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Western North Carolina The Mountain Region including Asheville
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Old 05-03-2007, 06:44 AM
Location: asheville
3 posts, read 30,878 times
Reputation: 26


I live in Asheville, moved her 9 years ago, and have been hoping that a Publix, Kroger, Wegman's or ANY other quality grocery store besides the strictly organic ones (Earth Fare, Fresh Market, etc, which are very nice) would build in those area.

Does Ingle's control that market segment here because they are a local company? I really dislike Ingle's on many levels, not the least of which is customer service and very poor quality produce. I have written them on occasion to address various issues and without fail, they have either avoided answering the question by giving a "canned generic statement" or tried to point a finger at lower level employees by asking for specific details about where and who did what.

In speaking to various local store employees about both general and specific issues, the most common responses have been....'Management doesn't listen or care' or a whispered 'You wouldn't believe what goes on in the back'. I know it's becoming a common practice, in general, to switch brand names for store brands but Ingles seems to do it a while lot more than many others, especially on popular items. I've also been told that they are ONLY concerned with the bottom line and since they virtually have a captive customer base they don't need to listen to customer complaints. Do they have a "mafia type" of power in this area within the grocery market when it comes to letting other large chains in? Why won't Publix or Kroger come in to give the consumer some real choices?

Is it because of Ingle's local muscle with the city or county or is it because no one else has questioned the issue?
We have a small Harris Teeter and an underwhelming Bi-Lo, but I really would like to see another QUALITY chain give Ingle's real competition. I think they are far too arrogant, percieved as the only game in town, and just plain low class in quality, service and value. I know others will disagree with me but I will do anything to avoid the "Ingles Experience", including driving to other cities to prurchase things I need. I even wait until I go out of town to obtain certain items just so that I can obtain the ' more pleasant experience' of other grocery stores. I'd much rather shop locally but Ingles has literally turned me off to buying food because of their 'consumer won't know any better' attitude.
Maybe I am alone here or too focused on this issue but it is one that I do find is shared by many others I have met around here, perhaps just not as vocally but more more willing to accept.
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Old 05-03-2007, 07:40 AM
Location: Upstate SC
954 posts, read 2,576,234 times
Reputation: 973
I tend to agree with you. Have lived in Asheville for five years now and am underwhelmed by Ingles. Employees are not friendly, for the most part and lazy on top of it, and I hate to say it, but they do not hire the brightest bulbs compared to Harris Teeter and the organic grocery stores. We usually shop at Harris Teeter as I live in South Asheville and only go to Ingles when necessary or convenient. All I know is that their stock price is going through the roof, so they must be doing something right, as much as it pains me to admit it.

I also agree with you on Bi-Lo, my wife and I were just talking the other night about how we can see Bi-Lo exiting the Asheville market. The employees and management there are as lazy as the Ingles employees, and the store has a dark, dreary feel about it. I had heard that Publix wanted to enter the market, but Ingles did something to dissuade them, not sure if that's true or not, but I heard that about a year ago.
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Old 05-03-2007, 08:22 AM
Location: Asheville, NC
648 posts, read 2,942,423 times
Reputation: 315
We have begun shopping at Harris Teeter, after several years at Ingle's. It costs a bit more, but it's worth it. When we loaded up the cart on our big semi-weekly trips, the cashiers at Ingle's rolled their eyes and sighed. It's too much work for them. It's telling that the nice Ingle's directly across the street from Biltmore Forest seems to get almost NO business from Biltmore Forest customers. They pay more and drive further to go elsewhere. And this is one of the nicer Ingle's.

Competition is good!
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Old 05-03-2007, 08:25 AM
17,271 posts, read 38,010,206 times
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I are returning to my summer home in Asheville in a few weeks, and will be shopping again at Ingle's in O'teen. This is a pretty good store, overall, but I tell you when I am in Asheville I do miss my Publix. Even though the Publix I shop at is quite small in comparison to the big Ingle's, it blows Ingles out of the water in quality selections and friendly customer service. Publix also has an AWESOME bakery and deli. Even the girl working the deli had been to Publix and thought it was a much better store! lol!

I do wish Publix would enter this market, I think they could do well - especially for those of us who can't afford to shop at the higher end organic markets all the time.
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Old 05-03-2007, 09:26 AM
Location: The 12th State
22,974 posts, read 64,570,830 times
Reputation: 15061
I understand your frustration but instead of bringing in a chain from a different state try to get what stores and markets available in the area to carry more organic products. Let Ingles management know of your concern by stopping in their headquarters. Especially since Ingles does provide jobs to Asheville residents not only in it stores but as well as it corporate headquarters.

