Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A Love Story

Via David Evers
I’ve spent most of my life in the retail food business.

I love it.

It’s demanding.

It’s ever-changing.

It’s centered on slim margins, constant negotiations, a nonperfect balance between shrink and sales, and an ever-changing rotation of fellow associates who want to be home when everyone else is and would rather not be closing down the store at midnight on Christmas Eve!

Early in my career, when we were all going to college to try and avoid having to work the rest of our lives at nights and on weekends, we swore we wouldn’t return to those days of long hours, and yet, many of us did—to continue to work nights and weekends, and Black Friday, and every holiday and remain in this most amazing business.

We wake up at four in the morning worried about what the fresh inventory results will be this period and if shrink will be in line or if we spent more than we made!

We spend time debating on the need to drive customers in the door even if they are cherry pickers! We want all customers, regardless.

We fight for market share.

We debate mystery shop results.

We know that price isn’t the only answer, but it’s an important component!

We strive to be different from others.

We search for unique products.

We develop our own products.

We count every penny!

I remain in love with the retail food business, where we thrive on daily challenges and the opportunities to use our skills to meet those challenges and succeed. It’s truly a labor of love for retailers, and our success means success for our customers, our vendors, and our distributors.

Here’s to each of us who have surrendered our lives—and holidays—for food!