Saturday, August 22, 2009

Breaking news! Your opinion is needed right NOW! Comment on this p ost please!

I heard a rumor (and I am quite confident that it is accurate) that a BIG WIG CEO for Albertsons would be visiting our beloved Idaho Falls stores (and I'm betting our very beloved Broadway Albies in particular) because of all the stir over the deals we are getting.

It has been mentioned to me that some of those in power at good old Albies read this here blog on occasion and would be very interested in what we, the every day customers, the couponers, the newbies and the ones who have been to the rodeo a few times (lol) think.

I can't be sure, but I *think* I was asked to get some opinions because it could make some big improvements on our deal grabbing experiences here. This is a big opportunity for our local stores and for us couponers!

So, please comment to this post about whatever you think of Albies here such as:

What we love
What we don't love
What stores work the hardest for us
What could be different
Our wish lists for deals (stock, set up, lines, coupons etc)
If you have a favorite store (cough Broadway) tell them why it is your favorite, who you love there and of course, where it is!
Any other information you think would make Albies even better!

So, do yourselves a huge favor and forward the link to this post to everyone you know anywhere in the region. Every opinion will be read and will count. If we come out and post in droves it WILL help all of us. Facebook it, twitter it, link it on your blog! Give everyone a central location to read all of the comments (lets make it easy for any bigwigs, kwim?). Get everyone you know to post! The more voices they hear, the more seriously they will take this!

This could change how Albertsons is run at a corporate level!


Kimber said...

Okay, I'll go first.

Here is what I love about my Broadway Albertsons:

When I started a year and a half ago with the deals, I would come in at 6am and "iron out the kinks" with the cashiers. Instead of being annoyed with me for experimenting, they valued my opinion, asked me of any ideas and treated me like gold. They were always so very patient while I was learning too.

They always have the combos set up for easy shopping. Some weeks I don't even bother with a grocery list, I just wander the store and look for the deals they have set up. Knowing that I go in and (for example) can buy 2 boxes of wheat thins, 2 crystal lights and a 24 pack of water for $3.50 (yes, did it this summer 10 times!) and they have it all set up for me... can't beat that.

I love that they listen to me personally when I mention a deal I hear about. They investigate it and get back to whether the deal is "good" or not.

I don't get treated like a criminal for couponing, they always cheer me on!

When I mention that I think a product will be hot for the coming sale, they actually order extra in!

On top of that, they will order in products for me in huge quantities (once they ordered 125 4 packs of toilet paper that with my coupons I got for FREE) and do it with a smile on their faces.

I love to stock up so I have a large food storage and can shop the sales and my Albies is great about it.

I wish they had a couponers only line sometimes because I feel bad when I slow down other shoppers.

I also wish they still took competitors coupons, even if it was only 1 per transaction. I could deal with that.

Another thing I have loved is when they do the preorders on sales (like the Kelloggs cereal last year--- 70 boxes of cereal for $35! Yes!).

Broadway Albies used to have a budget to buy coupons and they would give them out to the customers. We LOVED that! LOVED it! We could get huge crowds waiting in a line outside the store because of that.

Case lot time is coming, as are the campbells sales and I can guarantee I will be emptying my suv to hold all the deals I plan to get!

If you modeled every store like the Broadway Albertsons, you would put everyone else out of business!

Capturing today's Moments for Tomorrow said...

OK sucked me in.

When I started the whole couponing thing, I was pretty weary. The time it takes to cut the little buggers out(coupons), the time it takes to stand in line, but not so much about the time it takes for an Albertson's employee to ask "What can I help you Find?" I love that. I love that they are so eager to help me find what I want, and hook me up with whatever they can.

I frequent the Pocatello store on Benton, and I love it. The employees are so friendly, the management rocks, and so far I have yet to find an employee annoyed with us crazy people with the binders. They too cheer us on, and are excited for the deals they have for their consumers.

I have never been grocery shopping and enjoyed it so much as I do at Albertsons, and it's all due to the staff, the deals, and the service.

If I had one complaint, that would be sometimes the fabulous sales take their shelves down to nothing. The staff is helpful in handing out the rainchecks on the products gone. Perhaps now that the couponers are out in full force the stock will go up, hence the sales from my favorite Albies will go up!!! Go Pocatello Albertsons!

Natalie said...

I love it when I can get a variety of product like meat, bread, eggs, snacks, etc... that all contribute to an overall discount. I especially love when I can mass buy on one transaction.

That leads to what I don't love. I don't love how long the lines are when we have to do multiple transactions, and as wonderful as the checkers are (the employees are one of the main reasons I go to Broadway Albies) it's tough when I'm in line longer than it took to do my shopping.

