Safeway sadness

kettish(8a)November 9, 2010

I walked into Safeway yesterday and was impressed with the orchids they had. Lots of oncidium crosses and even a blooming cattleya! I struck up a conversation with the floral arrangement lady on duty and she told me they got shipments every three weeks generally.

I didn't see tons of orchids everywhere, only around 25, so I asked if they went on sale after they stopped blooming. No, she said-they throw them away! Into a trash compactor! WTF!

The poor floral clerk was sad about it as well, but said that Safeway policy didn't allow them to give them away or mark them down. I'm going to speak with the manager to see if we can work something out...I'm hoping they'll let me 'rescue' the ones they can't keep in exchange for a donation to their favorite charity or something. If not I'll be writing Safeway higher-ups. It's just wasteful!

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This seems to be pretty much standard practice for a lot of supermarkets and box stores that sell orchids in the US. The buying power of these type of stores lets them dictate terms so that the supplier reimburses them for stock that doesn't sell. As such, there's more financial incentive to bin the old stock than to cut the price.

I don't actually see this as the abomination that some other people think it is. It's just the reality of commercial production of a perishable commodity.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 7:40PM
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cjwatson(Z8 FL)

Most of these stores get a full refund from the orchid supplier for plants which don't sell.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 7:57PM
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corymbosa, I've seen places do that before, but usually the employees wouldn't mind looking the other way while I went dumpster diving, y'know? And other suppliers will take their plants back to use for whatever, whether they get them blooming again and send them back out or just compost them.

I don't have an issue so much with even the fact that the plant itself gets destroyed I guess than with the fact that it isn't put to any use. It just goes into the bin. (I think restaurants should be composting their leftovers, too, but know that it's more work than they want to do. I waitressed for many years and think it's possible.)

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 9:31PM
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richardol(Santa Royale CA)

Our "local" Big Box supplier does not take any orchids back, it is not good business to do it.

Our orchid society went into an arrangement for two or three years to take the orchids from one store but the deal was that we had to take all of them and come and get them right away. We were always looking for storage/care space and few of our members wanted them after awhile. They were a drag on the opportunity table.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 9:42AM
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