When the Safeway store left my neighborhood, we were stuck with QFC (owned by Kroger) as our nearest, most convenient grocer. When stocking up on essentials, we go to Trader Joe's. But for those little side trips, we would drop in at QFC.
Then their prices went up--and up--and up, and this was before the current increases. They just charged more for everything, more than the other grocers. Not for any special service or products, but just because they're snooty.
Then they started pushing their automated checkers. Since the products were not that good or unusual, and the prices were too high, the reasons I kept going to QFC were convenience and because I liked the people who worked the checkout stands. They can't say so but it's obvious they're getting screwed by management. The automated checkers on both floors have replaced some of the shifts. Most of the time the only option upstairs is the automated line. Try getting through that in a hurry if you have produce to match up to their squirrelly, incomplete organic and non-organic produce charts.
Now comes the final straw. I always check sell-by dates, and only buy products well within the limit. I have bought products at QFC and found they had already gone bad, but I thought these were isolated incidents--maybe the people packaging the products made a mistake. Today, however, I bought two products marked fresh and (as usual) well within their sell-by dates, which turned out to be rancid when I opened them. One was a package of shrimp and one was a bottle of juice. Both marked fresh, both completely rotten.
So now it's time for me to get my big butt in action and start walking to the nearest non-Kroger store. Even if it's a hike, it will be worth it to find food that won't kill me.