As a new metro Providence resident, I was so excited to discover Eastside Marketplace: independent, great range of products, including a nice range of Kosher products with a supervised Kosher meat section on Thursdays. After a few months I noticed a lot more Stop & Shop products on the shelves. The helpful manager who gave me a store tour is no longer there, and I am informed the market has been purchased by Stop & Shop. The new manager seems nice and tells me all will be as is and even grants my request to apply their Tuesday senior discount to Kosher meat on Thursdays, the only day it is available.
But then I am informed, by another employee, that the company will be phasing out a lot of products that appeal to “older people.” I guess it’s “game on” with Whole Foods, (younger client base), up the street. Then I try to buy a Beigel’s challah, and I can’t find it until the third employee I ask points to the very bottom shelf, extreme righthand corner, where it might as well have been invisible and inaccessible without help for most seniors. The final straw, was learning that the Kosher meat counter is gone, (so much for the discount!), replaced by pre-packaged products. So if Stop & Shop was hoping to “phase out” the older, Jewish client who likes to shop local you have succeeded. I will no longer patronize this market. But neither will my not-senior wife and my definitely not-senior daughter. From a client loyalty perspective, Eastside/S&S has lost. You had a unique selling proposition. You have squandered that. As my definitely senior grandmother would have said: a shanda.