How poor management can ruin everything.

As recently as this past spring, the La Habra Ranch Market was a bustling local market, full of people jamming tiny carts past each other in their eagerness to trade their hard-earned money for a cornucopia of fresh, beautiful fruits and veggies.

I posted about the market a little over a year ago, noting the fantastic prices, variety, and bounty to be had. (Check it out here.)  Watermelons for $2/each! Raspberries 2 boxes for $1!  Just amazing.

Some time in the last year though, the original Mexican owners cashed out and sold the market to a Korean family (indicative of SoCal socioeconomics on a macro scale).  And the market hasn't been the same since.

I don't know if it's because the suppliers are now different, but I was so depressed to visit the market last week and see its transformation/degeneration firsthand.  
I wasn't even sure it was open that day, there were so few cars in the parking lot.  Inside it was dismal, eerily silent and so very empty.  And let's not even get into the produce - such poor quality stock, all shriveled up and on the edge of molding.  Not to mention, the shelves looked like they hadn't been stocked in a couple weeks.

It's been less than a year since the changeover but I am flabbergasted by how poor management - poor supply, poor set-up, poor pricing, poor customer service/experience can completely run a successful business into the ground, and so quickly.  

All I can think is, how sad, and what a waste!
6 responses
I remember going there before decades ago, too. Sadness.
I've seen this happen to so many great places its not even funny. Usually when the new owners take over they jack up prices and scare away a lot of customers, the shop's life blood. The people talk, "oh that so and so shop isn't as good as it was anymore" and more people leave. A vicious downward spiral starts and a once great place turns to poop!
The heart of any business is what is in the owner's heart. We're selling our business right now after 3 years. We didn't make a lot of money in that period, but the reward comes now at the sale, because we built a business with an excellent reputation for caring for it's people. Will the new owners treat our customers as well? Will it be in their heart to not cut corners? Will they care as much about their people? God knows, but one of the great things about America is that any person who decides to treat people right and build something excellent can always succeed. Got to love this country!
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