samedi 9 juin 2012

It's been awhile since I've dedicated a post to my dislike for Monoprix.  That doesn't mean that Monoprix has improved---in fact, today I saw something that was a 9.5 on the Stupid-Stuff-Monoprix-Does-Meter, but I'll get to that a bit further down.

Today's complaints will center once again on Monoprix's "logistics".

It's Saturday , which means that the Monoprix is swarming with shoppers--primarily mothers--during the morning hours . (Because we can't grocery shop on Sundays in Paris, Saturday becomes a crowded nightmare in any foodstore. We can, however, buy Adidas on the Champs-Elysees on a Sunday, because those stores are not under the "must rest on the Lord's Day" law.  And we all know how desperately we need tennis shoes on Sundays--and not butter or milk-- so I am very grateful to the French government for this particular law.)

Now if I were the CEO of Monoprix, I'd be sure to make arrangements to have more cashiers on the checkout lines on this particular day, and certainly during the hours leading up to the French lunchtime (13h00). I'd at least arrange to keep the checkout stations open which accommodate shopping carts (some checkouts are for shoppers carrying  handbaskets only) because it is Saturday and that is a day where many French people do a big big shop.  Like a shop which necessitates a shopping cart! 

Alas, there were neither extra cashiers on hand, nor more than 2 checkout stations open through which you could wheel a shopping cart .

One thing Monoprix does during the lunchhour on Saturdays is restock. That's right: conditions are PERFECT for driving your forklift into the already-too-narrow aisles and stocking bread products (but not the one brand I need today of course).  The store is so crowded it is a fire-code violation, people are cranky because their blood sugar has dropped, and you think it is a swell idea to fill in the shelves AT THIS PRECISE MOMENT.


Oh, and then they do this: Every single day I see tucked into some odd place a stray package of meat, or chicken or something perishable which must be kept in the cold zone. You know, stuff some shopper decided they didn't want but was TOO LAZY to put back in its rightful (and health-preserving) area. Today there was a pot of tarama tucked into the gum display near the checkout stand. Because the checkout girls are not allowed, under their union rules and regulations, to restock shelves (nor ask one of those fork-lift guys to take the item to its proper location) the stuff just sits there until some employee--working under the appropriate labor contract--will see it, pick it up and put it in the cold-foods section.

They may as well have a special aisle called "Food Which Has Sat Out Too Long And Will Poison You With e.coli And samonella. Reduced price!"

(Note to self: don't buy any tarama for a couple of days)

But let me come back around to what rated a 9.5 on the Stupid-Stuff-Monoprix-Does-Meter today.

I'm used to Monoprix laying out their store in all kinds of crazy ways.  Toothpaste on the upper level but toothbrushes on the ground floor.  Shaving cream tucked way back amongst the lightbulbs, razors nowhere in that vicinity.  When you shop at Monoprix, you have to think like a Monoprix "traffic flow engineer", that is to say never expect to find any related items grouped together.  This insane layout is not to encourage the shoppers to wander through the entire space and make impulse purchases.  That would be way too American in concept.  No, the sole and unique reason that Monoprix shelves their products in the most obscure and illogical way possible is it drive me crazy.

Today's example will illustrate this point perfectly.  I wanted to buy some little pots of creamer for my coffee.  I spy several brands shelved here in the "Breakfast items" aisle.  That makes sense, for a change.  See that shelf with the little packs marked "Gloria"?  That's where the creamers are.  

 But wait.  My favorite brand isn't there!  What happened to the "President" creamers?  I ask a "Breakfast Items" stockguy, who, of course, is STOCKING THE AISLE during peak shopping hour.  (You can see the edge of his forklift in the picture, in fact).

He indicates that this one brand of creamer--for reasons known only to Monoprix, is situated in the fresh milk/cheese aisle (even though it is not fresh; it is packaged in UHT tubs just as the other creamers are) at the complete opposite end of the store.

Rolling my eyes, I braced myself for battle as I make my way through the crowds towards the milk aisle, using my shopping cart as a ramming device.

And there it is...the Holy Grail of creamers, why, it's the President of creamers!  Maybe that's why it gets special treatment.

 At least there were no forklifts blocking my access to it.