Independent Grocer Network

For independent grocers and the wholesalers that serve them

All Blog Posts (162)

Making "Local" Matter

If there's one thing that independent grocers excel at, it's relationships. Because we spend so much time in our stores, talking to customers, learning about their wants and needs, we are in a great position to influence customers' perceptions of their grocery shopping experiences.

From my perspective, there's two ways to build your business in the grocery industry. One is to develop a highly robust and efficient supply chain that allows you to leverage that efficiency in such a way…


Added by Neil Kudrinko on October 4, 2011 at 12:32pm — 1 Comment

Fire Safety in a Mobile World

You know, as funny as this is, it holds some truth to it.....

Added by Joseph Tarnowski on October 3, 2011 at 10:30pm — No Comments

PG Seeking Nominations for Outstanding Independent Awards

Progressive Grocer is presently seeking entries for its annual Outstanding Independents awards program, which annually recognizes excellence from among the ranks of innovative and successful independent grocers.

The annual Independent Awards program, which will again pay tribute to the commitment and achievements of two leading independent grocery organizations in PG’s February 2012 issue, is seeking nominees in two categories:

  • Outstanding Independent Grocer –…

Added by Joseph Tarnowski on September 26, 2011 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Fresh food could last for years without refrigeration!

According to a recent report in The (London) Sunday Times, researchers at the University of Minnesota have discovered a naturally-occurring compound – called ‘bisin’ – which can destroy the bacteria that cause the rotting of meat, fish, eggs and dairy products.

The researchers have reported that ‘bisin’ is essentially a preservative which reduces the growth of bacteria - including E. coli, salmonella and listeria – and can, thus, help food stay fresh for more than a year, without… Continue

Added by Lou Pazderski on August 15, 2011 at 9:33am — 1 Comment

Deli Share of market-are you outselling your competition ?

If you paid a consultant  $1,000 to grow your top line Deli sales double digits , and it worked ; would it be worth your investment?

 if I give you the information for free, and show you Proven results? would it be worth your time?  

 My job is researching shoppers, and sharing success stories about deli sales. I especially feel great when another retailer hits new sales heights in a bad economy, and I get to share the success.

So why should you care about…


Added by t fuqua on August 12, 2011 at 2:34am — No Comments

Progressive Grocer Hops on Pan-Oston's Utopia Across America Tour Bus

My first impression when I entered Pan-Oston's Utopia Across America Mobile Innovation Center in the parking lot of Ronetco ShopRite in Byram Township, N.J., was that it had a lot more inside than I originally thought.


Indeed, those retailers who cannot make it to any retail technology trade events…


Added by Joseph Tarnowski on August 9, 2011 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Thinking about the fetaure ad

The Feature Ad...the backbone of out-of-store communication (even if that upstart of web communication is making inroads, it still doesn't have the impact of a feature ad).  An incredibly powerful tool in driving consumers to your store and driving volume on key items...

As a recovering retailer I've seen the power of tabs with door busters on the front and back, so I know that ads can have a tremendous impact.  Oh, the case cuts I've built!

I've been out of the business for a…


Added by Eric Le Blanc on August 2, 2011 at 9:38am — No Comments

Price is the easiest thing to imitate

I had the opportunity to meet with old friends from across the food and beverage continuum at a Shopper insight conference last week, we chatted about the economy, Shopper and retailer planning and that we have all been here before when it comes to tough times and price increases.

 The US corn mandate to ethanol has driven input cost up and price to retailers and shoppers will rise soon. Everything from beer to poultry prices will rise, and firing your suppliers for price increases…


Added by t fuqua on July 28, 2011 at 3:35am — 1 Comment

Don't Bother Me, I'm Shopping

I was rereading Progressive Grocer's Report of the Grocery Industry this morning and one table in the report really grabbed me--chart #8 which communicated the % of respondents (retailers) who rated given retail strategies as extremely or very important.

Overwhelmingly, the top response was "Fresh Food." OK--that makes perfect sense. All the bells and whistles in the world won't help you if you can't deliver at the…

Added by Eric Le Blanc on July 21, 2011 at 10:25pm — 1 Comment

The Economy and the Future of Deli

This morning my 19 year old son had his wisdom teeth out. I am sitting by his his bed and taking advantage of the time to catch up on some of my reading--in this case some reports from the folks over at Kantar Retail.

I was reviewing the Q1 figures for same store growth for supermarkets. First look says that same store growth was 2.6%. That doesn't sound too bad in a rough economy. Here's the bad news, however: inflation accounted for 2.5% of that growth. As I read further, I saw the… Continue

Added by Eric Le Blanc on July 15, 2011 at 10:27pm — 4 Comments

GS1 DATA-BAR: What it would be like...?

