How do you define loyalty?
Is it too lofty an ideal to use it for a basic concept?
There are many grocery stores here in Monsey. Over the past few years they have expanded and spread out. A few years ago, one store became a mega kosher grocery store. A candy isle twice the length of my house. A wall of dips and shmears** that dazzle the eyes. A huge selection of meats and poultry, sometimes just cut up 6 different ways. Such as cutlets: cut thin, in strips, in chunks, in little stir fry strips, on skewers, spiced, breaded, etc. Good for them that they can be so clever with their marketing (or shame on us cooks that we'd pay extra per lb. to have a chicken cutlet cut into little strips. Really, how much work is that??)
I do believe that the mega grocery store took away some business from other stores. And even more than groceries, when the large stores start to sell non-grocery items (and I don't mean chanuka menorahs or paper goods), like sandwich makers, small electronic appliances, a huge selection of swimming gear, it has to have an effect on the other hardware/appliance stores.
Recently another new, modern grocery store opened. And there is no question, IMHO, that it has severely affected the other grocery stores. Places which had been packed on a Wednesday or Thursday are now less so. Parking spaces abound. Lines are shorter.
I admit, I have gone into the new store. It is nice! Actually, not my taste exactly, too dark, and it smells like
sushi. But it's modern, has an energy to it, and some clever shticky
things, like zoom checkout and purple fingerling potatoes.
Does the concept of Hasogas Hagvul have an application here? I don't know.
But I think loyalty does. I think I should still shop at the grocery store near my home, Wesley Kosher. I love them. Their prices are ok, their meats a very reliable hechsher, and tasty, and they pretty much always have what I am looking for. Staff that are helpful, and really know me. Back when I was still using checks to pay for groceries, Luis would look at my check and say, "Hey, your husband was in here before!"
And they are undergoing some major cosmetic changes. I am sad that they must do so to stay competitive, and that locals really need to have their fruit display look different, or their meat and chicken pre-cut and seasoned. I wish they would know that there are many of us here in the extended Monsey community who have always liked their store the way it is. Familiar.
But such is change. And competition.
And here at DIP, I think we shall remain loyal.