Boasts ‘generational’ roots in area, can adapt quickly
by Mary Margaret Stewart, staff writer
Rhonda Davis describes Malone’s Cost Plus in Dallas, Texas, as “generational,” both in its associates and customer base.
Malone’s has been in the Dallas area since 1973. The store adopted the Cost Plus concept in ’81. Today, there are three store locations, serving as a multicultural, full-service supermarket.
Davis handles government affairs for the company. She said Malone’s hires the local community, which is made up of a large Hispanic population. And the stores have catered to their neighborhoods through buying locally as well as helping Grocers Supply to develop its Hispanic department.
“We have elote carts out front, which is the Hispanic corn. All of our signs and our ads are in English and Spanish to cater to all of our community, not just the Hispanics,” Davis said.
“We’re neighborhood – we’ve been here for two to three generations. Our employees are mostly local high school kids and their parents and grandparents.
“We’re more able to adapt to our community than a regular Kroger or Walmart or anything like that.”
And being quick to adapt has proven essential in 2020, with the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic.
“We immediately needed to protect customers, as well as our own employees, so we got our maintenance department to put up shields at the check stands, and the registers have washable skins…for the credit card machines, so the cashiers are able to wipe it down, before and after,” Davis said.
“Whenever [shoppers] come in, the buggies are clean. And whenever they leave, everything is wiped down before they touch the credit card machine or the check stand or anything like that. We do our best to protect the customer and the employees.”
One aspect of the business that has been difficult to navigate is the supply chain.
“Supply has been kind of spotty. We’re lucky that we have Grocers Supply. They’ve helped us as much as they could, because it’s also spotty for them. And they did a good job allotting,” Davis said.
“If they had something in their warehouse, and we needed it, they would send us something rather than nothing. We may not have gotten what we ordered – if we need a 10 of them, we may have only got five. That was a challenge to keep the shelves fully stocked. But it’s looking a lot better right now.”
None of that has stopped the daily service that Malone’s stores provide to the neighborhoods they serve. And it won’t stop now, according to Davis.
“We are going to do the same thing that we’ve always done. We’re going to give a fair price for quality product. And if the future holds a new location, that’s certainly an option,” she said.
And this service extends beyond the four walls of a Malone’s Cost Plus. Community is important, too.
“We are members of several different chambers of commerce. We work with the local high schools as employees,” Davis said.
“And some of our employees have gone all the way through college and become teachers and lawyers. And we sponsor local, community events, churches and libraries – different things like that.
“We’re very involved in the growth of the community. The Hispanic culture itself is very family-oriented. With the Cost Plus concept, when they buy their groceries, the Hispanic community understands that the more they buy, the more they save.”