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Very cool idea. I think I will have to try this one. I just love the "It's the Little Things" line. Thanks!

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Can I have this copied? I will link back to your blog. Is that ok?

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Superb! Generally I never read whole articles but the way you wrote this information is simply amazing and this kept my interest in reading and I enjoyed it.

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To achieve ones goals you must consider your surroundings/environment. If your goal is to make a profit, you must consider your customer's, employees' and the environment's interests in order to achieve success.

Nic Fulton

Thanks for the post. I just want to be clear that Fairways is, like all real companies, soul-less. I love them too. But this story should make you think. I lived in Harlem near the original Fairway. I volunteered to teach in a low-income school. My colleague drove in from NJ and I said "park in Fairway". He did. We taught a class and returned to the car park. His car was clamped. I said "but we were teaching the local kids". Fairway said "yeah, we get that a lot", I said "but I'm a customer - I shop here every week", they said "yeah, so what". My friend had to hand over around a hundred bucks so those crooks would unclamp his car. We taught at the school again, but we never parked at Fairway. The car park at that time was never full. I did shop there again, but I hated it. Because they hate people who help the community. Fairway should think about this. I was really pissed at the time. So please let's not get carried away about "they are great". It's not true. Companies are not humans.

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Lance Maurer

Pause to think about why this issue is endemic to the US goods and services landscape? One reason this is so prevalent is that in the US distributors can play games with who can or can’t sell particular products. So people on this list might wonder, ‘Why do I have to put up with the terrible service and selection of goods? Why do I have to travel distances to find a clean friendly place?’ It is because our laws are structured to protect large distribution based interests. Address this and you would see much more competition looking to provide you with an experience that is always improving!

Lance Maurer

Stop to ask yourself, why is this so endemic in the US? One reason it because the barriers to entry in many small business markets are too difficult to overcome. It the US had fair trade laws in effect for small business you would see better competition across the spectrum of goods and services. My point is that while distributors of goods can play games with who can carry what products you won’t see better players in the market - any you will wonder why...


Gpraysman, it's a matter of priorities.
If you do what you do primarily because you see people as "dollar signs", it shows and it affects how people see you as well.
If the reason why you care for your customers (or your employees, for that matter) is because you truly care about them as people, you will still have money as an end result (this is ALWAYS the result of a business transaction anyway), only now, because they know your WHY and are inspired by it, you might end up with more dollars than you had expected! ;-)
Think about your priorities. And, as Simon says, start with WHY.


May I add that the same is true if you replace "customers" with "employees". Nice article.


Nice comparison. Customer expectations keep changing and business will realign to be successful. In earlier times Food Emporium was monopoly and customers had to settle with what they get. Now Fairway Market has changed their status.

Now we have this scenario with respect to computer software. Ha Ha !


That's great information. I love it.

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@WorldWideReid Hear, hear! This was my first article on Simon's blog. And this is the first time I've read comments that are also constructive. Good job every single one.


This is a great article. I totally agree that every company cares about their customers - it's just a question of how.

I would argue though that even the companies who see their customers as people, also see them as dollar signs. I don't think there's anything wrong with that; you're in business to make money. The companies who understand that customers need to be treated like people will likely make more of it.

All companies care about their customers just like all companies care about the bottom line, the difference is how, if I may borrow your phrasing.

Jason Dea (@threadyblock)

Companies need to realize that as products have become commoditized the only differentiator left is your customer experience and service. Everyone will say they care about their customers, but it's clear that few really strive to prove it. These are the brands that win, because they build an emotional bond with the consumer, rather than simply taking their money.


Now is not the time to be aloof as a company in the business of 'customer service'! It's good to see 'Fairway' succeed - I want to shop there! Easier to maintain and take care of a client than it is to find a new one. Thanks for inspiring us....again!


It's a sickness that reinforced and retrenches itself and goes past they way you treat customers; I guarantee they treat their employees the same way, as well as their "vendors" and "business partners." Makes for an ugly spiral.

But yes, the new Fairway is awesome. Now we just need a Trader Joes' where Blockbuster was . . .


That is so true! Thanks for the article Simon. I know this from my experience too.


I really needed this, thanks so much for posting!

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