Shaw's Supermarket - Quality of Produce Department

Posted on Tuesday, September 24th, 2013 at 10:55am CDT by c5aa142d

Company: Shaw's Supermarket

Location: 134 Water St.


Category: Food

To: Shaw's Supermarket, Wakefield MA

I am writing today to share my concerns and disappointment regarding my last few visits to the Shaw's supermarket on Water St. in Wakefield, MA. I have been a customer ever since I moved to Wakefield two years ago. I originally chose Shaw's because of the close proximity to my house. I stayed because of the friendliness of your staff, the overall professional look of this location and the quality of the products offered.

It is the latter criteria that I wish to discuss with you today. For the past several months I have run into issues buying produce from you. Despite doing my best to inspect the produce on the premises, I have now arrived home only to find my produce is not fresh on four separate occasions. The first two incidents were with raspberries, which had mold on the bottom of the package that I could not see at the store due to the bottom of the container being lined with paper. After the second time, I stopped buying them from Shaw's. The third incident, which was two weeks ago, I bought a red onion only to find it covered in black spots when I cut into it. Lastly, a week ago I bought baby carrots that appeared fine at the store and had a decent 'sell by' date that was more than a day or two away. Nonetheless, I went to open the package the day after buying them and they were white and slimy.

In addition to taking home produce I bought only to find it had gone bad, I have also made the decision in the store to not buy certain products upon inspection. For example, I recently found mold on several containers of your strawberries, and just last week the cucumbers were covered in dirt to the point I did not even want to touch them. I had a similar issue with the onions.

I am familiar with your satisfaction guarantee, however I have a full time job and I am pursuing my MBA part-time on top of that. As you can imagine, that does not leave me with a lot of free time, and I was really relying on the convenience factor of Shaw's and the quality of their products to get what I need quickly and get out. I can understand the occasional issue with produce since it is a perishable, but it has been a constant issue over the past two months for me, and I almost walked out of the store the last time I was in there due to the state of the entire produce department.

Frequently having to go back to return items is not something I would want to do even if I had the time for it. While I appreciate Shaw's having a policy in place, it is of little value to me due to how inconvenient the policy is to me, the customer. To complement this policy and prevent customers having to invoke it, I would recommend reviewing your store's policy on quality assurance for all perishable products to assure they are being monitored more frequently, and to assure anything that has spoiled is being removed from display promptly.

While on the topic of produce, I wanted to do more research on Shaw's to see what type of information you offered for your customers. I was curious about two things. First, I wanted to see what Shaw's policy was on monitoring and maintaining the Produce Department, because rarely do I see employees in there when I visit the store. I also wanted to see if perhaps I was doing something that was contributing to my issue with the produce I have recently purchased. I found the Shaw's website to be lacking in informative information, unlike some of your competitors. For example, Stop & Shop's website has an entire section dedicated to Produce Safety. Shaw's has one line about using separate cutting boards for meats and fresh produce. The Whole Foods page on produce displays very clear and very high expectations they have regarding the quality of their produce, and how involved their employees are in living up to those expectations. The Produce page on the Shaw's website talks about nothing but apples, with a few links to some other types of produce, but nothing about the department as a whole.

I only mention the websites because I was hoping to get my comfort level back up to where it needed to be with Shaw's, but it is unfortunately having the opposite effect. I would very much like to hear back from someone regarding my concerns, because I am open to becoming a customer again. Shaw's truly does have amazing employees, and I will miss that; however, at this time I believe it is in my best interest to try out a few other grocery stores in the area in the hopes I have better luck with my need for quality and one-stop-shopping.


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