Why Do Grocery Stores In Poor Areas Smell Bad?

I would expect a small, indepedent market to have a lot less resources for cleaning and odor control than a giant chain.

So what should our shirts say?
I Burning Your Dog

1920’s Style Death Ray

Hi, Opal

Nuke It From Orbit - It’s the Only Way to Be Sure

Nothing. That’s the Beauty of It
(Another Tucsonan putting in his 2 cents’ worth. Go Cats!)

How about I LOVE THE DOPE!!

What? It’s not like we won’t blend right in.

I have to corroborate the OP’s claim. I worked for a wine/spirit company and had to visit dozens and dozens of stores and I can distinctly remember the stores in poorer parts of town indeed smelling bad (and smelling even worse in the backroom). It’s a strange phenomenon that I had never thought twice about until now.

My WAG is that everything mentioned so far plays a factor. A poorer area likely hasn’t had new construction in a while, has a lower class of employee and customer, and less care about cleanliness.

It’s more incentive for the best and brightest in that area to leave for a nicer area perpetuating the downfall of this poor neighborhood.

Same here, beverage distributor driver.
Worst case I ever saw was involved plastic tubs of raw chicken stacked several tubs high, chicken in direct contact with the bottom of the tub above it.
The topper was the woman changing a baby’s(poopy!) diaper on the meat counter.:eek::eek::eek:

I’m sitting at an airport waiting for my flight and as I read your post, a mouse darting next to me and behind the Coke machine. I don’t think I’m gonna read any more posts today.

Our local K Mart smells like the dirtiest and filthiest homeless person I’ve ever come across. I’ve volunteered at the local homeless shelter, and management there either makes people that smell this bad either shower, or get out of the shelter.

You see, in their vestibule, there is a perforated rubber mat system that has gathered both moisture and dirt, and rotting grocery item odors for nearly 20 years. Also, the carpeted area just inside the store is original, too. The disgusting odor that this combination creates when first entering your store nearly makes me gag. It is is NO wonder this store does so poorly in sales. K Mart got into the business of selling groceries without knowing how to deal with the odors of organic rot. Please, take up the perforated flooring in the vestibule and power-wash everything with Clorox. Also, Please replace the carpeting inside the entrance, or I will not return.

OMG, I completely forgot that smell.

The Grocer used to smell like vegtables, plants, fruits and a hint of fresh from the farm stink.

Not just in the veggie part of the store, but all over.

It’s all sanitized now…even the corner veggie stand hardly has a smell anymore.

My garbage doesn’t have the smell of refuse either, no corn husks, tater peelings or fish heads and soup bones…just a lingering air of kitty poo. :frowning:

On the front, a mean looking “LOL Kitty” with the saying…
I can has…Pigeon Eggs?

Here are some more possibilities:

Fighting ignorance since 1973. It’s taking longer than we thought.

Just once. In 1960. For about twenty minutes.

“Rio” by Duran Duran.


The Master speaks.

It is mostly the meat counter, the closest grocery to me has stale semi-rotting meat in old barely functioning freezers. You need only look at their selection of poorly frozen dripping blood all over the freezer beef liver to see the problem, compounded by the fact most people buying it locally is for use in homemade dog food. This sets up a vicious cycle too, the poor freezers lead to the meat getting stale which is visible and creates a smell which puts people off buying meat there which leads to it not selling and rotting and…

Meat is the only thing I refuse to buy there, for some reason the store thinks they MUST carry meat.

You’d be amazed how stinky clean cardboard can be when it gets damp and when you have roughly 3,000 cartons all stacked together in the back room.

I used to work for a grocery store on the “drugs and pharmacy” side. There was no food stocked in there. Just toothpaste, aspririn, toys, diapers, shampoo, etc., but that room could smack you in the head with that collective cardboard smell.

The food side’s back room smelled about the same as we were running on a “just in time” sort of stocking where deliveries didn’t sit in the back for a week - for the most part, wrapped pallets came off the trucks and went right off to the aisles.

However, the liquor backroom stank of stale beer - ignore just one broken bottle and it seeps permanently into the concrete floor. Similarly, the produce and meat rooms were pretty stinky. Needless to say, the garbage end of things, including the baler room, were horrible.

As someone said above, there’s always something rotten in a grocery store, just because there’s so much food there. On the other side of town, someone is building a completely new grocery store from the ground up. I can guarantee that before they open, that there will be at least one fuzzy bunch of grapes and one orange that’s turned green.

I always called that particular scent eau de Chinatown. I thought it was because they were buying cheaper produce that was closer to expiry and they had to thrown more away, but I’m probably wrong.