space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* From My Window
space
space
Sports Shorts
* Baxter Leads Bulldogs In Win Over Sturgeon Bay
* Cougars & Marines Continue to Roll
* Thunder Continue Winning Ways on Weekend Homestand
* Bulldog Bowling Teams Off to a Great Start
* Wausaukee off to Fast Start for 2018-19 Season

space
Peshtigo Fire
space
e-Edition
Now Available
For more information
click here
dot
THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
space
dot
space

From My Window

Issue Date: November 29, 2017

Big Store Mystery



By Jane Thibodeau Martin,



**********

I recently went to a "big box" home improvement store for a long list of items for a painting project. The store opens at 6:30 a.m., and I was ready to check out by 7:15. The store was already quite busy, mostly with shoppers who looked like contractors on this weekday morning. As I pushed my cart to the checkout lines, I paused in surprise " and irritation.

While this store has about eight checkout lines, none were attended. There were two "self-checkouts" lit up; with a joint attendant managing them. About three people were in line for each one of the self-checkout units. Regular readers know how I hate the phenomena of lines at one or two open checkouts of a fleet of ten; but this was worse. NO regular checkouts open, at all. This was the escalation of the trend I'd been anticipating, and dreading, for a while.

I have seen the value of "self-checkout" demonstrated by my daughter, and I think it's great for one or two straight-forward items when there are long lines at the regular checkouts. I am willing to use it, for that. But I'm just not a fan, and I certainly did not want to self-checkout with the number of items I had. It's one thing for you to drive to a store, hunt down what you need, stand in line to pay, and take your bags to go home. But it's another pretty obvious step-down in service to do all that, plus unload your cart, scan, bag and re-load your cart before paying, all that without any eye contact or a "thank you" from a store representative for your business.

If self-checkouts translated into more technical assistance on the floor of the massive store, to help you find everything you need, or answer a question about a specific type of caulk, great. But that's not happening either. I used to avoid asking the woman in pipe fittings about wallboard patching compound, respecting her "territory" and assuming her expertise lay in her assigned area. Now, I just pounce on any random employee I see with my questions, because otherwise I might be meandering around all day. Sometimes I have to stalk this employee through the store, as he or she is already helping another customer, so I have to "get in line" to talk with them.

I'm guessing that this particular type of store isn't feeling the hot breath of Amazon on their backs yet. The on-line marketing gorilla Amazon has made shopping almost alarmingly easy-enter your account data one time, and after that, just locate the item you need on their web site, use the "one-click" order button which is, literally, one click, and in two days your order will be delivered to your door. No need to drive to the store, park, push a cart, hunt around to find what you need, and then be subjected to the indignity of doing your own scanning and bagging at a big box store.

But here's what I call the "Big Store Mystery." If the self-checkout business model is the future of retail, I fail to understand why so many of the big chain retail stores, even newly remodeled ones, have 10 or even 20 unstaffed standard checkout lines taking up valuable floor space. It seems like it would make more sense, the way they do things, to drop the pretense of no-waiting checkout. Just put in a couple of standard checkout lines for us old dinosaurs next to the numerous self-checkout stands, and keep those two attended, using the rest of the space for something more value-added than idle checkout lines.

This morning I was at another major retailer, one famous for its adverse impact on small businesses in little communities. I had a lot in my cart again, and was really relieved when I got behind just one other person waiting to check out, since again only two lines were attended of the fourteen I counted. But both lines soon backed up a long way. A woman with two tired kids and a cart heaped with holiday supplies yelled at the top of her lungs from the back of the line "OPEN ANOTHER LINE, THIS IS RIDICULOUS." I felt like cheering her on.

