With one local grocery chain dealing with a union strike, other stores are enjoying a bit of a boost as customers go grocery shopping somewhere else.
Around the corner from the Colchester Stop & Shop is Noel’s Market. Bob Crowell is its manager, and he says business is up.
On Sunday, about 1,300 customers came in, he said. That’s almost double a normal Sunday.
“A lot of new faces, a lot of people commenting on the store comparing prices with Stop & Shop, and a lot of good positive feedback,” Crowell said.
He called the situation of having to deal with a rush of new shoppers “crazy busy” but in a good way.
“I think we have a great store here and a great location. If we keep half those people, I think good things can happen,” Crowell said.
Things got so busy that Crowell called in Emily Wescott on Monday morning to be an extra set of hands. She’s normally a cashier, but she also stocked shelves and moved items around in preparation of a truck full of produce arriving at the Noel’s – the third in a few days.
“We’ve had to take in a lot more people – workers – because there’s just been so much demand for stocking stuff and ringing people out,” Wescott said. “Right now, the shelves are pretty bare because we weren’t expecting it.”
Kevin Jordan was shopping at Noel’s -- and he said he won’t go to Stop & Shop during the strike and may not go back after it.
“I’m looking to see how this is going to turn out,” Jordan said. “If it does turn out in the favor of the employees, I’m going to bring my business back but still keep it half and half between Noel’s [and Stop & Shop].”
A Stop & Shop representative said Monday that negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement between the company and members of the United Food and Commercial Worker’s union are “currently underway.”