FORUM: Back in the Market With the Southern California supermarket strike turning into a bitter four-and-a-half month war of attrition, many shoppers changed their shopping patterns. Chains such as Trader Joe’s, Gelson’s and Stater Bros., along with numerous independent small grocers saw an increase in business from customers wary of crossing the picket lines. Now that the strike has concluded, the Business Journal asks: Did you change your shopping patterns during the strike? And if so, are you going to return to the place where you had previously marketed? Larry G. Mankin Chief Executive Officer Santa Clarita Chamber of Commerce Certainly, some of the smaller independent businesses in the food business have seen a dramatic increase in their sales from their pre-strike basis. It’s opened up the doors to a number of companies to expand. I now discovered a wonderful butcher shop that I now go to once a week, while I may have gone to that place previously, there was no guarantee that I would have. Although I was sympathetic to the unions’ cause, I also continued going to the Ralphs and Albertson’s Don Grant Co-owner Orlando Art Gallery, Tarzana I’ve gone back to the Ralphs where I had shopped before the strike because they’re back now and the store is back to normal. But I do like Stater Bros., where I had shopped during the strike. I’m not sure yet exactly what I’m going to do. We’ll probably go back to the Ralphs a bit more because it’s closer. But I think I’ll probably continue shopping at Stater Bros as well, which I wouldn’t have done pre-strike. Paul Doyle Owner Think Vitamins and Sports Supplements, Woodland Hills During the strike, at first we changed our shopping habits, but then as it dragged on I just went back to the original store. So I guess I didn’t change that much to begin with. Hakim Chambers Renovations Coordinator University Student Union, Cal State Northridge It kind of changed my shopping patterns. I’ve been going to Vallarta, but I think I will eventually make my way back to Vons. Vallarta was cool for the time being because there weren’t any people striking in front of the store. That looks really bad, and to have a chain like Vons, Ralphs, Albertson’s taking four to six months to settle a labor dispute is ridiculous in this day and age.” Janelle Paige Owner Layers: A Cake Design Studio, Sherman Oaks I would say that once they get back into order I’ll do it. But right now it looks pretty bad. They’re just stocked with alcohol and candy and once they get it up to par, I’ll return.
FORUM: Back in the Market