Saturday, September 8, 2012

An open letter to Market Basket

Dear Market Basket owners,

I hear that you're opening a new and larger store in Westford soon. I really like your lower prices and friendly employees but must that come at the price of a poor shopping experience? Given that you have the opportunity to have a fresh start, I would like to make some suggestions.
  • Can you please tell your grocery managers that the absolute worst time to pull large wooden dollies out into your incredibly narrow aisles is Thursday afternoons and Fridays? These are the busiest shopping times during the work week and shoppers can't get around the dollies and the stock personnel.
  • Speaking of aisles, is it possible to have wide enough ones that allow two shopping carriages to pass with more than an inch between them? How about allowing for a couple of feet so that shoppers don't have to move other shoppers' carriages if they happen to leave said carriages in the middle of the aisle as they look for something on the shelf?
  • Is there a reason for the orange stickers that you instruct your cashiers to put on everything that isn't in a bag? I've never had anyone stop me on the way out to look for these stickers. It is an incredible waste of everyone's time and energy, and a sad waste of natural resources. How about dropping the practice to gain efficiency and contribute towards a greener planet?
  • And while I'm on the subject of bags, if I give your bagger six reusable shopping bags and ask him to keep the bags light, can you tell him not to jam everything into four bags with the heaviest items in one bag and the lightest stuff in the other three? I have to stand at my car in all types of weather and re-bag everything so I can lift my groceries into my trunk and carry them into my house.
  • I've heard from several cashiers that they are not allowed to have bottled water at their stations. Really? Why? I'm not liking what that says about your HR policies. Let's keep the "human" in Human Resources, shall we? I'd hate to stop shopping at your store like I did at Walmart because of employee treatment issues.
  • Since every other supermarket gives up to $200 for cashback on debits, do you think your $50 limit needs a competitive reality check?
  • This is a pet peeve but I still feel compelled to share it: Your in-store music is great but the guy who voices the recorded ads that punctuate it needs a better script. The "Hey, folks" and "Listen to this" lines do not make me feel like I'm being spoken to by something other than a recording. Do you think your customers are fooled by that? 
Thanks for letting me take the time to offer a shopper's perspective. I look forward to your new store and hope that some of these questions can be discussed by your staff at all of your stores.

Oh, and hey, folks! Listen to this! If anyone would like to add their own comments to this blog post, be my guest!


  1. Great letter! I hope you get a response from Market Basket.

  2. Awesome. I used to work at Market Basket and I recently graduated college so I am on to bigger and better things. I absolutely agree with all of this!!

  3. Better yet Market Basket, can you please upgrade your credit card machines so that we can swipe the card ourselves? And we shouldn't have to sign for totals less than say $20. Many of your competitors already do this and have for some time.