Socrates once said, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
Last summer I lived in a four grocery store town. Grocery shopping easy.
Our favorite local grocer, less than a mile from our house, announced they were closing for a 5-month remodel of the store starting August 23rd. Re-opening in January.
Word spread. By the end of they day store shelves showed huge gaps where product once stood. We dropped by to pick up a few items and ended up stocking up too.
The store employees, notified the evening before at a company meeting.
The clerks relocated to one of three other properties in the neighboring big city, Tacoma, Washington, or they lost their jobs. They had the option of re-applying for their original jobs once our store re-opened.
A pall hung over the store employees. We were sad too. We figured we would never see most of our favorite clerks again.
Across the street an issue of a different kind occurred. An anti-trust settlement closed our local Safeway. The property was sold to a local chain called Haggens.
Since Safeway sold the property last March, Haggens business dropped by 50 percent. The up side, I could now run safely on the sidewalk on the Haggens side of the street without being run over. The kamikaze drivers shopped elsewhere.
Haggens closed the day before Thanksgiving.
Happy holidays everyone, let the combat grocery shopping begin.
And then there were two, grocery stores.
Because of the Haggen’s closure, Albertson/Safeway bid on the property at auction and won.
The two stores raced to re-open on the same day: Wednesday, February 3rd. At 7:00 a.m. the mayor hosted a ribbon cutting party.
By 7:15 a.m. horns honked, cars raced around the parking lots in search of open spaces. Watching the cars jockeying for parking—crunch—the voice of Kathy Bates yelling “Towanda” filled the back of my mind. “Face it girls, I’m older and I have more insurance.”
Private security directing traffic. The road between the two stores mimicked Seattle rush-hour traffic—bumper-to-bumper, inching along at five miles-per-hour.
The Starbucks on every corner devoid of customers, except for us. All attention focused on the two “new” stores.
We could walk there faster than we could drive. So we did. That’s when it happened, change happened. I found a dime, a quarter, and a nickel on the ground. My lucky day. And I didn’t get run over retrieving said coins. A genuine possibility based on their location in the parking lot of our recently re-opened grocery store.
This winter, I live in a four grocery store town. Change happens.
Which made me realize, Socrates was right. “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” Although he forgot to mention watching for any spare change along the way. ;)