by David Orgel
Viewpoints for Supermarket News
Katrina. Ike. Irene.
Now we can add Sandy to the list of recent storms that have devastated sections of the U.S.
Each one has challenged communities and tested supermarkets, as they became focal points of local efforts to rebound.
As a New Jersey resident, I had an unusually close-up view of Sandy’s impact. My neighborhood, while not destroyed like much of coastal New Jersey, lost power and heat for days as trees and power lines fell. Gas was rationed, Halloween postponed, and temperatures and spirits plunged.
One of the few bright spots was the lift provided by local supermarkets, such as a ShopRite in nearby Clark. When I arrived there a day after the storm, I found not only fully stocked shelves, but also caring associates. An in-store cafe fostered community as a warm place to sit, have a sandwich, use mobile devices, watch TV news reports, and chat with others.
My colleague Carol Angrisani wrote a blog post about a similar experience at a Waldbaum’s in Long Island, New York. There were plenty of other examples across the region of supermarket associates who went beyond the call of duty, even walking miles to get to work, and of managers who pulled out all the stops to keep things operating. …Read the complete article