By Mike Thayer
For routine weekly grocery shopping, the primary options in Wichita are Dillons, Walmart, Target Grocery, Trader Joes, Aldi, Whole Foods, Natural Grocers and if you live in Park City - Leeker's (I used to work there back in the day, I worked in the deli, a fry cook, I don't miss it). I've shopped in all of them, but I prefer Aldi. Overall, Aldi is hands down the cheapest place in town to buy groceries and without a sacrifice in product quality. Yes, they lack some of the name brand products, but through trial and error, I've learned that 8 times out of 10, having that name brand item just isn't necessary.
For impromptu shopping, or just needing to grab a couple items, it's usually Dillon's. Location is the primary reason, I live less than a mile from one. And I prefer to stick to the store brand (Kroger) because it's cheaper. But I have to say that the Dillons located at Harry & Edgemoor is perhaps the most poorly managed Dillon's in town. This is my neighborhood Dillon's, but quite frankly, I prefer not to shop there.
Yes, I've reached that point. Now if I have to do some impromptu shopping, if I forgot something on a list or decided to cook something on a whim and I'm out of or don't have a certain something, I'm going to the next nearest Dillons at Harry & Webb or Rock & Central instead of my neighborhood store.
Because in my humble opinion the Dillons store at Harry & Edgemoor has got to be one of the poorest managed stores in the Wichita Metro. There is always trash in the parking lot when you pull in and eight times out of ten, when you walk in the store there will be few carts available. And finding a mini-cart? Forget it. They're all out in the parking lot, either orphaned and taking up a parking space or in a full beyond its capacity cart corral. When you do get to select a cart, you often have to choose between a 'clean cart' but with one of those dreaded 'thump, thump, thump' squiggly wheels or pick the trash out of one from the previous customer. When shopping, this particular Dillons is always out of something. Short on coffee creamer, out of a large assortment of lunch meats, or produce items not in stock. Sure, that this is a busy location is taken into consideration, but it's not any more or less busy than the Dillons locations at Harry & Webb or Rock & Central. I say the issues this store has is due to a management problem.
When I first started to see that many products I like to purchase were out of stock and shelves empty, I initially chalked it up to the Kroger supply line. But then one day when needing a few items in the early A.M., and seeing my neighborhood store not having what I needed, I ventured to the Dillons on Harry & Webb. There, I found what I needed, blowing up my theory that this was a Kroger supply line issue. And I've done the same thing with the Dillons on Rock & Central. With my neighborhood Dillon's not having what I was shopping for and my other errands taking me north, I found what I needed at Rock & Central.
Why is the Harry & Edgemoor store out of Kroger hard salami and other Kroger lunch meats, but the store on Harry & Webb has it all in stock? Are there that many salami lovers in the Harry & Edgemoor neighborhood? I don't think so. It's a "not knowing how to order properly" issue.
Why is the Harry & Edgemoor store out of coffee creamers and the other nearby Dillons stores are not? Are there that many fans of Hazelnut or Italian Sweet Cream that the store sells out on a weekly basis? I don't think so. It's a "not knowing how to order properly" issue.
A lackluster curb appeal, shopping carts not available and/or not clean and serviceable and the lack of products on the shelves NOT due to a supply shortage are all indicators that management is less-than-stellar.
How is it that with today's technology, the at-the-ready inventory and sales data numbers, that two Dillons stores not so close to me can pretty much get it right most of the time, but my neighborhood Dillons cannot?
They've lost a customer. I'm no longer shopping there, not even on the most impromptu basis. I give the Dillons store on Harry and Edgemoor 2 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars. They are not worthy of repeat business. And I can count on one hand the number of employees that are friendly and do business with a smile. There's no "Hello," or "Can I help you find something?" from these folks.
The Dillons in question is located at 5500 E Harry St, Wichita, KS 67218. Shop somewhere else.