Retail Experts: Changing customer habits partially responsible for grocery strike

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NORWALK -

Stop & Shop employees across New England are on strike, and a local business professor says customers are partly to blame.

The Stop & Shop employees are looking for better wages and health care. Fairfield University business professor Mousumi Godbole says Stop & Shop is fighting for its survival too, and it's all because of the way consumers shop now.

Walmart is now the nation's biggest grocery seller. Amazon already sells groceries online and plans on soon opening more automated stores with almost no employees.

Stop & Shop workers know leaner times are ahead because of online shopping.

"I'd be lying to you if I didn't say, 'Yes, I've shopped on Amazon,'" says Stop & Shop employee Julie Lucas. "But I also want to go into a store. I want to touch something, I want to pick something out."

But the workers have faith online shopping won't completely replace stores.

"Nothing's going to replace the people on the ground, you know what I mean?" says Stop & Shop employee Jay Salamon. "Robots don't have a personality. Robots are not going to make friendship with people. A lot of customers here, they come here to see us."

Tuesday marks the sixth day of the strike.

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