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LETTERS

Nonunion Stores Part of Grocers' Issues

November 16, 2003

In "A Strikingly Different Future for Grocers," by James Flanigan (Nov. 9), there was an omission that is at the heart of the current labor dispute: Grocers are demanding the right to open nonunion stores.

This is a deal killer that is all too often ignored or unknown. If it were only as simple as a couple of hundred bucks a year for copayments, the workers would never have overwhelmingly voted to strike.

As our hard-won labor rights continue to be eroded, it is necessary to understand the substantive issues that these employees are being asked to shoulder.

Matt Lady

North Hollywood

*

The column mentions the difficulty the chains have had with some of their acquisitions. Albertsons Inc. in particular, I bet. We experienced the Albertsons scorched-earth style of takeover at our local Lucky in Santa Monica.

There was a changeover in items stocked, based on heaven-knows-what predetermined notion of what a Lucky on Lincoln Boulevard should carry.

The store, which had gone through an extensive remodeling just one year earlier, was again made over -- with narrower aisles, cheesier shelving.

Many of the staff, well known to all of us from the neighborhood, went the way of the organic milk -- disappeared. The remaining checkers were demoralized -- and showed it. And there were fewer checkers, which meant inevitably longer and slower lines.

We live only two blocks away but have given up shopping at Albertsons. I bet we're not alone.

Lawrence Dietz

Santa Monica

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I agree that grocers will continue to be around but will need to change.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., in addition to its supercenters, is opening more and more grocery-only supermarkets.

Their prototype stores are slightly smaller than those of the major grocery store chains. Wal-Mart has been using this format more often to compete against the major chains in areas where its superstore format meets stiff public resistance.

Albert V. Carrol

Director of Acquisitions

CNA Enterprises Inc.

Century City

I agree that grocers will continue to be around but will need to change.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., in addition to its supercenters, is opening more and more grocery-only supermarkets.

Their prototype stores are slightly smaller than those of the major grocery store chains. Wal-Mart has been using this format more often to compete against the major chains in areas where its superstore format meets stiff public resistance.

Albert V. Carrol

Director of Acquisitions

CNA Enterprises Inc.

Century City

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