I was visiting friends in Arizona a couple of years ago and went into a Fresh & Easy store. I knew then it would fail. Everything was self service, there were no cashiers only those hateful self service tills. No one around to offer help, and worst of all not a lot of choice. The store was almost deserted. I then visited a large Safeway where the choice was overwhelming, the service a bit over the top friendly, but they did pack my bags and even offered to take them to the car. The store was heaving.I agree with everything they're saying about Safeway. Can't argue with all-around competence. An earlier look at Tesco's problem gives a surprising comparison between US and UK consumers:
Fresh & Easy initially wrapped much of its produce in cellophane to preserve freshness. But skeptical U.S. shoppers — accustomed to examining their broccoli and lettuce up close — mistook the wrapping as a way to hide inferior products. American consumers assume produce in plastic bags is not as high quality as those in bulk. This led to an initial lower quality perception that has been hard to shake.Maybe Americans are not the laziest and fast-foodiest people in the world after all!
Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.