HH Com 551

In an end-of-quarter effort to boost sales, Highlands Supermarket hosts a singles night complete with tarot readers, a bartender, a DJ, a matchmaker, and a troupe
of jugglers. Customers are invited to shop (wink) while they shop. It might be a brilliant marketing scheme but the manager becomes ill and the success of the evening depends upon newly-hired assistant manager Kosanke, a recently-separated army veteran lacking any
grocery experience.

In order to exceed store sales goals, Kosanke will have rely on his front-end, meat, deli, produce, and bakery managers – an eccentric group more desperate for companionship than any lonely heart likely to visit the store that night – and they’ve had their eyes on certain shoppers for years… When the customers arrive, it will be the employees doing the shopping, and how can Kosanke blame them? He fell in love with the butcher earlier that very morning.

The plot of this novel is trying to exceed a sales quota? That can't be right. It just can't.


Anonymous said...

Unless I'm missing something, I only hear a short story in this.

good luck.

pretty shaved ape said...

the stakes are easy enough to change. a quota would have to come from head office. screw head office. make the store one of the last standing independent family owned grocers left in the state. make the conflict an effort to stave off foreclosure and save the business.

that being said, the hook as written strikes me as a sitcom. perhaps even a very good sitcom.

Twill said...

If the stakes can be made to seem significant, there's an ensemble movie in here. "National Lampoon's Meat Market"

Southern Writer said...

I think pretty shaved ape has given you a good possibility to consider. Other than the need to up the stakes, I thought this sounded like fun!

Dave said...

The "Food Gallery" near me did this back in 1989 and went bankrupt by 1993.

If this is CLERKS III - then let us know about the loony clerks, not the Mimes and Jugglers. Other than I don't want those Juggler to get theri hands on my mellons, let alone the jugglers playing silently around my, uh, sweetmeats.

JPD said...

I'm gong to infer a ton into this story... but I have no problem with a franchise store trying to stay in business.

Reality says that if they have a bad quarter, there may be no store at all, come next quarter. Any store that brings in tarot readers and jugglers is a store struggling for their very survival.

I know this is a "niche" and not something that everyone automatically understands. A franchise store IS the key employer in middle-America. There is also no family grocer mentioned in the author's hook, therefore, no underdog competitor.

I like this for another reason.. The barrier is coming down between shopper and service people. If I read this correctly, the luckless deli-clerks are given free reign to hit on their customers, as the customer do the same.

I think this is as cute as hell! As long it stays clean and doesn't get kinky in aisle five, then this is a charming story!

Not to mention a militarized store manager trying to pull this all together on in his first day in the job... The horror he must confront... the horror.

JPD (feeling love, from aisle seven)

Crystal Charee said...

Call me crazy, I love this idea. Get drunk, your palm read, fall in love, and buy bread all at the same time. The idea of a manager who lacks grocery experience pulling this off made me laugh almost out loud.

If I'm not mistaken, the plot is for the employees to finally get a chance to hit on the customers of their respective choices...I like it a lot. Hook needs work, but I'd read the story. It's too weird not to.

Anonymous said...

Humor? I think this could be a fun, quirky book to read if it is well written, but you have to make the hook funnier. What happens if they don't make their quota? Other than ignoring their jobs to go after love interests, how else do the employees upset the apple cart?

Anonymous said...

I wrote a short story involving George Clooney (lookalike) in a supermarket so this gets my till ringing.

Anonymous said...

:Tired editor rouses self with just enough energy to jump out the window.

Sadly, the office doesn't have any windows.:

LindaBudz said...

I love this idea. I agree with pretty shaved ape ... I immediately started imagining a sitcom.

Seems like it would be hard to pull off as a full-length novel, though, especially if told only from the manager's POV. Might be interesting to have a few chapters from other characters' POV here and there?

Just a thought. Good luck with it!!