to.

Anonymous said...

It was mentioned earlier about Hugos being a local business. I know they started here, but I thought they sold out to Nash Finch a few years ago.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Bob and Jack Leevers! I hope U douchebags get what is coming 2 U for being such EXCELLENT businessmen. What a family.....the Jackson family gets along better than U 2

Anonymous said...

Lets check out Walmart. Target, Hugo's, Super One, and Leevers all have their faults. Wal Mart is for the middle class and working class. They will cash company check any time of the day when your local banks will not. Bremer will not cash US Bank check. US Bank now charges $5 to cash one of their own checks, remember they were the same bank to sell private info to Dem Party ! They also fingerprint a person if you cash one of their own checks ! Are they somewhat paranoid.

dale said...

Oh, how can we let this fall off the front page with only 99 comments?

Guess we don't :-)

Anonymous said...

Did you notice today on the front page the mention that management would make no comments and the home office in DL didn't respond? Why would they? They don't care. According to my friends at the store, the employees weren't told about the closing from any of the big wigs. It was left up to the store manager to inform everyone. What cowards.