Couponing is not for the faint of heart, but the Broadway Albertson's are very personable and willing to work with its customers, just as Kimber stated. I've always been impressed with the professionalism from management to checkers to stockers. They're friendly and helpful.

One thing that I would like to see is a good deal on more healthy items instead of quick meals and junk food. Don't get me wrong, they have their place, but I don't need 20 boxes of fruit snacks in order to get a certain discount. That goes back to the initial wish list of wanting more variety in the health scale on the amazing deals they have.

Thanks for posting this, Kimber! I'll spread the word!

Natalie said...

P.S. I LOVED the Pampers diaper promo of $20 off next purchase where my diapers were dirt cheap. LOVED THAT DEAL!!!!!!

Karianne said...

I started shopping at Broadway Albertsons when I bought my house because it was close by and I would much rather go there than a certain national super-store nearby. I love that they have such nice produce, and I don't mind spending a little extra on it. I especially love when it is on sale. I have done some couponing, but with my new baby, I haven't had the energy to really devout to all-out bargain shopping. Still, I love when I go in the store and happen on a deal. Like cereal for $0.69 a box. I ALWAYS buy my meat at Albertsons now, since it goes on sale often enough to stock up and I feel that it is good quality. I loved it one day when I was just wandering through the store and an employee stopped me to give me a stack of salad dressing coupons, then told me exactly where to find it and how much it would cost. I think it ended up being less than $1 per bottle.
For things I would change, I would go with two things that have been mentioned by others: 1. a check-out line for the coupon shoppers at the busiest times. I've been on both sides of this one, as a couponer and as someone waiting behind the couponer with only a few items. 2. Deals on healthier foods. I'm all about cold cereal and fruit snacks, but if I know there is a good deal on produce, fresh meat, and other healthy items, I am than much more excited. Thanks Kimber for your help and expertise on couponing, and for posting this link. I hope the deals keep on coming

kiley said...

I live in Pocatello Idaho and I started couponing at Smith's because it's right around the corner. I knew the deals weren't as good as they are at Albertsons but I didn't want to drive all the way downtown. One week my sister (the coupon master) calls to tell me that she just went to her Albies and got $1200 in groceries and she paid a $163. I couldn't believe it! So I got my list ready, packed up my 2yr old, drove all the way downtown and went shopping.

We were in the store for about 2-3 hours. This was the 1st time I had tried the "buy $30 get $15 off next purchase" so I was trying really hard not to mess it up. By the time I got to the check out my daughter had just "had it", she was very grumpy. I explained to the cashier that I planned on having her ring it up in $30 increments and use the $15 off on the next round of $30. I was trying to keep all of my participating products together when an overly helpful bag boy came and started shoving stuff on belt. So I was having to reorganize my stuff and was getting confused. (all the while my daughter is screaming and sweat is starting to pour down my whole body).

We make it to the $30 goal, I pay for it and the machine doesn't spit out my $15 coupon. The cashier seemed perplexed as what to do. She called for help and another person who was clueless showed up. They suggested that I go to customer service and have them refund my money so we could start the fun little game all over again. At this point my daughter, who was wearing a dress, had pulled off her diaper and peed on the floor. She then proceeded to slip in her own urine and hit her head on the floor while her dress flew over her head and showed the entire front portion of the store that she was, indeed, a girl. Needless to say I marched right over to customer service, had them return my money, grab my urine soaked little girl and left 2 overflowing carts at the front of the store while tears streamed down my face... I did not return to Albertsons for 8 months.

What are the lessons learned in this tale of woe?
1-never. NEVER! take your children couponing with you... EVER!

2-A knowledgeable staff is the key to successful couponing.

In subsiquent trips to Albies when the machine didn't spit out the coupon the nice young man just keyed it in. Every checker should know how to do this since the machine seems to have problems frequently with this.

Couponing is not huge here in Pocatello so some of the staff see me coming and look around like they're expecting to see Ashton Kutcher running through the door any minute because they're on Punked. Couponing is getting bigger and bigger and if the staff has a clue about how it's done then it will go much smoother.

A few other things.I haven't been couponing for very long, but I don't often see basic food staples on sale. Like flour, sugar, salt ect. (again this may be because I am still new at this) Food storage is a beautiful thing and I would love to have more baking supplies in mine. (hint hint)

I know the previous story was a negative one, but I truly love Albies deals and I now happily drive all the way across town to get them.

