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Author Topic: Chelsea, Michigan #402  (Read 1084 times)
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« on: January 08, 2016, 10:39:32 AM »

Store #402 in Chelsea, a town on the western edge of Ann Arbor (perhaps best known as the
hometown of actor Jeff Daniels).

It opened shortly after I got to Michigan in 1988.  I had come over a few times from Hillsdale to
assist them with inventory prep, planogram changes, etc.   The store was truly star-crossed from
the beginning.

Ann Arbor is a little pocket of VERY expensive housing, and thus the economic expectations of the
people that lived there did not really line-up with Ames' pay scale.   At the time minimum wage was
$3.35 per hour.  Other places in Ann Arbor were paying close to $6.  As a result it was VERY difficult
to hire or retain help for this store.

Most of their hourly employees were coming from Jackson, 35 miles down I-94 (where the cost of living
was much more typical).   Problem with that was if it snowed most of them would not make it in and
they would struggle to keep the doors open.

Then they had a situation where their head receiver quit to take another job. 
I think Ames was paying the head receiver around $8/hour at that time.   

They interviewed people for over six months, and could not find one candidate from the Ann Arbor area
who would agree to take the job for a penny less than $30,000 per year.

Ames' solution to this was to bring the Assistant Receiver up from Bowling Green, Ohio, and pay her around $8/hour
(while at the same time putting her up in a local hotel Mon-Fri!)

This went on for months and months and months as they were unable to fill the receiver's job locally.

Yet it never seemed to sink into any thick heads up in Rocky Hill that you need to pay people more if you expect to operate in this market.

Granted this was odd as the area of high-cost housing was geographically very limited. 
Drive about 30 miles in any direction and you were back down to realistic numbers.
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