Published on: September 29, 2021
Yesterday we wrote about the new edition of the dunnhumby Consumer Pulse Survey, which found that "64% of U.S. consumers reported that grocery stores are not doing a good job with COVID-19, compared to February 2021 when 50% of respondents reported grocers were doing a good job. Furthermore, 83% reported that the government isn’t doing a good job either, marking the lowest point of confidence in the government’s handling of the crisis, and the second-lowest globally."
MNB reader Dave Parker responded:
Survey says 84% of people think the government is not doing a good job managing COVID? Government is “we, the people.” As long as “we, the people” are not fully vaccinated against COVID, it will not be possible for the “government” to do a good job.
I commented that many of the issues with which customers take issue with stores are actually beyond the retailers' control, prompting one MNB reader to write:
You are correct! So much is out of the stores control. The cost of goods, availability of goods, the covid issues for our companies that supply us, the availability of transportation, all before it gets to the stores. Then we deal with short staffing, teammates call in sick, they are out a minimum of 3 days because of the restraints applied by our company, which increases the short staffing. Then for customers to hold stores accountable because other customers are not vaccinated? (Which is an assumption on their part.)
Putting store personnel in that firing line (poor choice of words in light of recent news) would be horrible. My team is working long hours and many days in a row. Now to add the shot mandate or weekly testing creates another level of conflict store management has to contend with. Full disclosure, I'm vaccinated, many of my team isn't. The days of running a grocery store like we did pre-corona? Long gone. They want normal? Hell we all do. But what will be the new normal? Who knows. All I do know, I have a great team that shows up everyday, and gives their best to service our customers. I can't ask any more of them than that. I love the business, but not what it has become.
Reacting to Michael Sansolo's column yesterday, which pointed out the degree to which QR codes can make it easy for retailers and restaurants to communicate information to patrons, MNB reader Rich Heiland wrote:
Totally agree with Michael, but again there is an assumption that everyone has a cell phone and is savvy when it comes to food and drink menus. Most restaurants in our town have gone this route. The other night my wife and I walked down the street (we live in downtown and it is cool!) for beers and a snack. We didn't take our phone, wondering how it would be to sit and look at each other, have conversations. Oops. No menus. Fortunately they had backup paper. I will take the phone next time and discipline myself to keep it in my pocket except for ordering. I think I know how that will go. 🙂
Finally, I posted an email yesterday that read:
Over a month ago (August 18th to be exact) you had reported that 70.1% of the US population had at least 1 dose (if not fully vaccinated) of the COVID vaccine. Here we are about 40 days later, and one would expect that would be the % fully vaccinated. Instead today there are slightly less than 65% fully vaccinated.
What happened to the other 5%? Are people just not taking the second shot, or is reporting running that far behind?
I said I'd try to figure it out, but then MNB reader Art Ruder did my work for me:
I went back in the archives and found on August 18th you wrote:
"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 70.1 percent of the US population age 12 and older has received at least one dose of vaccine, with 59.5 percent being fully vaccinated."
On September 27th you wrote:
"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 75.2 percent of the US population age 12 and older has received at least one dose of vaccine, with 64.7 percent being fully vaccinated."
It appears that the 5% that the reader referred to didn't go anywhere. In one case (Aug 18th) the reader cited the percentage of the population age 12 and over that has received at least one dose and in the other (Sept 27th) referenced the percentage that is fully vaccinated.
Thanks for that. I was afraid that my dyscalculia was raising its ugly head.