Saturday, November 10, 2007

Stop&Shop, Dix Hills

I'm going to expand on this at another time but I wanted to get started.

The first supermarket reviewed is the relatively new Stop&Shop on Jericho Turnpike in Huntington/Dix Hills.
My assessment is decidedy mixed. Ther are two other chain supermarkets within a short distance of this store. When it was getting ready to open, I was extremely happy--it was even closer than the other two; of the two older stores, one routinely has freezer problems, the other has parking lot issues and noisy crowds. More on those later.

Here are some observations:

As always, their prices are high, higher than the other two nearby chains' stores.

It is huge, a super store, certainly, with, oddly, less brand choice than some other stores. You can't, for example, buy Quickie brand mops; there's only one main brand offered. Instead, what you get is every conceivable size, scent or type of a particular product.

Stop&Shop is big on self-checkout counters that usually work pretty well. The problem with the self-checkouts at all stores, of course, is that they rarely save time; in fact, it's almost always slower because you're running back and forth, scanning items, making sure the stuff isn't jamming up, and, if you're buying a lot of stuff, trying to find a place to set your filled bags (because you have to start bagging before you're done scanning) while you finish up.

The staff is reasonably courteous, not great. There is one odd thing about this store--the courtesy counter and, I think, employee area, are near one of the exits. Something about its location seems to encourage employees returning to work to walk in front of people with loaded, hard to maneuver baskets. Last week, I had to wave away a young woman who persisted in walking right into my path, expecting me to swing the cart out and go around her.

The other courtesy issue was this: about a month ago, I bought a bottle of wine and went through the self-checkout, which then requires that an employee come over to doublecheck your age. Apparently he didn't know why the system had summoned him but once he got there, he read the scanner device, looked at me and sang out,"HA!" before punching in the code to approve me.

Other issues: the deli has one of those little computerized machines so you can punch in your order, get an ETA on your stuff and then go about your shopping while the order is being prepared. IT IS ALMOST ALWAYS OFF. Sometimes, there's a note that says that they're so busy, they've shut it off, which makes no sense. Other times it is broken.

The store is neat and clean and jampacked with an embarrassment of goods. There's a Starbucks, a fair number of fresh Boston Market items, the deli, a seafoods area, a pharmacy and fresh flowers. We got some nice flowers there not long ago. I do wish some of these stores would invite shoppers in and ask their opinion.

Starbucks, bakery, deli, no ATM.

It also has scooter-carts for people who can't get around.

We still go there because it's quite convenient but we've returned to occasionally shopping at other stores.

Stop&Shop on Wikipedia

and from Rateitall

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