Big Coporate Giant Screws Not So Big Corporate Giant
When Corporate America decided it wanted to be the only game in town, they ran the Mom and Pop businesses away. Now, they want to run away all businesses that can give them the slightest bit of competition.
I wouldn’t exactly call Food Giant a Mom and Pop Store. But I do refer to Publix as a Corporate Bully. They like to flex their muscles like an impotent beach boy at the first sign of competition. Publix is scared to death of Food Giant. On the other hand, Food Giant is not intimidated by Publix. In the City of Moody, Alabama, Food Giant would beat Publix, hands down, in areas from prices to customer service. But this is not the way the City of Moody wants it, by special request from the Publix front office.
The Moody City Council met on Thrusday evening to decide the fate of the long time neighborhood grocery store that has been a model to the Moody community for many years. Present at the meeting were, Director of Food Giant stores Jay Mitchell of Mitchell Grocery Corp., and Moody Food Giant store manager Randy Coker. Also present were many of the 85 plus employees of the store, who had given their best and their loyalty to Jay and Randy over the many years. Jay indicated at the meeting that Food Giant is not afraid of competition from anyone. In fact, the Moody Food Giant is the only store that has challenged, one on one, the largest Corporate Giant of them all – WalMart. Randy stated that Food Giant has been a very important part of the Moody community over the years.
The conclusion of the Moody City Council was to close Food Giant and demolish the building and shopping center to make way for the other guys who, in their minds, will bring more revenue into this small community. This could happen within the next two to three months. This means that many of the Food Giant employees will lose their jobs. This is a tragedy, because the Food Giant Employees and the Moody community are like a family However, I can’t see this happening to all of them. Randy is, undoubtedly, one of the best store managers around. Food Giant also has the best pastry chef and cake decorator in the country.
If you want to think in terms of gratitude, consider the situation that brought Food Giant to Moody in the first place. Winn Dixie once occupied the space that is now Food Giant. When Winn Dixie closed, the City of Moody practically begged Food Giant to bail them out. They did just that. Now, the reaction is “Thanks, but we don’t need you anymore.”
The Winner and the Loser
As you drive east on Interstate 20, just out of Birmingham, and approach Exit 144, Moody is on the left and Leeds is on the right. Likewise, Food Giant is on the left and Wal-Mart is on the right. With the vacant lot, and no Food Giant for at least the next two years, Moody customers will go to Wal-Mart. The result is, lost sales tax revenue for Moody, and more for Leeds.
What happens if and when Publix decides to open a store in Moody? Because of their high prices and off the wall selection of items, the down-to-earth people of Moody will want no part of that. The result will be, more business for Wal-Mart and Leeds, and less business for Publix and Moody.
The real winner is Wal-Mart. The loser is the City of Moody. Publix is just a comic figure in all of this drama.
Finally, suppose Publix double crosses the City of Moody and decides not to open a store there.
They’ve done it before. They’ll do it again. What Corporate America wants, Corporate America Gets.