business news in context, analysis with attitude

There is a lovely little story in the Sacramento Bee about an independent store called Compton’s Market in the eastern section of that city. According to the story, the store - owned by the Compton family since Eisenhower was in office - has had a reputation for both service and quality, using a tangible connection with the neighborhood as way of staying relevant even against bigger and more aggressive competition. However, faced with a younger generation that did not want to be in the grocery business, the brothers who ran the store - Mike and Dan Compton - decided to sell to Pam and Sunil Hans, a couple from nearby Marysville.

And while the Hans plan to invest the store to keep it up to date, they also are planning to do everything possible to create a sense of continuity and comfort for shoppers. It is the kind of store where people walk from their homes to do their shopping, or feel comfortable sending their kids on foot or on bikes to pick up this or that. That’s a rare legacy these days, and one that the new owners know they must not squander.

And here’s the crazy part. Or maybe it’s not so crazy. Mike Compton, 58, who wanted to begin a second career, hasn’t quite done so. Many days, you can find him in the store, dusting the shelves and interacting with shoppers. He’s not sure what he’s going to do yet...and at some level, the store is still his home.
KC's View:
My friend Jim Donald says that this kind of thing doesn’t surprise him - he says that retailing gets in your blood, and it is almost impossible to get out.