I feel the need

I feel the need

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Dear Target: If you want to sell groceries...maybe be better than the local gas station.

All I wanted was a half gallon of skim milk, a box of Shake and Bake,  and a DVD copy of "Hacksaw Ridge."

That's how my daily foray out into the world started yesterday.  I've made a point lately of making sure I have some kind of errand I have to run, no matter how small, to force me into real pants and eyeliner every day.  Do I use more gas than I used to?  Yes, but before you judge, ponder this:  I've owned my car now for two years.  I've put on less than 12,000 miles in that time.  So yeah, I'm going to allow myself a short run out of the garage every day.

Anyway, yesterday's errand was simple:  Find a DVD only copy of the movie "Hacksaw Ridge"  (I realize that if you get the blu-ray you get a DVD and a digital copy and then there's the 4K HD copy with the blu-ray/dvd/digital, but frankly, I only need one copy of a movie for my collection and I prefer DVD...and I really prefer DVD prices.) and a half gallon of skim milk.  

Literally the "Where's Waldo" of the grocery world.
Since my foray to Walmart the day before came up empty for the DVD, I headed to Target yesterday.  I knew that, even though this wasn't one of those Target Greatlands with the full on grocery section, our local Target had a good grocery selection and finding Shake and Bake and a half gallon of skim milk shouldn't be a problem.  I found the DVD right away and felt confident that I'd be walking out the door within five minutes with the other two items.

I started by looking for the Shake and Bake. Now, the location of this item varies from store to store, but generally I find it next to the bread crumbs or the boxed stuffing.  So that's where I started, looking for bread crumbs and boxed stuffing.  I figured this is the item what would take me the longest time...it always is...but still, I KNEW I'd be out the door shortly.

FORTY MINUTES LATER I'd combed every aisle of the grocery section and came up empty.  No bread crumbs. No boxed stuffing.  (But, there were FIVE different brands of baking Stevia and TWO SOLID SPACES for "ice cream salt."  I don't know how many people in the Waukesha area are making their own ice cream, but I guess the local Target is ready for them, should there be a run on ice cream salt.)  No Shake and Bake.  Forty minutes of studying each shelf...including the snack shelves Where I had to exercise the hardest of hard hearts because I hadn't had lunch yet and I craved pretty much anything on the FOUR AISLES of snack foods.  (On a side note, at least I got my steps in!)

Well, I mentally went though my cabinets at home and I realized I had a product that would serve as a covering for the chicken breasts I was making.  So I gave up on the Shake and Bake and went to the dairy cooler to get the milk.

Now, granted, this is a completely suburban American thing, but when I go to a big box store's milk coolers I expect to find, you know, MILK.  Imagine my surprise...no half gallons of milk. Not many,
anyway, and only TWO on the skim milk shelf...and THOSE WERE EXPIRED.  Yesterday being the 22nd, I checked the dates on both containers...both were expired.  Granted, I'll drink milk that's past it's due date if it's in my house, but I'm not going to BUY it that way.  (I have my pride.)

So...movie in hand...but no Shake and Bake and no milk.. .and this from a very large national store that makes a point of trying to compete with Super Walmarts and other grocery chains.

I got back into the Cube and was about to head home when another thought struck me.  I wanted to get a lottery ticket (because I enjoy throwing my money away like that) and the nearest Kwik Trip was on my way home.

For those of you not familiar, Kwik Trip is a gas station chain based in La Crosse, WI.  They have, in the last ten years or so, become a gold star in the convenience store world offering a wide array of coffees, beverages, hot food, and some really solid pizza.  I worked at one for a month.  (Yes, a
month...too physical for my crippled hands.) and I can tell you that the idea of expiration dates is one that is a big deal at Kwik Trip.  They sell NOTHING that's less than two days BEFORE it's due date. They also produce their own line of milk and bread, among other things.  They also sell fresh meat.  (I love telling people I got the steaks from the gas station.)

Oh, and they have a teeny, tiny, three shelves of dry grocery items that aren't snack foods and candy.

I headed to the gas station. And what to my wondering eyes should appear?  Non expired skim milk and yes...SHAKE AND BAKE.

I found Shake and Bake in a place that devotes MORE space to bubble gum than it does to dry grocery items.  

So, hey, Target?  If you really want to get serious about the grocery game, here's a tip:  Maybe offer less nonsense and more normal items to the shopping public and also, try NOT selling expired milk.

I'm no business major...but I'm thinking that's just a solid business idea to follow.

Oh, and ask for "Hacksaw Ridge," WHAT a great movie!  Enjoyed it thoroughly along with my tall glass of skim milk and my chicken breasts covered in Shake and Bake.  A good night all around.

Well, except I didn't win the lottery.

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