What the heck is GS1 DataBar?
These days, informing consumers regarding the origin of a product, the ingredients that make it up, and the chemical processes it goes through before it reaches the shelf are the next standard of UPC barcodes. With the American public becoming increasingly aware of what food they are eating questions they may have about their grocery…

Added by Luke Henry on June 29, 2011 at 6:37pm — No Comments

Why Independent Grocers are the "Natural" Choice

Recently The Telegraph newspaper from the UK reported that Dr. Brian Wansink, author of Mindless Eating, and a food psychologist at Cornell University claimed through his research that the average person makes about 200 food related decisions per day. The question on the minds of many independent grocers upon hearing that news is very likely, “How can I help you?”

Unlike the big box stores that pile up mountains of merchandise and entice…


Added by Neil Kudrinko on June 16, 2011 at 11:43pm — 7 Comments

IGN Member E.W. James to Discuss Raising Awareness of Deli & Prepared Foods During PG Webcast

Don't forget to register for today's webcast during which IGN member Steve Hilton of E.W. James & Sons Supermarkets and Peter Larkin, president and CEO of NGA will discuss strategies for raising awareness of your deli and prepared foods operations.

You may have the strongest deli offerings around, but if your shoppers aren't aware of them, they may as well not exist. During this webcast, which is sponsored by Tyson Deli, E. W. James & Sons dir. of marketing Steve Hilton,… Continue

Added by Joseph Tarnowski on May 18, 2011 at 12:20am — No Comments

How not to run self-checkout.

This is a picture of the front end at my local CVS on 41st Street and Queens Blvd. I snapped it with my phone, so it's a little blurry. This is how CVS converts shoppers to self-checkout -- by having no help at the manned registers. They didn't even give me a choice when I asked to checkout at…

Added by Joseph Tarnowski on May 2, 2011 at 9:05pm — 2 Comments

The evolution of social media...

The events of the last 24 hours have me thinking a lot about the increasing role that social media plays in our day to day lives. Today is election day in Canada, and as a result I have been glued to my twitter and facebook feeds even more than normal for the last 5 weeks. 


Last night I was scanning the last minute opinion poll results and seat projections on my new Motorola Xoom tablet, with my blackberry at my side and flipping between the Canadian news networks on the…


Added by Neil Kudrinko on May 2, 2011 at 11:25am — 3 Comments

Chief Supermarkets’ Skylar Headlines Latest Industry Talk Episode

In the first of this two-part exclusive video segment I discuss the innovative culture at 12-store, Defiance, Ohio-based Chief Supermarkets with its president and CEO, Stephanie Skylar, a member of the Independent Grocer Network since February 2010.

Recently honored with the National Grocers Association’s (NGA) Women Grocers of America (WGA) Woman… Continue

Added by Joseph Tarnowski on April 29, 2011 at 2:25pm — 1 Comment

Rio Ranch Market Wins First $250 Customer Shopping Spree in Pan-Oston's Utopia Across America Tour

Rio Ranch Market won a $250 customer shopping spree as part of Pan-Oston’s Utopia Across America Tour, a program in which two of Pan-Oston’s Mobile… Continue

Added by Joseph Tarnowski on April 2, 2011 at 10:00pm — No Comments

Environmental Sustainability, Counting What Matters

In a commercial for the Certified General Accountants of Canada, one of the accountants asks the camera, “Do I believe the environment deserves a balance sheet?”, to which he replies, “Yes, I do.” How does this statement impact small business owners? Do we have a responsibility to try and assist in improving that balance sheet? And if we do, how do we know we're being successful?


One of the most important tools that small business owners can use to determine just how…


Added by Neil Kudrinko on March 18, 2011 at 4:30pm — No Comments

The amazingly wonderful world of coupons...

So last Sunday I was at lunch with a few friends and we got to talking about the recent impact coupon websites have had on our lives, the main ones being LivingSocial and Groupon.  Both Groupon and LivingSocial invested in two controversial Superbowl Ads: LivingSocial Ad,…


Added by Luke Henry on March 17, 2011 at 5:46pm — No Comments

11-Year-Old Helps Boost Ring Bros.' Facebook Fan Base and Charity $$$

What started out as a challenge between the manager of community-based independent Ring Bros. Marketplace and 11 year old Elizabeth Kirby to get a few Facebook fans snowballed into a lesson of the power of social media and a windfall of support for a local food pantry.

While Elizabeth and her mother Kerrie were shopping at South Dennis, Mass.-based Ring Bros. Marketplace last Tuesday afternoon they struck up a…


Added by Joseph Tarnowski on March 15, 2011 at 6:30pm — 2 Comments

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