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Stop & Shop strike convinces 75% of loyal customers to do business elsewhere / Boing Boing

Northeastern grocery chain Stop & Shop has made a profit at the expense of employees, increased health service costs, reduced company pension contributions and reduced holiday and Sunday overtime pay. United Food & Commercial Workers, who organize Stop & Shop employees, demanded strikes almost two weeks ago, and since then, 31,000 workers from 240 stores in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island have been out of work.

A surveillance capitalism company called Skyhook – carrying out involuntary hidden oversight of large numbers of Americans by tracking its mobile devices, allowing the company to build complex dossiers of people's movement over time – has published a report describing the decline in foot traffic from people who are "loyal customers" by Stop & Shop (Skyhook describes the data it analyzed as "anonymized").

Skyhook found that the number of visits from "loyal customers" decreased by 75% after the strike started, while foot traffic overall decreased by 50%. It turned out that these "loyal customers" switched to buying their groceries from competitors Hannafords (up 300%), Market Basket (up 115%), Trader Joe (up 75%), Shaws and Star Market (up 50%).

Boston Globe quotes unspecified "analysts" who say that when grocery customers switch to a rival, approx. 60% of them never come back.

For its Stop & Shop analysis, Skyhook 840 customers in the strike identified the affected region visiting the grocery chain at least once a week, using location data from the 100 million mobile devices it accesses through software running on apps on those phones. These data, endorsed by users, leave "breadcrumbs" showing where people have been, Bairstow said.

Skyhook also has a database of venues, including grocery stores, and can track how often people visit.

What impact has Stop & Shop Strike had on other New England grocery stores? [Skyhook]

Visit of loyal Stop & Shop customers declines 75% under strike [Katie Johnston/The Boston Globe]

( Photo: @Stopdontshop )

( via Super Punch )

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Cory Doctorow

I write books. My last is: a YA graphic novel called In Real Life (with Jen Wang); a nonfiction book on art and the internet called information will not be free: the laws of the Internet age (with introductions by Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer) and a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (that's the sequel to the little brother). I'm talking about everything and I tweet and thumb too.


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