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Friday, September 26, 2008

How To Go Out Of Business

This grocery store owner in Manhattan (naturally) is trying to make a point to his customers. He's about to find out that his customers will have a point of their own to make in response:
Upscale NYC Market Charges 'Energy Surcharge'
By Carolyn Costello, CBS 2 HD News

New York (CBS) ― The cost of everything seems to be going up lately, making tough times even tougher. Now a supermarket on the Upper East Side is passing an energy surcharge onto customers.

And as CBS 2 HD quickly found out, many shoppers are outraged.

At "Eli's Manhattan" customers are warned with big signs at the checkout counter.

A 1.8 percent surcharge -- for rising energy and fuel costs -- will be added to their grocery bill.

[T]he owner said he wanted to cause controversy with the 1.8 percent surcharge. Instead of burying the cost in the price of groceries, he's pointing it out to get customers thinking and talking.

"To call the public's attention to how much fuel is being used in the food business," owner Eli Zabar said. "In this case, I am making the increase completely transparent to the customer." (link)
So how are Mr. Zabar's customers reacting to his effort? He'd just better hope his is the only grocery in Manhattan:
"I'm really angry about that," one person said. "I won't come back."

"They're a giant rip-off," added another.

"I think it's outrageous," came another reaction. "The prices here are already high, so it doesn't seem fair."
And from Business 101 class:
It's a bad business move according to workplace guru Stephen Viscusi, author of "Bulletproof Your Job."

"It's really not necessary to be charging people extra right now and to be pointing it out to customers," Viscusi said. "At some point consumers feel plain ripped off."
To say the least.

Who does Zabar think he is? The United States government?