Small businesses have not started the self-checkout business model. I hope they never do. They are still an oasis of customer service and friendliness. I know when I go into the small town grocery store my Mom frequents that there will always be an attended checkout line, and if more than one other cart is behind ours, a second clerk will immediately appear and open the next line. They demonstrate appreciation of the value of customer's time, not their own. I know the clerk is going to recognize and talk to Mom, and also make some friendly conversation with me, and say "come see us again soon!" Or, "thank you!" as we leave, with the groceries all packed in a cart pushed by a store employee.

And that morning at the big box home improvement store my story started out with? I made a decision to be difficult, and politely asked the self-checkout attendant to call me a checkout clerk. She cheerfully agreed to check me out herself, and we had an enjoyable conversation. I told her how much I appreciated her.

There are already "test pilots" of stores with only a single employee present, there just to deal with issues related to the technical systems that allow you to scan an ID card, enter, take your goods and leave, while devices tally your purchases and automatically charge your credit card as you leave with no formal checkout required. I hope that doesn't happen any time soon, but if it does, Amazon will probably get even more of my business. And in the meantime, shop your local small businesses this holiday season. It's really up to us if there are still there in a few years, or gone.

You can reach me for commentary, alternative viewpoints or ideas at this e-mail address: Janiethibmartin@gmail.com.


Recent stories, opinions and photos

Issue Date Department Headline
12-13-2018Front Page
Christmas Spirit

12-13-2018Front Page
BPM Inc Proposes New Wastewater Partnership

12-13-2018Front Page
M&M Area In Top 10 For Small Business Revolution

12-13-2018Front Page
Committee To Negotiate Drees Center Class Fees

12-13-2018Front Page
Peshtigo Received Deed For Fire Cemetery, Not Riverside

12-13-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman Taps Jodi Karas For Clerk/Treasurer Job

12-13-2018Community - Coleman
Village Pound Christmas Parade Big Success

12-13-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman School Earns Spectrum Excellence Award

12-13-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman Senior Citizens Luncheon

12-13-2018Community - Crivitz
Country Gospel Jam in Dec. 21

12-13-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Schools Holiday Break

12-13-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Church Free Dinner

12-13-2018Community - Wausaukee
Holly Jolly Winning Ticket in Niagara

12-13-2018Community - Wausaukee
Supper With Santa Dec. 20

12-13-2018Community - Wausaukee
Presbyterian Church Kids Club on Dec. 16

12-13-2018Community - Wausaukee
Athelstane Chair Returns "Public Comment" Time

12-13-2018Sports
Baxter Leads Bulldogs In Win Over Sturgeon Bay

12-13-2018Sports
Cougars & Marines Continue to Roll

12-13-2018Sports
Thunder Continue Winning Ways on Weekend Homestand

12-13-2018Sports
Bulldog Bowling Teams Off to a Great Start

12-13-2018Perspectives
From My Window

12-13-2018Perspectives
From Our Readers

12-13-2018Perspectives
Country Cousin

12-13-2018Obituaries
Joanne Behrend

12-13-2018Obituaries
Patrick C. Blohowiak

12-13-2018Obituaries
Joan H. Carter

12-13-2018Obituaries
Dennis J. Collard

12-13-2018Obituaries
Paul D. Ecker

12-13-2018Obituaries
Mabel A. Eichhorn

12-13-2018Obituaries
Peter J. Geniesse

12-13-2018Obituaries
Michael "Mike" Lesperance

12-13-2018Obituaries
Marilyn J. Lieburn

12-13-2018Obituaries
Alan E. McKeefry

12-13-2018Obituaries
Roman J. Miller Sr.

