Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My hissy fit about the Sultan Center

I couldn't take it anymore.  Sultan Center has gone from bad to worst.  Going to the co-ops is so much better these days.

So I'm in there looking for 2 necessary items.  Can't find them. Almost the entire section where dog items once was - has disappeared.  So, I ask the customer service desk person.  She has a lot of excuses. No solutions.  No idea when items will be in.  She walks away without offering to call another store.

Oh no she di'int.

I ask for the duty manager.  He comes down.  Tells me that the problem is "the Baladia" (huh??), then switches lanes and says it is because of the fire in the warehouse - that they don't have enough storage space to accommodate stocks.  Blah blah blah hachi hachi hachi.  

Why do I bother?  Why do I do this to myself when I know it will never ever make a difference and I wil never ever get a statement that resembles a soltuion??

Has anyone noticed that the little cardboard stands of the store managers (which hold their business cards) are no longer placed at the doors?  Even cardboard managers are disappearing.

WTF is going on at TSC???  When the F are you going to get the basic stuff back???  Inquiring minds want to know - and quite a few people I know have been talking about it.

My personal theory/hypothesis goes a little some'in like this:  The Sultan Center's usual AMERICAN distributors have either dropped them or have in some way/shape/form decided not to provide the discounts that they were offering (when TSC had a deal going through Agility to provide food to the US troops in Iraq).  The discounts were, by the by, the reason why Agility's contracts with the US government folded.  The discounts were not passed along to the military. Bada bing - bad boys get in trouble.   (As a side note:  Have you ever seen a discount in TSC?  Are any of the items priced LOWER than US price?  I laugh.  They are a LOT more.)
Distributors never like to have their names associated with anything tawdry, now do they?  Just bad for business.  Perhapsee the American distributors who were once sending shitloads of food and other commodities to TSC during the past few years just aren't going to do it anymore.  Could it be?  Say it aint so. 

So here is my question, when is another AMERICAN food chain going to come into Kuwait to compete with these guys? Sultan Center has pretty good competition from the likes of Lulu Hypermarket (Indian/local flavah with the best produce in Kuwait), Carrefours (purty good French stuff), Geant (again, purty good French/European).  I say - if US chains like Giant, Safeway, Harris Teeters or (please please please) Wholefoods are having trouble with the US economy:  Bring em to Kuwait!!! 

At the moment, shopping at the co-ops is a much pleasanter experience (in my opinion) than TSC.  At least there, you don't EXPECT to find what you are looking for.

Shaya dudes - are you listening? Why not take one of the junior Shayas and make him into the green grocer?  I would get behind that.  Your customer service is great.  Your management methodology is great.  I would drop TSC like a hot box of rocks...  You could even do what TSC has failed to take advantage of:  Online grocery shopping and delivery....


Crazy in Kuwait said...

I totally agree with you. Sultan center has nothing anymore. I used to go to the one in AL Kout for beef but now the whole area where they had meat is closed. I don't even bother going there anymore since LuLu opened in Grain. That place has so much stuff from America I don't have to go anywhere else. I still have to find a good place for beef as I'm on a chicken diet now. Someone, anyone please bring Wal-Mart :)

Anonymous said...

Before the invasion, there was a huge SAFEWAY, And Toys R US. Of course they had to disappear after the war. The only time anything is discounted at TSC is when it is about to expire. Like Capt.Crunch the ONLY time I ever even SEE it is when it is about to expire and it's marked down (maybe once every 4 years). But I think there is a bigger picture here, Kuwait is notorious for being inconsistent, I Have many stories of products we would routinely buy and then they would just be gone. Even at my kids private American school they can't manage to keep the teachers in the same classrooms, they play musical chairs EVERY year with the teachers. What is it with this place?

By the way CRAZY Carrefour has some nice beef. ASk the butcher,they have fresher meat in the back room.

Anonymous said...

I know, my friend told me that she once bought some candy there and realized it was expired, they closed the store down temporarily.
Almost all the 'fun' places are dying now, not sure why... even the airport stinks.

For the lady looking for a great place that sells meat, there's a slaughter house near souk salmiya where they slaughter meat right after you order, it tastes great!
But you gotta be there from the early morning... around 6. No kidding. said...

Well i was told that the petfood has had problems at the port since the minister in charge of the baladiya was being replaced. I think this is also the problem in Kout. But I agree with the comments it does seem to have gone downhill just lately. I also heard that the majority of the staff are upset at not being given a payrise or bonus for the last four years which might explain why morale seems a little errrmmm flat. At the moment. Its a real shame in my opinion , being the biggest in Kuwait doesnt mean you'll survive forever TSC !! and FYI I also happen to know one of the board directors for TSC is an American from Wal Mart !!! -sighs- off to lulu i go :(

Anonymous said...

I was a supplier to TSC from overseas. They didn't pay me. That is why they do not have so many things you are looking for. They are screwing their suppliers !