Strike Sends Shoppers to Other Stores

Oct 14, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Much of the talk around the negotiations between the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) and Kroger, Safeway and Albertsons has centered around the competitive threat posed
by Wal-Mart.

Now that the negotiations have broken down and a strike has been called, it is not only Wal-Mart that stands to benefit.

Whole Foods Market’s Kate Monteih told Reuters, “Historically we’ve seen an increase in sales when union supermarkets go on strike.”

The situation has been the same at Trader Joe’s. A spokeswoman for the chain said, “We are seeing a lot of new faces in the stores. Merchandise is flying off the shelves.”

Financial analyst, Gregory Badishkanian of Smith Barney, said the firm’s store checks found, “Employees at 85 percent of the southern California Whole Foods and Wild Oats stores
reported a busier than usual Sunday attributable to the strike, ranging from ‘slightly busier’ to ‘unbelievably busy.'”

Moderator’s Comment: How much business will the Kroger, Safeway and Albertsons owned stores lose after the strike is settled?

The Reuters story said picketers at one Albertsons were urging shoppers to take their business down the street to the Super A Foods store. We wonder how
many may take their business elsewhere permanently?
Anderson – Moderator

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