Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Gourmet Marche - St Maarten NEVER AGAIN!

I'm a bit calmer now, so I can rant about my experience yesterday at Gourmet Marche, Portofino Marina (where Shrimpy's used to be) on the Simpson Bay Lagoon, near the Shell station.

Gourmet Marche in St Maarten. We'll never shop there againWe've been 2-3 times/week customers of this store since it opened over a year ago. And, to tell you the truth, I've been getting a bit upset on how many items are not priced so you have to use their scanner (when it is working) to see how much it has gone up since the last time you were shopping. There are NO bargains here, just convenience.

Well... anyway... Yesterday I went shopping using my red daypack as my purse. It has my wallet, passport, sunglasses, camera, cell phone etc. loose in the bag just as it would be in a proper, pursy-looking purse.

So, we are popping into Gourmet Marche to buy some meat for dinner and a 12-pack of Coke Zero when I hear a "hello" behind me. I keep going and again... "hello". I think this is directed at me so I turn around and the security guard tells me I must leave my bag. I tell him no, it has all of my stuff in it. He points to someone else's daypack which is sitting on top of a shopping cart in the space between the open entrance and exit doors. I'm not leaving my bag with my valuables sitting there where anyone can grab it! And I'm not going to remove all my stuff and juggle it in my hands while shopping.

I go to the manager's office to ask him if it's OK to take my bag in the store as you know me and know I'm not a thief, etc :). For sure, he'll say yes because he's been friendly to us forever... Nope! He stays sitting at his desk and tells me it is policy, nothing to do with me, & waves his hand in a go away gesture, then he turns back to his computer screen. OK, I understand his point, but he is blowing me off... He doesn't care about a "valued customer" especially when his number of shoppers are rapidly dwindling.

Also, for at least 6 months, I've been using a shopping/tote bag to carry my stuff. This is a large bag about 16"x20" with an open top. Very easy to stuff things in if I was prone to shoplifting. Much easier than yesterday's daypack with zippers. We have also walked around with shopping from other stores without question. In fact, it would have been nice to have a place to check a bag instead of lugging stuff around the shop.

Don't these guys get it? Just because one has a daypack doesn't make it easier to shoplift. You should restrict ALL bags and have a proper system for storage and identification of bag with owner (tag number).

When we lived in France, if you didn't check your bag (consigne) they would look in your bags/pack when you left the store. That's fine with me!

So, back to yesterday... After leaving the manager I stood by the cashier and muttered "I'm not shopping here" and waited for Bob to bring whatever shopping we had to be purchased... I was still seriously miffed and went back into the office and said "I just want you to know that I am really ANGRY. I AM NOT A THIEF". No response... What does he care? Go away crazy lady...

Bob came back and asked why I was screaming (I didn't realize I was) and we left without buying anything. We have decided not to ever go back to Gourmet Marche again.

You might be thinking "what's the big deal" & "why should she get special treatment"...
  • I don't like getting singled out because I have a daypack while other large bags are OK
  • I didn't like the way the manager handled it. I was a bother to him and he doesn't care that I'm a long-time customer that needed her feathers smoothed.
We spend a few thousand dollars a year at that store, which might not be as much as some of his customers but in "these difficult economic times" you have to take what you can get. We have other choices which means crossing the street. Airport Road is well known for car-pedestrian accidents. Motorists just not paying attention to others... Come on people, get your act together! Think about your fellow man and how you affect (I was going to say "impact") their lives.

There's a Chinese store directly across the street, plus there is a new Chinese store near the bookshop also on the other side of the street but inbetween (and across from) the Shell station and The Mailbox. It is new, clean, well lighted. $3.75 for one liter of Cortez Rum :) They haven't had Coke Zero, but they have had Sprite Zero. Plus there is the Seven-Alive store right across the street from Palapa Marina (they have the best price on the poppyseed crackers I like).

Enough ranting... I think you get my drift :)

Now having third cup of coffee and then it's off to the French supermarche, US Imports.