( Photo by The Packer staff )

To understand what a great company culture looks like, scroll through LinkedIn and see what Lucky’s Market employees were saying in the wake of the news that the grocer planned to close 80% of its stores.

You’ll find comments like these: 

“This company has changed my life for the better.”

“I was able to have the best darn team members that anyone could wish for.” 

“The culture I was part of, regardless of who you were, you were a part of the family.”

“This has been an awesome journey and there are no regrets!”

“I met amazing people that have become family.”

The outpouring of positive comments didn’t stop with reminiscing, either. 

Numerous store directors and other team leaders petitioned for their LinkedIn connections to hire their colleagues. 

One store director wrote this about employees of the quirky, organics-focused retailer:

“Hire them. Don’t think twice. Don’t second-guess. Don’t sit on your hands. Don’t ‘get back to them.’ Hire them. Hire them. Hire them.”

Another store director wrote the following:

“Maybe I am being biased, but my team is beyond awesome, and you will not be sorry for giving them a chance!”

Have you ever seen such a public display of affection among a group of employees, especially after the vast majority of them recently found out they were losing their jobs?

It was truly remarkable to witness, and as you might expect, the experience about which so many employees raved centered around people. One person who worked at Lucky’s gave a few examples of what that looked like.

He recalled that, when someone joined the company, an e-mail would go out with that person’s picture and story — along with encouragement for people to welcome that individual to the team.

New store openings were a frequent occurrence in recent years, but even after those long days, team members would go out for dinner together and get to know each other.

Approachable managers, to whom people could talk about what was happening in their lives, made employees feel supported.

Exciting in-store events, like Hatch chile roasting, a “Squeeze the Day” citrus event and a “Power to the Pit” fruit festival, energized employees and gave them the opportunity to interact with shoppers.

Perhaps most significantly, the culture started at the top. Founder Bo Sharon always talked about family and emphasized taking care of each other, according to the former employee.

What’s also been heartwarming is the celebration among these now-former colleagues as they start the next part of their journey, at Winn-Dixie or The Fresh Market or Publix or Target or somewhere else.

“Company culture” can be an elusive concept, but if you’re looking for a case study, Lucky’s Market is a great place to start.

Ashley Nickle is editor of Produce Retailer magazine and retail editor of The Packer. E-mail her at [email protected].

Related content:
Lucky’s Market files for bankruptcy, plans to sell remaining stores
Lucky’s Market closures part of ‘restructuring efforts’

Submitted by R Henry on Fri, 02/21/2020 - 10:24

Since the venture has essentially failed, how can anyone argue the importance of "company culture?" If the company isn't making money, everything else is pointless.