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The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Safeway, facing a onslaught of criticism that it has ruined the once-highly respected Genuardi’s chain there that it acquired less than two years ago, is apologizing to shoppers via a new advertising campaign that pledges, “Genuardi’s Is Back!”

“Despite our best intentions, not all of the changes we've made recently have gone smoothly, and we're sorry if your Genuardi's experience was affected,” one version of the ad says. “But now, with so many good things happening at your Genuardi's, we'd like to invite you back.”

The company is promising better meat and produce, as well as expanded natural, organic and gourmet foods. However, there is no mention in the reports about the company cutting back on the Safeway private label products that replaced many of the items that Genuardi’s shoppers liked.
KC's View:
As Ronald Reagan once said about the Soviet Union, “Trust. But verify.”

If indeed shoppers are willing to give Genuardi’s another shot, the company had better be prepared for the reality that it will get exactly that many chances to make amends.

One more chance. That’s it.

And if the “new Genuardi’s” doesn’t live up to rekindled expectations, then those customers likely are lost forever.

By the way, we checked the “Our Company” section of the Genuardi’s website, and this is what it says:

    Genuardi's began in 1920, when Gaspare and Josephine Genuardi started what is now Genuardi's Family Markets. The couple grew vegetables on their small Norristown farm and delivered them to neighbors by horse and wagon, and later by Model T truck. The Genuardi's worked hard and earned a reputation for their quality vegetables and exceptional service.

    Of their nine children, five sons helped with the family business, learning the importance of "going the extra mile" for their customers. The boys continued helping their parents as the family opened a small corner store and later a "superette." In 1954, the Genuardi Brothers opened the first Genuardi Super Market on Main Street in Jeffersonville.

    Through the 1950's, 60's, and 70's, the Genuardi Brothers built the largest, most respected independent supermarket business in the Delaware Valley. As the chain of stores grew, the Genuardi Brothers promoted trusted employees to management positions, always keeping in mind the value of a family business.

    Although, we've come a long way since Gaspare Genuardi delivered vegetables by horse-drawn cart, Genuardi's still operates under the same basic principles: hard work, superior customer service, and a dedication to our family of employees.

    We believe it is those principles that have made Genuardi's Family Markets one of the most successful supermarket chains in the country. We continue to set new industry standards for quality, service, and customer-oriented innovations.

Notice something?

The name “Safeway” never appears. Which might be a good strategic decision, but it also might appear to shoppers as being a trifle disingenuous.