Part 2 of a multiple blog series: My Food Journey – what started as a terrible customer service experience with corporate America, has transformed into my personal journey to explore new options in food sourcing and shopping for my family in the Myrtle Beach area.
When you experience horrific customer service, anything is usually better the next time somewhere else. Since my epic tragedy at Walmart, I have visited Lowes Foods twice in Little River, SC. I have never shopped there before, but after conducting social media “research” in asking all my Facebook friends their opinions, I decided to take a dive there.
Lowes Foods (established in 1954) is based in Winston-Salem, NC and has four stores in South Carolina (Little River, Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet and Pawleys Island). They have 111 stores total, most of which is in North Carolina. The company advertises that they are locally grown, locally owned. They do offer a good selection of organic, local and gluten-free products which are integrated with the typical products throughout the store. I enjoyed not having to shop in a specific, isolated section for my unique products. Their chalkboard at the front of the store promotes how many organic produce items that are available. The first visit, it was 74 and the second visit, it was 68 – not too shabby!
The best aspect at Lowes Foods is their high level and what I like to call, the throwback of customer service. During checkout the cashier will unload your shopping cart (also called buggy) while a bagger will bag your products and place them into your cart for you. On my second visit they offered to take my bags to my car, which I gratefully accepted since it was raining and I had my 18 month old baby with me. I tried to give the kid a tip, but he graciously said they are not allowed to accept tips per company policy. I was pleased to know that they offered this service as a part of their customer service guidelines and reminded of customer service of days past. Life today is so much more hectic and stressful that we lose our common courtesy. Lowes Foods upholds a strict standard for customer service, which was very evident in their store among their employees.
One of the main reasons I picked Lowes Foods was for their gas rewards program. In our county, we have a plethora of Wilco-Hess gas stations (more than 20) and with this partnership and spending of $100 at the grocery store, I can earn 5 cents off per gallon of gas. Each week, Lowes Foods also offers bonus gas rewards, like if you buy this, you get an extra 10 cents off! So this past visit, I participated in their bonus, spent $104 and earned 15 cents off my next refill. I didn’t think the groceries were priced any higher compared to Walmart. In fact, I felt that I did get better quality products plus a reward for shopping there!
One interesting and convenient service is Lowes Foods To Go. Order all your groceries online and their shoppers will do the shopping for you. You can either pick up your bags curbside or have it delivered to you door for a fee of $4.95. If you live within one of these zip codes in South Carolina, you can have your groceries delivered to your house or where you vacation: 29440, 29442, 29566, 29568, 29572, 29575, 29576, 29577, 29578, 29579, 29582, 29585, 29588 – but check with your local store for confirmation.
So, I have also heard decent opinions about Publix, which is set to open soon. I may venture away from Lowes Foods one week, just to check it out.