No, not the fabulous Univision program. While Safeway sits empty and undemolished across from the Wheaton Metro, the Giant at the Wheaton Mall has been renovating. It doesn’t seem that different from before, but is somewhat nicer and better lit and was well-stocked this morning, smack in the middle of their Grand Reopening weekend. I haven’t shopped there much in the past because of (a) horrid mall traffic and (b) earning United miles on my Safeway card. But United no longer works with Safeway, and the Giant has I think surpassed the Kensington and Randolph Safeways qualitatively, so I expect to go more often. H-Mart will remain my primary grocery procurement destination, though.
One particularly interesting thing at the new improved Giant: employees are now required to escort you to your car post-checkout. As usual, I declined assistance with my cart, but my bagger insisted on walking with me. He said he was among 12 or so newly-hired employees who are part of the new mandatory escort policy. I’m sure this will help with cart maintenance, and certainly some people appreciate or even need the help, but overall it seems like a money-waster for Giant, since clearly there is underemployment (i.e. too many employees with not enough actual work to do). If they can make it work within their profit margin, then great, I’m glad to see more local employment opportunities, but it’s hard to believe this will continue for long. In the meantime, if you like to be helped to your car when you grocery shop, now’s the time to visit the Wheaton Mall Giant.