Rough Times at the Columbia Heights Giant


A reader writes:

“Looked like the impending apocalypse the other night in the produce section at the Columbia Heights Giant. It’s often bad, but I usually don’t see completely empty shelves…”

UPDATE from Giant:

“We apologize for the stock conditions captured in the photo. When this photo was taken, there was a mechanical problem in the refrigerated case where we display our bagged salads. The case has been repaired and is operating properly at this time. We regret any inconvenience to our customers.

We have brought the community’s comments to the attention of our store managers and staff. We know that our customers have many options to shop for groceries and want to ensure that they find a pleasing experience and well-stocked store when shopping with Giant.”

48 Comment

  • Memorial Day Sale?

  • good lord. let’s hope the new safeway isn’t like this.

  • Looks like someone needed some fiber.

  • bagged lettuce pickings were slim at the P Street Whole Foods yesterday too. They posted a sign about growing conditions impacting production (and our CSA is delayed too).

  • This happens at several inner city stores these days. The CVS in Petworth is almost always out of milk and paper towels, Target in COHI is always out of the same and lots of other food supplies regularly, Wal Mart in Petworth also suffers from this too. I think it’s because the stores don’t let regional managers order additional supplies of things that run out, they all use a database driven supply order system that isn’t adjusted based on sales.

    What gets me is when staples like milk and juice run out all the time… I go to wal-mart to get most of my supplies and then end up having to go to another (more expensive) store just to get the remaining items I need because wal-mart is out of basic supplies like bottled water. American consumerism.

    • “out of basic supplies like bottled water”

      Why is bottled water a basic supply when we have perfectly fine drinking water? American consumerism indeed.

      • +100 on the water. I see people lugging home giant cases of water every day. No sense to it at all.

        • Crazy how the bottled water companies have hoodwinked so many people into thinking that their product is somehow safer than tap water.

      • You guys keep drinking that DC tap water… I got wary of it 20 years ago when brown silt came out of my tap once a month and after countless boil water alerts came out. I’m also not a fan of drinking chlorine and chloramine, and micro particles from ages of old lead pipes in the DC water system.

        Sure bottled water is not necessarily the best either, but I’m pretty sure that it’s much safer than DC tap water. The water filter in my fridge going bad (filled with soot and debris) just 3 months after plugging it in to my house water line was proof enough for me.

        • And yet just five years ago, the truth came out that WASA was fudging the reports and that water had all kind of contaminants above the EPA limits…on top of the lead in a lot of water. Until you watch you toddler doing the mandatory DC blood draw for lead testing, you may think twice about assuming the water is so great.

        • Bottled water IS tap water. It’s just… bottled. They may or may not filter before bottling, but seeing as how municipal water is generally well-filtered before it gets to the bottling plant, I bet they don’t bother.
          If you’re that concerned, install a reverse osmosis rig under your sink. It’s really the only way to make sure your water is “pure”.

          • If you’re lucky, it’s some other city’s tap water. But regs on bottled water are weak and whatever is in that Dasani or Poland Spring bottle may well contain more contaminants than municipal water anywhere in the US would be allowed to have.
            If you want to avoid the chlorine (which is also in most bottled stuff), just fill a pitcher and let it sit out for a few hours.

        • brookland_rez

          It’s probably your house’s pipes. Galvanized plumbing releases rust particles into the water. I just changed out my house’s plumbing, and the insides of all the pipes were filled with rust. I had to replace a relatively new hot water heater in the process because it was filled with rust particles.

      • Well, depending on where you live in DC, your tap water may not be entirely safe to drink. Many older row houses have lead pipes as the main water source from the city line.

        • Just as an FYI to anyone reading this, DC Water has a free lead testing program available. They drop some collection bottles off, you draw samples, they pick them up a few days later and mail you the results. Very convenient.

          • AND we had our water tested and have a house from the 1920’s…and it came back FINE. And we have a toddler whose lead levels were totally fine at his 1 year appointment. Lead was def an issue in the water in DC at one point but things have gotten much, much better. I’m with those who are anti-bottles.

          • That’s if the guy who they pay 5 dollars an hour doesn’t get your bottles mixed up with someone elses’s. >:(

          • justinbc

            I can’t imagine going through life so paranoid.

        • Bottled water comes in plastic, which carries its own problems.

  • I absolutely can not stand this Giant. I go out of my way to a grocer much further away to avoid this one at all costs, oyyy.

    • I never leave without a headache. I avoid it at all costs.

    • Yup. Although Giant was much closer, I would go to Harris Teeter instead.

      • Love Harris Teeter. Nice, alert, conscientious employees, every one mostly ready to help/fix any question or problem. The rare time I’ve had a glitch or poor service, I know I can just go to the manager and s/he will fix it immediately.

  • same thing with the h street giant recently

  • the worst

  • This is a great experience, if you want to see what it’s like to live as a Cuban. But I’d rather just go to Mi Cuba Cafe down the street and fake it.

  • The Adams Morgan Safeway is often out of milk, and basically whatever’s on sale. I’ve started complaning to the manager every time it happens, but so far it hasn’t improved anything. I’ve been told the reason they run out of milk is “a lot of people buy it.” Um, yes. So order more, maybe?

    • Happy to see this comment, as I’ve found the same problem. I’ve also found them to consistently run out of eggs. After the 3rd time they didn’t have milk, I completely stopped going to this store. These are basic things, folks.

      • Their frozen items can be a mess as well. Pizzas are a mess as it seems like they were thawed out and put back in the freezer. Have had popsicles that obviously melted as they were frozen but not in the shape they were intended to be!

        • When I moved to Adams Morgan a couple of years ago I shopped regularly at the Safeway on Columbia Rd. That store did my head in as they were constantly out of things (esp if on sale) and the produce was often expired. The last straw was when I needed ingredients for beef stew and the were out of beef! Then I learned Harris Teeter was just a few blocks farther and haven’t looked back!!

    • Same for the Dupont Safeway. If you don’t pick your shopping times well, you can forget getting any of the sale items.

  • I was at this Giant yesterday, and there was no organic skim milk to be found at any price. I think I nabbed one of the last organic whole milks, too. Meanwhile, the non-organic stuff was fully stocked. Get a better handle on your clientele, Giant!

  • They are frequently completely out of onions, lettuce, herbs… it’s ridiculous. Almost as bad as the empty-shelved Soviet Target across the street.

  • nightborn

    Are they trying to compete with Soviet Safeway? Better throw in some rotting food too.

  • Harris Teeter all the way!

    • Completely agree! They always have… everything, things are fresh and I have never waited more than 30 seconds in line before I could start putting items on the conveyor belt thing. And their employees are pretty friendly. I will walk many blocks out of my way just to go to the AdMo Harris Teeter.

  • Might also be the combined effects of local growth in recent years: lack of extra space for storage despite growing population density and demand. Add on top of that the fact that the Petworth Safeway is not opened yet, therefore, pushing more people to shop elsewhere.

  • The Safeway in Petworth better have quality, well stocked items. I don’t mind continuing to drive to the Harris Teeter.

  • I actually experience some of the same things at my giant in Arlington. The onions are often moldy already and they are always out of lettuce. so confused!

  • The pre- washed greens section at Whole Foods looked like that TUesday at 5:30.

  • justinbc

    “the other night”
    Or, you know, maybe they were just about to restock. The world doesn’t revolve around the hours you happen to visit a store.

  • It’s an allegory. Our salad days are over.

  • Did PoP contact Giant or does Giant troll PoP (re: update)… The latter would be fabulous

Comments are closed.