12-13-2018Obituaries
Mary L. Myers

12-13-2018Obituaries
Kenneth P. Rabbie

12-13-2018Obituaries
Walter Schenkoski

12-13-2018Obituaries
Theresa M. Stanoch

12-13-2018Obituaries
Gwendolyn Zimmerman

12-13-2018Obituaries
Taira M. Zimmerman

12-06-2018Obituaries
Eldora L. Abel

12-06-2018Obituaries
Gary D. Backman

12-06-2018Obituaries
Kathy M. Chaltry

12-06-2018Obituaries
Darlene L. Cruz

12-06-2018Obituaries
Donald J.Dupont

12-06-2018Obituaries
Thad O. Eack

12-06-2018Obituaries
Germaine P. Fetterly

12-06-2018Obituaries
Lorraine J. Garvey

12-06-2018Obituaries
Ronnie L. Gehling

12-06-2018Obituaries
Lorraine R. Gusick

12-06-2018Obituaries
Melvin Dale Haffeman

12-06-2018Obituaries
Gerald L. Heling

12-06-2018Obituaries
Rosalee M. McKibben

12-06-2018Obituaries
William D. Merritt

12-06-2018Obituaries
John J. Moker

12-06-2018Obituaries
Terry Lee Parrett

12-06-2018Obituaries
David C. Polashek

12-06-2018Obituaries
William J. Roddy

12-06-2018Obituaries
Loretta M. Shehow

12-06-2018Obituaries
Marian D. Stillman

12-06-2018Obituaries
Amos Robert Van Vooren

12-06-2018Obituaries
Carol J. Wesolowski

12-06-2018Obituaries
Joseph H. Westberg

12-06-2018Sports
Wausaukee off to Fast Start for 2018-19 Season

12-06-2018Sports
Peshtigo Has Strong Week With Two Wins

12-06-2018Sports
VanVooren Heads MONLPC Large Team

12-06-2018Sports
Crivitz Leads Football & Volleyball All Conference Voting

12-06-2018Perspectives
Country Cousin

12-06-2018Perspectives
From our readers

12-06-2018Perspectives
From My Window

12-06-2018Community - Wausaukee
Town Of Wausaukee Adopts $474,754 Levy

12-06-2018Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee DAR Award Winner

12-06-2018Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Red Hats To Meet Dec. 13

12-06-2018Community - Crivitz
Netzel-Zenz Post Christmas Dinner

12-06-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Church Free Dinner

12-06-2018Community - Crivitz
13 at Even Monday Cards

12-06-2018Community - Crivitz
CAWC Meeting Dec. 13 at Wood's

12-06-2018Community - Coleman
Pound Church Christmas Event

12-06-2018Community - Coleman
Many Appear in Coleman Court

12-06-2018Community - Coleman
Hillside At Pound Children's Musical

12-06-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman Utilities To Meet Tues., Dec. 10

12-06-2018Front Page
Sworn In

12-06-2018Front Page
New Economic Development Job For County Is Possible

12-06-2018Front Page
Town Of Peshtigo Hears Building Inspector Issues

12-06-2018Front Page
City Officially Has Deed For Riverside Cemetery

12-06-2018Front Page
Expect Medical Examiner To Be Named On Dec. 18

11-29-2018Obituaries
Terry V. Anderson

11-29-2018Obituaries
Beth A. Birr

11-29-2018Obituaries
Sylvester A. Bellow

11-29-2018Obituaries
Bernard Camber

11-29-2018Obituaries
Clayton J. Clark

11-29-2018Obituaries
Kenneth P. Coakley

11-29-2018Obituaries
Kenneth L. Crawford, Sr.

11-29-2018Obituaries
Herman F. Haag

11-29-2018Obituaries
Alma M. Hermansen

11-29-2018Obituaries
Madonna T. Lambert

11-29-2018Obituaries
Herlene E. Lasley

11-29-2018Obituaries
Wilford Lund

11-29-2018Obituaries
Carole C. Moloney

11-29-2018Obituaries
Marie H. Mueller

11-29-2018Obituaries
Barbara A. Oehler

11-29-2018Obituaries
Donald L. Phelps

11-29-2018Obituaries
Hildegarde Mary Polfus

11-29-2018Obituaries
Orion Reynebeau

11-29-2018Obituaries
Jodi L. Schomer

11-29-2018Obituaries
Wayne Schoepke, Sr.

