Last night (the 13th), I went to my nearby* HyVee grocery store to buy yogurt.  The ones in front expired on the 24th, short of the two-week supply I was planning to purchase.  I thought I would look in the back of the row to find some with a different expiration date.

I did.  

I found October 27th.  November 5th.  November 12th.  More than half of the row had expired already.

You can see the vicious cycle: they did not order more yogurt because they thought they had plenty; I did not buy more yogurt because in reality they had only a few.

It is not the first time I have found expired goods at this same store, nor was it the first time I shared my experience with a manager.  Yet the problem persists.  

The real problem, of course, is not the yogurt, but the employees who stock it and the manager who oversees them.  It is much easier to put the new supply in front on the shelf and shove the existing ones in the back.  I worked in a grocery store and know that rotating stock is a pain.  It seems that no one at this store cares enough to do it.

Do you have employees in your organization who don’t care? More importantly, do you have systems in place to test that premise so you really know?  Do you truly take corrective action when someone points out a flaw?  

There is a short expiration date on customer satisfaction.  Don’t push it to the back of the shelf.

— beth triplett

*in Asbury  Buyer Beware!

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