Kristine said...

poky shopper:

-have been able to get some good deals

-do not understand what smoking deals will be and don't stock up for them.
-the store is TINY.
-i'd say about half of the employees i've had positive experiences with, the other half negative. the wed morning cashier is nice enough (along with about a dozen other employees) but doesn't care one bit if my Cat comes out or I don't get the deal I expected to get. I'd say about 5% of the time I have a helpful employee who is willing to figure out what went wrong (95% of the time I've been right and the computer was programmed wrong).
-did I already say they are never stocked for smoking deals?

Sandi said...

I LOVE Broadway Albies because they work very hard to make crazy couponers happy. When I was just starting out with couponing they held my hand and didn't make me feel like I was wasting their time or robbing their store. In the few times I have been mistaken about a deal they have patiently explained how it really worked, and were very understanding and helpful while I tried to rearrange my order. They have even told me things like "if you do it THIS way you can get it for less" and given me lots of pointers. Broadway's success is due to their people, from the store manager to the bag boys. Even their stockers are very helpful, willing to lead you to the aisle that has your product or check in the back for more when the shelf is empty. (At other stores the stockers don't know anything, and don't WANT to know anything, they just want to get their job done and be left alone.)

The single biggest thing that Broadway Albies could do would be to have a Multiple Transaction Line (MTL) when they are having one of their "Get $$ to use on your next shopping trip" promos. This would make sense for any time when there is more than one checker working. Think about it: if you have two or more lanes open, why not designate one for the multiple transactions? Granny doesn't want to stand behind my two loaded shopping carts when she has only 2 cans of cat food, and I don't want her behind me either, because it makes me feel rushed and embarrassed. Couponers do not mind standing in a long line because we know that we are "high maintenance." Of course, anyone can go in the MTL if they want, as long as they understand who they might get stuck behind. Please bring these lines back!

Other stores (not just other Albertsons) can learn from Broadway by getting all their employees on board with customer service. That includes 1) friendliness, 2) skills and ability to do job, 3) a genuine (or really good imitation of) interest in helping the customer have a great experience, which usually means helping them get a good deal. The really good checkers pay attention to their coupon patrons' ways and pass ideas on to future customers. Teach your employees to do this! Some employees will not want to change: they are set in their ways, they don't want to learn, they are grouchy. But that's okay, because Idaho has this great law where you can lay people off without having a reason. Right now unemployment is very high, and I guarantee you can find someone to fill that slot, someone who you have screened for customer service skills. Seriously, get rid of people who are not representing your store in a good way! There are tons of people out there looking for jobs!


P.S. I think the homemade commercials Broadway does are TOOOOOO cute, with all the bakery ladies smiling shyly and the supervisors and manager animatedly telling me to "Come check it out!" It makes me feel like I am watching a video my friends put together.

P.P.S. And thanks for sending the deals to my email!

Michael said...

I usually shop the Rexburg Store because I work here. The customer service is usually great and I love that they group the promotion stuff up front for me.
I love the idea of a Multiple Transaction or Coupon line! I, too, hate to have people lined up behind me. I usually try to go at low traffic times to avoid that.
I also wish we had more deals on staples for food storage...flour, sugar, rice, shortening, etc.
But, all in all, I have loved the couponing deals, and am now an Albertsons shopper!

Michael said...

One more thought...
Why don't we get the Sunday double coupons in Rexburg? That's so frustrating to read about all the deal matchups online and know I can't get them!


JC Photography said...

I LOVE the Broadway Albertsons! I am very new to the coupon shopping. The staff at Albies were so kind and helpful when I hit the spend $30 get $15 off your next purchase. I had some coupons but the cashier was awesome to explain to me how I could have saved even more. When I came back later to use my $5.00 catalina coupons I decided to stock up on some meat. The woman working at the meat counter was AWESOME - she took the meat out of the cellophane packages and wrapped it in butcher paper for me to put in my freezer. While she was working on that she told me about other great sales in the store I should check out AND told me exactly what isles to look on! What an amazing staff. I live about an hour from the Broadway Albies but because of their awesomeness it's totally worth the drive. I'm so sad the Blackfoot store closed - they were a great store too!
I also think at a separate checkout for those using coupons would be an awesome idea!

dbz_man2 said...

I'd have to say I love the good prices! The quality of products seems to be much better than "some" stores located in Rigby.

The only thing I want, wish, hope, dream of and talk about with other people, is that Albertsons would build a store in RIGBY! I WANT MY GOOD DEALS!! PLEASE!! I don't want to be, in my opinion (And I'm sure others like me who live in Rigby) Ripped off by "a certain store" anymore!!

The Albertsons in Rexburg needs to be more acquainted with couponing. It took me about 10 minutes for a coupon I got from their store cata. to work! But on the plus side, they weren't angry about it at all; the poor guy just said, "Don't ask me, I don't know what is going on." So not a biggie; it worked eventually.