11-29-2018Obituaries
Michael F. Schroeder

11-29-2018Obituaries
Walter Simonson

11-29-2018Obituaries
Lucille S. Suennen

11-29-2018Obituaries
Roger Suley

11-29-2018Obituaries
Ruth L. Tenaglia

11-29-2018Obituaries
Elsie P. Wallace

11-29-2018Obituaries
Roger L. Williams

11-29-2018Sports
DNR investigating The illegal shooting of Elk

11-29-2018Sports
Thunder Back On Track With Two Wins Over Marquette

11-29-2018Sports
Bulldogs Beat Chargers On Gullicksen Last Second Shot

11-29-2018Sports
Marines Top Bulldogs In Double OT

11-29-2018Perspectives
Country Cousin

11-29-2018Perspectives
From My Window

11-29-2018Community - Wausaukee
Spaces Available at Christmas in Park

11-29-2018Community - Wausaukee
Athelstane FD Open House Successful

11-29-2018Community - Wausaukee
Counseling Agency Gift Distribution

11-29-2018Community - Crivitz
Legion Christmas Dinner Dec. 19th

11-29-2018Community - Crivitz
CCE Thanks CPR Providers

11-29-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Library Bake Sale Dec. 7

11-29-2018Community - Crivitz
Free Dinner at Crivitz Church

11-29-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman Elementary Lists Perfect Attendance

11-29-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman Middle School Quarter Honors, Perfect Attendance Listed

11-29-2018Community - Coleman
Students Named to Coleman High School 1st Quarter Honor Roll

11-29-2018Community - Coleman
Perfect Attendance Announced for Coleman High School Students

11-29-2018Front Page
Christmas Season

11-29-2018Front Page
Cut Wausaukee Tax Rate By 60 Cents Per $1,000

11-29-2018Front Page
Former Coach Faces Trial On Sexual Contact Charges

11-29-2018Front Page
Four Hangar Owners Suing Over Airport Lease Terms

11-29-2018Front Page
Marinette Menominee Make Top 20 For $500,000 Grant

11-21-2018Obituaries
Mary A. Biernasz

11-21-2018Obituaries
Francis A. Bowan

11-21-2018Obituaries
Dolores M. Zuleger-Boyer

11-21-2018Obituaries
Charles Burcham

11-21-2018Obituaries
Catherine M. Cudnohoski

11-21-2018Obituaries
Martha K. Dennis

11-21-2018Obituaries
James Drewel

11-21-2018Obituaries
Joan V. Dzekute

11-21-2018Obituaries
Robert B. Froehlich

11-21-2018Obituaries
Joseph F. Hudak

11-21-2018Obituaries
Marian M. Jones

11-21-2018Obituaries
Dorthy Knuth

11-21-2018Obituaries
Stephanie Newell

11-21-2018Obituaries
Lorraine A. Schmidt

11-21-2018Sports
Mary A. Thomsen


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Do you think it was a good thing that the Green Bay Packers fired Coach McCarthy?
space Yes
No
Undecided
space
TO VOTE CLICK
YES, NO or UNDECIDED

Suggest a Question
space .
space
FRONT
space
.
space
CLASSIFIEDS
space
.
space
COMMUNITY
space
.
space
GUEST BOOK
space
.
space
NEWS
space
.
space
OBITS
space
.
space
PERSPECTIVES
space
.
space
SPORTS
space
.
space
SUBSCRIBE
space
.
space
.
space
PESHTIGO FIRE
space
.
space
CUSTOM PRINTING
space
.
space
TIMES' SAVER
space
.
space
Click for Peshtigo, Wisconsin Forecast
FORECAST
space
Quick...
News or Ad Search
Enter News key words.
Enter Ad key words.



Peshtigo Times
841 Maple St
PO Box 187
Peshtigo, WI 54157
Phone: 715-582-4541
Email:
News@
PeshtigoTimes.com

space
Fax: 715-582-4662
© 2000-2018
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites