Independent Grocer Network

For independent grocers and the wholesalers that serve them

 According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, Wal-Mart is planning to open smaller stores "in an effort to push back against the dollar chains and other competitors nibbling at its customers," the article said. In addition, the new stores will primarily sell groceries.

Do you see this as a threat to the independent grocer community? How would you advise preparing for this?






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Hey there. With Walmart at 24% chain wide profit margin, I think the 10k store will not be difficult to compete against. In theory they are the highest labor store by the square foot. In theory their prices will reflect that. If your selection is great compared to Walmart (easy these days), then that won't change. While I have no direct experience competing a 10k store, Walmart makes us better retailers if we execute our ONLY competitive edge, quality product and service.
Wal Mart wants every single dollar in the USA, and anyone thinking different will not be around for long.
I have a supercenter 4 miles from me in a small very poor town, but we can beat them in perishables everyday.
Don't try to build your business like the 1980's, because unfortunately Wal Mart has a the grocery vendors in their back pocket. Promote your custom-cut all natural meats very hard. Don't be afraid to go after their water added junk. Our everyday meat prices beat Wal Mart 100% of the time, including our deli prices as well. Pound the promotions on ground round, roasts, "in the bag" pork & beef, and do it strong 52 weeks a year. Put a $2.00 scannable coupon on the bottom of customers slips if they spend $50 on meats, to be spent on another $50 in your store. It works!!!
Make real homemade salads, meatloafs, lasagna's, and unique cheesebreads, and pepperoni rolls, and I guarantee you the customers will notice. Gluten-free & Diabetic friendly foods SELL.. Put them in a seperate aisle, and sample,and promote them at a discount price... As a charter member of the NGA, and an annual convention supporter, if anyone wants more info on these thoughts, I'd be glad to send you my ads, which i keep in an online file. Fight the good fight, and the consumers will take notice in a big way. Good luck to all
Wal-mart is always a threat and as one Web site wrote, Wal-Mart is ALWAYS bad for small businesses.

There are many who are becoming aware of the importance of supporting small businesses. I would love to work with anyone interested in getting increased visibility online for independent grocery stores.

I also have suggestions on how you can differentiate your stores to attract those most interested in supporting your stores. If you were to carry key products that are not widely available and make it easier for shoppers to buy healthier you can pull customers from much further away than your current customer base.
Consider this troubling thought for suppliers; your shoppers visiting supercenters are downsizing their assortment and eliminating deli purchaces, impacting the entire category’s' sales in the US.
Shoppers don't run to your store on the way home from the supercenter to buy your fried chicken or Rotisserie after missing these products at the supercenter!
Mr. Orlando is right, use the awareness of in store merchandising and coupons that Supercenters DO NOT.
Tell your shoppers you have a deli with in store POS,then be in stock, because the competition does not use these tools.
Don't forget C stores and Fast food is after your shopper as well; why not sell the $6..00 ring of prepared food vrs. Your customer stopping 1/2 mile from your door on the way home to buy fried chicken, or wings, or tenders?

T.Fuqua@tyson.com
Consider this troubling thought for suppliers; your shoppers visiting supercenters are downsizing their assortment and eliminating deli purchaces, impacting the entire category’s' sales in the US.
Shoppers don't run to your store on the way home from the supercenter to buy your fried chicken or Rotisserie
Mr. Orlando is right, use the awareness of in store merchandising and coupons that Supercenters DO NOT.
Tell your shoppers you have a deli, be in stock, because the competition does not use these tools.
Don't forget C stores and Fast food is after your shopper as well; why not sell the $10.00 ring of prepared food vrs. Your customer stopping 1/2 mile from your door on the way home to buy fried chicken, or wings, or tenders?

I've been watching that rumble for over a year now.  I'm not sure that Walmart can run a store that small with the challenges that they have. It will be interesting to see if it can support itself in the urban communities. 

Small independents should concentrate heavily on customer service, community involvement and happy associates.  We need to make the best shopping experience available to customers, and stay abreast of their needs, something that the smaller business can attune to better.

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