Thank you!

MelissaR said...

I absolutely love Albertsons. I used to frequent the Broadway Albies, because they were always so friendly and helpful (that goes a long way to a momma with 3 little ones!). Now that I've moved to the Boise-ish area, I shop Mountain Home and occasionally the South Federal Way store or the Eagle & McMillan store in Boise. The Mountain Home store is awesome, they almost always have items in stock, they love couponers like me, and if a deal doesn't ring up right they are happy to fix it.

I drive a long way to get to Albertsons (cause I live out in the sticks) but the great deals always make it worth it. I'm absolutely loving all the deals I've been getting with double coupons lately.

One thing I don't like is when I have to split up my transaction to get the good deals. (Like spend $30 get $5 catalina back). It is such a pain! I do it (and happily to get a good deal), but I like the promos much better when I don't have to split it up. And the cashiers like me better, too!

One thing I miss- the baby mailer Albies used to send out. It had great baby item coupons and usually a $5/$25 coupon. Those were awesome. The general mailer I get now only has $6/$80. I don't usually spend $80 in one trip to Albertsons, so they never get used!

And like another poster before me, I'm really hoping for the awesome deal on Pampers diapers again! With 2 kids in diapers that really helped me out!

Thanks Albertsons for bringing us such great deals!

The Hulbert Family said...

I have never went to the IF Albertsons just because lack of time - however I always hear amazing things about them.

I do however shop at the Rexburg Albertsons and have never had a problem with my purchases. There a couple employees who are better at knowing how to help you get the best deal possible, but over all they all are helpful.

The only thing I have noticed at Alberstons in Rexburg that I don't like is they run out of things fast. However they do usually get a new shipment in before the sale runs out or are great about rainchecks (is that how it's spelled?).

I really do not think a lot of people around here understand how great Albertsons is for deals. I always try to spread the word about what great deals you really can get there. I think Albertson's in Rexburg could put more emphasis that point, and bring in even more business.

Tyree said...

Before I started couponing three or four monthes ago I shopped at Albertsons maybe three or four times a year. Now I shop there four times a week, some weeks (and sometimes two or three Albertsons a day.) I love not needing to shop at Walmart anymore. Now I shop at Walmart just four or five times a year. I LOVE the sales, deals, catalinas, and of course DOUBLERS!!!! I personally prefer the 17th street location, but do go to Broadway once in a while for better stock and coupons. But I have to say I LOVE the 17th store most all the checkers there are nice and friendly (all but ONE that does treat us like criminals for using coupons, but I'm always nice to her and she might just come around.) I have had at least THREE checkers at the Broadway location treat me like a criminal for using coupons, and just plain not be nice. At Ammon I had one checker treat me bad but I don't go there as often due to location.
I LOVE ALBERTSONS and I LOVE DOUBLERS!!!! I like the 17th street store, I feel like they are friends not just checkers, they are getting to know me buy name and are just so friendly. Maybe if I went to Broadway more they would warm up--they might just be cold tell they get to know you. I live closest to 17th so I'm glad it's my favorite cause it's SO convienent. I do shop most on doubler days but today I went in just to get shrimp I needed for dinner (hoping it was on sale-it wasn't) I bought the shrimp, crab legs and some garbage bags on clearance and it was worth whatever extra I ended up spending to go there on my way home rather than somewhere else. I might have bought a little less shrimp than I would have if it had been on sale, but I still left happy and know I'll go back as soon as the doublers come out.

lisha said...

It's been awhile since I have been in the blogosphere so even if this is too little too late, I still want to throw in my 2 cents.

I love Broadway albies for working hard for me as the consumer. When I go to the one that it 3 blocks from my house (17th) I feel like an inconvinence to them--especially when I want to do more than one transaction or have multiple coupons. There is one gal that is super nice and I love it when she works there. The gentlemen in the back of the store are sweet and try to help me find things also, but I am not a big fan of most checkers there. I would rather drive the 10 miles to Broadway when I have time. But I don't always.

Also, I love the newsletter they send out each week letting me know the deals. I can look at the newspaper ad, but I don't always understand what the great deals are so it is nice to have that emailed to me to point them out.

My very favorite thing that ANY Albertsons will do for me is wrap my meat into 1 pound packages and flash freeze it. I used to buy big family packs whenever they were on sale take them home and rewrap them myself. Kind of took a long time and it was a little gross. But I want the most for my money so it was the least expensive way to buy meat.

So thank you for making my life easier in every way when it comes to grocery shopping.