LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A looming labor strike at three of the Southland’s biggest supermarket chains may mean bigger profits for some of their smaller competitors.

KNX 1070’s Pete Demetriou reports stores like Gelson’s and Trader Joe’s are starting to look at how they will cope with a surge of new customers from Ralphs, Vons, and Albertsons who don’t want to cross picket lines.

Independent grocers have surged since the last strike in 2004, including traditional alternatives like Stater Bros. and a surplus of new outlets including Food 4 Less, Fresh And Easy, Whole Foods and others.

Managers want to focus on making new customers comfortable with their stores and marketing strategy, a move they hope will not only provide profits in the short run, but may also lead to some shoppers switching markets for good.

The last time the grocery unions walked out was during the 141-day strike in 2003-04, which cost stores an estimated $1.5 billion.

Industry experts say the walkout led some customers to make long-term changes to their shopping habits by going to independent grocers and specialty outlets.

Comments (5)
  1. kandles says:

    Albertsons, Vons and Ralphs’s will continually prosper & flourish should their unappreciative employees go out on strike! It will be very easy to replace these goons who don’t realize how fortunate they are to have jobs. I can’t wait and look forward to ‘crossing picket lines’.

  2. Ron says:

    If you have been DUPED into believing that UNIONS are good and necessary, then read the Stanford University study on CalPERS unfunded liability or DEBT(“Going for Broke”), for California’s 3 main public-employee pension funds(Steven Greenhut). The debt is calculated to be up to $500 BILLION and the TAXPAYERS could be RESPONSIBLE for paying these GOVERNMENT pensions.

    So this is one MORE example how UNIONS do NOT care about who has to PAY for these DEBTS or how much the UNFUNDED balances are.

    UNIONS are NOT beneficial to the TAXPAYER, they are a DRAIN on our livelihoods and BLOODSUCKERS to our economy !!

  3. Lana Feulner says:

    I strongly agree with Ron. It’s sad to see these “old-timer” grocery stores have to suffer… .. I have to say corporate America IS greedy..BUT it’s the consumer that suffers w/ higher food prices!! I WILL NOT pay 1.99 lb. for apples when I can go to Trader Joe’s or other stores and pay only .89 lb. It’s so obvious when these marked-up prices are due to consumers having to fork over money for your free health care!! There is no difference between you guys and all the government employees w/ entitlements….. You can bet your bottom dollar that these practices will no longer be in existance in the near future. America has finally caught on to all of your games. No more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Local 747 says:

    You will not cross my picket line. We work to hard for this and you’d better respect it cause Im taking down license plate numbers and I know where you parked!

    1. Ron says:

      @Local 747: Hey @sshole, just like every other bit of UNION AGENDA, YOU think you can DICTATE what we CAN & CANNOT DO. And like everything else, YOU ARE WRONG. We too, can find out where you LIVE, so DON’T threaten us !!! Your IGNORANCE is amazing, because if everyone were to NOT cross the picket line, then your company could go belly up and YOU would LOSE your job. But you are too STUPID to realize that.

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