Tag Archives: shopping

*rudolph.

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a white-tailed deer startled shoppers

after it wandered in and strolled the aisles in a dollar general store

it seems even mother nature can’t resist low prices.

Shoppers were joined by an unexpected patron Friday when a female white-tailed deer wandered into the Dollar General store in Jackson, Michigan.

“I was shopping and I heard a commotion coming from the front of the store,” said Connie MacGuinness, a customer in the store at the time. “I heard people calling out ‘Oh no!” MacGuinness turned around to see the deer walking straight toward her down the aisle, she said. “I was stunned for a quick minute, then got out my phone.”

A report of the animal’s escapades reached the Jackson Police Department. Police and Fire Services Director Elmer Hitt said within a few minutes, officers from JPD and Jackson County Animal Control arrived to help lead the doe back out of the store. “It seemed as scared as we were, but it didn’t run around or seem upset,” MacGuinness said.

Another shopper told MacGuinness they saw the deer walk into the store through the open sliding door at the front of the building.The deer was in the building for about 20 minutes before police guided it outside an open door by barricading the aisles with boxes and carts.

*note: my personal theory is that rudolph had a lot of shopping to do,

hoped to beat the black friday crowd in november,

wanted to fly under the radar, and stock up on some good deals.

unfortunately rudolph is now such a celebrity

that it’s hard to be out in public

without being noticed and posted about on social media. – beth

 

“i’m like rudolph the red-nosed reindeer. if i’m not ready, the sled isn’t going to go.

-kevin garnett, nba championship player

 

 

credits: photo – connie macguinness, mitchell kukula, mlive.com, jackson police and fire

quit.

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the ever-sweet, caring, overworked, underpaid, and passionate manager
of the local dollar store
left this sign as he headed out
for one last time.
(below is what i wrote about him in a post a couple of years back)

when one local dollar tree store closed

my favorite enthusiastic manager

moved to the new location

and judging by my recent visit

he has not lost one bit

of his dollar store fervor and expertise.

this was a conversation between bob (the manager) and evelyn (my cashier) as i was checking out:

E: “bob, you’re really good at remembering all of the balloon numbers to ring up and knowing each one of them without looking.”

B: “well, i’ve been doing it a long time. once in a while a number will change or a new shape will come in, like a unicorn, but it’s part of my job to keep up with it.”

E: “when i worked at the grocery store, i knew all the prices for the cucumbers, the peppers and tomatoes. the easy ones”

B: “some are trickier, like avocados, and for some of those things you only see sometimes it’s harder to remember the all the plu’s.”

E: “it’s really a skill, bob. to be able to do that.”

customer john interrupts:

J: “hey bob – so this is where you’ve got up to – how are you liking the change?”

B: “hey, john. good to see you. it’s great. every day is great. i’m so lucky to be here.”

and how lucky is dollar tree to have bob as a manager?

a man who truly loves his job

takes pride in all of it

is always smiling and helpful

knows exactly where every item in the store is located

and who happily learns the number for the new unicorn balloon.

“so tired you want to quit, then you get more tired, and forget to quit.”
― charles bukowski,

aisle of shame.

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Aldi shoppers are not birds, but they sometimes sound like they are.

meet the proud shoppers of aldi’s ‘aisle of shame.’ this aisle has its own subculture and fan club.
(the ‘caw’ sound you may hear is one fan calling to another)

The “Aisle of Shame” is the unofficial name Aldi enthusiasts have given the store’s middle aisle, home to a weekly rotation of curious edible and non-edible products available only while supplies last. We’re talking everything from vegan lasagna made from lentils to a churro maker and apple cinnamon latte-flavored dog biscuits. The recipe for the Aisle of Shame’s surprising cult status combines the joy of a bargain, the thrill of discovery, the allure of the unusual, and the satisfaction of snapping up a limited-time offer.

“It’s something that you can use to express yourself and add fun and joy to your grocery shopping,” says enthusiastic  shopper Brenna Bazemore of its odd assortment of products. “I hate grocery shopping, but I love to go to Aldi and shop, because I know I’m at least going to get something that I can use outside of food and that’s always exciting to me.”

Plus, she can share her excitement with a million other AOS fans in the Facebook group where members share more than recipes, reviews, and Insta-worthy pics. With an evolving lingo, hashtag trends, and a propensity for random acts of kindness, the Aisle of Shame community is a unique food culture inspired by a grocery store. The Aisle of Shame’s edible advent calendars contain beer, cheese, and more. “It started as a fan group and it has become so much more,” writes Stefanie Fleming, the creator of the  Aisle of Shame website and Facebook group.

