23 March 2010

Really Giant, this is the best you can do?

Now, while we promised in our introductory post the following:
That doesn't mean we'll hold back on the curmudgeonliness here, but we'll make sure that's not the only thing you'll read.
we didn't mean that there wouldn't be blog posts that were just good old complaining. How about this for an example?

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This is an exterior sign on Giant grocery store #0375, near the Rhode Island Avenue Metro station, on Brentwood Road NE. The store, built in 2002, is having its interior upgraded using Giant's new corporate color scheme. It's good to see this much money being invested in a store that's under a decade old.

Many people in the neighboring Edgewood neighborhood complained when the Safeway at 514 Rhode Island Avenue NE closed, but the writing was on the wall the year before, when I noted that the store was the only one in DC not slated to receive upgrades. The fact that Giant is staying invested in the neighborhood makes it clear that they're not going anywhere anytime soon.

Now, with all that said, someone explain this to me:

This is the new Giant logo that has replaced the sign you saw above. The grimy outline of Giant's old sign is clearly visible here. I just want to know why they didn't clean the wall before installing the new sign.

I mean, this is your face to the outside world, your potential customer's first impression, and you're going to do it half-assed? After spending hundreds of thousands of dollars upgrading your store, you'd think that Giant management would want to make sure to get everything right. This simple oversight—leaving the exterior looking unfinished—undermines all the other work they're doing. If you want me to come into your store, don't leave me with a first impression that screams "cheap".


  1. I'm sure this is something Giant / Stop & Shop execs would be glad to change if they knew about it. Is a letter in the works?

  2. We have a saying in the construction industry(probably elsewhere too, but that's where I picked it up): prior planning prevents piss poor performance. They probably just had sign contractor come in and replace the sign giving no thought(planning) to the state of the wall.

    I hope this upgrade makes the store more welcoming. I've been trekking to the Safeway at 5th and K since the Rhode Island location closed. I can't put a finger on it, but something about Safeway is more inviting to me.

  3. RI Ave Giant makes me furiousMarch 23, 2010 at 1:19 PM

    What's the point of investing in aesthetics if the service you provide is still atrocious. It's impossible to visit that store and stand in line for 45 minutes to check out and not want to kill everyone in the parking lot to let go of your rage. Spend the money on managers who actually care about the service provided to customers. The current management clearly couldn't care less and their employees' attitudes reflect this.

  4. Why pay someone to clean the wall when you can let nature do it for you?

  5. I have to give them a hand on the remodel and the changing of the checkout lanes it looks so much better and streamlined. That being said there is usually a line because it is the only grocery store in the area (now and before depending on how you felt about the Safeway).

  6. it looks fine at night/from the front seat of a speeding car, which makes up their customer base. Giant doesn't do urban very well, sadly

  7. Giant doesn't do ANYWHERE very well. I haven't set foot in a Giant in three years: there's never more than two cashiers, the vegetables are meh, and the prices are usually higher than Safeway, SFW, Teeter, or even some of the bodegas. Eff Giant with a white hot stick.

  8. Sunny Florida AvenueMarch 24, 2010 at 9:58 AM

    This particular Giant just happens to always smell like rotten vagina as well. Mmm...Poorly ventilated seafood counter.

  9. DG-rad: I've sent a note to their corporate offices. I may stop by the store this weekend and ask the manager about it if I get over that way.

    dano: Thanks for the input! Even after the upgrades at this Giant, I think the store at 5th and K NW will remain more visually appealing, if only because that store was built to blend into the city, while this Giant, even with the upgrades, still looks like a nice suburban store.

  10. I will never shop at Safeway after watching them pull out of Central Virginia in the early-1990s because their employees voted to unionize. Even when I lived in California (Safeway's home territory), I did all I could to never even set foot in one. (Thankfully we had other options.) Also their dairy products are so poorly made. Worst Cheese and Yogurt I've ever eaten.

    That being said, I like Giant. Of all the big chains around DC, I found the prices to be decent, Vegetables to be good (much better than Safeway, especially), and friendly staff. (Understaffed, yes, but everyone is friendly.) Loved the Columbia Heights store.

    Harris Teeter feels to much like a UVA alumni mixer, and I've had plenty of those. And they are so overpriced. They were a novelty in 1990s in Central Virginia, but they just have lived up to their previous reputation.

  11. monkey: it's funny you say that. On my side of the river, I've found Giant to generally be cheaper than Safeway...and a decent salad bar to boot.

  12. @DC1974

    The Hill is Home did some comparison shopping for the Cap Hill Safeway and Teeter - and the Teeter just edged out the Safeway in the thriftiness department:


  13. Agreed. If they are trying to look more eco and high end with their new basket-and-ambiguous-colored-leaves logo, having exposed glue and dirt under the new sign doesn't help. ALSO since we are both local DC and lovingly curmudgeonly, I have a blog too. ispythingsdc.com. Head's up. Would have emailed you, but couldn't find an address!


You can be curmudgeonly too, but let's try to be civil and constructive here, ok?