Monday, May 10, 2010

Reid's Will Exit Seventh Street Station

When I decided to move downtown in 1998, one of my concerns was where will I buy my groceries. Fortunately, that is when Reid’s opened the Seventh Street Station store. It hardly seems like 12 years!
Effective June 30, 2010, Reid’s will no longer anchor the corner of the parking garage, they have elected to not renew their lease. Talk about a shocker!
Selling real estate in downtown Charlotte was made somewhat easier because of the special attention that Reid’s gave its customers; home delivery; special orders; house accounts; best meat department in the city; bakery and catering; excellent wine selection and a convenient wine bar. The uniqueness of these services made Reid’s stand out amongst many competitors.
More than these services was the friendly nature of the employees. Each time I walked into Reid’s I was greeted by everyone from whoever was sweeping the floor (sometimes the owner) to Chuck and Pam Richards. These are probably stories that each of us could repeat as Reid’s touched us all. I often felt as though I spent more time at Reid’s than at home.
Weekend cooking classes became very popular, and Heidi Billotto would always fill all the seats. Reid’s would offer the students a 10% discount the day of the cooking class, always a very popular reason for taking the classes.
The wine bar itself became a regular stopping place for people waiting for traffic to die down before heading home. The Wednesday and Friday wine tastings allowed me to market myself as a realtor and still enjoy the friendship and camaraderie of the patrons, and of course, the great wines that were offered.
Special cooking tips from Bucky or Mac helped me to become a better cook as well.
All this changes on June 30, 2010.
My first inclination was to try to fight the change, start a grass roots movement to keep things going the way that they have for the past 12 years, but that does not seem to be a possibility. Reid’s is not planning to disappear, but reinvent itself. All things are changing, the way we read books, the way we get our news, the way we look for phone numbers, how we bank (anyone still have a passbook?), and grocery shopping is also changing. The plan is to relocate in an area that will allow the business model to produce a profit for the company. One thing that will not be affected by this change will be the gift business, In these times, those who can change and adapt will succeed, those who cannot, will not!
Pam and Chuck are concerned for their employees, many who have been part of the Reid’s family for generations. Other locations are being considered, and while the size of the store may change, the customer service will not as many of their employees will continue on.
Let’s make these last two months something special for Reid’s and all of us.

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