While each week’s AOS items can often seem like a compilation of randomness, a method exists. Since Aldi keeps prices low by stocking about 1,400 products (mostly staples) compared to a conventional grocery store’s 40,000, the AOS introduces more excitement and variety for shoppers. The aisle, which each week is split 50-50 between edible and non-edible items, often has a theme, whether seasonal (pumpkin foods in the fall; pool products in the summer) or regional (many AOS enthusiasts plan meals of schnitzel, spätzle, and strudel around the aisle’s German Week). Nils Brandes, a retail consultant who has co-written a book on Aldi’s business strategies, estimates that 20 percent of all yearly sales come from these products.

The Aisle of Shame is also where the grocers test new products to gauge their popularity—the vegetarian and vegan Earth Grown and gluten-free LiveGfree product lines, for instance, advanced from the AOS to the main aisles. “It’s crazy to think this is a grocery-store community,” Bazemore says.

After some thought, McKillip observes that Aldi shoppers might be more down-to-earth, their need to make a dollar stretch giving them both a healthier perspective about the products and more joy when they have room in their carts and budgets for the AOS’s more quirky products. Ultimately, though, she offers a simpler explanation: “It’s fun.”

“you’ve got bad eating habits if you use a grocery cart in 7-eleven.”

-dennis miller

credits: gastro obscura, sara murphy, photo: stella murphy

wonderland.

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stopping by this amazing wonderland of a store

 was like stepping right into willie wonka’s factory

all joy and color

 sweets of every kind and shape and size

old favorites, new delightful unusual treats

happiest place in town

nothing was impossible.

 

 “Mr. Willy Wonka can make marshmallows that taste of violets, and rich caramels that change color every ten seconds as you suck them, and little feathery sweets that melt away deliciously the moment you put them between your lips. He can make chewing-gum that never loses its taste, and sugar balloons that you can blow up to enormous sizes before you pop them with a pin and gobble them up. And, by a most secret method, he can make lovely blue birds’ eggs with black spots on them, and when you put one of these in your mouth, it gradually gets smaller and smaller until suddenly there is nothing left except a tiny little dark red sugary baby bird sitting on the tip of your tongue.”

-Roald Dahl, ‘Charlie And The Chocolate Factory’.

 

stuck.

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while shopping at target recently

i found myself in a long, slow, self-checkout line

behind a family of three-

a tired after a long day looking mother

 a perky tween daughter

and a high-energy young son

who was clearly bored and restless.

needing to create something to do

the young son

somehow found a way to

push his head through the middle of the skeleton wreath

that they were waiting to purchase.

 due to the crazy universal law of

‘on is easier than off’

he could not get it

back over his head to take it off again.

first he tried to get it off himself,

then his sister joined in,

when she heard his yelping

mom turned around, sighed, put her things down, and proceeded to help

looking at her wits end

as they patiently worked their way toward the front of the snaking line

continuing to struggle with the skeleton wreath removal project.

when they finally were in the front

mom asked the store clerk if she could scan the wreath while he was still wearing it

and deal with getting it off after they purchased it

she got the go ahead, scanned it on his neck, along with all her other items

and moved out of line.

employees quickly jumped in to help

 with one holding his ears flat,

another tilting the wreath in a variety of positions,

his mother putting lotion on his face

moving his head up and down,

and his sister trying to keep him calm.

when they were finally able to free his head from the wreath

he stopped crying

mom quietly pushed her cart out of the store

her son carrying the wreath

his sister holding his hand

looking like they were all more than ready to head home. 

“there is no panic like the panic when you momentarily feel

when you get your hand or head stuck in something.”

-peter kay

else.

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so much going on

if nothing else

you might never need

to shop anywhere else

so many options

none really appeal to me

maybe because i’m in the

‘& everybody else’ category

maybe it’s something else.

 

“marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department.”

~ david packard

to market, to market.

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as i was scanning my groceries

in the self-checkout line

this unusual impulse-buy display was sitting next to me

a combo of giant candy bars and mini bottles of tequila

someone thought this marketing idea

would be a good fit for the market

the perfect mix to send you on your way and start your day off right!

it’s 2020 – what could possibly go wrong?

 

“market like the year you are in!”

-gary vaynerchuck

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