Instead of being a transplant changing what makes North Carolina the state it is shop what is available like the numerous farmer markets. Remember without jobs or by not buying local you are killing the hand that feeds you and the long term affect is someone loosing their home, farmland, and job.
Here is list of places you can shop.

Sunny Grove on Page Avenue
Ledford Produce on Weaverville Rd
GT Little Farmer Market on Butler Bridge Rd
WNC Farmers Market on Brevard Rd

Black Mountain Tailgate Market
Where: 500 Montreat Rd. (Hwy 9 N. at exit 64 off I-40), yard of UU Congregation. Black Mountain, NC
What: Our market is a seasonal Saturday morning community event. We have an array of vendors, including mostly organic and sustainable growers, of produce, plants and herbs. We have local bakers and other food preparation artisans, with hot coffee and other drinks available. We have several artisans, including pottery and jewelry, and handmade soaps, lotions, candles, and such. We enjoy seeing children play on the lawn while their parents or other adult supervisors shop. Pets are welcome if on a leash, as required by town ordinance. We are there on Saturday mornings, rain or shine.
  • Sat 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

French Broad Food Coop Saturday Tailgate Market
Where: 76 Biltmore Ave. next to the French Broad Food Co-op. Asheville, NC
What: Asheville's original all organic tailgate market, serving Asheville and surrounding communities on Saturday mornings since 1990. You will find freshly picked organic vegetables, fruits, berries, herbs and flower bouquets plus garden, herb and landscaping plants. Local honey, freshly baked breads from a wood fired brick oven, vegan and non-vegan baked treats, eggs, pies, goat cheeses, jams, mushrooms, and locally raised meats. Voted Asheville's Best Tailgate Market for over five years.
  • Sat 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Friday Afternoon Tailgate Market at Greenlife
Where: Greenlife Grocery, just north of the I-240 connector. Located just 1/4 mile north of downtown Ashville. Along the grassy edge of parking lot. Asheville, NC
What: New for the 2006 season, the Friday Afternoon Tailgate Market at Greenlife will feature organically grown garden and landscaping plants, fresh picked produce, blueberries and fruits. Fresh baked breads and desserts. Fresh farm eggs, honey, jams, cut flowers, and other seasonal treats from local, organic/sustainable farms.
  • Fri 2:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Greenlife Tailgate Market on Wednesday Afternoon
Where: Under the locust trees, next to the parking lot. Asheville, NC
What: We offer a wide variety of sustainably grown vegetables, fruits, berries and plants. You will also find freshly baked treats, goat cheeses, herb and flower bouquets, and fresh fruit preserves. All the produce is local and freshly picked.
  • Wed 2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
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Old 05-03-2007, 09:59 AM
Location: Asheville, NC
648 posts, read 2,942,423 times
Reputation: 315
Great idea for buying things that are locally grown or made.

I'm not sure Ingle's cares to compete with the co-ops and farmer's markets.
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Old 05-03-2007, 11:25 AM
17,271 posts, read 38,010,206 times
Reputation: 23617
Thanks for posting the tailgate markets. I do plan to check them out while I am there this time - also, I plan to check out Greenlife and Fresh Market up on Merrimon - I have heard those are nice stores.
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Old 05-04-2007, 09:35 AM
Location: Blue Ridge Mountains
1,912 posts, read 3,155,983 times
Reputation: 3142
I shop at Lowes....it is just as nice as Publix...isn't there a Lowes in Asheville? I don't like Ingles either.
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Old 05-04-2007, 10:12 AM
Location: Blue Ridge Mtns of NC
5,660 posts, read 26,656,649 times
Reputation: 3856
Originally Posted by LiveLoveLaugh View Post
isn't there a Lowes in Asheville?
Not that I'm aware of. I believe the closest Lowes Foods to the Asheville-Hendersonville area is in the Hickory/Morganton area.
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Old 06-03-2007, 07:12 AM
Location: Bayonet Point, FL
165 posts, read 872,725 times
Reputation: 126
With all the WNC growth, why does Ingles sufficatingly dominate?

It will be a whack for Ingles at the Weaverville I-26 exit when the SWalmart opens in a few years. I'm not a WMT fan as such, but I would imagine it will
change alot of grocery store habits around that area.

Give me a Publix or Stew Leonards...
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