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    « GREETINGS FROM ST. EFFENSTINE | Main | THE FUR TOPPED BOOTS »
    Tuesday
    Jan162018

    The Times They Are a-Changin'...

    I have a Sam’s Club membership. There’s a store in Fern Park, not far from where I live, that is closing. I’m saddened by it because I’ve been shopping there for years. It was a great place to buy bulk items like toilet paper, paper towels, cat litter, and salt for the water softener. Of course, their $4.98 rotisserie chickens are legendary, and it was nice to be able to sample food – and buy it! I also liked the prices of some of the OTC meds, vitamins, and supplements. Oh, yes, I’m going to miss it.

    Yesterday, the store was open to get rid of existing stock. Many of the shelves were bare, but I managed to spend $93 with a 25% discount. On Wednesday, it goes to 50%, if anything is left. At some point, it goes to 75%, but I don’t remember which day.

    I spoke to a manager while there, despite it being rather harried. From initial news reports, 63 stores were going to close, including my store. “Were going to close” is the key phrase here, because that’s not really what happened. The Fern Park location abruptly locked its doors on Thursday and some news outlets reported that employees went to work as usual, only to find locked doors. They had no idea what was going on.

    While it’s true that they went to work not knowing anything, the manager, who came from another location to help out, said that, one-by-one, they were ushered inside where they were told what was going on in a meeting. Everyone else – those on different shifts and working different schedules – were called on the phone.

    He said that there are 174 associates working that store and they were given employment options. They could go to the three other Sam’s Club stores to work, or move to area Walmarts. No one, he said, would lose their jobs if they choose to transfer.

    Some of the soon-to-be shuttered stores will turn into distribution centers to accommodate online sales and shipping. He said that the Fern Park location will just vacate. It’s a huge building. 

    The problem with my store came down to saturation. While sales and volume are keys to success, corporate determined that membership had reached its peak. It had no room to grow, and membership is what drives the stores. The store had stagnated, like 62 others around the country.

    Oh well, there’s another one nine or ten miles away. I will give it a try and determine whether it’s worth the annual $45 price tag.

    As usual, when leaving the store, there’s a person at the exit who checks out your purchase against the receipt. I’ve known this woman for a long time and felt sad for her. I asked her whether she was going to transfer. She said she’s been with the company for thirty years. No, she said. It’s as if she’s being forced out. Blame it on Amazon, I told her. Yes, The Times They Are a-Changin’…

     

    The Daily Kos

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